Whether you’re natural or not, you can always find several reasons to rock such a great long-term protective hairstyle as box braids.
However, the biggest misconception about box braids is thinking that you should skip washing your braids for the purpose of maintaining the style.
Even though box braids can last between two to ten weeks depending on what kind you go for and how you wear them, you have to be ready to cleanse them every week and do it properly!
Table of Contents
What Are Box Braids?
Box braids is a very popular hairstyle of the 90s, which is based on individual braids that are commonly divided by rather small squared off parts or boxes. This braid style may be of any length or width because you can always add synthetic or natural hair to make your braids longer as well as thicker and fuller.
By the way, these braids have one great benefit that makes them so unique, they are not attached to the scalp (like, for example, cornrows) and this means they can be styled in a variety of ways.
Moreover, box braids are a cute and pretty fabulous hairstyle that can protect your hair against environmental damage, increase length retention, and reduce excess breakage from heat styling.
It also looks gorgeous in any season of the year and is really well-suited for different types of weather.
How to Take Care of Box Braids?
If you decide to wear box braids, you should know how to care them properly to minimize discomfort and maintain the braids as long as possible. Especially box braids for beginners need extra care.
You realize that it can take a long time to complete this hairstyle, but the finished result is beautiful and lasts for months, you just need to remember that these braids require little daily maintenance.
This daily maintenance is very easy and doesn’t take a lot of time. But it’s so important to know about it and don’t skip it.
Clean Your Braids and Scalp at Least Once a Week
If you don’t know how to keep your braids clean, don’t worry, it’s really not so difficult to do as it may seem at first glance. You have to clean your hair and scalp necessarily because during the day the build-up of dirt and sweat can accumulate and clog your pores.
You have to wash your braids and scalp minimum once a week with a good shampoo and your hair as well as scalp will be nicely groomed. And one more important thing here! Try not to rub your braids when you wash them.
Thus, wash your hair from scalp to the ends, with the movement going in a vertical angle. This can prevent frizziness at the roots and braids. Immediately after cleaning, most stylists recommend using a hot oil treatment to hydrate your stressed scalp.
Keep Your Hair and Scalp Moist
Be ready that box braids expose your scalp and hair a lot more than usual and leave them prone to dryness. So just like any living thing on our planet, our hair and scalp need moisture to survive and the best moisture for us, in this case, is water.
To make your life easier, you can buy a spray bottle and fill it up with your moisturizer. A braid spray is very useful and you must spritz it daily along the length of your braids and scalp to keep them moist.
If water isn’t enough for your hair and scalp to satisfy the thirst, you may try natural oils like good coconut oil, almond oil, castor oil and so on. Any of these oils are very good for maintaining and soothing your scalp and hair.
In addition, this can also help you keep your hair neat.
Dry Your Braids before Styling
Wet braids that aren’t properly dried can cause some really unpleasant scalp problems like fungus, dandruff or even mildew! So be careful! You should never start styling your braids until they are completely dry to avoid its damage!
Protect You Hair at Night
If you have box braids, you can’t forget to wrap your hair at night. Wrapping your braids at night will help you be sure that they don’t get frizzy and, moreover, such wrapping will prevent moisture to leave your hair and scalp.
Thus, don’t forget to cover your hair to protect it whilst you sleep. By the way, if you like styling your braids into a bun, ponytail or updo during the day, it would be better to take them down before you go to bed. When you leave your braids tightly pulled overnight, it can place too much tension on your hairline and it can lead to hair loss.
Remove Your Braids after 8 – 10 Weeks
Don’t leave your braids for longer than 10 weeks. An 8 – 10-week time frame does not hurt your hair and scalp, but if you decide to make this term longer, you’ll have a greater risk to damage your hair and scalp as well. When you remove one braid extensions, you need to take a break minimum one week before moving into the next set.
How Can You Style Your Box Braids?
Such a versatile braid style as box braids can be transformed in many different looks depending on the thickness and length. Very long and long braids you can style like long, loose hair.
Long or medium-length braids you can style into:
- Twist or braids
Women who have short hair can style braids as a shoulder-length bob.
Keep in mind that braids differ in thickness from straw-thing to marker-fat. The thinner braids you’ll want to do, the more time it’ll take (from two to twelve hours). So be ready for that!
Box Braids Hairstyles Ideas
Here are some of the best box braid hairstyle ideas.
Curved Short Box Braids
One of the chicest ways to style not so long natural hair is to rock a plaited bob. The extra braids can add much volume to this bob hairstyle and make its shape really perfect.
Decorated Box Braids
Such cool accessories like head scarves and bandanas look stunning on skinny-braided hairstyles including box braids as well. Choose a bright printed bandana or scarf to make your hairstyle complete and don’t be afraid to go bold with color and design.
Pretty High Bun and Waterfall Braids
You can also try the latest hair trend with your own personal spin on it. A high bun over the top of the head combined with cascades of the thing braids falling down over the shoulders looks awesome and unique. Besides, small braids create an original texture and shape!
Messy Black and Silver Box Braids Updo with Bun
A contrasting color combination and twisted about a messy high bun small micro braids make this way of box braids styling super chic and crazy.
Volume with Burgundy Tinge
As you know, box braids can really add a bit of volume making your hairstyle fantastic and very attractive. But except the additional volume, you can also brighten up your look with some extravagant color like, for example, the burgundy one. Just try!
High Bun Updo
A huge high bun from a lot of small braids makes the hairstyle extra special. To do this hairdo, you need just to flip your head upside down and gather all your plaits, then you should twist them together into one big chunk and put a little pony holder at the very end (if you want to make it easier to wrap).
High Box Braids Pony
Lovely small braids are so versatile and easy to go with, so why not to tie them up in a high ponytail! The pony at the top of the head from tiny braids looks quite simple and, at the same time, so elegant!
Box Braids Faux Hawk
You can experiment with your box braids and try to make one big French braid from the small ones. As a result, you’ll get not only new-style cool box braids, but also you’ll get a good faux hawk.
Small Box Braids Bun on Top
This is one of the classiest ways to style the small box braids, but it never goes out of style. Just make a common bun on your top and secure it with an elastic band or bobby pins. This looks great as it can show every shade in your hair.
Rainbow Box Braids
These colorful braids fit perfectly for those who like to stand out from the crowd. Tiny small braids of all rainbow hues look very sexy and actually create a gorgeous look. The woman with such hairstyle will draw people’s attention anywhere and everywhere.
Box braids are the most favored protective hairstyle that comes in many variations. Besides, such cute braids can be worn in every season and look stunning.
But even though it’s a protective hairstyle, you still need to look after your hair and scalp to make sure you don’t cause any damage to your scalp and natural hair.
So listen to your scalp and remember, even if your hair looks good, don’t keep your braids in for too long.