Ask an Expert: Are Dominican/Brazilian Knots a Safe Option for Natural Hair?

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Celebrity hairstylist Cynthia Alvarez has traveled the world, working on everyone from Keke Palmer to Alicia Keys and Shakira. So we’re excited to apply her expertise to your crucial hair concerns. Remember, if you have questions for our experts you can submit them on our submissions page.

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Question:

In January I cut about 18 inches off of my hair and currently have a shoulder length bob. I have been looking into getting extensions and came across Dominican/Brazilian knots. I was wondering if these are a safe option for natural hair? I was drawn to them because they supposedly look more natural (i.e. when you put up your hair). I can’t find much online about them and I am wondering if these extensions are bad for your hair?

– Tamara

Answer:

Hi Tamara,

Texture is key when determining whether the Brazilian Knot extension method will work for you. This method involves attaching hair extensions to your individual strands by way of wrapping an elastic thread. This method is ideal on hair that is straight or wavy, due to minimal tangling at the root. Because of that reason, I would not recommend this method on hair that is curlier and coarser because of the tendency to knot and mat up at the root causing loads of breakage.

The person’s natural hair texture is the real determining factor. Once your curly hair begins to grow, that’s when you’ll begin to experience most of the tangling. The new growth will intertwine and attach itself to the elastic thread as well as the other sections of hair. Once you begin pulling the sections apart in an effort to untangle them, hair that is caught in the elastic will break. Another concern is breakage that can be caused by the tension of the thread on more fragile textures including natural, curly hair.

Try a different method, like micro braids WITH a leave out. They look exactly like the Brazilian knots, except instead of using elastic thread, they’ll be braiding the individual extensions into your hair (only to about an inch) still creating versatility without the breakage at the root.

– Cynthia

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Based in New York City, as Cynthia continues building her brand and clientele, she prides herself on making her clients look and feel Red Carpet ready. Check out tons of Cynthia’s beautiful work on her Instagram.

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