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Micro Braids: All You Need to Know About this Coiffure

African braids aren’t only categorized by styles but also by lengths and sizes too. Little wonder there are just so many to choose from. Take, micro braids, for instance. This one falls into the size category. It involves installing tiny braids on your hair to achieve a full look.

tiny knotless braids

Since you’re on this page, I guess you’re considering wearing these braids. But before you book your next hair appointment, you must understand these braids are a commitment. In what way, you wonder? That’s what this article covers. You’ll also learn how long it takes to install these braids, how long they last, style inspiration, and everything else you need to know before wearing this hairdo.

Anything Special About Micro Braids?

Zoe Kravitz wearing micro braids

Micro braids are a tiny or super thin variation of the usual box braids. They’re otherwise known as zillion braids or tiny braids. Growing up, we used to call them one million braids, and the reason for the name isn’t farfetched. These braids are so tiny that they appear voluminous on the head.

They’re a protective style but a little flop during installation can ruin your edges. Furthermore, because these braids are so thin, they allow you to treat and style your hair as you would if it weren’t braided.

Beyonce wearing micro braids

Celebrities like  Zoe Kravitz, Beyonce, Gabrielle Union, etc., popularized these braids in the early 2000s while on and off the red carpet. And ever since then, black women haven’t stopped rocking these braids to satisfaction.

These days, they’re no longer installed using the regular box braid technique. Since knotless braids are more protective, hairstylists use the feed-in technique to install these braids. It gives it a lighter and more chic feel.

In addition, these braids are versatile. As you’ll soon see, they come in different lengths and styles. So, you have no reason to get bored of it.

How Long do Micro Braids Last?

a lady wearing  black thin braids

Thin braids can last for about four to eight weeks if you take care of them well.

Because of their longevity, these braids save you money and keep you from spending long hours in the salon while you have them on.

Some people wear their braids longer than eight weeks. If that’s you, try not to wear your braids longer than 90 days (three months) lest it should damage your natural hair

How Many Packs of Hair Extension Do You Need for Micro Braids?

a lady wearing white micro braids

This depends on how tiny you want your braids to be. These thin box braids vary from small to extremely tiny in size. And when your hairstylist is done, there’ll be so many individual braids on your head. So, you’ll need about six to ten packs of attachment hair extensions. Again, this depends on the density you want to achieve and how thick your natural hair is.

Do Micro Braids Help Your Hair Grow?

a celebrity wearing her micro box braids into an updo

Wearing braids doesn’t directly make your hair grow faster. But since they’re a protective style, they nurture and protect your hair from environmental damage, making it stronger and less likely to break. However, if the tension on your scalp is too much, it’ll damage your hair instead of growing it.

What are the Disadvantages of Micro Box Braids?

Gabrielle Union wearing her thin braids in a ponytail

Though these braids are beautiful, they aren’t free from these downsides:

They Take Long Hours to Install & Uninstall

a lady rocking  a long braided hairstyle

If you plan to wear this hairdo, then you should be ready to arrive at the salon very early and leave late too. It takes up to eight or even 12 hours to install these braids (depending on how many braiders are available). That’s because your hairstylist won’t just be using tiny hair extensions but will also section your natural hair into teeny-weeny strands. 

And after installing, they’ll also have to trim, massage with hot water, and do other finishing touches. It becomes worse if your hair is really full. Just know you’ll spend the whole day there.

The same applies when it’s time to take out the braids. The good thing is if your hair underneath isn’t long, you can use scissors to trim the length of the braids to quicken the loosening process.

They’re not Good for Fragile Hair

curly micro braids

If your hair is thinning or fragile, avoid this hairstyle. One reason for this is that your hairstylist will only braid a few strands of your natural hair. And when the extra weight of the extensions comes on, it leaves your fragile hair prone to breakage.

They Can Damage Your Hair

a lady wearing braids tight around the edges

This style puts your baby hair at risk of hair breakage. It becomes worse when you carry the braids in for long. Your natural hair may knot underneath, and when you take off the braids, you’ll have to really detangle and lose some strands in the process. What’s more? Some braids can even fall off with your natural hair still in it.

