Box braids are a great protective styling option for those who would love to cut down on styling time and hair manipulation and is also a great way of growing hair out, believe it or not (when installed the right way.)
Not to worry, here are 9 quick and easy tips to sport the longer lasting braided style perfectly.
1. PROTECT EDGES: When getting box braids installed, instruct hair stylist to not ‘over pick’ hairs at the temples as this is the weakest part of your hair which is prone to easy breakage and damage.
It’s also advisable to not get braids that are either too small or too large as this maybe detrimental to the hair in the long run.
2. TIGHT STYLING: Do not pull hair back too tightly in styles such as high ponytails or buns as this may result in traction alopecia which simply means hair loss at edges.
3. CLEAN BRAIDS: wipe braids and scalp with cotton wool and methylated spirit or witch hazel every three days to prevent build up of dirt, debris and bacteria.
4. SHAMPOO: Wash your braids every 2 weeks. If are weary about washing your braids with normal shampoo, try dry shampoo as an alternative option. Dry shampoo cleanses the hair of debris without the ‘water factor’. No dry shampoo? Try mixing equal parts of baby powder and baking soda for an easy homemade fix.
5. MOISTURIZE: Moisturize and condition braids after cleaning or washing to nourish hair beneath. We suggest you opt for oils that double as conditioners and contain anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties such as coconut oil, argan oil, jojoba oil or Shea butter.
6. STYLING PRODUCTS: Use water based gels/ edge control products to keep old braids looking neat and styled.
7. THINK SATIN: Always sleep with a satin scarf or bonnet to minimize frizziness and keep braids looking neat. Having problems keeping the satin scarf on your head while you sleep? Try a satin or silk pillowcase.
8. WEAR TIME: Box braids should last only a maximum of two months to prevent hair loss and damage. 4-6 weeks is the ideal length of time to keep your box braids on.
9. SWITCH UP: Switch up styles after taking braids out to allow hair breathe and recover. Weaves, wigs or simply leaving hair natural are great alternative options.
Do you have any special Box braids care techniques? Please share.