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    Types of braided hairstyles and maintenance routines to make them last longer

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    The difference between your braids lasting 3 weeks and those that last even more than 8 weeks is in the style you choose and even more in how you maintain them.

    Braids are more than just a hairstyle; they’re a versatile expression of cultural identity, fashion, and personal style that can be tailored to suit any occasion.

    From intricate designs worn at weddings to simple plaits for everyday wear, the art of braiding has deep roots in many cultures across the globe.

    In this article, we explore several popular types of braids, each offering its unique flair and set of styling techniques.

    Furthermore, we’ll also provide expert tips on how to maintain your braids for up to eight weeks, ensuring they remain fresh, neat, and stylish long after you leave the salon.

    READ: 5 signs it’s time to take your box braids out

    The most popular braiding techniques

    Whether you’re a braiding novice or a seasoned pro looking to preserve your plaits, the starting point is understanding the different braiding techniques renowned for their longevity and style retention.

    1. Cornrows

    These are tight, flat braids that are woven close to the scalp in straight, curved, or intricate patterns.

    10 cornrows by BradingQueen

    Cornrows can last between two to four weeks. They are low-maintenance and, because they’re tightly braided to the scalp, they generally hold their form well until new growth appears.

    2. Senegalese Twists

    Also known as rope twists, these are created by twisting two strands of hair around each other from roots to ends. They can be made from natural hair or with extensions.

    Knotless Senegalese twists by Braiding Magic
    Knotless Senegalese twists by Braiding Magic

    These twists are typically very sleek, which helps them to last anywhere from four to eight weeks. Their twisted structure tends to hold well, reducing frizz and unraveling.

    3. Box Braids

    This traditional style involves sectioning the hair into square (boxy) divisions and braiding each section from the roots with extensions.

    Box braids by Braiding Magic
    Box braids by Braiding Magic

    READ: Great tips and tricks for ladies who love box braids

    Box braids can last from four to six weeks. They are less likely to get frizzy quickly, and their individual nature allows easy access to the scalp for better maintenance.

    4. Ghana Braids

    Also known as banana braids or feed-in braids, these are cornrows that start small and thin, gradually becoming thicker as more hair is added.

    Ghana braids by Afrohairr
    Ghana braids by Afrohairr

    They can last up to six weeks, depending on how they are cared for. The gradual addition of hair helps reduce tension and allows the style to remain neat longer.

    5. Micro Braids

    These are very small, fine braids that are often braided tightly and can include the entire length of the hair.

    Extra small knotless braids by Braiding Magic
    Extra small knotless braids by Braiding Magic

    Due to their small size, micro braids can last up to three months if well-maintained. However, they require careful handling to prevent damage and breakage.

    6. Faux Locs

    Faux locs mimic the look of dreadlocks without permanently altering the hair. Hair extensions are wrapped around sections of natural hair to create the appearance of locs.

    Faux locs
    Faux locs

    They can last anywhere from six to twelve weeks. Faux locs are low maintenance and protect the natural hair as it’s completely wrapped and shielded.

    7. Crochet Braids

    Instead of braiding hair extensions into your hair, crochet braids involve cornrowing your natural hair, then hooking pre-braided or twisted hair onto the cornrows with a crochet needle.

    Ombre tritune crochet braids by Crotchet Braid Plus
    Ombre tritune crochet braids by Crotchet Braid Plus

    This style can last between four to eight weeks and is faster to install and take down, which can reduce overall strain on the hair.

    Maintenance tips for long-lasting braids

    Regardless of the type of braids, proper care is crucial for extending their lifespan.

    • Keep the scalp clean

    Adopt a weekly routine to ensure your scalp remains clean. Use a gentle cleanser to prevent buildup, waterless cleansers work best to avoid constant itching due to dryness.

    Cleanser products that contain shea butter, ginger, tea tree oil, mint, or castor oil can also be great at keeping the scalp clean without stripping your hair of moisture.

    • Moisturise regularly

    Apply a braid spray or natural oils to keep the hair hydrated. Pomades keep braids neat and reduce frizz.

    Leave-in conditioner or hair oil applied every few days can keep the braids shiny and supple.

    A good moisturiser that you can use daily will also provide deep hydration which is perfect for maintaining the overall health of braided hair.

    • Protect at night

    Wear a silk or satin scarf or bonnet to reduce frizz and tension caused by friction with pillows.

    In addition, when styling, opt for looser updos to reduce tension on the scalp and hairline.

    Goddess braids by Afrohairr
    Goddess braids by Afrohairr

    If maintained well, braids not only last long but also help in promoting hair growth and health by protecting the hair from environmental factors and daily manipulation.

    This content was generated by an AI model and verified by the author.

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