Synthetic hair for braiding accounts for a huge chunk of the profits in the hair industry but which synthetic hair is best for braiding? **   For a long time kanekalon was the main fibre used.  Nowadays, toyokalon is highly popular and gives a softer realistic feel to the extensions.  No longer does braids have to look shiny or plastic when compared to natural hair.  So vast is the selection, the choice of textures, colours and lengths, wearers are in hair eden when deciding which synthetic hair is best for braiding!

Eden, as we know, had a serpent

and so does braiding.  Ask any braider who has been in the business for any length of time, and they will tell you that not all synthetic hair fibres are created equal.   When you are braiding a length of hair, at some point, you have to clear the bundle that occurs along the way.  When you tug on the hair, it clears but during this action, the fibres pass over the fingers, most closely to the cuticles.  This causes the skin around the area to become tender if done for an extended period time.

For myself, the best cure

has been moisturising the hand with oils so it heals quickly, but boy is it annoying!  For this reason, I limit the amount of braiding I do in a single day.  Different manufacturers have different fibres and so the feel is different too.  Shiny fibres usually hurt more depending on your braiding technique.  Other fibres are able to be burnt to seal while others are hot water sealed.  Trying to use certain braid fibres for styles it was not intended, makes it more difficult for the braider.

As with all products, I advise following the manufactures instructions and pictures  when it comes to choosing which hair fibre to use.  This makes it much easier to  have success in deciding which synthetic hair is best for braiding to achieve the desired look.

By Paula Barker,

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