Many people who wear their hair in its natural state opt for a protective style like box braids. They are not only convenient because of their low maintenance requirements, but they can also shield your hair from harm and stimulate development. But, if you want your box braids to continue appearing neat and tidy, you’ll need to give them the attention they deserve.
In order to keep your box braids in pristine condition for as long as possible, we’ll discuss the best ways to care for them. When cared for properly, box braids can be worn for weeks without causing damage to the hair.
Prepping Your Hair for Box Braids
Box Braid Preparation Tips
- Trim your hair: Before receiving box braids, it’s recommended that you get a haircut. The split ends in your hair will be eliminated, and the damage to your hair will be limited.
- Deep condition your hair: It’s crucial to keep your hair nourished and hydrated if you wear box braids, as they may be extremely taxing on the hair. If you deep condition your hair before you braid it, it will stay moisturized and more resistant to breaking.
- Avoid heat styling: If you want your box braids to last as long as possible, you should not use hot equipment on your hair before getting them done. The use of these products can weaken your hair and increase the likelihood that it will break.
- Detangle your hair: If you’re going to get box braids, detangle your hair first. As a result, you won’t have to worry about your hair being tangled up when you braid it.
Proper Washing and Conditioning Techniques
You should clear your hair completely before getting box braids. Any lingering residue from styling products, as well as any debris or oil on your scalp and hair, will be washed away. Use a deep conditioner after shampooing, and let it sit for at least 30 minutes.
To get your hair ready for braiding, this will help hydrate it. To prevent water loss and to close the cuticles, you should rinse your hair with cold water. As a result, your hair is less likely to dry out and break. Towel-dry your hair gently. When washing your hair, be gentle. Rubbing it too hard can cause it to break.
Also See: Braid It Up: 23 Eye-Catching Tribal Braids Ideas for 2023
Selecting Extensions for Your Hair Type
- Synthetic hair: If you need an economical solution, synthetic hair is a good pick. It’s possible, however, that improper installation will lead to hair damage due to the weight.
- Human hair: Although human hair is more expensive, it is the most realistic looking and easiest to style. Since it is less prone to weigh hair down or cause damage, it is an excellent option for those with fine or thin locks.
- Kanekalon hair: The lightweight and manageability of Kanekalon hair make it a popular choice for box braids. It can withstand heat, so you may use a curling iron or flat iron on a low setting to style it whatever you like.
Maintaining Box Braids
1. Cleansing and Moisturizing Box Braids Regularly
- Use a dry shampoo: If you don’t want to ruin your braids by wetting your hair and scalp, try using a dry shampoo instead. Dry shampoo should be applied to the scalp and worked in with the fingertips. Finally, sweep up the mess with a gentle bristle brush.
- Moisturize your scalp: To keep your scalp healthy and hydrated, try using a light oil like jojoba or coconut. To use, simply pour some oil onto your fingertips and work it into your scalp. Your scalp will be less likely to dry out and itch if you do this.
- Apply leave-in conditioner: You can keep your braids healthy by applying a leave-in conditioner to them. Working primarily with your fingertips, distribute a small amount of leave-in conditioner throughout your braids, paying special attention to the ends.
2. Box Braid Care Products
- Dry shampoo: Dry shampoo can help to cleanse your scalp without getting your braids wet. It’s also a good choice for refreshing your braids between washes.
- Lightweight oil: Use a lightweight oil such as jojoba oil or coconut oil to moisturize your scalp and prevent it from becoming dry and itchy.
- Leave-in conditioner: A leave-in conditioner can help to moisturize the length of your braids and prevent them from becoming dry and brittle.
- Satin bonnet or pillowcase: Use a satin bonnet or pillowcase to protect your braids while you sleep. This will prevent your braids from rubbing against your pillow and causing frizz.
3. Sleeping with Box Braids
If you want to keep your braids in good condition while you sleep, use a satin bonnet or pillowcase. Doing so will keep your braids from becoming frizzy as a result of constant rubbing on your pillow.
One or two braids, held together with a satin scrunchie or hair band, are appropriate. Your braids will be less likely to get twisted up in your sleep if you do this.
To keep your braids in good condition, avoid laying on them when you sleep. Rather than sleeping on your braids, try to sleep on your back with a travel cushion under your neck and head.
Refreshing Your Box Braids
Refreshing Box Braids After Several Weeks
- Moisturize your scalp and braids with a little oil. When caring for your hair, stay away from oils that are too heavy.
- To get rid of the buildup of oil and sweat on your scalp, try using a dry shampoo or a reviving spray.
- If your braids have become unruly, try re-braiding them.
- To keep your braids from becoming frizzy and damaged overnight, try wrapping them in a satin or silk scarf.
- If you have any loose strands of hair, you might want to spray them down.
How to Safely Wash and Dry Box Braids
- To keep your hair’s natural oils from being washed away, dilute your shampoo with water.
- To protect your hair from drying out and breaking, use a mild, sulfate-free shampoo.
- Avoid twisting or pulling on your braids as you massage your scalp with your fingertips.
- Be sure to give your hair a good, long rinse to get rid of the shampoo and any leftover residue.
- To smooth and untangle your hair, try using a mild conditioner.
- Don’t rake that towel through your hair. Instead, use a microfiber towel or t-shirt to gently wring out the excess moisture.
- Let your braids dry naturally before trying to style them.
Maintaining Box Braids with Extensions or Trims
- Putting in extensions will help your braids look fuller and more uniform.
- You should cut the ends of your braids if they begin to look ragged or damaged.
- Minimal, regular trims are all that’s needed to keep your braids looking great.
- You may give your braids some flair by embellishing them with beads, wraps, or other items.
Removing Box Braids
1. Box Braid Removal Without Hair Damage
- The braids can be safely trimmed at the base with a pair of scissors. Take care to snip only the braid and not your natural hair.
- Carefully remove the braids once they’ve been snipped. If you don’t want your hair to break or become damaged, avoid pulling or tugging on it.
- Use a detangling spray or conditioner to gently release any knots or tangles before unravelling.
- To get rid of any last-minute knots and stray hairs, use a wide-tooth comb.
- When you’ve undone your braids, give your hair a good washing and conditioning to get rid of any residue and rehydrate it.
2. Hair Care After Box Braids
- The strands of your hair will recover their moisture and nourishment after a session of deep conditioning.
- In order to let your hair rest and recuperate from the effects of heat styling, you should refrain from using them for a few weeks.
- Brush or comb your hair gently so as not to pull or yank on the strands.
- If you want to preserve your hair from drying out and breaking, you should use a leave-in conditioner or hair oil.
- Hair that is free of split ends and other damage will grow in stronger and faster.
- Give your hair some time to rest and recuperate once you’ve braided it. You should wait for your hair to recuperate before attempting another protective style, such braiding it again.