What are knot free braids?
There are so many new and innovative spins on protective styles in the world of natural hair.
Each serves as an example of the ingenuity of Black culture, further pushing the bounds of creativity and giving those talented enough another skill to learn. One of those most recently popular protective styles is knot free crochet braids. A sleek and versatile style that’s practically taking the place of traditional box braids. But it’s not just the aesthetic appeal that makes the style so sought-after. It’s also the fact that they’re actually gentler on the hair and the scalp.
So if your social media feeds are flooded with knotless braid inspiration, and you’re considering making it your next style, check out everything you need to know before taking the plunge into knotless braids.
What’s the difference between knotless braids and box braids?
It’s important to note that knotless braids are simply another variation of box braids. That’s why the look is similar. However, as the name implies, knotless braid styles are, well, knotless. The style does not have that pronounced knot created at the root, a result of kanekalon hair being placed at the scalp to add the necessary length and volume to the natural hair. Instead, that one larger piece of kanekalon is divided into smaller pieces and woven into the braids further down the shaft rather than at the root, which makes for a sleeker look.
That sleeker look is what makes knotless braids more versatile than other styles. Because the braids are less bulky, they lie flatter when creating other styles such as ponytails, buns, and updos.
Do knotless braids damage your hair?
Like any protective braid style, if not properly installed and cared for, there are risks of damage to the hair. However, for knotless braids, those risks are far less. That’s due to the preparation of the braid, which begins with your own hair rather than added hair. When utilizing kanekalon for traditional braid styles, the braid is often pulled tight to ensure the natural hair and synthetic braiding hair are properly held together. Ever seen someone with box braids, and you can literally tell that it’s wreaking havoc on the scalp? Pulling too hard and ultimately ruining their edges? Well, the chances are good that probably won’t happen with knotless braids.
But that’s not all. For anyone who’s ever experienced a reaction to synthetic braiding hair, knotless braids can certainly provide a bit of relief. Because the kanekalon doesn’t have direct contact with the scalp, there’s little to no risk of irritation, itching, or redness often caused due to the materials having close contact with the root of the hair.
Before we dive into the trending new style, let’s start with the classic box braid. There are many popular methods for how to style box braids. While this braid has been around for a while, it is essential to understand the details of the style if we’re going to compare it to a knotless braid. Let’s get started!
After prepping your hair, the stylist will section it depending on your desired braid size. From there, your braider will grab an appropriate amount of pre-stretched braid hair and gather a section, looping it together in three equal parts. The feed-in technique then requires your stylist to hold your natural hair section, pulling it taut, and divide it into two sections. In a quick series of loops, your stylist will create a knot that holds the synthetic braiding hair into place at the root of your natural hair and begin braiding.
If you are interested in this style you might question, how much do box braids cost? The cost to have box braids installed by a stylist varies depending on several factors, including the size of the braid, its intricacy or styling, your location, the stylist you choose, and their expertise. Typically, the smaller the braid, the more expensive it will be to have them installed. If you live in a large metropolitan area or choose a well-known stylist (or one specializing in braids), you should also expect to pay more. With that said, box braids generally cost anywhere from $75 to $450.
When it comes to installing your braids, it will depend on the size. Once again, the smaller the braid, the longer it will take to install and style. Micro braids will take about nine to 12 hours, and you may be asked to come back over two or three days to accommodate the stylists’ schedules. Small braids require about seven to eight hours of work to install, medium ones will take around five to seven hours, large braids approximately three to six hours, and jumbo braids may take anywhere from 45 minutes to three hours for installation. The time it takes to complete your install may also depend on your stylist and their expertise.
Before you get this hairstyle, you might ask how long do box braids last? In terms of how long your box braids will last once completed, it will again depend on their size. In general, you can expect smaller braids to last longer than larger ones. More specifically, micro braids should last about 10 to 12 weeks, small and medium ones approximately eight to 10 weeks, large braids about six to eight weeks, and jumbo braids won’t last longer than about six weeks. However, these are just estimates, and the duration of your box braids will also depend on your stylist, their technique, and how well you care for the braids. Check out our guide on how to wash your box braids properly to help you get started.
