- Micro braids are tiny, individual braids that were popular in the early 2000s.
- The protective hairstyle is known for its versatility because it can be easily manipulated into numerous styles.
- Threaded micro braids have been making a comeback this year, but there are a few things to keep in mind before trying the trend yourself.
From chunky highlights and zigzag hair parts to claw clips and scrunchies, there’s no doubt that Y2K beauty trends are having a major moment, especially when it comes to hairstyles. And truthfully, it wouldn’t be an authentic ’00s revival without adding micro braids — a style worn by Brandy and other icons of the early aughts — to the mix.
Whether you loved or hated the original version, you can’t deny that micro braids, specifically threaded micro braids, have gained popularity among celebrities this year (hi, Mimi Keene and Halle Bailey). Worn on either side of a middle part or all over the head, the protective hairstyle is insanely versatile, so who could really blame them? Plus, because the braids are so thin, you can treat and style your hair as you normally would if it weren’t braided.
To find out what hair type works well with micro braids, how to maintain the style, and everything in between, POPSUGAR spoke to hairstylists who specialize in natural hair and braids. Read on for their expert insight.
What Are Micro Braids?
“Micro braids are very small braids that resemble a thick strand of hair,” said Jessica Houston, vice president of operations and lead aesthetician at natural beauty supply store Beautybeez. They are tiny, individual braids that can be easily manipulated into numerous styles, including buns, ponytails, curls, and updos. As you can imagine, these braids typically take a long time to install, as only a few strands of hair are used for each braid — making them much lighter in weight than other protective styles.
According to Briana Dunning, a hairstylist at Striiike Studio, when applied properly, micro braids can help with hair growth and require very minimal maintenance. Although micro braids can be installed on natural hair (3C to 4C hair types work best), people often tend to add length by adding in synthetic hair during the process.
The rules are simple. Begin with a small section of hair, and add in the extension hair of your choice. Braid stylist Geneva Fowler suggests following the same technique you would when creating box braids, without the uniform parting. Once you get the braid started, you will then continue to braid down the length of the hair.