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How to do micro braids and manage this hairstyle for men?
10-28-2014, 12:33 PM
Post: #1
How to do micro braids and manage this hairstyle for men?
I recently learned of the braid style of micro braids. Anybody heard or know how to do micro braids? and if so anybody know how manage this hairstyle for natural hair men?
I have heard about traction alopecia from this type of braiding cause of the pulling. I have seen enough traction alopecia pics in this forum to know that chit is something I won't touch with a ten foot pole. Tho the micro braid style looks interest enough to at least ask here if there is anyway this hairstyle can be managed for natural hair men.

Ty for any help.
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10-28-2014, 03:14 PM
Post: #2
RE: How to do micro braids and manage this hairstyle for men?
Micro braids have gained in popularity in the last 10 years or so because of the perceived ease in maintenance, as well as, the ability to achieve other styles while your hair is in braids. Soon after young men were flocking to the salons and braiding shops, they began to experience the drawback to micro braids. The braids were causing hair loss and in significant amounts, this is exactly what ou have read as this type of hair loss is indeed called traction alopecia.

This bad rap I recall occurred in the early 2000s and micro braids lost their popularity in favor of cornrows and regular braids for black guys. However, braids are not the enemy and when done correctly and maintained they do not cause significant traction alopecia or any at all. The problem is most people don't know how to take care of their micro braids and they make the mistake of opting to save money in the short term and thus damage their hair over the long run. Make no mistakes about it; micro braids are not cheap. And, this is not a decision that you make, if you are going to cut corners, because you will only hurt yourself.

Many people claim to be able to micro braid hair, but very few people can do it well. A lot of people try to save money by getting someone they know to braid their hair. This is a big mistake. Unlike cornrows that can be done by almost anyone, micro braiding is a technique.

Those who are a skilled in braiding micro braids know that the roots of hair should be bound at a downward angle. This allows the hair to cascade around the head and grow naturally. Unfortunately, most unskilled braiders bind hair aside or at an upward angle. This places unnecessary stress on hair and pulls it which leads to the feared traction alopecia. So, hair is more likely to fall out or be pulled out at the root due to the tension creating from braiding.

Remember, in comparison to your own loose hair, braids are pretty heavy. Believe it or not there is also a trick to making sure your natural hair stays unnoticed inside the braids. Unskilled braiders may be unfamiliar with the tricks of the trade and may end up tying hair in knots to achieve this. Some still burn the hair which is risky and dangerous.

Micro braids require maintenance and upkeep, just like any other hair style and especially just like any other braided hairstyle like cornrows and braids. Many guys (and girls) see micro braids like those infomercial cooking appliances, "they just set it and forget it." But, that's not how it works.

Micro braids require you to wash your hair often and very carefully. You need to use a good dandruff shampoo and rub gently in between braids. There are shampoos and conditioners that are specifically for braids. Yet, you should stick with the regular stuff. The braid shampoos don't do much for dry and itchy scalps and braids are notorious for causing it.

The bulk and magnitude of micro braids cause your head to sweat more than usual. You may also buy some product against the itching from micro braids, although the cheap ones promising to relieve itching are garbage. Buy conditioners that are designed for dry scalps and even go as far as doing a hot oil treatment or using a leave in conditioner frequently or daily. Whenever you are not in a hurry, let your braids air dry instead of blow-drying. In fact, try to avoid the hair dryer as much as possible with micro braids.

Try to cut back on the excess heat and constant styling. Yes, micro braids will allow you to create numerous hairstyles, but think of what that will do to your hair with all the constant pulling and manipulating. Micro braids should be worn naturally. Stay away from styles that force you to use curling irons or other heating tools. Also, cut back on ponytails and other tied hairstyle that pull hair up or across as these will put you at risk of traction alopecia.

If possible, do not attempt to take the braids out by yourself. I cannot stress this point enough because this is where most of your hair will fall out. Taking micro braids out is just as detailed as putting them in. Most people try to take out their micro braids for different reasons: some try it to save time, others money and others because they think the task is easy enough. Regardless, it almost always ends up being more than they bargained for.

Removing braids requires you to clip the ends, then proceed to unbraid or remove the braided hair. This is a very time-consuming process. Most men get frustrated after the first two or three hours and start cutting more than they should, or many just don't know what they are doing and end up damaging their hair. The most common mistake is to wash or wet the hair and then try to remove braids. This is a big no. Unless you have purchased a braid removal solution from a specialized store or online store like Amazon, do not wet braids when you are trying to remove them. The best way is to simply have a braid shop remove the micro braids for you. Although it will cost more than doing it yourself, you will save yourself a lot of time, energy and hair.

