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  #1  
Old 08-13-2003, 02:17 PM
Mermaid0684 Mermaid0684 is offline
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Default former and current open-ended box braids wearers

Ladies how well did your hair grow with open-ended braids? How long did you have them in and how much growth did you have? Did you experience any breakage after removing the braids? Your responses will be greatly appreciated!!!!
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Old 08-13-2003, 02:30 PM
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Nonie Nonie is offline
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Default Re: former and current open-ended box braids wearers

Excuse the ignorance...but uhmm...
(my bashful, whisper script --&gt... What are open-ended braids? Are they square plaits/braids as opposed to cornrows and without extensions? Or are they like micros with human hair (or synthetic hair unsealed at the ends)?
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Old 08-13-2003, 02:42 PM
Mermaid0684 Mermaid0684 is offline
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Default Re: former and current open-ended box braids wearers

Its all right Nonie, open-ended braids are braids that are not sealed, and yes they are square plaits. They can also be like micros with human hair and synthetic hair or any other type of hair you could think of.
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Old 08-13-2003, 03:21 PM
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Nonie Nonie is offline
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Default Re: former and current open-ended box braids wearers

I wear open-ended braids with human hair extensions and I wear them...(Er...you ready for this? You better sit down)...24/7. No kiddin'! I mean I haven't put a comb in my hair for almost a year or seen all my hair out. I am not suggesting you do this, but it works for me. And my hair has grown from just a bit of growth to about 7-9 inches in two years (I say a bit of growth because in August 2001 when I put the braids in, I had relaxed hair, which I've gradually trimmed till it was no more). 9 inches in two years may not seem like much but it's the longest my hair has ever been. I wasn't taking any hair supplements and I didn't have the knowledge I have acquired since joining this board several weeks ago. I don't put anything on my scalp (except for a pre-shampoo oil treatment), and until recently, I never applied any sprays or leave-ins to my hair. I just let water and conditioner washes do the moisturizing for me. Which means any time my hair felt dry, I did a conditioner wash.

OK, you can now pick your jaw up from the ground while I explain how I can wear braids 24/7:

I do my own braids and redo them as they get untidy or as my hair grows. I never take them all out at once but just take out one at a time using my fingers, detangle, then braid it back. Even when I decide to do trims (yes, the bug does hit me once in a while -- it did about two weeks ago) I just start at the back and undo a braid, trim then rebraid it...and so on until I redo all. Because I never take them all out, I am under no pressure to get them all redone within a certain time so I can stretch the redoing over a few days. Occasionally, I'll undo several braids and make the partings a different way so I don't have permanent parts, (eg, I'll switch from squares to diamonds). I think redoing my braids as my hair grows takes the strain of the extension off one particular section of my hair so that the stronger new hair is now used as the starting point, and that might explain why my hair doesn't break. This also prevents my hair from knotting up at the start of the braid. Another thing I'm meticulous about is that the extension hair is never thicker than the section of my hair I'm attaching it to.

I treat my hair the way you'd treat hair out of braids: wash twice a week, do deep conditioning or conditioner washes and do pre-shampoo oil treatments, airdry, use no heat (except for deep conditioning), use a bit of antifrizz serum, and since joining the board I spray a light leave-in. I love to sleep in a plastic cap and will sometimes apply S-curl to the lower end of my hair (not the extensions) then wrap them in Saran wrap for a night of deep moisture infusion. Because I'm only just getting used to having leave-in stuff in my hair, I love to wet my hair often for either braid-outs or just for the heck of it, then I apply a light oil/leave in to seal in the moisture.

Sorry about the novel. I just realized I coulda just answered your question with these few words: Braids are the only way I have been able to grow my hair... Sorry for bore.

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Old 08-13-2003, 03:37 PM
debyjay debyjay is offline
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Default Re: former and current open-ended box braids weare

Hi Mermaid0684,
I had open-ended box braids for six months, I got a lot of growth during that time. I kept them in for 2 months at a time. I did experience quite a bit of breakage/shedding at the end of each 2 month cycle but that was prior to joining this board. I knew nothing about protein treatments and the importance of moisture. All in all it was good for me, I think I got about 5 inches.
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Old 08-13-2003, 03:46 PM
debyjay debyjay is offline
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Default Re: former and current open-ended box braids weare

Hi nonie, I tried to wash my open-ended box braids and they slid down the drain, do please tell me -- if you don't mind how you manage to keep them in. I was so upset as I paid $180 and had to have the whole thing redone after only two weeks. TIA
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Old 08-13-2003, 04:31 PM
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Nonie Nonie is offline
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Default Re: former and current open-ended box braids weare

Hi Debyjay

When braids are newly done with human hair, I don't think there's a way around them unraveling a bit when you wash. But after a few washes and some wear, they do take the shape of the braid pattern and hold in better. Having natural 4A/B hair might also be a bonus for me. Also, I don't reach for the silkiest human hair extensions on the market. Wouldn't be anything close to my hair texture and I like the illusion a closer match gives of wearing my own hair alone.

