When people hear the word braid, what comes to mind is a woman’s hair, even though, braids have been in existence for over 5000 years.

Braids originated from Africa, precisely Namibia; different styles were worn to distinguish different groups. In some other cultures, braids are worn as a symbol of status.

In recent times, men and women have been known to rock the braid style for its timeless and classy style and because it is a protective hairstyle.

If you are reading this, it’s because you want to braid your hair and are not sure what length is suitable for a braid.

Different hair lengths are suitable for different braid styles. The length of your tresses will determine the type of braids. The minimum hair length needed for braids is two inches but, not every braider can work with this length – you might need an experienced braider for such length.

The first time I had to braid my hair after my big chop-off was a big deal for me as I assumed my hair was long enough for the style of braids I wanted. I was told my hair was still too short for the required style on getting to the salon.

I had two options, go back home and wait till I added a few more inches or change my braid style; I went with the latter. I originally wanted to do box braids, but I had to settle for micro-braids because my hair was barely two inches.

Let’s talk about hair length and the braids suitable.

  • Two inches hair. Your two inches hair is the absolute minimum length required for certain braids; this is because the hair is just enough to wrap around the finger, and you will need an experienced braider to do it. You can do these styles of braids with your two inches hair: two-strand twist, microbraids, tight cornrows, or tight french braids.
  • Three to four inches. The longer your tress gets, the easier it is to work with. A three or four inches hair will hold better when braiding than a two inches hair. With three or four inches hair, you have more braiding options available for you.

  • Five inches and above. The ideal hair length for braids is five inches and above as the hair is easier to hold as it is weaved. With a five inches hair and above, your choice of braid is unlimited. You can get box braids, loose cornrows, fishtail braids, etc.

Extensions are another option for boosting braids, especially for people with short hair. When using extensions, you should bear in mind to avoid really long braids when your natural hair is still short; the weight of the braid will keep pulling down your braids because your natural hair is too short to hold it in.  

In conclusion, braids are beautiful for both men and women; knowing your hair length and the suitable style for the length will save you much trouble.

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