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What are Synthetic Braids?

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  • Written By: Felicia Dye
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 08 November 2016
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Braids are a hair style that involves intertwining three pieces of hair. In many instances, weave is added to these styles. Sometimes the weave is produced from human hair. Synthetic braids, however, refer to such styles where artificial weave is added to the style.

Braiding is a popular method of hair styling in many places around the world. It is possible to braid most peoples’ hair without adding any weave. The addition of weave, however, is very popular because it can have numerous effects on the outcome. When a person adds weave to her braids, she can make them fuller, longer, and vary the texture.

Synthetic braiding can refer to any style, such as cornrows or box braids, that uses artificial weave. Synthetic weave is often made from a type of plastic. In many cases, to achieve such a style, the weave is attached at the root of the hair and continues to extend once a person’s natural hair has stopped. There are advantages and disadvantages to choosing synthetic braids over human hair braids.

One advantage of synthetic braiding is that it is generally cheaper than human hair braiding. In most instances, the charge for having the hair braided is not affected by the type of weave that is used. The price difference exists due to the cost of the weave. Human hair is usually significantly more expensive.

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Another advantage of synthetic braids is that they can be easier to attach at the ends. Sometimes, synthetic braids are burned at the ends. The flame of a cigarette lighter can easily and efficiently bond the synthetic hair together to prevent it from unraveling. Sometimes, the ends of the braids are placed in boiling water to prevent unraveling. There are several other methods that can be used.

One of the disadvantages of synthetic braiding is that a person is generally restricted from using hair styling tools, such as curling irons or flat irons. With human hair, a person may leave the ends of the weave straight today, for example, and tomorrow decide to use a curling iron to change the style. While there are ways to style synthetic hair to a more limited degree, it normally cannot be done in this way.

Synthetic weave tends to come in more prefabricated styles than human hair. There is usually a much wider variety when you compare color, length, and appearance. This is another factor that contributes to the tendency for synthetic braids to be more popular than human hair braids.

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sunshined
Post 4

In the past I have used human hair for braids when I have a weave. I don't get this done very often because it can add up to quite a bit of money.

The next time I have this done, I think I will have synthetic braids. I have seen some of the synthetic braid styles my friends are wearing, and probably would not be able to do that with braids from human hair.

Where do they get synthetic hair for braiding? I also wonder if it feels much different than human hair does. I would imagine by the time it is braided, it wouldn't feel much different than the human hair does.

andee
Post 3

I have never worn synthetic braids in my hair, but can see why many people choose to wear them. Once you had the braids attached, the versatility and convenience would be nice.

When we went on a cruise to the Bahamas, my daughter had her hair braided on the beach. This was done by native women who were very skilled at braiding hair.

They styled in her in twist braids with many different colors of bright beads. This was a fun experience for her, and she was able to keep those braids in for awhile even after we got home.

I was amazed at how fast they were able to do this. Of course when you have braided hair for most of your life, and then it becomes a way to make a living, I can see how they became so good at it.

myharley
Post 2

@julies - Both of my girls have synthetic braids in their hair and they also love to change their hair style on regular basis.

One day they will leave the ends straight, and the next day they are curling their synthetic braids.

These have become very popular and even many of the younger girls are starting to wear synthetic braids. With different synthetic braid styles to choose from, I never know what style they will choose for the day.

Even with changing their style frequently, having synthetic braids can be a time saver. If you don't have much time to work on your hair that day, you know you will still look good.

julies
Post 1

I have used both synthetic braids and human hair, and usually prefer using braids with synthetic hair. One reason is they are much cheaper to use and I feel like I can have it done more often.

I also like to change my hair style quite a bit, so like the flexibility I have when using synthetic hair braids.

When I have used human hair, I feel like I don't have as many options for styling my hair and find myself in a rut.

I also love the different colors I have to choose from with synthetic braids. There are many nice colors to choose from without needing to go with a crazy color that is too bold.

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