Box braids are a timeless and versatile hairstyle that can suit people of all ages and hair types. Whether you want to protect your natural hair, try a new look, or simply save time in your daily hair routine, box braids can be a fantastic option. However, if you’re new to this style, it can seem intimidating to get started. Don’t worry! In this beginner’s guide, we will walk you through some tips and tricks to help you perfect the look.
First things first, gather your supplies. You will need a rat-tail comb, hair ties, hair clips, and, most importantly, braiding hair. There’s a wide range of colors and lengths available, so choose one that suits your desired style. Additionally, it’s essential to have a good moisturizer and hair oil to keep your scalp healthy and your braids looking fresh throughout their duration.
Before you begin braiding, make sure your hair is clean, conditioned, and properly detangled. Start by parting your hair into sections. The size of the sections is entirely up to you; smaller sections will result in more braids and a longer installation process, but they can also lead to a tighter and more defined look. It’s generally recommended to start with smaller sections for beginners, as they are easier to handle.
Once you have your hair sectioned, it’s time to start braiding. Begin by adding in your braiding hair. Take a small section of the braiding hair, fold it in half, and place it against the root of your natural hair section. Now, divide all three sections (two from your hair and one from the braiding hair). Cross them over each other, alternating left and right. This crisscrossing motion forms the braid. Repeat this process until you reach the end of your hair, making sure to keep the tension consistent for neat and even braids.
As you continue braiding, it’s important to maintain a relaxed and comfortable posture. Sitting in a chair with a backrest or using a comfortable pillow will help prevent back and neck strains. Additionally, taking regular breaks and stretching will keep you comfortable throughout the process.
When you’re finished with a section, secure the end of the braid with a hair tie or rubber band. Some people prefer to dip the ends of their braids in hot water to seal them, preventing unraveling. It’s a good idea to leave an inch or so of loose hair at the end of each braid for added protection.
To keep your braids looking fresh and avoid frizz, wrap your hair at night using a satin or silk scarf or bonnet. This will protect your braids from rubbing against pillows, reducing frizz and maintaining their shape. When styling your braids, don’t be afraid to get creative! You can experiment with updos, half-up hairstyles, or even accessorize with beads or other hair accessories.
Lastly, remember that box braids can be a long-term commitment, so it’s essential to take care of them properly. Moisturize your scalp regularly, paying attention to areas that may be prone to dryness. Apply hair oil to the length of your braids to keep them shiny and nourished. Make sure to wash your braids gently, using a sulfate-free shampoo, and be gentle when drying with a towel.
In conclusion, box braids are a beautiful and practical hairstyle that allows for endless creativity. By following these beginner’s tips and tricks, you’ll be well on your way to perfecting the look. So, go ahead, embrace the braiding journey, and enjoy the freedom and versatility this stunning hairstyle offers!