The Truth About Knotless Braids and Type 4 Natural Hair

knotless braids in bun

The truth is that my first experience with knotless braids started off a little rocky. I was under the impression that because they do not start with the traditional knotlike box braids, they would be pain-free. That was not at all the case for me.  The install didn’t hurt per se, but the first three to four days following my install were something. I’m not sure if this is the norm or if it was just me being my usual tender-headed self. 

After the first week, the pain was gone. My neck had adjusted to the new weight of the hair and I was ready to try a variety of styles.

I kept my braids in for about two days short of two months. What I learned in that time was important to me so I thought that I’d share.

Here’s the Truth about Knotless Braids and Type 4 Natural Hair:

knotless braid psa

The State of Your Hair Before Braiding is Important

Before getting my tightly coiled type 4 hair braided, I’d only been wearing my hair in low manipulation styles where I would wash, condition and style every two weeks and keep it tied down between retouches. Doing this kept my hair moisturized and prevented the usual amount of breakage I’d otherwise endure. Before starting this regimen I’d also had a professional trim.

This made braids an option. If my hair had been dry, brittle, breaking and damaged, I would not have been a braid candidate. 

If your edges have already endured trauma, you have traction alopecia from past braids or styles that were too tight braids may not be best for you because they would only add more stress to the follicle of your hair creating only more damage and possibly hair loss. 

The Braider You Choose Is Important

I typically start my search for hairstylists on styleseat or instagram. I use hashtags to narrow down what I am looking for and then I scroll through the images of the pages that I like and I look for a variety of things.

For starters, we are in a pandemic, so I looked for a braider in a private suite or personal space. I looked to see if the braider was natural also.

Having a truly natural braider ( they wear and maintain their natural hair on a regular basis) is important because I know that they understand how to handle natural hair, the patience needed when styling a full head of natural type 4 hair and they know the types of tools to use. If you pull out a rattail to comb through my whole head that’s a problem. 

Girl outside wearing knotless braids

Also, each braider is unique. They like a certain edge control, brand of hair, have different braiding styles and some braiders communicate well from a business and personal point whereas others just don’t.

The braider I chose did a really great job! She was kind, her space was clean, and she was professional.

Be mindful of who you let in your head.

The Size of the Knotless Braids You Get Matter

Your hair type and texture is important. Your hair being fine, dense, thick or thin should help you  determine  the size of knotless braid that  you should get or whether braids are best for your type of hair. 

Growing up, braids were a norm. I got them regularly and so did my little cousin. My hair is said to be coarse and hers has always been defined as fine. We’d both get braids, hers wouldn’t last as long and they would cause more damage than growth.

Her hair couldn’t handle the size of the braid, the tension being caused and it would slide right out of the braid after some time. 

Having these memories helped me understand  that the size of my braids would matter. 

Girl posing wearing Knotless braid

When choosing a braid size, I’d need to take into consideration that my hair isn’t thick enough for the large knotless to look good on me. Plus I wanted a full set of braids so my options were either small, medium or somewhere in between.

I went with smedium. The box sizes were perfect for my head of hair. I had enough braids to have some fun, but not so many that my hair couldn’t handle the weight. And the sit time wasn’t so bad when getting them put in.

Knotless Braids Promote Growth

Knotless braids are a true protective style.

Leaving my hair alone( aside from the bi weekly washes) gave it a  much needed break from being over manipulated. 

Knotless Braids are Easy to Maintain

Maintaining a healthy scalp was easy. Washing my hair every two weeks, applying a spray leave-in and oil was all that I did to maintain my hair. After each wash, I’d simply use a shirt to squeeze the excess water out of the length of the braids and air dry. 

There was no frizz and they did not take very long to dry.

knotless braid size

A low maintenance style while being an elementary school teacher during a pandemic is a must.

My type 4 hair and I loved our very set of knotless braids. No damage occurred to my edges, my hair grew and I was given a much needed styling break.

All in all the truth is that knotless box braids are a viable option that will probably be my go to when I need a break from my natural hair. 

Have you ever had knotless braids? What was your experience? Tell me in the comments, I’d love to chat with you.

Positively Tonine

2 thoughts on “The Truth About Knotless Braids and Type 4 Natural Hair”

  1. First, of all your hair was neat and nice, very cute. I liked the size and length. Unfortunately, I have never had Knotless braids but desire to one day when my hair is strong enough Andy length is a little longer.

    Secondly, finding someone that I can trust to care about my hair and stand behind their work. I’ve recently had to different set of braids and both sets of braids started to fall out, in my opinion, way to-to early. So my first , experience in my life time to get braids have been terrible.

    You gave some good pointers on how to get ready for any protective style really and how to maintain healthy hair while enjoying your style. Very good!

    Thanks 😊

    1. Thank you very much for the compliment and for sharing your experience with braids. The right stylist is crucial to any style. Their knowledge dedication and love for their art will almost always tell of the quality of their work. You should definitely give knotless a try after you’ve given your hair some tlc.🤗

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