6 Best Tips on How to take care of your Box Braids
If there are awards for hairstyles, Box braids would have won a whole lot because of their low maintenance and ability to be manipulated into different styles. Box braids are made by using synthetic hair to add thickness and fullness as well as length. Did we mention that box braids look gorgeous after being installed? Or that they can last up to 6-8 weeks when maintained well? Add this to the fact that box braids are easily low-maintenance, and then you understand why they are still so popular after all these years. So if you love to keep your box braids as fresh as the day you made it, here are the best ways to maintain and keep them that way.
Be Wary Of the Night
Sleeping without protecting your braids is a no-no. Why? Because you risk having the roots dry out and the god awful hair breakage that no one ever wants to have. You don’t need to do much. Just get into the habit of covering your braids with a headscarf (preferably satin or silk).
This keeps your box braids from drying out while keeping the edges as fresh as possible. The secret behind the scarf is that its smooth texture prevents frizzing, helps lay down the hair, and keeps the braids smooth and fresh. As far as your braids are concerned, never sleep without covering them with a headscarf, except your pillow has a satin or silk coverings.
Moisten Your Scalp
You need to constantly moisten your scalp if you want to keep your box braids fresh. Your hair experiences significant tension while still in braids. When not properly handled, irritation, dryness, and broken natural hair are bound to occur. Simply avoid these occurrences by moisturising your scalp. It only takes a few minutes and a spray bottle to keep your box braids looking as fresh as new. For the best results, you should do this at least twice a week. However, you should remember that the best thing for your hair is water. Be sure to only use water-based solutions.
Avoid solutions that contain mineral oils; instead, opt for those with natural oils and if possible leave-in conditioners. Tension and itchiness keep you fiddling with your braids and making them look old over time. Moisturising your scalp using a natural oil product and some braid spray prevents all this and keeps your roots from drying out. Getting some natural oil on your scalp will lock in moisture and give the new hair growth some elasticity when the braids begin to tug at the roots. When applied properly, your scalp and braids will stay moist, fresh, and shiny!
Wash Your Box Braids
Your box braids are cute and all that, but they are no strangers to sweat, dirt, and nauseous smells. The daily buildup of dirt and sweat can cause the pores in your scalp to clog. This is bad news for your scalp and your braids. The worst part is that most folks hate washing their box braids because they get heavy and take years to dry! Yet they must be washed if they are to stay fresh. Well, the saving grace is that you do not have to soak your braids if you don’t want to. There are ways around it washing your braids if you don’t want to do it the regular way.
You can simply dry-wash your box braids using a little warm water, some shampoo, and a piece of cloth. Just part your braids into sections, then you wipe them with a damp cloth.
Should you choose to wash it the regular way, ensure to wash them from the scalp to the end but try as much as possible not to rub the braids just gently massage the cleanser into the scalp and down the length of your natural hair. Remember to hold the tips up while rinsing, though. If keeping your braids fresh and well maintained is your goal, then you should wash your braids every two weeks.
Redo the Edges
Do you know that, on average, your hair adds half of an inch every month? After a few weeks, these “half-inch” will result in some new growth that will make the edges of your braids begin to look rough. And since the new growth will only reduce from the attractiveness of your box braids, you need to “refreshen” them. How? Simply take out the braids along the edges. Then you condition your hair after you must have detangled it. Then you just go ahead to redo the braids that you uninstalled. It saves you the cost and time of braiding your whole head while keeping your braids fresh as ever.
Stick to Natural Products
You will need hair care products to help maintain your braids and keep them fresh. However, it is in your best interests if you avoid mineral oils as much as you can. That might be a tall order given that they are the main ingredients in the more popular braid moisturisers, right? Well, for the record, you are better off with all-natural products and natural oils because they soothe the scalp, retain important moisture, and help your natural hair to grow. Then there is the non-greasy feeling that they give. Avoid the more popular braid moisturisers. It bears repetition. Especially if you do not want to accumulate too much buildup of dirt or dryness.
Take It Easy With the Styles
Most ladies find box braids convenient because they can easily be made into different styles. But the downside is that constantly manipulating the braids into styles like high ponytails and up-dos puts a strain on your hairline. This weakens your hair roots and might destroy the edges of your hairline. Try to reduce the number of styles you make your box braids into. Your box braids will be the better for it.
You do not have to spend long hours in the salon every other month. Use the tips we have described to maintain and keep your box braids fresh, even after several weeks.