Despite what you may hear, micro braids are great hairstyle, especially for men with curly hair and natural hair. But, only get micro braids if you plan on doing the whole process right! Smile
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11-25-2014, 11:14 AM
Post: #3
RE: How to do micro braids and manage this hairstyle for men?
I posted this same reply in a micro braids care thread and since micro braids care is an important part of getting this hairstyle, I thought my would also fit in this thread! Smile

Micro braids, micro twists and regular braids are some very popular hairstyles for men. Whatever the purpose is for braids it is a good idea to make sure you keep your hair as healthy as possible during the whole process and really polish on your braids care. To know the effects of braided hair, there are several important precautions you should be aware of when getting micro braids.

Healthy hair or damaged hair:

Do not do any form of braids on damaged hair. Whether your hair is damaged from heat, split ends or extremely dry and brittle strands, it will cause further damage to your hair. Braiding hair does not repair breakage it only enforces it. The tension from the pulling of your hair into the braid and crisscrossing of the actual braids or twists will cause the hair to snap or stretch beyond its capability.

Absolutely avoid braids if your are balding. The same goes for traction alopecia.

Choosing a braider or braiding professional:

Do your research on salons and individuals who claim to be professionals. Look for direct experience with braiding. You can learn more about your braiding stylist by asking friends and coworkers for references in addition to checking out reviews and their online presence. It may seem forward you can even step into the salon and view the shop, the stylist and their work first.

Also if you see someone with braids and even if it's a woman, ask him about where he got his micro braids or braids done. Have a look at the braids hairstyle thread for reference of how micro braids should look on a man.

Preventing hairline breakage and traction alopecia:

To ensure your hairline is not damaged, ask the braider to leave the edges along your hairline unbraided. Typically you may have to mention it several times during your braiding session. You might worry about the hairline looking too rugged or fuzzy. However there are ways to style your hair to keep the edges of your hairline covered up. If you insist on having the fine hairs along your hairline braided for a cleaner look, use caution when styling your braids.

Allow 1-2 weeks before heavy style manipulation with the braids. Too much resistance too soon to your hairline will cause breakage. It is best to let the braids fall naturally the way they were braided until you have achieved some new growth. Excess tension of hair pulled into the opposite direction the hair was braid could cause baldness known as traction alopecia and weakened strands. Traction alopecia can become irreversible so take care when styling your micro braids!

Trimming stray hairs:

When your hair is finished being braided, the braider will go around the whole head and trim the stray hairs sticking out of your braid. By trimming the stray hairs your braids will look more defined and cleaner. However when you take your braids out you will noticed that your hair is more shaggy and uneven from when the hairs were trimmed. If you are aiming for continued hair growth after taking the micro braids, you may want to request to the braider that trimming the stray hairs is not necessary.

Moisturize your micro braids, wash them and careful use of styling products:

Any form of added braids will always require additional moisture. You can resume using the same products you were using without braids to moisturize your hair. Your focus should be on the entire strand and although the ends are covered do not forget to pay special attention to the ends of your hair.

Products such as gels, waxes or creams should be used with care. Excessive use of these products where your hair shaft and braid connect is crucial. These products tend to build up in the starting point of the micro braid or twist, so close tot he scalp. If product builds up in this area, when you take your braids out you will have a matted knot. These knots are extremely difficult to unravel. Should you still get these knots use a conditioner to loosen the strands and you may even need to use the small comb with a tail to gently pick out the strands one by one.

Removing micro braids:

After you have taken your braids out you will find a significant amount of shedding. We can shed up to 100 strands of hair a day. If you have your hair braided for several weeks or even months, there will be an accumulation of shed hair inside your braid.

You may be asking the difference between normal shedding and breakage. If you have single strands this is normal but if you are finding huge sections of strands, clumps of hair or bald spots this is breakage.

Sometimes it is hard to go back to the style you were wearing right before you had braids. Give it 1-2 weeks before you start seeing your hair is adapting to the change again. It is subjective to how long a person should wait before getting their hair braided again. I would recommend waiting several weeks to allow time for the hair to rest from the pulling and tension.

Micro braids are an excellent intermittent hair style for men but you should always stay educated these hair processes. Do not be afraid to tell the braider your expectations because once you leave the shop they do not know what goes on with your experience during and after!

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