The Beau­ty Brains inves­ti­gates an inter­est­ing claim…

Bebe­lyn says…There is an old mex­i­can wives tale that if you braid your hair at night it will grow faster, I doubt this is true but I would like to know what hair­style has the most ben­e­fit for the hair in terms of pre­vent­ing dam­age at night while sleeping…braid, bun or wrapped up???

The Right Brain responds:

That’s an inter­est­ing wives’ tale and I can cer­tain­ly see the grain of truth that may have sparked it.

More break­age = takes longer to grow out

While no cos­met­ic prod­uct or treat­ment can tru­ly make your hair grow faster, it can help your hair reach a cer­tain length faster by reduc­ing break­age. In oth­er words, the more your hair breaks the more time it will take to reach the length that you desire. So any­thing you can do to reduce break­age helps you grow it “faster,” in a man­ner of speak­ing.

Reduce break­age by reduc­ing fric­tion
Braid­ing could help reduce break­age because when you wrap your hair in a tight style, the fibers are immo­bi­lized and can’t rub against the pil­low as you sleep. By reduc­ing the fiber-fab­ric fric­tion you can reduce dam­age to the hair. There­fore, the ”best” hair­style to wear while sleep­ing is the one that reduces dam­age-caus­ing  fric­tion the most. While braid­ing may reduce the fric­tion against the pil­low it doesn’t pre­vent fibers from rub­bing against each oth­er inside the braid. The­o­ret­i­cal­ly, the best thing to do is oil your hair to reduce fiber-fiber dam­age. Of course this cre­ates anoth­er prob­lem: oil will trans­fer to your pil­low­case. So per­haps the best option is to wrap your hair in some sort of bun cov­er.

Ladies, how do you main­tain your hair at night? Do you braid? Twist? Add prod­uct? Share your night­ly rou­tine!

Black Girl With Long Hair

Leila Noel­liste, founder of Black Girl with Long Hair (April 2008). Social media, pop cul­ture and black beau­ty enthu­si­ast. bell hooks’ hair twin…

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95 Comments on "Does Braiding Your Hair at Night Make it Grow Faster?"

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Barbara

For­get about all the con­di­tion­ers and the co-wash­ing. Two years ago I had short hair now it is 22 inch­es long. I don’t blow dry or use heat in my hair. I am com­plete­ly nat­ur­al. The Hgh mouth spray by Ameri­care will make anybody’s hair long. Peo­ple will be amazed how fast your hair has grown. But there is one side effect because it will increase your libido and you will need a boyfriend. You can nego­ti­ate the price with those peo­ple too.

Natalie

So, how much did you pay for your boyfriend?

Jojo

Syn­thet­ic human growth hor­mone?? Seems like too much risk for long hair.

@ Natal­ie, I read the last 2 lines the same way.

Dee
I have been tran­si­tion­ing for almost two years. I just stop using heat in June. I do ban­tu knots and two strand twist out at night. My hair is shoul­der length. The chal­lenge that I am hav­ing is that I am get­ting board with the twist outs and ban­tu knot and I am afraid to try a wash and go. My hair is short­er in the front than in the back and I need to look pro­fes­sion­al for my job. When my hair is wet it is beau­ti­ful and curly when it dries not so much. I almost got a… Read more »
Lon

Have you tried using gel? It helps your hair to hang more whilst keep­ing the curl def­i­n­i­tion. Also maybe you should check out nat­ur­al hair styles on youtube, there’s tons of youtu­bers who post tuto­ri­als for nat­ur­al hair styles. In terms of your relaxed ends its real­ly upto you whether you want to cut them off or not. I have some dam­aged wavy ends (through heat dam­age) and i’m just wait­ing for my hair to reach its goal length (hope­ful­ly in the next two months) then i’m going to cut the ends off. :)

Dee

Thank you Lon. I have not used gel because I have heard it was very dry­ing. Per your advice, I have been check­ing out style videos on youtube and I have got­ten lots of inspi­ra­tion. I real­ly appre­ci­ate your advice.

Love JAH

Right now I have my hair in a bun, I spritzed with a mix of aloe Vera juice and water, spritzed my home made leave in con­di­tion­er and wrapped it all up in a satin scarf…my hair has grown a lot but I feel the less manip­u­la­tion the bet­ter, Pinap­pling your braid/twist out yields bet­ter results than rebraid­ing every night. Rebraid or retwist every oth­er day or every 3 days to keep the style and retain the length.

merry

i braid/twist my hair every night. i haven’t had amaz­ing length reten­tion, i don’t think.

i most­ly do it to pre­vent tan­gling and knots.

Kimberly

What has been work­ing for me is pineap­pling my twistout with a silk scarf for a cou­ple of days. After that I re-mois­tur­ize with plain water, dai­ly mois­ture lotion and shea but­ter mix and re-twist, but few­er twist. I cov­er my hair with a scarf and sleep on a satin pil­low case. Over­all I try not to manip­u­late the hair too much.

