What Are Stitch Braids?
Stitch braids rose to popularity in 2016 and have been a growing hairstyle since then, but they have quite an interesting history and a close relation to the famous cornrows.
The modern stitch braiding technique traces its origin to the world-famous cornrow technique that Africans have been wearing since 3000BC.
Stitch braids and other braids emerged from cornrows over the years.
So what are stitch braids?
Stitch braids are made by dividing a head of hair into several horizontal lines from the front to the back of the head.
Then, you cut out a thin line of hair and allow it to run parallel to the thick parallel lines.
The thick lines of hair are then sectioned into several box shapes of razor-straight lines of hair.
How do you plait Stitch Braids?
Start by applying holding pomade on each line of your hair and to the roots as well. This pomade improves the smoothness of the style, aligns the strands better, and ensures an overall clean style.
Then, use hair-friendly hairbands are used to hold up the hair sections at the roots into a kind of ponytail.
When braiding, begin by picking the tiny ponytails like you would small portions of hair when making regular braids. You can feed in synthetic extension to add volume to the hair.
As for the thin sections of hair you set aside, you don't need to hold with rubber bands or feed-in extensions. You can simply plait them into regular cornrows.
The interesting thing about stitch braids is that you can either choose to braid the only thick lines on the entire head or place some thin rows between the thick ones held up with rubber bands.
You can add beads to decorate your braids.
Band-less Braid Technique
This style leaves out the rubber bands in creating the boxed sections and requires you to use your hand instead. It takes coordination and expertise to handle this style. The hair must be detangled, and you'll need a rat-tailed comb and pomade.
Start by braiding the hair a minimum of four times, and begin your stitch by parting the first two sections of your hair with your pinky finger. Don't add extensions until you've made a few stitches.
Add the extension by putting it on a side of the head between your thumb and index finger.
The extension will join with the middle section of the braid and you can continue the braiding process.
A truly versatile style
There are several ways to create stitch braids. Some people opt for the regular straight back style and others go for the bun style. For others, a half-up-half-down look, a double bun, ponytail style, or side curved braids are the best.
However, with so many options, you still have to choose one style and remain with it until you're ready to undo your stitch braids.
How long can Stitch Braids Last?
Stitch Braids can last between one and two months, depending on how fast your hairstyle grows out.
They would lose firmness when much of your hair grow out, and you would most likely like to take them off at that time.
What hair type are stitch braids most suitable for?
The best hair type for stitch braids ranges from 3A to 4C hair.
Beyond the hair type, consider how strong or soft-headed you are because stitch braids come with a lot of tugging and pulling on your scalp. The braids need to be firm, so the braids need to be held tightly, although not until they feel uncomfortable.
However, if you have a sensitive scalp, you could feel too much pain to cope with the style.
When should you Wear Stitch Braids?
Stitch braids can be worn throughout the year, but many people use this as a summer style, especially for vacations.
However, reconsider stitch braids if you're going swimming because when they get too wet, your natural hair could revert and ruin the style.
Advantages of Stitch Braids
- Stitch braids are long-lasting and protective and can last for up to two months while protecting your hair from damage.
- Stitch braids come in very versatile and beautiful styles.
- The style is lightweight and has minimal cases of shedding.
- Promotes hair growth.
- Lasts longer than other cornrows.
Disadvantages of Stitch Braids
You're stuck with whatever style you choose and cannot change it until you loosen the braids.
Stitch braids can be uncomfortable and cause tension on your scalp. When held too tight, they could cause hair loss or breakage.
Using rubber bands can result in hair loss and breakage.