Are braids bad for your hair

Are clothes bad for your body? Sorry, i’ll dial down the sarcasm. I just had to get it out first because I am slightly annoyed with the question. I feel like there’s ignorance behind the question which drives me absolutely crazy. SO- let me answer and elaborate based on years of hands on experience in the industry.

First of all- certain braid styles can be bad for caucasian hair. By “bad” I mean they can cause hair loss. Because, frankly, cornrows and certain braid styles are not meant for certain hair types. When you add in hair to braids (a common practice for single braids) the weight of the braid is too much on caucasian hair, causing premature (and temporary) hair loss.

However, there are several braid styles that work for caucasian hair. French braids, dutch braids, up-dos etc.

You have to understand that braids are a protective style. Meaning, they are meant to “keep hair safe”. Curly coily textured hair handles better in braids. It prevents tangles and can keep the hair better moisturized. There’s also the rumor that hair grows faster when cornrowed, but I have no science to actually back that up.

When I say that braids are a protective style, I am implying that braids should not be painful. A huge philosophy of mine is that braiding/getting braids should NOT hurt. Kids shouldn’t be wailing and clients shouldnt be wincing when their hair is getting braided. When they are, it means the hair is being pulled too tight and you are actually causing damage to the hair follicle (the tip of the hair strand that attaches it to your scalp.) When the follicle is damaged over and over again, you can start to see permanent parting, or a receding hairline.

So, are braids bad for your hair?

When done incorrectly, pulled too tight or left in for too long- yes. Braids can be bad for your hair. Here’s how to avoid this:

-If you are a braider, RELAX when braiding. 

Your hands shouldn’t be cramped, your shoulders and neck shouldn’t be tight and your butt shouldn’t be clenched. Breathe and relax and let the gel work do the heavy lifting for you. I teach how to do this in my Braid Course Level 2 & 3 if you’re interested in more “how to”.

-Know what braids are best for your hair

Know that add-in hair can be far too heavy for thinner, straight hair. There are other types of braids that will work just fine and prevent breakage and hair loss. 

-Care for your braids

A Lot of after care is touched on in my previous blog, and there are two sections on upkeep in my Braid Course. It’s so important to care for your braid since they are in. This means a durag or bonnet (preferably silk) when sleeping or doing any activity (hey-o) that causes friction on your hair. We want to keep the braids and scalp moisturized but not necessarily getting them wet- we do this by using a mousse or foam, or applying an oil to the scalp while braids are in. A happy scalp means happy braids.

-Channel your inner 1990’s Chicago Bulls

Hear me out on this one. The braids- they’re Michael Jordan. They get all the glory and credit and they’re the flashiest part of the whole service. You literally pay for the braids. But the braids aren’t really braids if not for the upkeep. AKA Michael Jordan is not MJ without Scottie Pippen. You can’t convince me otherwise. When adding Dennis Rodman to the mix (making sure your hair is shampooed and properly detangled/picked/blown out prior to getting braids) you are fully capable of dominating the NBA. You need all three to win the championship. So don’t skimp on your shampoo, aftercare, and always remember to tip your braider.


Braids can be bad for your hair if the style is not fitting for your hair type or they are not maintained or done properly. Other than that- stay braided my friends.