Your best bet is to avoid wearing this style often as frequent wearers sometimes get a receding hairline which can result in traction alopecia

But these drawbacks don’t mean this coiffure is entirely bad for your hair. You just have to hack into it by not wearing them wrongly or for too long. Furthermore, you may also need to ask your stylist to release the tension around your scalp so the braids don’t get too tight. 

But if you forget to, simply use our tips on how to relieve pain from tight braids. And don’t forget to maintain your braids properly with the tips you’ll soon see. 

What is the Difference Between Micro and Small Braids?

a lady wearing beautiful micro knotless braids

Though small box braids and micro box braids are similar, they’re different. For one, small braids are a size higher than micro braids.

A lady wearing long blonde small braids

They’re slightly larger than micro braids and because of this, they put less tension on your natural hair.

Can You Get Micro Braids with Short Hair?

Half-done micro braids hair

Yes, you can. Micro box braids work for all lengths of afro-textured hair whether short, mid-length, or long.

How Much Do Thin Braids Cost?

a lady wearing a pair of sunglasses while showing off her orange braids

The price of this style depends on these factors:

  • Your location
  • Your hairstylist/salon
  • The duration of the installment process
  • The particular length or look you want to achieve.

If you’re in the US, expect to pay between $100 & $500 for installation. And if you’re in Nigeria, expect to pay between ₦10,000 to ₦30,000 depending on the factors listed above.

What Do You Need to Install Micro Braids?

 a lady wearing her one million braids in an updo
  • (6) Packs of synthetic braiding hair from XPression, Kanekalon, Darling Hair, Lush Hair, or any brand you prefer.
  • Wide-tooth Comb
  • Rat-tail comb
  • Hair wax/edge control
  • Bobby pins
  • Scissors
  • Hair accessories if you’ll be adding them.
  • Water spray bottle

Everything else you need, your hairstylist will provide.

How to Install Micro Box Braids

a smiling Brandy in micro box braids

Before wearing this style, you’ll have to prep your hair by shampooing, conditioning, detangling, and blow-drying. Afterward, installation begins.

This size of braid follows the usual process of installing box braids. The only difference is that you’ll be sectioning your natural hair into tiny strands and using tiny braiding hair too.

Wikihow details how to achieve these braids. But if you want a visual explanation, watch this:

How to Care for Micro Box Braids

Brandy smiling while wearing thin box braids

The first step to caring for your one million braids is to ensure they’re properly installed. If they’re too tight, you’ll not only lose your edges but will also feel pain and discomfort. So when you notice your hairstylist is pulling your hair tighter, speak up. And avoid restyling the braids into buns, updos, ponytails, etc., until days after when there’s no more tension around your scalp.

Once that’s settled, endeavor to sleep with a satin bonnet or silk pillowcase to retain moisture and prevent your braids from getting old quickly. Furthermore, shampoo, deep-condition, and blow-dry your braids at least once a week to keep your scalp clean and healthy throughout. And apply hair oil both to your scalp and the braids to keep them looking fresh.

Types of Micro Braids You Should Try

selfie of a lady rocking gold micro braids

Tiny braids abound. But just so you don’t get overwhelmed with many options to choose from, go through this list and save any image that catches your fancy. So when it’s time for your appointment, your hairstylist will have something to work with.

Short Micro Braids

A lady wearing black and brown short micro braid

This style is stress-free and requires low maintenance. It usually stops around your neck or shoulders. 

a lady wearing short micro braids with curly ends

You can make yours a bob or consult a hair length chart to be sure of the exact short length you want.

Long Zillion Braids

a lady showing the back view of her long one million braids

You can also let your braids extend to your back, waist, and even your thighs.

a lady wearing one million braids with side parting

Long micro braids consume more extensions and take a longer time at the salon. Keep that in mind. 

