May 24, 2024

11 Knotless Braids & What To Know About From A Celebrity Braider

Knotless braids have unapologetically dominated the natural hair community as the go-to hairstyle of choice and we can see why. As we know, textured hair is as complex as it is beautiful and I say ‘complex’ in the most endearing and spellbinding way.

That’s why protective hairstyles have been around for generations upon generations and can even be traced back to 30,000 years ago. Alongside looking delicately intricate, they allow those precious kinks and coils to be braided safely away from daily manipulation, breakage and split ends.

However, as reliable as braids, tight cornrows and locs can be, some experts have warned us the strain that certain styles can place on hair follicles and the tension they can place on scalps. In fact, Eleanor Richardson, who is a consultant trichologist at the Fulham Scalp & Hair Clinic warns us against the dangers of choosing to braid: “The most common damage that we end up seeing in the clinic is traction. So that’s a pulling force that’s been applied, because of a very tight style. Maybe due to very chunky braids, extensions, or weave-in and styles that have been there for a while. . . ”

Now, saying that, like me, letting go of braids is not really an option. After all, they’re an inextricable part of Black culture and they will always play main character when it comes to natural hair styling. However, there are gentler alternatives to the classic box braids, and they have been shaking the aunties-that-do-hair to the core.

Knotless braids have been the moment for a while and are still very much the moment now. Considered by many to be ‘low-tension’, the style has developed a league of A-list followers including Beyonce, Zendaya, Yara Shahidi, and Laura Harrier.

We spoke to braid queen and celebrity hairstylist, Molecia George, whose clients include Leigh-Anne Pinnock, Katerina Johnson Thompson, and Jourdan Dunn. Here she explains everything you need to know about knotless braids.

What are knotless braids?

“Knotless braids are exactly what they’re called – braids without knots,” says Molecia. “Traditional box braids have a knot at the start where the extension is added at the beginning,” she explains. “Knotless is where the braid is started off with your hair and then you feed the extension through as you go along, creating a knotless look. It’s a trendier way of doing braids for clients who don’t like the knot look at the beginning of the braids. It’s a very sleek and natural-looking way of braiding. ”

Why would you choose knotless braids over traditional box braids?

«As a braider, both ways of braiding have pros and cons,» says Molecia, but here are the benefits of knotless braids:

Knotless braids are gentler: Knotless braids are perfect for clients with sensitive scalps as there is little to no tension. This can help prevent traction alopecia and supports healthier scalps and hair retention.
They enable you to style immediately: Unlike traditional styles which can take a day or two to loosen up, this style is perfect to put in a bun and style straight away
They do last a relatively long time: Depending on how quick your hair growth is, they can last for a long time – up to eight-to-ten weeks.
Knotless braids are trendier: In terms of style, knotless braids are definitely trendier, literally give you neater braids.
They enable you to care for your scalp more easily: This style makes it easier to access and to moisturise your scalp.

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