Tree braiding is a hair-weaving technique that is also referred to as interlocking hair weaving. The method is highly favored because of its natural, undetectable appearance. In tree braiding, loose pieces of hair are woven into braids to create the desired volume and length. Tree braiding is a healthy, natural way to promote hair growth, and it allows the wearer to achieve the desired length without the damaging effects of fused extensions. This type of braiding combines the secure hold of a braid with the free-flowing style of a weave.
Artificial hair, either synthetic or human, is braided into the head of hair using a basic cornrow technique. If using synthetic hair, one should choose a loose texture that does not easily tangle when separated. Straight hair is best for creating a pattern. Tree braiding can be done using any hair length.
To begin tree braiding, the hair is parted from front to back, and a cornrow is created with a knot in the front. Two to four strokes of hair are braided at a time. A piece of artificial hair is added, then another two to four strokes are braided. The technique is repeated throughout the head. The ends can be tied with a rubber band or sewn with string and a weaving needle.
The amount of time is takes to tree braid hair depends on the amount of hair and the size of the braids. The process can be quite time consuming. On average, tree braiding takes two to six hours. The cost of tree braiding also varies, depending on the type of hair that is selected and the amount of hair.
With the right care, tree braids can last as long as three months. Tree braids should be shampooed and conditioned on a weekly basis. To condition the scalp and smooth fly-away strands of hair, a mixture of coconut oil and water can be sprayed on the hair. Sleeping with a silk or satin scarf over the braids can also help tame the hair and prevent matting.
Removing tree braids is as tedious as the braiding process. The braids are removed beginning at the root and working downward. Braids should not be pulled or tugged during removal. Rough removal can lead to hair damage, breakage and even loss.