Shamaia Veira

Espe­cial­ly if you have short nat­ur­al hair! braid­ing or twist­ing your hair is key to retain length! The front of my hair “grows faster” than the back because its nev­er crushed when I’m sleep­ing. The back is much short­er. Its just a great way to retain length and keep your hair healthy and nat­ur­al!!

ArmyWife10
Yes! This is my 1st year nat­ur­al. 1St week in actu­al­ly tak­ing care of my hair at night! Liter­ral­ly cut it down to 1nch last Octo­ber, now it’s like a short chin length Bob. I get ¼ of an inch cut off every 3months . I was tired of Wak­ing up with a smushed afro, tired of sew-ins, and tired of fight­ing to keep it straight. So now I braid it every night, I mixed water, leave in con­di­tion­ers, and olive oil in a water bot­tle and use that for mois­ture. (Saw this online too! ) I’m ready to wear… Read more »
TheALizTube

reduc­ing fric­tion can be achieved by pur­chas­ing a silk or satin Pil­liow­case. If thats to much, then go to the fab­ric store and buy the actu­al mate­r­i­al to make your own which is.much cheap­er. Check a thrift store for one. If you’re in the Uk go to pri­mark and buy the satin scarves for £3–4. One side Is rough the oth­er is silk. Place the pil­low on the rough side and tie the cor­ners :)

T
I have 4b/c hair. I have been nat­ur­al for a long time but was igno­rant on tak­ing care of my hair until about 3 years ago. I’ve noticed quite a dif­fer­ence in length reten­tion, com­par­ing how i main­tained my hair at night back then, to how I main­tain it now. I used to braid it some­times but most of the time I would go to bed with my afro all out and co-wash it into sub­mis­sion the next day. I had break­age but my hair still grew and i retained a bit of my length. These days I mois­turise, braid,… Read more »
Vanessa
What works great at nights for me, in regards to reduc­ing break­age which helps with length reten­tion and bet­ter results in hair growth, is to slight­ly mois­tur­ize my hair, brush it in a wrap around the crown of my head and use a silk head band to wrap it entire­ly. I will leave my hair like this until I have to leave the house even if I’m stay­ing in for a day or two. I have eth­nic hair and I’m Jamaican, I don’t know any­one else with hair like mine that grows as fast as mine does with­out the use of… Read more »
Cee

Good one!… -_–

BraunSugar

What is “eth­nic hair”? Every­one has eth­nic­i­ty. That is not some­thing lim­it­ed to Black peo­ple.

BraunSugar

Meant to reply to the above com­ment.

TINA SMITH

OH PLEASE

Nadine

what does that mean when she said she is jamaican and she has eth­nic hair…?

Viv

LOL @ Tina Smith! I feel the same way!

Jasmine

@tina smith omg I lit­er­al­ly burst­ed out laugh­ing just now !

Jacqueline T

Hi every­one:

Great com­ments. I am think­ing of get­ting my hair braid­ed. I was won­der­ing if I tie it up at night with a Silk scarf or a Silk pil­low case; would this be effec­tive in retain­ing length as well as hair growth? I’m in AZ, and it’s get hor­ri­bly hot out here. Also, I want my hair to grow; any tips/suggestions? Thanks so much.

Ashley
When I get braids, I just whip out an old school durag and wrap my hair up with that. You could prob­a­bly get away with just a silk pil­low­case but I sleep kin­da crazy so my hair would end up pret­ty frizzy the next morn­ing if I didn’t cov­er it with some­thing. Tips while hav­ing braids in: treat your braids the same way you would your free-flow­ing nat­ur­al hair. Do you usu­al­ly spritz your hair with some­thing in the morn­ing? Do the same thing with your braids. Basi­cal­ly just fol­low your nor­mal reg­i­men that you usu­al­ly use to keep your… Read more »
Cee
Where I live is hor­ri­bly hot as well and dur­ing this sum­mer, I kept my hair in box braids. When I took them out, I tried to look at as many hairs as pos­si­bly to check if they were shed and pret­ty much all were and my hair grew about an inch for the month and a half I kept them in. Just make sure to wet scalp at least once a day. This will keep your hair mois­tur­ized. They were very sim­ple. Just make sure not to have braids that are small­er than 1/2 in. — 1 in., that’s… Read more »
yoco
My hair just reach­es the top of my bra-strap when blown-out, some­thing I only do about twice a year. Since going nat­ur­al 2 yrs ago, my night­ly rou­tine has been the fol­low­ing: light spritz with water, add leave-in con­di­tion­er (Shea Mois­ture Restora­tive Con­di­tion­er is AWESOME), seal with olive oil, and braid. If I am plan­ning to wear a braid­out, I do between 8 and 16 braids,depending on the look that I’m try­ing to get. If I’m just going to wear it in a bun, pony­tail or I’m just too tired, then I just do 4 reg­u­lar braids or 4 corn­rows-… Read more »
Zenith
My hair retains length best when I leave it alone as much as pos­si­ble. I did try braid­ing it at night for a while, but this did not lead to bet­ter length reten­tion for me. It did not CAUSE a prob­lem. The things that have helped me most have been: co wash­ing, using a leave-in after­wards, using pure argan oil (not the ones mixed with sil­i­cones) for seal­ing ends and adding a bit of mois­ture at times, using my fin­gers for ‘comb­ing’ 95% of the time, using NO heat, using hen­na 1x/month, DC each week and min­i­mal manip­u­la­tion ( lit­tle to… Read more »
mlank64
Zenith, When I read your hair tech­niques I had to make sure it wasn’t writ­ten by me because i imple­ment almost every­thing you stat­ed. The co-wash­ing, leave in con­di­tion­er, using pure oils par­tic­u­lar­ly argon, jojo­ba, and grape­seed oil. I espe­cial­ly seal the ends, I do fin­ger comb­ing, no heat, and use hen­na once a month, DC, add mois­ture when need­ed. Here’s were we dif­fer: I love mahogany curls and would love to imple­ment her tech­niques, and some I do but, my hair looks and does bet­ter in twists or twist outs. I seem to have less tan­gles and SSK. I… Read more »
Landry

