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What You Didn't Know About Micro Braids

Jul 18, 2008
Braiding is a traditional hairstyle that has greatly changed itself through the course of history. The earliest account of braiding in history dates back to early Egyptian times. The art of braiding has been passed on to generation after generation in countries such as Africa; so much so that this timeless style has made it's way to America, and is being taught generation after generation here as well.

The most commonly seen type of braid is known as a ''basic braid''. Consisting of intertwining three equally sized strands of hair to form one large braid, a basic braid is one of the easiest braiding styles to achieve. The term ''micro braid'' means lots of very small braids covering the entire head. Micro braids generally start from the crown or forehead area of a persons head. While cornrows are braids that lay flat on the head, microbraids hang in a downward direction and flow freely, just like your natural hair.

Here are few tips to keep in mind for Micro Braids:

*Micro braids can be stressful on the hair, so it is important that your hair is as healthy as it can be before braiding. A good idea for pre-braiding is a deep-conditioning treatment, followed by a trim of the split ends.

*Check with your stylist prior to getting micro braids if your hair has been relaxed.

*If you would like longer and fuller braids, you can add extension hair to your natural hair while braiding. However, make sure you match the extension hair with the middle to ends of your hair. If you match the extension hair to the root of your natural hair, it will be darker than it should.

*Micro braids can be difficult to clean. If you have micro braids, don't use any thick shampoos, conditioners, pomades, or other styling products. These can leave nasty residue on your braids and could cause your scalp to become dry and itchy. Try diluting your products with water to use on your braids.

*Micro braids can encourage growth; however it is very important to properly care for the hair before, during, and after getting Micro Braids. Before you get them, be sure to have your stylist give you a deep condition. While the hair is braided, be sure to keep the scalp clean and moisturized with a crme based moisturizer. Once you remove the braids be sure to wash and deep condition the hair as well.

*Having micro braids that are too tight or too thin can cause unnecessary tension on the scalp, and could result in hair thinning out or breaking off. This is why it is critical that your micro braids are always completed by a professional stylist.

*The most important tips in having great hair are to eat nutritious food, get plenty of sleep, drink lots of water, and avoid unnecessary stress. Healthy braids take a healthy person!

Many people desire micro braids because they are very versatile when it comes to styling possibilities. They are also one of the easier styles to care for. You can't just leave your braids alone and expect them to look beautiful day after day. For beautiful braids, make sure you are moisturizing and conditioning regularly. If your styling products are too thick, you can dilute them slightly so they will be less likely to cause build up on the scalp.

Micro braids should be worn for a maximum of three months. Wearing them for longer than that could damage your natural hair. When you ready to take out your braids, snip the braid at the beginning of the extension hair, but make sure not to cut your natural hair. With wet hair, comb and pick the ends with a medium-toothed comb. Start doing this at the bottom and work your way up to the root. When this is complete, it's important to wash your hair at least once with a clarifying shampoo. Regular shampoos don't remove dirt and debris like clarifying shampoos do. After washing with clarifying shampoo, wash and condition your hair like you normally would. Then dry and style just like you always do!
About the Author
Marquetta, founder of Braids By Breslin, has been braiding and weaving hair for over 14 years. For more information on micro braids , please visit Marquetta's website.
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