Thinking of Getting Box Braids This Summer? What You Should Know

July 26, 2012  |

The boho box braids seem to be among the trendiest of hairstyles this summer. Women every where have been going 90’s retro with the chunky waist length braids. Celebrities such as Joy Bryant, Solange Knowles, and Chrisette Michele, and now Beyonce Knowles among many others have been making blog headlines everywhere for embracing this hip  and evocative trend. I myself have been having my own summer love affair with the waist length Senegalese twists, which are very similar, only they are twists as opposed to braids. While many ladies have already hopped onto the boho bandwagon, there are others who are still contemplating whether or not they wish to join in on the fun. If you are one of those ladies who are still on the fence about trying out this chic hairdo, hopefully these tips will assist you in making your decision.

Box braids can make for a really great low-maitenance protective style. In this style you can give your hair a break and some time away to really grow and flourish, if hair growth is one of your goals. However, one thing that should be considered before getting with this trend is the current condition of your own hair. Any form of extensions can be like suicide to your hair if it is not in a healthy state. Any additional hair added to already weak and brittle hair can be a recipe for disaster. So imagine what it is like to add the weight of super long and chunky braids to already suffering hair. Not a good look. Before making your decision to get get box braids, assess the state of your hair. Are you experiencing severe shedding or breakage? Is your hair feeling brittle? If so, this probably isn’t best time for you to get those box braids you’ve been eying because they would most likely make a bad situation worse. Take a little time, nurse your hair back to health with plenty of TLC and you will be ready for extensions in no time.

If you’ve assessed your hair and determined that it is healthy enough to get you braids done, the next thing that you should consider is how you should prepare your hair to get this style done. I definitely suggest giving yourself a really good deep conditioner prior and possibly even a protein treatment prior to getting your extensions done. Be sure that you hair has an even protein and moisture balance if you do choose to go the protein route (protein treatments can be a horror when used improperly). This is all to ensure that you hair is strong enough to sustain the extensions. The next thing to consider is that your hair is properly moisturized. Extremely dry hair causes breakage so it is a great idea to apply an oil or butter to your scalp and hair prior to getting it braided.

Once you’ve prepped your hair, one of the most important things that you should is choose the right stylist. If you already have a trusted stylist whom you’ve had in mind to braid your hair great. If not, read carefully. If you want to avoid drama and headaches, you should only select a stylist who can show you that they’ve done this style before or a stylist who has been recommended to you by someone that you trust.

Although box braiding seems like a fairly simple concept, not everyone is good at it. I strongly suggest going to a professional hair braiding salon. I had a horrible experience with getting box braids done by a stylist who claimed to know what she was doing. My hair was such a mess that I took it out three days later. No one has time or money to waste, so be careful when selecting a stylist.

After you’ve decided which stylist you are going to use, the next thing to consider is the type of hair that you are going to use for your extensions. Being that box braids are a hot trend right now, people will try to bop you all in the name of the almighty dollar. Don’t allow anyone to sucker you into thinking you need some special kind of hair to get this style done. Simple braiding hair will get the job done. Most people use the Kanekalon jumbo braid hair. It shouldn’t cost any more than $2.99 per pack and that is on the pricey end of the spectrum. This hair is really inexpensive, so don’t let anyone tell you any different.

Don’t be afraid to let your stylist know if she is braiding your hair too tightly. If she has any sense she will listen and quit braiding as if she is trying to detach your scalp from the rest of your head. It is your hair at the end of the day and really tight braids can lead to breakage. What good is a cute hairstyle if your own hair is suffering underneath. You should also give your hair a few days to loosen up after getting it done before you start trying to pull it back and experimenting with the many different styles. Premature styling while your hair is still fairly tight can put major stress on your edges.

Once you’ve actually gotten your hair braided, the maintenance of your hair underneath is equally important. You should wash your hair every few weeks. Many ladies find the Crown and Glory Technique to be the most beneficial when it comes to washing. You should also be sure to keep you scalp and hair moisturized. I’ve found that the Doo Gro Anti Itch Growth Oil to be the best product when it comes to oiling my scalp.

The nozzle top makes for quick, neat, and simple application. I find that moisturizing braid sprays are pretty effective at moisturizing the rest of the hair. Don’t go crazy and apply to many products, though. Too many different products will make your braids look old and frizzy quickly.

And finally, enjoy your braids! Check out YouTube and hair blogs to figure out the many different styles that are available to you.

Jazmine Denise is a New York City based freelance writer. Follow her on Twitter @jazminedenise


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  • Tyesha Young

    Anyone know about how much 16 packs of braiding weighs?

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    2 years on, and box braids are still hot as ever!

  • Pingback: Black Hair Trend: “Poetic Justice” Braids Make a Comeback | Levell's Salon()

  • Sabrina Hendricks

    im white can I use kanekalon hair for my box braids?

    • Soco

      try human hair. I think human hair adheres to straight hair better.

  • Jazzy

    how much does getting them professionally done cost?

