What you need to know before getting box braids


Women have been wearing their hair in box braids for a very long time, but the style has had something of a resurgence recently, and some big names like the Zoe Kravitz and the Knowles sisters have been seen with braided hair. This style is a great way to keep your hair protected from the elements while also looking great and being fairly low maintenance. But there are still a few things to consider before you head to the hairdresser for a change of style.

Size

You can get braids in varying thicknesses – from something chunky and rope like all the way to something very small and intricate. But before you decide which one you want, you have to think about what the thickness and condition of your hair currently is. For example, you won’t be able to create a thick braid with lots of volume if you have fine hair. And if you have much thicker hair, choosing smaller braids will result in there being way too many on your head that may be too heavy.

Preparation

When your hair is in braids, you won’t be able to remove all the dirt from your hair and scalp as you would normally. It is important, therefore, to start the process right and preparing by making sure your hair is shampooed, conditioned, blow-dried and fully detangled. This will help your hair in the long run and help it to be healthy while it is in braids.

Getting it done

Most would agree that the actual process of going to the salon and getting your hair braided really isn’t all that fun. It shouldn’t be all that painful, although that is a common misconception, but it will take a very long time! For some people, it can take eight hours or more, but of course, this will all depend on the size of the braid and the technique of the stylist. So you need to be fully prepared but by the end, your new hair will make it worth the time.

Maintenance

So while your hairstyle may have been completed, you will still need to work in order to make sure your hair stays healthy and in good condition. Keep your natural roots healthy by using moisturizer or oil daily – which will massively reduce breakage when it comes to the takedown. After around three weeks you should wash your hair, although you may wish to do it earlier depending on your lifestyle and the condition of your scalp. Avoid putting the braids into tight ponytails as this tension can cause hair loss and be sure to sleep in a silk bonnet in order to minimise the friction on the hair.

Takedown

You shouldn’t have your braids in for more than two months at a time and removing them will require the same patience that it took to get them in. Make sure to go slow as your hair has been basically untouched for weeks and will likely be tangled, so go easy on any knots you might find. It may also feel dry or brittle, so conditioner is a must.

Now you should know what to expect from your box braid, and hopefully, it will make you feel great about your hair and overall appearance. Just be sure to do it the right way.