How to do Box Braids (Plus Tips for the Perfect Result)

Installing box braids

One hairstyle that never seems to go out of style is box braids, which also work well as a protective style. Not to mention the elegant and timeless appearance it delivers. Continue reading for additional details on how to do it in the comfort of your own home.

What is Box Braids?

Box braids
Instagram / @ramilybraids

More than any other hairstyle, box braids are preferred by Africans and those of African origin. This particular hairdo is “boxy,” features square-shaped hair divisions, and is a “protective style”—a style that may be worn for a long period to encourage the growth of natural hair and protect the ends of the hair from excessive physical manipulation and environmental conditions.

Box braids are often made using synthetic hair to enhance thickness and support the natural hair that is already in the braid. Because box braids are not attached to the scalp, they have more styling choices than similar hairstyles like cornrows. Although installing box braids can take some time, once done, it can last for six to eight weeks.

Preparatory Process for Braiding

Start the braiding procedure by giving your hair a moisturizing shampoo wash; this is kinder to the hair and less harsh on it than a regular shampoo. You should then use a conditioner to give your hair the glide it needs to be easy to detangle while also providing the hydration it needs to stay healthy.

Start detangling hair in parts, starting at the tip and working your way up, using a wide-toothed comb to reduce stress on the hair strands, which are delicate when wet.

After detangling, rinse the conditioner out, pat the hair dry with a microfiber towel to reduce friction on the strands, and then use a leave-in conditioner to keep the hair hydrated all day! The hair should be blow-dried; stretching it out would cause less discomfort and improve the parting’s aesthetic appeal and cleanliness.

The use of heat frequently could disturb the hair’s natural proteins and change the structure of the hair, so it is crucial to spritz heat protectants on areas of your hair before blow drying.

How to Install Box Braids Conveniently at Home

Box Braids
Instagram / @neferbraids

In that it is straightforward for do-it-yourselfers, the Box braids installation process is analogous to how a simple plait is done. By adhering to the step-by-step instructions, you could get there quickly!

A prepared and ready-to-use hair bundle and freshly washed hair must be used for the installation. Run some warm water into a bowl, then add roughly 2.5 cups of vinegar to prepare your hair bundles. By doing this, you will get rid of any layer that can irritate your scalp. The bundles should be placed in the dish and given two hours to soak. After thorough rinsing, let the hair air dry overnight. 

Then, part your hair into sections using a rat-tailed comb in a box-shaped pattern or however you choose, add edge cream to each area for sleekness, and secure the pieces with an elastic band. The elastic band makes the hold simpler, especially for beginners.

Before placing the bundles, make sure the little divided sections are tied up into a high ponytail. A single piece of hair can be made sleeker, less frizzy, and easier to blend into the hair bundle by applying an edge cream or hair gel to it all the way to the end.

The extension is folded in half and fastened to the rubber band after one of the hair bundles has been unrolled into a single strand. Divide your natural hair into three sections, stacking one section on top of the other, and braid it while keeping the bundle firmly in place.

You would need to stretch out the bundles before installing them to ensure that the ends are not blunt. Continue in this manner until your entire head has been covered.

Which hair works best for box braids?

It can be confusing to choose from the various hair kinds available when buying box braid hair extensions. However, because it influences the style’s durability and beauty, utilizing the best hair is essential. I recommend Xpressions and Kenakelon hair because they’re well-liked, inexpensive, and accessible on Amazon and other websites that sell cosmetics and accessories.

How long does it take to do Box Braids?

Depending on your hair’s thickness and texture, style, length, and other factors, it usually takes 4 to 8 hours on average. I, therefore, suggest that you carry a book because you’ll probably have to read and reread, and even more so you don’t want to fix any other appointments on the same day and, If you do it yourself, it will take the same amount of time, and it might even take more depending on your level of experience and the style you want.

Box Braids Care and Maintenance

To achieve the best results with box braids—and to protect your hair while doing it—you must take care of them. Box braids are a protective hairstyle, and like all protective hairstyles, if they are not properly cared for, they may have the reverse effect. Box braids are low maintenance, so do not require as much care but care is nevertheless necessary.

Are the Box Braids washable? is a frequent question that novices ask. Of course, you can! And, more so If you have an active lifestyle. 

The cleaning procedure is fairly easy to understand. It is advised to wash your hair two to four weeks after, but in the interim, use dry shampoo to remove any extra oil and dirt from the scalp. This is important because you don’t want your scalp to accumulate moisture, sweat, oils, and dirt, which could serve as a breeding ground for bacteria and fungus.

After washing, make sure your braids are totally dry to prevent odors. Frizz also follows a wash, it’s safe to say pick frizz over a wash! Your hair’s health should be a priority. Other care advice is provided below:

  • Use a shampoo that leaves no residue for a clean scalp. You don’t want to add to the product buildup and extra oils that are being removed.
  • Keep hair oils on hands and massage your scalp to promote blood flow, which will promote hair growth.
  • To maintain the look and stop it from messing up as you sleep, wear a silk or satin head scarf. Silk or satin head wrap allows for an easier glide keeping the braid intact.
  • Keep your scalp frequently moisturized and your braids clean.
  • If your hair is growing up and your braids are truly aggravating your scalp, think about having them removed.
  • To prevent damaging the hair, braids should ideally not be worn for longer than six weeks.

Box braids may seem simple and low-maintenance, but that doesn’t mean they should be neglected because doing so could seriously harm your hair. To prevent traction alopecia, a condition in which hair loss is brought on by extra strain on the scalp, avoid over-styling as well.

Keeping all edges perfectly laid and sleek will substantially increase the braids’ appeal. This can be assisted by edge-specific gels, conditioners, and smoothers. You should also remember to use hair spray to add shine to the braids and to help control frizz and new growth.

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