In the arena of hair extensions, braided hair extensions are possibly the oldest form… buy don’t let that fool you into thinking there aren’t a plethora of ways to wear these fabulous extensions.
Whether you choose the ol’ “pick an’ drop” technique or you’re into tree braiding hair braiding hair extensions is a straight forward way of using hair extensions to change your look and manage the sometimes unmanageable hair.
There are broadly two kinds.
The kind that you braid (or plait as we often say here in England), all the way to the bottom of the hair or to the length you desire for the hair.
Often seen on younger girls as it's easy to maintain - that is, they can play in the sand and not ruin all your hard work! Not only that, braided hair extensions are super easy to wash.
The other type is the kind that you braid until you get to the end of your natural hair and leave the rest of the hair extensions free flowing.
I like to use this type as it's a way of having the best of both worlds, textured hair that is also braided - so easy to look after!
I’ve used both and can say that whether you plait all the way to the end or; only plait the hair for a few inches, each type of hair braiding extensions are of equal merit. So it will come down to personal choice.
These extensions are unsuitable for those who have extensive hair loss at the front of the head but can be used to conceal small areas of hair loss at the rear of the head.
Braided hair extensions are great for everyone. Whilst the majority of people who tend to wear plaited extensions are black it’s not uncommon to find other ethnicities wearing their hair this way. The on-trend look of ombre and dip-dye colours for braid hair extensions means that the look is not just about practicality but also about self expression.
The only word of caution is that the straighter the hair of wearer the tighter the braiding will have to be in order not to slip out. – to be clear we’re not talking about the tightness of the attachment - a tight attachment can cause traction alopecia. We’re talking about the braided part itself.
Ah the perennial question! When I do my niece’s hair, I use two packs of standard jumbo braids hair extensions. I cut the hair extensions in the middle so that the hair is 22 inches long instead of 44inches(!) into two and use about one and a half packets all together on her head.
For my head I buy six packs of jumbo braids or three packs of human hair (I usually only use 2 ½ but shops are never fond of selling in hair in half packs!)
This give a medium fullness of hair without being bulky or causing too much strain on the scalp.
Both human and synthetic hair come in a variety of colours so that shouldn't be a determining factor.
As with all perukes, hairpieces and extensions, human hair allows the wearer to treat the hair as they would with growth hair.
You can use straighteners and curling irons, you can use hot rollers and hair dryers – the choice is yours.
With synthetic hair for braiding extensions you can't heat style - unless it's with boiling water - then the hair is set and can't be changed. Whilst you can blow dry the hair extensions, it has to be done on a cold setting so as not to melt the hair.
If you’re thinking of using braiding hair extensions or already have them and want to know how to care for your beautiful braided hair extensions, we'll have a guide for you coming soon!