    • Soco

      Around $120-250

  • Ang

    hi there! i just recently got my box braids & i absolutely LOVE them im just having an issue with my ends! she didnt braid all the way down to the end so they arent skinny but rather bulky so im wearing my hair in a bun. How do i make the skinny?! HELP!!!!!!

    • Soco

      Assuming you are wearing Kanekalon, boil a big pot of water and dip the ends for a few seconds. Squeeze the ends with a towel. Let air dry

  • Nancy Sam

    This is so beautiful! I wish i wasnt a clutz when it comes to doing your great hair

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  • Priceless

    Thanks for the info. My daughter wants box braids and this will be her first time ever getting braids. I’m not sure how she’s going to play basketball with the weight on top of her head. They look very heavy.

    • Soco

      Then get skinny (pencil sized) ones with the ends loose, not burned.

    • Kaila P

      I’m a dancer and I can tell you box braids and constant movement are a no-no , no matter how many pins you put in that bun it will fall out and start swinging about, secondly the weight on the neck might be a distraction, maybe she should do small ones that are just long enough to go in a nicely sized bun

  • Shrbarnett

    The model on the bottom is gorgeous but really… braids that come down to your knees? Too much….

    • Soco

      Better than a long a$$ weave mermaid look. Braids are art

  • Trishluvsyou

    Do you have to grow out ur hair out of a relaxer to get box braids or put them exactly on the relaxed hair

    • noneya

      You can get these with relax hair I got this style of 2 yrs in the 90’s and it actually grew my relaxer completely out, after getting them back to back for so long.

      • braidingclub

        I wish my
        hair was that long. It looks really good. I can imagine my whole summer in
        this hairstyle.

  • I see no one has mentioned how this style can damage or strain your neck, is it worth it?

    • GIGI

      TRUE. I have dreads this long and I have a headache if I wear them down my back for a whole shift.

  • BMCP

    Although these braids are beautiful and great for protective styling, you should also be mindful of the weight of the added hair. Too much added hair could cause some damage by creating tension on the scalp. Heavy hair can cause breakage especially around sensitive areas like the hair line.

  • Jasmine

    I like tree braids better

  • Waridi

    wow guess i missed the memo i never knew braids of ANY type where out of fashion since i and the females around me where braids and cornrows all the time….no biggie i hate when people jump on the bandwagon coz a celebrity been seen wearing something “normal” people where all the time and all of a sudden it’s in vogue…like when the english footballer David Beckham got cornrows done a few years back the world media went on a cornrow tutorial frenzy lol i laugh in japanese

    • Gladys

      THIS! ^^

    • noneya

      I guess this is a regional thing, it all about where you live. Here box braids and cornrows are considered “played out”, unless your are a young child. Females here rep micros or kinky twist any another other style is seen as “old”

      • Rea

        ^So true. In the beginning of my senior year in 2011 a few girls would get them and be teased and people called them dookie braids. Now it’s popular and almost every girl I see has them. I live in a suburb of Chicago btw.

        • Nikki25

          Where did u get yours don’t??? I live in Skokie, how much was it??? Did u like the outcome and do you have pics???

      • keepitcuteorputitonmute#1

        micros lmao those are played out girl bye

    • Leeya

      Yeah, I’m from Northern California and braids are something that have always and will always be around!
      @84cea551fd4bd86e1191921aea0c2d92:disqus Micros are still braids!

      • noneya

        Yes micros are braids but a much smaller, thinner braid…that can be worn straigt or curly…so you havent told me anything I already dont know!

  • Definitely research before you go to a salon!I had micro and Senegalese twists before and they were like 210 it made my hair grow but I really wasn’t feeling it…I had box braids or dookie braids when I was in the 2nd grade and they were so heavy on my little head that my head would go back itself Lmao I made a mistake after a year of transitioning and I gave into the creamy crack Smh so I’m gonna let it get stronger so I can get some waist length Senegalese twists for the fall!!

  • Candacey Doris

    I went ahead and got microbraids for the summer. Lord knows between working out and the summer heat, my relaxer was not staying done.

  • sammi_lu

    Headed to Jamaica for vacay next week need something hassle free.. doing my braids myself this weekend! I can’t do the butt or knee length tho it would get old fast with me as far as versatility in styling, in this Texas heat it would stay in a bun.

    • Kellzzzz

      Enjoy Jamaica man!!!

  • Guest

    Why do they call them box braids?? How are they different from individuals?? Guess they just didn’t want to call them dookie braids anymore *shrugs*

    • LiiSH

      Just different names for the same style. I don’t hear too many southerners call them box braids.

      • J

        LOL dookie braids

    • Briana

      Because when you part it, it’s in a shape if a box, you can look up tutorials and you’ll see why.

  • Na Na

    I am definitely joining the Box Braid trend! I love switching my hair up and with fall fast approaching I’m gonna throw on my bamboo earnings, lip gloss, leather jacket and swag it out 🙂

    • Braiding Club

      Lovely! It is so pretty. I am going to try it ight away.

  • Hello_Kitty81

    I haven’t had box braids since I was in high school and this was 12 years ago. This brings back memories.

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