When I wear my hair out, (it’s cur­rent­ly in kinky twists, and I real­ly miss it…okay focus) I either braid or twist it night­ly after spritz­ing my hair with water and seal­ing with a bit of grape­seed oil. 

I have found that keep­ing my 4a/b hair stretched (with no direct heat), keeps the mois­ture locked in and it yields more style vari­eties.

Mia_p

My hair grows regard­less of whether it is braid­ed or loose. I am very low key when it comes to my hair.

Venus

Same here Mia… My hair flour­ish­es when I real­ly don’t do any­thing to it… I was nat­ur­al for 2 years and only did wash n goes… Did my first twist out a week ago… Every­one is dif­fer­ent :-)

nelle

Just want­ed to say thanks for shar­ing, and ignore the haters.

blog police

well good for you.

Deeds

Lol @ blog police!

sherelle

My hair is heat dam­aged because of split ends so I have braids in canerows to give my hair a break from heat and i have noticed that my hair has grown but the split ends are break­ing

DiJah

If you have split ends you should just cut it off and con­tin­ue to care for your hair. No sense hold­ing on to them, your hair will con­tin­ue to break until you get rid of the split ends.

J

Split ends are caused by heat and mechan­i­cal damage.The bag­gy method is good for dry/damaged ends that might help but will not heal them.My ends need a trim but I wear my hair in braid outs so my ends don’t both­er me.

J

I can only speak from my expe­ri­ence and I will say braid­ing at night helps me retain length better.Not only does my hair stay mois­tur­iz­ered longer but it keeps it from tan­gling up.

Hair reten­tion is quite sim­ple pre­vent mechan­i­cal dam­age and keep hair mois­tur­iz­ered as dry hair is weak hair which leads to break­age.

J

*mois­tur­ized

Cee

I agree. I braid my hair into four corn­rows every night (usu­al­ly stretched out) and my hair stays soft and I while I have some shed­ding, nat­u­ral­ly, I do not have a sig­nif­i­cant nor mod­er­ate amount of break­ing.

Niké

Retain length? yes but not “grow faster”… Keep­ing hair stretched in gen­er­al , coun­ter­acts break­age, pre­vents tan­gling, less detan­gling issues, sin­gle strand knots…

mangomadness

Exact­ly!

“Length reten­tion” is more impor­tant than “rate of growth”. 

With that said, braids (and braid-outs) are bomb for length reten­tion for my kinky coily hair.

mangomadness

I meant that focus­ing on “length reten­tion” is more use­ful than dwelling on “rate of growth”. The lat­er is pret­ty much immutable…

LBell

THANK YOU. On a healthy (and even not-so-healthy) per­son hair is going to grow REGARDLESS. Almost all the ener­gy women spend on growth rate can be bet­ter spent on mak­ing sure their tech­niques aren’t hin­der­ing their length reten­tion. I do not know why folks are still con­fused about this…

hyspin

Length reten­tion is as impor­tant at rate of growth.
They are equal in my book because you can retain length as some one else yet still have short hair, because your rate of growth might be slow­er. So they work hand in hand.

Niké

Even if some­one is a slow grow­er, it still is a nor­mal growth rate for them. Reten­tion cor­re­lates with growth but reten­tion wont make grow it faster than it nat­u­ral­ly does…

hyspin

Very true. It is nec­es­sary for peo­ple to real­is­tic you main retain­ing length but in the end you hair won’t grow any faster so it nec­es­sary to be real­is­tic with your goals. even if you retain 100% of your growth at 1/4 inch a month your will nev­er have the same length as some­one retains half their length at 1 inch a month, It said truth, but nec­es­sary to accept it to avoid dis­ap­point­ment and resent­ment.

tinabobina

unless the per­son who grows 1 inch a month hap­pens to have a much short­er growth phase…

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