Micro braids are one of the most intricate protective styles you’ll ever come across. The hundreds of tiny braids create an incredibly unique look that’s halfway between braids and loose hair.
Just by looking at them, you can tell micro braids (sometimes called mini braids) take hours of work.
If you want to find out exactly how long micro braiding takes, all you have to do is read a little further! This article will answer all your questions about how long micro braids take and walk you through everything else you need to know about micro braids.
Table of Contents
- 1 How Long Do Micro Braids Take?
- 2 Are Micro Braids Damaging?
- 3 How Do You Maintain Micro Braids?
- 4 Pros and Cons of Micro Braids
How Long Do Micro Braids Take?
The installation process for micro braids is exceptionally lengthy and tedious. On average, installing micro braids take between five to twelve hours. Sometimes, this is spread out over two or three days.
Keep in mind that the precise length of time it takes for your stylist to finish your micro braids depends on a few factors. For example, waist-length braids will take significantly longer to complete than shoulder-length micro braids.
Additionally, your micro braids will take longer to complete if your natural hair is exceptionally thick and dense.
Another factor you need to consider is the speed of your braider. Some hair stylists work more quickly than others, and depending on the salon, you may have multiple braiders working on your hair at once.
So, while it’s hard to say precisely how long your braids will take, you should expect to spend quite a bit of time in the salon.
Wear something comfortable and bring something to occupy your time. You can catch up on your favorite TV show or get through that book you’ve been hoping to read.
How Much Do Micro Braids Cost?
Because of their small size and intricate pattern, micro braids are one of the more expensive braided hairstyles. On average, you can expect to pay between $100 to $500.
Remember, the actual cost can vary wildly, depending on your stylist and the specific style that you get. Typically, the more experienced your braider is, and the more elaborate your hairstyle is, the more your service will cost.
How Long Do Micro Braids Last?
Now that you know how long micro braids take, you’re probably wondering if they’re worth the time. Well, the good news is that they’re one of the longer-lasting braided hairstyles. Because they’re so small, you’ll have easier access to your scalp.
That means you can cleanse and moisturize your hair more thoroughly.
Additionally, the small braids make your new growth harder to see. So your braids will look fresh for much longer than they would if they were larger.
So while large and medium-sized braids last for an average of six to eight weeks, micro braids can last for up to eight to twelve.
Are Micro Braids Damaging?
Unfortunately, micro braids are one of the more damaging hairstyles. The smaller your braids are, the less of an anchor each braid has – that is, the fewer strands each braid has to hold on to.
That means the tension and weight of each braid put stress on a very small area. The increased stress on your hair and scalp means you may suffer from negative effects, like breakage and hair loss.
Luckily, there are a few things you can do to keep your hair healthy.
First, you’ll have to ensure that your micro braids are installed correctly. Pay attention to how tightly your stylist is braiding your hair and prepare your hair before your appointment.
The healthier your hair is, the more it will be able to withstand the stress braiding can cause. Here are some of our favorite ways to prep your strands for micro braids.
- Apply weekly deep conditioning treatments
- Use protein-rich products on your hair
- Get a trim if you need one
- Avoid overwashing or under washing your hair
How Do You Maintain Micro Braids?
There’s no doubt that micro braids are expensive and time-consuming to install. So naturally, most people want to get everything they can from such an intensive hairstyle. So in this section, we’ll look at a few ways to preserve your new hairdo.
Wash Your Hair Once a Week
Although washing your hair is necessary for hair and scalp health, overwashing your braids will cause them to frizz and unravel. So your goal should be to strike a balance between washing your hair too often and not enough.
Try washing your micro braids with a gentle, sulfate-free shampoo just once a week or less often. When it’s time to dry your hair, don’t rub it. Instead, gently blot it dry with a clean T-shirt or microfiber towel.
Use a Braid Spray
One of the best things you can do for your micro braids is to purchase or make a braid spray. Braid sprays help soothe your scalp, so you don’t have to scratch your scalp as often. This benefit is twofold. In addition to ruining your hairstyle, scratching your braids can cause breakage and hair loss.
Get Your Braids Touched Up as Necessary
While most people don’t think of revisiting their stylist once their braids are finished, doing so can greatly benefit your hair.
Your stylist can check for signs of damage and give you personalized tips on caring for your micro braids. They may even redo the braids around your hairline, which will help extend the life of your hairstyle.
Keep Your Hands off the Braids
While there’s nothing better than running your fingers through your hair, you might want to avoid it if you have braids. Scratching, handling, and manipulating your micro braids can cause them to unravel and fray.
Moisturize Your Own Hair
While protective styles give you a break from daily styling, you’ll still have to care for your hair. Use lightweight, water-based moisturizers to keep your hair and the braids looking shiny and healthy.
Just be mindful of how much residue the products are leaving behind.
Ideally, the products you use should sink into your strands. Avoid anything that leaves them feeling waxy or sticky, or the product buildup will gunk up your braids and make them difficult to remove.
Pros and Cons of Micro Braids
Although micro braids are a stunning hairstyle, they aren’t for everyone. Understanding what’s great and not so great about them is the first step in deciding if they’re right for you.
So to help you do that, we’ll look at some of the best and worst things about micro braids.
- This hairstyle is one of the most versatile braided styles.
- They don’t develop frizz as readily as larger braids.
- Micro braids are long-lasting and can stay fresh for weeks.
- Micro braids are a protective style, which means they can give your hair a break from daily styling.
- Getting micro braids is usually expensive.
- Micro braids take significantly longer to install and take down than larger braids.
- This hairstyle doesn’t have a lot of volume, so your hair may look too flat for your liking.
- Because micro braids place a lot of tension on your strands, they can cause breakage and hair loss.
Although micro braids are time-consuming, there’s a lot to love about the style. They look great, help you retain length, and are incredibly versatile.
If you do decide to get micro braids, make the most of your investment by caring for them with the same intensity as you would your own hair.
That way, you’ll be able to enjoy all of your new growth once you take your braids out. That said, we hope this article has answered all your questions about micro braids and how long they take!
Kenneth Byrd holds a BS in Accounting and Management Information Systems and an MBA from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He is a serial hair blogger that has been writing about hair care since 2008, when he co-founded Curl Centric and Natural Hair Box. Curl Centric is a website operated by a husband and wife team that encourages healthy hair care.