1. Not braiding tight enough
I’ve harped on this point many times already. This is by far the biggest mistake made when putting in mini braids. See my article on proper braiding technique. Tight braiding is important for a number of reasons- especially frizz prevention. The length of the braid should be tight while the root should have no tension on it. Tight braids will be stiff to the touch and very skinny in size.
2. Making braids too large
Mini braids are mini for a reason. Small braids make it easier for hair to be styled and treated like loose hair. I guarantee you will be less bored with your braids, the smaller they are because the versatility increases exponentially as the size decreases. Smaller braids are able to catch shorter hair and due to this- they take longer the get frizzy. Smaller braids are also less likely to unravel- adding to the lifespan of your mini braids.
3. Making braids too small
Depending on your hair density you may run into this problem unintentionally. Once you get started, the parts may be a good size but your braids could be minier than you thought (Scrubs fans know what I’m talking about). The braids themselves should be small but not so small that you cannot locate the three strands that make up the braids. If your mini braids are too small, you will run into a lot of trouble when it comes time to take them out. Determine the size of your parts by the size of the braid the hair makes, not the other way around. Those with low density hair might have parts with a large surface area, but the braids themselves are thin. High density mini braiders will have parts with a low square area and still get big fat braids. Find the right size for your hair.
4. Not being gentle during maintenance
You have to treat your mini braided hair exactly as you would treat your loose hair…but gentler. Think of mini braids as little pipe cleaners. The fuzz leans in one direction. Smoothing in that direction makes the pipe cleaner feel sleek and look neat, roughing it up by running your hands over it in the opposite direction feels rougher and makes them look less neat. Your hair is the same way. Don’t rough them up. Also, be careful not to pull them too hard by the root. It’s a good idea to spray the roots with water before you try to change the direction the braid falls in. Tension at the root can break the strand or cause it to shed prematurely.
5. Not touching them up when necessary
Let’s be real here- no hair style can last 4-8 weeks and look as nice on day 60 as it did on day 1. If you intend to keep your mini braids in for extended periods of time, plan to redo braids that get really messy. You will probably have to rebraid some unraveled ends along the way as well. Use the methods to prevent frizzing and a good night time routine religiously, but when you can’t beat the frizz and you have a lot of new growth, undo a braid and rebraid it. Rebraiding the perimeter of your head only can really make a difference in how long your braids last. If you only redo a handful of braids each day you can have the look of brand new mini braids in only a week.
For those who wear mini braids, leave a comment below and add to the list. If you are a mini braid novice who has run into other problems, let us know what those are in the comment box below!
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