Many women use braid extensions in protective hairstyles to help them look like they have longer, healthier hair. However, in some cases braid extensions can actually cause hair damage and breakage. So are they worth the risk? Keep reading to learn about the pros and cons of braid extensions, and how to reduce the chance of breakage. Plus, we’ll tell you how Viviscal Hair Growth† Supplements can help you get thicker, fuller hair without hair extensions.*
What Are Braid Extensions?
Braid extensions are synthetic or real hair that is clipped or sewn into your natural hair to create a wide variety of braided hairstyles.
3 Popular Braided Hairstyles with Extensions
There are a three main types of braided hairstyles that you can achieve with extensions:
1. Braiding Hair Extensions into Box Braids
With this braided hairstyle, the hair is parted into many small sections. Next, the hair extensions are braided into the natural hair. The process is repeated over the entire head, with a final result of many long, small braids.
2. Braiding Hair Extensions into Cornrows
In this braided hairstyle, the hair is braided close to the head in small sections. The hair extensions give the cornrows extra thickness and length. Traditionally, cornrows are braided in parallel lines from the forehead to the nape of the neck.
However, with skill and experience, a hairstylist can braid cornrows in any number of designs.
3. Crochet Box Braids
With this method, hair extensions are attached to cornrows using a crochet tool. Once the hair extensions are installed, they can be styled into twists or braids.
Tips for Braid Extensions: How to Reduce Damage
- Before installing braid extensions, deep condition your hair. This will ensure that your hair and scalp is in a healthier condition before adding the extra weight and tension of the braid extensions.
- Never braid too tightly. This can lead to severe (and even irreversible) hair and scalp damage. Plus, too-tight braids can cause tension headaches. If you notice white or red bumps along your scalp, you should loosen or remove the braid extensions. This is one of the first signs of traction alopecia, a form of hair loss caused by too-tight hairstyles and braids.
- Wrap your hair in a silk scarf when you sleep, or sleep on a silk pillowcase. This will prevent your hair from drying out and it will reduce frizziness
- Wash your scalp several times per week to remove the buildup of sebum, dead skin cells and debris that can lead to dandruff and other scalp conditions. Use your fingers to gently massage a gentle shampoo into your scalp. You can also use a soft baby toothbrush to gently cleanse the scalp.
- Moisturize your scalp with hair-friendly oils like coconut oil or almond oil. Keeping your scalp hydrated is important for healthy-looking hair.
Remove braid extensions after 8 weeks. If you keep your hair braided for too long, it can lead to damage and breakage.
How to Get Thicker, Fuller Hair Without Braid Extensions
Braid extensions can take hours to install, and can cause damage to your natural hair and scalp. Luckily, braid extensions are not the only way to get thicker, fuller hair.
Instead, try taking Viviscal Hair Growth† Supplements. Viviscal is formulated with essential hair-healthy vitamins and minerals like iron, vitamin C, biotin and zinc plus cutting-edge ingredients like the exclusive AminoMar™ Marine Complex and botanicals like horsetail plant extract.
Taking Viviscal daily has been scientifically proven to increase hair’s thickness and reduce shedding in as little as 3 months. That’s a much simpler way to get thicker hair than braid extensions!*
Do you style your hair with braid extensions? Why or why not? Let us know in the comments!
†Existing hair growth