Knotless Micro Box Braids

lady showing the back view of her knotless micro braids

Want something more protective than regular box braids? You’ll love micro knotless box braids.

a lady making the peace sign while showing off her coiffure

As the name implies, these braids have no knots around the roots. They’re beautiful and feel less heavy on the head.

Curly Thin Braids

lady with gold curly thin braids

Give your one million braids a chic feel by curling the ends or going through the Bohemian braids route.

Michelle Obama in chic Bohemian braids

The latter involves adding loose/wavy strands braided into the braids to give a soft, fuller, and voluminous look.


a lady wearing black and gold curly box braids

Most women who wear this hairdo go for black, brunette, or brown-colored synthetic braiding hair. 

a lady wearing black micro twists

These colors are neutral and perfect for blending in even though they give a cute contrast to your skin tone.

Bold-Colored Micro Box Braids

a lady with nose piercing wearing purple one million braids

If you love to stand out and get noticed, colored thin braids are an easy-peasy way to achieve that.

Go for blue, green, pink, purple, white, or any bold-colored braiding hair and you’ll stand out effortlessly.

Micro Braids Cornrows

a lady wearing mico cornrows

Micro braids aren’t limited to box braids or knotless braids. They also work with cornrows too.

a bride wearing micro cornrows

And to achieve micro cornrows, you either braid your hair into tiny cornrows or add thin box braids to your tiny cornrows.

Micro Twists

lady wearing tiny gold Senegalese twists

If you don’t wanna go for the braiding option, you can opt for Senegalese twists.

lady wearing tiny Senegalese twists

They’re faster and easier to take off than one million braids.

Feed-in Micro Braids

a lady wearing thin Ghana weaving

Similar to the above, you can also use the feed-in technique to install micro cornrows.

a lady wearing thin Ghana weaving hairstyle

The results will be thin Ghana weaving styles, stitch braids, Fulani braids, etc.

Layered Micro Box Braids

back view of a lady wearing layered micro braids

This gorgeous style involves creating multiple layers of braids. Some look like feathers flipped inwards while others look like steps. 

a lady wearing green layered one million braids

Regardless, layered micro box braids are a unique hairdo that may tempt you to touch and flip your hair all day.

Skip the Long Process with Micro Braid Wigs

red micro braids on hair mannequin

If you’ve taken the time to read to this point, kudos. It means you love this hairstyle so much and are willing to learn all about it before taking the plunge.

While it’s a beautiful coiffure, you can’t discard the downsides which include more time at the salon and hair breakage. So, would you let that discourage you from wearing this hairstyle? Don’t let that discourage you. There’s a way to wear micro braids without actually wearing micro braids.

green micro braids on hair mannequin

And that’s none other than braided wigs! They’re convenient and low-maintenance. Furthermore, they save you money, time, and even last longer than installing thin braids. The best part? You don’t have to worry about losing your edges with a wig. So, go for a micro-braided wig if you’re still in doubt about wearing this hairdo.

But rather than simply buy from a wig vendor, opt for a custom-made wig. They’re tailored to fit your head and made according to your specifications. 

blond micro braids on hair mannequin

Need help with getting one for yourself? Try Gloe Hair. 

She’s one exceptional hairstylist and wig maker known for creating long-lasting, beautiful wigs. When you get a custom-made wig from her, you won’t have to adjust the style, wig cap, or anything. Why/ Because it’ll fit perfectly.

If you’re ready to get a custom-made micro braids wig, chat with Gloe Hair here. 

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Victoria B. Willie

Writing has always been a part of me. From writing stories as a young child to studying Communication Arts in the university, it has always been more than a medium of expression to me.

And then one day, I found myself toeing the path of an entrepreneur and becoming a fashion enthusiast. This made me develop an interest in content marketing and copywriting which I've been chasing alongside my fashion career.

That aside, when I'm not sharing style articles, selling with stories, or creating fashion-forward pieces for Ria Kosher, you'll find me telling wild stories that always come with a twist.

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