I do have suggetions though that I hope might help, until you learn to re-do your own braids (if you don't already) so it doesn't matter if they come out:

(1) Ask to have the braids done all the way to the ends of the extensions. I know some people like the idea of just braiding to the end of their own hair and leaving the rest out. But personally, I think the neatest braids are those braided to the end; and even an upturn curl or slight curve to create a bob looks much neater to me when the ends are braided as best as possible. With new hair, the braids may not stay braided all the way, but I'd just keep redoing the ends whenever I am watching TV. In time, you hair does realize who's boss. And better some braiding towards the end, than none at all, I say.
(BTW Neatness isn't the only reason to braid to the end: The more the braided part, the better the hair holds and the less frizzy or tangled it is bound to get.)

(2) The other thing you can do (takes lots of patience) is put rubber bands at the end of your braids where the braided part ends, before washing. I say rubber thingies coz it's not your hair so anything will do. Just make sure they are tight so they don't fall off. Even several braids to one band will do, if you haven't the patience for doing each one. When you shampoo your hair, be very gentle and use a squeezing motion during the sudsing and the rinsing and when you apply conditioner. When you massage your scalp, avoiding pulling the hair but make sure your fingers are touching your scalp in between and at the base of your braids. I think not only will it keep your braids from getting untidy looking but I believe it ensures the cleaning and conditioning products reach inside the braids. (BTW, I am not economical when it comes to using my conditioner. The reason being I suspect this human hair alien on my head thieves some of the goodness that I'm trying to give exclusively to my hair so I make sure the supply is enough for all to share. To get an idea of how generous I am... I use enough so when I squeeze handfuls of my braids I get the squishy noise so I know each strand's getting some. But my generosity doesn't extend to where I'll donate some to the parts of the extensions beyond my hair. No siree I'm not that kind. I always rinse very well, using the squeezing motion again. I love ACV rinses and as a final rinse, I will occasionally put a solution in a basin in the tub, submerge my head in it (partial headstand stance ) and give my scalp a wonderful massage in that cool heavenly spa.

Hope that helps.
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Old 08-13-2003, 05:06 PM
Mermaid0684 Mermaid0684 is offline
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Default former and current open-ended box braids wearers

Debyjay-5 inches in 6 months thats great! Thats also what I'm shooting for! Thanks for the info! And nonie your novel of a response was excellent! My sophomore year of college is about to begin and I want a braid style thats protective and both stylish, yet easy to maintain. Last year, I wore braids but that was waaaayyy before I found this board. I didnt discover this board until 6 weeks before the end of my spring semester. I took the advice of the ladies and I gained pretty close to an inch in 6 weeks. Now that I've found the boards, I plan to take extra special care of my hair this semester. Thanks ladies!!!
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Old 08-13-2003, 05:20 PM
Kitkat Kitkat is offline
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Default Re: former and current open-ended box braids wearers

Hi Mermaid! I had box braids for about a year last year and I have them now. For me, they're really great. My braids are with synthetic hair and they're braided all the way down - only 3 inches are not braided in. The ends weren't burned, but they were sealed with hot water. Braids are a great way to grow out hair in my experience. Many people have problems during the take-down process, though. The biggest problems arise when one doesn't take her time when removing the braids and if one doesn't completely detangle the hair before washing. Trying to rush the removal can result in breakage, and the hair will lock and mat when you shampoo if not 100% detangled. People freak out when they see shedding, but they shouldn't, because usually the hair that sheds would have done so anyway but for the fact that it's been braided for however long the braids were in. If you keep the hair moisturized, and wash your hair while the braids are in, you'll be fine. I hope this helps.
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Old 08-13-2003, 05:20 PM
legs71
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Default Re: former and current open-ended box braids wearers

I am a current open ended braid wearer and my hair grew more than it has ever in my 32 years of life. I also wear them 24/7 because my hair is natural. I'm currently at 3 months/1 week and I have 1"-1.5" in some areas. I started with ear length hair on the sides and neck length in the back Oct '01. My hair is currently collarbone on the sides and an inch from midback. I haven't experienced any breakage at least not to my knowledge.
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Old 08-13-2003, 05:42 PM
debyjay debyjay is offline
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Default Re: former and current open-ended box braids weare

Nonie! thank you, thank you, thank you. I plan to have them done in January again. Wow, I really like the rubber band at the end suggestion -- this will definitely work. And making time for my hair is not a problem so I'll be able to try all your suggestions. Oh man now I can hardly wait for January. I dont think I'll be leaving it in for 6 months though. The stylist had a look of dread on her face when she saw 5 inches of 4b new growth. LOL
Mermaid0684 if you do everything nonie suggested you should be on your way to longer hair. And like Kitkat said detangle before you wash after you take them down, you'll be golden. Good luck girlie.
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Old 08-13-2003, 07:43 PM
Mermaid0684 Mermaid0684 is offline
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Default Re: former and current open-ended box braids weare

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