Transition Styles: Tree Braids

Tree braids hide relaxed hair while you grow it out.

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Tree braids work with your hair to camouflage a great grow-out. Unlike some styles, tree braids weave in extensions without using glue, bonding or sewing, which all place stress on chemically-treated hair. During a transition, your mane is more fragile and prone to breakage. Keeping it braided minimizes breakage. Transition hair needs extra moisture, so use a deep conditioner to nourish hair though the grow-out.


Tree braids begin with either a three-strand plait or cornrow braid. After a few braid rotations, pull some hair out of the braid to hang loose. Braid a few more rotations, then let loose more hair; throughout the process, extensions are braided into your own locks. The resulting hairstyle features an underlying braid with loose, cascading strands that steal the show. Because the braids are so small, they are hidden by the bulk hair. Loose locks might be straight or wavy. Bulk extension hair adds length, so you can make the look as long as you want.

Transition Benefits

Unless you want to chop off all relaxed hair, making the commitment to transition will eventually leave you with half-relaxed and half-natural hair. Because tree braids use the braids' form to secure bulk extensions, both your natural and relaxed locks are incorporated into the style. Keep the style until you've grown enough hair to trim off straight ends or experiment with other transition looks.


To start tree braids, you need at least 1 inch of hair. It typically takes about three hours to have tree braids put in, but the style can be removed faster -- in about one hour. You can wear tree brands for up to two months before the style needs to come out. Wait at least two weeks after a relaxer treatment before putting hair in this 'do. While your hair is braided, you can care and style it any way you like.


You can wear tree braids up or down, and wash them as you would normal hair. They're pretty low-maintenance and give you a consistent look. Tree braids allow you to grow out the relaxed hair until you've got enough length to cut off the relaxed ends, without sporting a baby Afro in the meantime. If your locks are thinning or balding, or you have hair loss from regular relaxing, tree braids give you extra volume during the transition.

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