Box braids hairstyles are definitely one of the most popular protective hairstyles for women. These braids are a great way to mix up your style if you’re bored and want to give your natural hair a break from heat and styling.
One of the reasons why box braids are popular is because they require less maintenance than natural hair. And also, with braids, you can experiment with different colors without touching your natural hair.
Box braids get their name from the box-like sections used while braiding the hair. They are usually braided with kanekalon hair extensions and they can be braided to whatever length you want.
How to do box braids
Prep your hair
Just like any other protective hairstyle, you start box braids by washing and cleansing your hair. So to begin, wash your hair with shampoo as you do on wash days. Condition your hair too.
If you have dry hair, then use a leave-in conditioner too. Let your hair air dry but if you are in a hurry, then you can use a heat protectant on your hair and dry your hair with a blow dryer.
Now comb through your hair. Start at the ends of your hair and work your way up the strand, gently removing knots and tangles as you go. You don’t want to tear or rip your hair by tugging or pulling it too hard.
To make braiding easier, try to remove as many tangles as possible. Moisturize your hair to keep it hydrated especially if you have dry hair.
Part your hair into sections
Part your hair into four large sections, by parting it down the middle from your forehead to your neck, then from ear to ear. Make sure the parts are uniformly divided, with a distinct straight line producing a box shape at the roots.
Then start making smaller sections inside the large sections. The smaller pieces will represent the size of your braids, so go as small or as large as you’d like. To keep the other sections out of the way, use thick hair clips.
Get your hair extensions ready
Now that you are done prepping your hair, the next step is to get your synthetic hair ready. You will need at least 3 packs for your box braids. Could be more depending on how thick and long you want your braids. Some people can even use up to 6 packs for their hair.
You will need to stretch the hair first to make it slightly uneven and give it a more natural tapered effect. You can simply use pre-stretched hair instead so you don’t have to go through the hassle of stretching the hair by yourself.
Now take a piece of the synthetic hair extensions and braid it together with your hair. With box braids, the hair is braided with 3 strands. So to do this, hold the synthetic hair to make two strands, then your natural hair will be the third strand, then start braiding. Braid as close to your scalp as you can.
Since the synthetic hair is definitely going to be longer than your natural hair, be adding bits of the synthetic hair to your natural hair as you braid, and keep braiding till you reach your desired length.
Repeat this step for all the other sections until the whole hair is completed.
Dip it in hot water
To prevent the hair from coming undone, dip the roots in hot water when you are done. Be careful and gentle as you do this as hot water can hurt you if it comes into contact with your skin. Dry the ends with a towel when you are done.