how long do feed-in braids last

How Long Do Feed-In Braids Last?

Feed-in braids is another kind of extension-supported protective hairstyle that’s getting increasingly popular in recent times. Contrary to what you might have heard about the hairstyle, it’s actually cornrows with extensions, but made to hide the presence of the external hair. That aside, how long do feed-in braids last exactly?

You should expect your feed-in braids to last between two and four weeks on average, with anything outside that being outliers. Generally, you should be able to keep your braids for as long as you can endure them, which varies greatly from person to person.

In this article, you’ll learn what feed-in braids are and how long they last. Also, I’ll answer some of your most pressing questions about this hairstyle to help you make an informed decision when next you get to your hairstylist.

What’s the Difference between Feed-In Braids and Box Braids?

Sometimes, people do get confused when checking out feed-in braids, especially because a lot of blogs online erroneously report it to be the same as box braids. However, that is apparently not the case, as the difference between feed-in braids and box braids is like night and day.

Technically, the feed-in braids hairstyle is basically cornrows made with hair extensions. The extensions are added in a way that makes the integration seamless, making it difficult to tell the differences between regular cornrows and feed-in braids.

On the other hand, box braids refers to a kind of hairstyle that divides your hair into different compartments and creates long braids with them all across the surface of your head. The base of the individual strands will look like little squares across the surface of your head, hence the name: box braids.

This blog has an entire piece on the differences between knotless braids and box braids that you can read from here. You can learn more about box braids from there, while you’ll naturally learn more about feed-in braids by reading the rest of this article.

How Long Does It Take Feed-In Braids to Loosen?

Feed-in braids will eventually start to loosen over time, requiring you to uninstall the hairstyle and install something else. While the braids generally last for a specific length of time, you shouldn’t really take them apart until they start to loosen, but how long does that take?

To be realistic, your feed-in braids will start to loosen almost as soon as you make them. It will also continue to loosen gradually, but the loosening process won’t be obvious until around the one-week mark, when it starts to look evident but tolerable.

You should start considering taking your hair apart when the loosening feed-in braids start to look so bad that you deem it intolerable for you. For most people, that could be anywhere between the two weeks and the four weeks mark, whatever it is for you.

Do Feed-In Braids Hurt?

Some hairstyles are known for hurting so much immediately after installation. If your scalp is especially prone to that, you may want to stay away from hairstyles that trigger the reaction. So, do feed-in braids hurt after installation?

Generally, feed-in braids do not hurt you, but the question is still not a black and white one since there are certainly cases of people wearing hurtful braids. To that, I’d say it’s more of an issue with how the hair was installed than it is with the hairstyle itself.

When you make your hair too tight, you apply too much tension to the scalp, creating an avenue for pain. If you’re prone to a hurtful scalp after trying new hairstyles, you should let your hairstylist know since it helps them make intentional choices to reduce or eliminate the pain.

How Long Do Feed-In Braids Last?

Since feed-in braids fall into the protective braids category, you can expect it to last for a pretty long time after installation. Before getting the hairstyle, however, you may want to learn exactly how long they last to see how well they stack up, compared to your other options?

The hairstyle generally lasts for as long as you can afford to keep it in, but for most people, that would be around two to four weeks. Keeping the hairstyle for up to four weeks under proper maintenance is pretty common, and it could also last longer if you don’t mind your hair looking a bit off.

While the quoted time averages are for most people, you should note that it may not apply to you. If your hair doesn’t work well with feed-in braids, for example, you may want to get it off a lot sooner to prevent frizz and breakage.

How Do I Keep My Feed-In Braids Fresh?

The primary difference between feed-in braids that last for only two weeks and one that lasts for up to four is maintenance. If you can dedicate plenty of time and resources to maintaining your braids, you’ll not only have your braids look better, but they’ll also last longer. But how do you keep your braids fresh?

For one, you should know that trying to force your braids to stay in is the best way to ruin your hair on the long run. When your braids stay for too long without you taking them apart, they’ll start to grow over, causing your hair to look rough in the process. Also, when you eventually resolve to take the hair apart, you’ll be dealing with a lot of breakage.

Also, you should consider learning how to prep your hair properly, especially if you’ll be doing the feed-in braids yourself. Always wash your hair with some shampoo and conditioner before starting anything and ensure you dry your hair. You can also consider detangling your hair at this point, if there are any tangles.

Finally, you should always make your hair at a stylist whenever you can. They already know the best practices for every hairstyle so you don’t have to learn them. That way, you’re unlikely to run into issues with your braids on the long run.


Feed-in braids last long, but not as long as most other braids. However, given that they’re insanely easy to make and you could even install them yourself if you have the time, I’d say two weeks is a pretty long time. If you want it to be better, maintenance helps greatly.

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