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So, here's the thing. I'm white (northern Asian heritage - not Western European) but I'm thinking of having my hair braided. I'm tired of having to spend two hours every time I want to style it, and then using all sorts of products and flatirons and blow driers and... yeah. When I get it done professionally they always tell me I have wild and crazy hair and always charge me double or triple because it takes that much more time and products. If I leave it natural, it's not "nappy" but it's... it's BIG. Like lion's mane sort of thing. Goes in all directions and looks so messy. I definitely can't leave it just like that.

I love the way it looks when it's braided into those million little braids. I don't know what they're called exactly. I know they do it a lot to the tourists in the Caribbean. That's where I had it done once when I was little and I've wanted to get it done since. When I was in college I got up the nerve to go to an ethnic hair shop in the city where I did a bad job explaining what I wanted and I got cornrows instead... it looked awful and I took it out as soon as I got home. I want to get it done again professionally; I can sort of braid my own hair but I can never get it to be very good. How often do you have to re-braid if you're getting it done pro? Does it totally ruin your hair to have them in long-term?

Also, my hair is pretty ruined from having colored it in the past. I haven't dyed it in a long time but the ends are awful - like straw. (The rest is OK though, healthy.) I'm going to have to get my hair trimmed up pretty far to find healthy ends. How long does your hair have to be to get it done?

Also... I'm embarrassed to even be asking this but would I stand out too much with braided hair and fair skin?