This style is popular because of its low-maintenance versatility that keeps you looking effortlessly chic. The only real disadvantage to box braids when it comes to styling is that the knot lifts the hair off your scalp due to the feed-in technique used. However, micro, small, and medium braids can be styled in a variety of updos; large and jumbo braids are a statement-maker all on their own.
How long do knotless braids last?
Knotless braids for natural hair can last up to three months, but how long your knotless braids will last depends on three things: your hair texture, how you take care of them, and how large the braids are.
For coarser textures with tighter curls, knotless braids have the potential to last longer, potentially staying intact for two to three months. For silkier and finer textures with looser curl patterns, however, they may not last as long. The risks of the hair separating from the synthetic braiding hair is higher, and in some cases, the look may only hold up for about four to six weeks.
Size also matters here. Large knotless braids will inevitably last a shorter time than small knotless braids. As for medium knotless braids, the longevity will more than likely find itself somewhere in the middle. So if you’re looking for something to last you a while, the smaller, the better. If you’re looking for a look for a special event or vacation look, search for some larger inspo.
How To Remove Weight From Thick Hair?
It’s all about detached haircuts! Sam gives us a clear view on remove weight from hair in his “hidden secret” without losing length.
This effortless technique is done in a snap:
- Isolate the top of the hair.
- Create a horseshoe section in the back of the head.
- Elevate the hair to the desired end-result length.
- The higher you elevate, the longer the length.
- Cut horizontally with your professional shear.
- When the hair is released you will see the short-to-long area that now confirms to the head shape.
What Sam cuts here is completely hidden when you drop the rest of the hair over the horseshoe section. The end result creates balance and a more pleasing shape without removing too much length!
If your thick hair is becoming too much to handle or you’re wanting a change, check out these ways you can make your strands thinner.
1. Try a Straightening Treatment
A quick and easy way to knowing how to make your hair thinner is to alter the way you style your hair. This can either be done with the use of a straightening treatment or by adding in some layers. A straightening treatment, whether temporary or permanent, minimizes the volume of thick hair. Opt for a keratin treatment if you’re indecisive about doing anything permanent, especially if you have curly hair texture and won’t ever think about parting ways with those awesome ringlets. Keratin treatments last around three months and don’t change your texture. Score! Plus, they make your hair smoother, finer, and easier to manage.
2. Use the Shearing Method to Manage Thick Hair
Don’t panic! We don’t mean to cut your hair off entirely. Simply ask your stylist to thin your hair with thinning shears: This will cut down the amount of volume in your hair, but you won’t lose the shape of your hairstyle. Alternatively, you can also get a long, layered cut to balance out the volume of your hair.
However, if you’re just over the thickness of your hair and just want a new look altogether, cut it! Get a short crop like a pixie, but may we suggest going for one with more rockstar appeal? An edgy pixie has a spiky finish, which can be obtained with the use of thinning shears and it gives the hair a stylish texture. If a pixie is too short for your liking, try a shag, as this layered cut removes volume and makes your thick hair appear finer.
3. D.I.Y.: Invest in the right thinning shears
Nope, not just a regular pair of scissors from the drugstore, but an actual pair of quality thinning shears. Thinning scissors are designed with a blade on one side and a comb-like blade on the other. Some of your options include finishing hair thinning scissors, chunking hair thinning scissors, and texturizing hair thinning scissors, to name a few (and you thought learning how to make your hair thinner involved just one simple snip!).
If you’re looking to simply thin your thick hair, consider investing in a chunking hair thinning scissor, available in most online retailers, to remove and lighten up large amounts of hair.
4. Update Your Wash-and-Care Routine
For many of those who complain about thick hair being unruly and unmanageable, the root of all evil can actually be frizz. When the hair shaft swells up it makes the hair appear much thicker and fuller than it actually is. Tame. That. Mane. Employ a duo like Suave Professionals Lavender + Almond Oil Frizz Calming Shampoo and Conditioner to help keep hair smooth and any frizzies under control.
Also, don’t skimp on hair masks and deep conditioners. These treatments, while repairing damage, also coat the hair and make your styling routine more manageable. With time, your hair will be healthier, and it’s a great hack on how to thin out thick hair.