How Long Does Hair Need To Be for Braids? [Time It takes to Get Braids]

Braids have been there forever. They are the perfect solution for our never-ending hairstyling dilemma. With the range of braiding styles available, they cover it all: from party look to beach hairstyle. Their popularity rises because of their multiple hair benefits too.

Also, it’s not only the women who can rock this look: braids complement men’s style as well. But, not every hair can be braided, as some hair may fall short. So, there is a particular length requirement for braiding.

This article includes the basics of braiding. It clears out your doubts about the hair length needed for braiding and its hair benefits too. 

How long does hair need to be for braids?

Hair length for braids is the most common concern amongst all. It is because not all hair lengths can flaunt every braiding style.

So, depending upon the type of braid you are going for, the hair length requirement may vary. Also, though the minimum length of hair to be braided is 2 inches: the longer the hair, the better the results. It is because we can secure long hair tightly.

There are some braid styles like cornrows and french braid, which work well with every hair length too. Given below are the best braiding style depending upon the hair length.

Hair lengthBraid styles
Short (2 inches to 10 inches)CornrowsSide French braidBraided topknotFront plait braidBraided bobBraided pigtails
Medium ( 12 inches to 16 inches)Side Fishtail braidDutch braided headbandFishtail pigletsDouble dutch braidsPull through ponyTop French braidsLoose fishtail braid
Long ( longer than 16 inches)FishtailMermaid braidBoxer braidsUpside down dutch braidRegular three strand braidBraided Chignon

How many ounces of hair do you need for braids?

The question regarding the ounces of the hair comes in with the buying of synthetic hairs. These hairs are handy for doing box braids, cornrows, weaves, and many more. They add extra volume and style to your regular braids.

And the amount of hair that you need to buy depends mainly on three factors as listed below:

1. Type and length of the braid you want

Each braid has its own unique style. Some include more twists and turns, and some have fewer of them.

So, depending upon these, the amount of hair one needs to buy may vary. Also, the longer the braid you want, the more you need to buy.

Listed below are the average estimated ounces of hair you need depending upon different braid styles.

Braid styleounces
Box braids12 to 16 ounces
Cornrows4 to 16 ounces
Micro braids8 to 12 ounces
Crochets12 to 22 ounces
Weave8 to 16 ounces

2. Initial hair condition

Depending upon its thickness, length, and volume, it determines the hair amount that one needs to buy. For example, if you have thin hair, then you obviously need to buy more ounces of hair and vice-versa. 

3. Type of hair you are buying

In the present context, there is a wide range of hairs available in the market. From multiple brands to the type of hair material: choices are many. So with these differences, there occur certain variations in the weighting scheme of the hairs.

Here are some of the best brands of hair available in the market:

What is the shortest length of hair that can be braided?

The shortest length of hair that one can braid is 2 inches. It is because 2 inches of the hair is just enough to be wrapped around the fingers when braiding.

Here the catch point is that the hair needs to be secured around the fingers to be braided. So, an experienced hairstylist can even braid hair shorter than 2 inches simply because they can secure them.

Also, the use of hair combs especially made for braiding can decrease the minimum hair length. But at the end of the day, the longer the hair, the more secure and better the hair.

How long does it take to get hair braided?

As there are multiple braiding styles: the exact time duration for each braid cannot be the same. Some of them vary on their difficulty level and some on the skill of the braider.

However, for simple understanding, the time duration for braiding a hair depends upon three main things as listed below:

1. Hair type of the client

Hair type falls into three categories:

Short/long Hair:

  • There is no doubt the fact that short hair takes less duration to be braided than long hair.

Thick Hair/Thin Hair:

  • The thicker the hair, the more time it takes and vice versa.

Curly/Wavy/Straight Hair:

  • Curly hair can have more tangles as compared to straight hair if considering both of them are of the same thickness. So due to this, the braiding process will take a longer time in curly hair.

2. Type of braid the client wants

So this is where the time duration varies in a big difference. For example, simple French braids take 1 minute or less to be completed: while there are braid styles that even take hours long.

Given below is an average duration time estimate of different branding styles:

Braid StylesAverage Time
Simple braids3 to 5 minutes
Simple French braids10 to 15 minutes
Simple Fishtail braids10 to 15 minutes
Cornrow3 to 4 hours
Braided hairband15 to 20 minutes
Micro braids6 to 10 hours
Box braids6 to 8 hours

3. Skill, technique, and experience of the braider

Braiding is a hand skill: the more one braid, the better they get. So, an experienced and skilled braider will definitely complete it in lesser time.

Can your hair grow faster with braids?

There is no scientifically proven evidence that confirms that hair grows faster with braids. Hair grows continuously at its natural pace, no matter the hairstyle.

It is the same case with braiding too. But many people who have had braids for a long time tend to notice that their hair has grown faster. The reason behind this is rather a protection due to the braids than faster growth due to it.

The fact is, braids protect the hair from its possible breakage and damage. It limits the unnecessary effect that one gets from excessive styling of the hair and stress.

For example, a braid will limit the hair contact with the fabrics like bed sheets, scarfs, and caps that tend to cause breakage and splitting of the hair.

It results in healthier and thicker-looking hair, which might feel as if the hair has grown fast. The gist here is that hair can grow fast if there is no external damage or breakage.

So, a braid does not promote faster hair directly, but it might eventually give a healthier-looking hair due to its protective nature.

But, one needs to understand that this is not enough reason to have your hair braided for a longer duration of time. It is because braids if worn too often and too tight, will rather cause traction alopecia.

What do you need to braid hair?

Below listed are important things that helps in braiding any hair

1. Elastic bands

Elastic bands are the basics: they secure the hair tight with minimum damage and mess. Also, small-sized elastic bands are the best.

2. Hair braiding tool kit

This kit includes a wide range of hair braiding tools: from multiple-sized combs to hair curlers and braiding pins. The good news here is that it comes together in a kit form and is easily available.

3. Rat-tail comb

These come in handy for separating hair strands and part the hair in a clean form.

4. Hair gel or hair wax

They provide a firm hold on the braided hair. It makes the whole process less frizzy. Also, due to the tight grip on the hair because of the products: braiding will take less time.

5. Texturizing cream or hair spray

They give texture to the braids along with their moisturizing formula. The subtle texture enhances the braid and is definitely a game-changer.

6. Alligator clips or small hair clips

Hair clips are essential in almost every hair styling. They do their job well and make the process less time-consuming.

Final Words:

Braiding is an all-rounder hairstyle. It covers it all: from short to long hair. Also, on top of it, with a little bit of learning, anyone can perfect it. And as it has a wide range of styles, it levels up men’s hairstyling game too. So, this season let’s all updo our braiding game.