Stitch braids are one of the season’s popular styles due to their ability to feed into your natural hair easily. The hairstyle is unique and offers many benefits as a protective style due to its versatility and low maintenance upkeep. There are several ways to wear this trendy style, whether you want to wear a ponytail, updo, straight-back style, and feed-in braids. If you want to discover if stitch braids are for you, we’re breaking down all the details of this style, like what makes them different from regular braids and their benefits.
What are Stich Braids?
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Stitch braids are a hair styling technique that first involves creating neat, short, parallel lines between the parted hair resembling stitches. Loved by both naturals and non-naturals alike for their uniqueness and versatility, it’s not uncommon to find many people choosing them as their protective style for the season.
Stitch Braids vs. Non-Stich Braids: What is The Difference?
Stitch braids and other non-stitch braids, like the traditional cornrow braids, are pretty similar in that they can be done in various styles. However, their technique sets stitch braids apart, which involves skillfully using the fingernails or teeth of a fine-tooth comb to achieve its precise, pronounced look. For example, take a look at these two straight-back hairstyles and see the difference:
Straight Back Non-Stitch Braids
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Straight Back Stitch Braids
What Makes Stitch Braids a Good Protective Style?
There are so many reasons stitch braids should be your protective style this season, and we’re excited to break down their benefits.
1. Their Unique Look
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There is no denying that stitch braids are in a class of their own. And you’re sure to get many admiring looks and even compliments from people when you wear the style (now, who doesn’t like that?).
2. Heat or Heatless Options
Another great reason stitch braids are a good protective style is because they allow you to use heat or heatless methods as part of their finishing. If you are one of those who aren’t comfortable with having the ends of their extension sealed in hot water, that’s fine; you can opt for heatless methods like the slip knot method (tying the ends of the hair with the same braiding hair twice or three times), sewing the ends with needle and thread, using flexible rods to create curls on them, or simply covering them in hair beads, among others.
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While this largely depends on proper installation and after-installation maintenance, stitch braids can stay for up to three to four weeks, or even longer, even for kinky hair.
4. Reduced Manipulation
Stitch braids save you the need for daily/regular styling, thus saving you time and reducing manipulation of your natural hair to the barest minimum. It also allows for new hair growth to thrive.
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Stitch braids are lightweight, although this also depends on the type of hair extension used, as some hair extensions can be heavy on the head. If you’re using a lightweight hair extension or even your natural hair, stitch braids won’t feel heavy on your head, reducing the rate at which shedding occurs.
6. Painless Yet Neat
If installed by a professional hairdresser, you should feel little to no pain, yet your stitch braids will still look sharp and neat. This is good news for those who have a low threshold for pain.
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There are multiple ways to wear stitch braids, including ponytails, updos, waterfalls, side swept, straight backs, and so many more. Better still, your hairdresser can create different designs with these styles, such as heart designs, zigzags, arrow designs, or even freestyle, and create something original and unique.
Will you be investing in this ultra-trendy protective style this season? Check out our article on the 8 Hacks to Make Your Twists and Braids Last Longer!