Which braiding hair should I choose?

With summer coming to an end, it’s a great time to start thinking about protective styles. Whether knotless braids, box braids or cornrows; finding the best braiding hair to achieve that look is essential. Braiding hair comes in different textures and qualities and can be graded accordingly. We have put together a list of the types of braiding hair and their various features and functions to help you choose what type of braiding hair is the best for your next style.

There are 5 main types of braiding hair:

1. Kanekalon
2. Synthetic
3. Toyokalon
4. Spectra
5. Afrelle

Each braiding hair type has different qualities and can serve different purposes.

1. Kanekalon
Kanekalon braiding hair is arguably the most widely diffused braiding hair. The braiding hair has a coarser and crimped texture to mimic that of Afro-Caribbean human hair. This makes this type of braiding hair good for voluminous up-dos such as chignons or bubble ponytails. Due to its coarseness, Kanekalon hair tends to be a heavier braiding hair and isn’t as soft as other types of braiding hair. For a neater braiding finish, Kanekalon hair often has the be stretched and feathered before installed which can take some time and it not so easy to separate and may tangle.

In addition, Kanekalon braiding hair is made from a fiber called Modacrylic which helps to make the braiding hair flame retardant and therefore resistant to dripping or melting. The braiding hair can also be set using hot water. This means that if Kanekalon braiding hair is curled or even braided; hot water will seal and hold the hairstyle and prevent it from loosening.

2. Synthetic
Generic synthetic braiding hair isn’t as expensive as the other braiding hair types and that can sometimes be reflected in its quality. Synthetic braiding hair has a silicone coating that makes the hair appear to have a shiny and waxy look. This may make the braiding hair hard to blend in with your hair. Unlike the other types of braiding hair, synthetic braiding hair cannot be exposed to heat. This is because the synthetic fibers are not heat resistant or flame retardant; meaning that the braiding hair may melt when exposed to heat. This means that in order to finish the braiding style, you would possibly need to use elastic bands.

3. Toyokalon
Best known for looking and feeling like human hair, Toyokalon braiding hair has a softer and silkier texture than other types of braiding hair. Unlike Kanekalon, Toyokalon braiding hair isn’t crimped and is gentler on fingers when braiding. Toyokalon braiding hair is also more heat resistant than hair fibre. This is because this hair can be blow dried at low heat or flat ironed at high heat, meaning that you can heat style your hair. As a result, Toyokalon braiding hair has the ability to hold styles such as curls and twists very well.
Though a bit more expensive than other types of braiding hair, Toyokalon braiding hair is tangle free and is often used for hairpieces and wigs, in addition to braids and twisting styles.

4. Spectra
Spectra braiding hair is an eco-friendly alternative braiding hair. Unlike other types of braiding hair, Spectra braiding hair can be recycled! The braiding hair is also manufactured using fewer chemicals too.

This versatile braiding hair is ideal for styles like crochet and braids however it can also be used for weaving and for hair extensions or accessories. Spectra braiding hair has a soft texture and is tangle free. The braiding hair is also light weight and voluminous meaning that you don’t have to use as much hair when doing styles like braids. In addition to this, the braiding hair is flame retardant and has antimicrobial properties.

5. Afrelle
Afrelle braiding hair is a great choice of braiding hair to use if you’d like to achieve sleek styles like knotless braids or stitch braids. The braiding hair is smooth and lightweight. This means that when using Afrelle braiding hair for styles such as box braids or chunky twists, your head isn’t weighed down and there are less fly-away strands, once the hair has been braided, that could potentially itch the scalp. This gives you a polished and smooth look.

Though Afrelle braiding hair has a very soft and delicate texture, it is still strong enough to hold various hairstyles well. The softer texture also ensures that your fingers won’t get chafed from braiding the hair. Afrelle braiding hair is also heat resistant and flame retardant which means that the hair can also be blow dried.

Choosing the right braiding hair can sometimes be a bit daunting but we hope this article has helped to clear things up a little. Though braiding hair is graded differently and may serve their various purposes, it’s good to choose the one that is right for you and choose the type of braiding hair that you love and feel comfortable with!

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