Braiding Techniques for African-American Hair

Singer Jill Scott wore cornrows in the front section of her hair with extensions in the back.

Photo: Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Cornrows, plaits, box braids and micro braids involve popular braiding techniques for African-American women. Braiding is a versatile technique that can be used to create a variety of different hairstyles. Braided hairstyles can last for up to two months with the proper maintenance.

Keep it Rowing

Get cornrows through a classic braiding technique that involves braiding your real hair close to your scalp straight back in rows or in geometric designs. You can also use synthetic hair to achieve cornrows. Wear beads at the end of the cornrow. You can also braid the front section of your hair and wear the rest in curls or use a clip-on ponytail extension.

Plaits for Days

Plaits are achieved by taking three strands of your real hair or mixed in with synthetic hair and braiding. You can wear them tight and close to the scalp or loose and flowing sideways, which is called a fishtail plait. Plaits are quick, simple braids that work in hairstyles for a night on the town or a hairstyle that looks good for casual days during a week.

Bob it Out

Box braids are a good way to wear a bob style. Your real hair is parted in small square-like boxes, and then synthetic hair is used to create the braids that are burned at the end. Small box braids can be worn for two to three months. You can also wear long, thick box braids, which can last up to one month. The pressure from the large amount of synthetic braiding hair used on your head can cause breakage if worn for too long.

Micro Style

If you want a braided style that lasts for two to three months, go with micro braids. They are extremely small braids created with human hair that is loosened at the end instead of burned. You can wear this style in many different ways like ponytails, buns and curls if you buy the "wet and wavy" human hair. You can shampoo your hair with these braids. Make sure to keep your hair greased on a weekly basis.

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