You’re probably thinking that now is the time to get a style that is as low-maintenance as possible and that’s where box braids come in. Box braids are a serious form of braid, they aren’t the casual braid that you put into a ponytail and they are rarely ever loose. This might be the first time that you are getting box braids or maybe this is something that you do on the regular, either way, we have all the information that you need to get your style in order. Not only that but we have pictures that will inspire you on the direction you want your hair to go. You might be thinking to yourself that they are just braids but they are not. There are so many ways that you can use box braids to express your personal style and personality. There are different ways that your braids can be styled so that you have the look that you want whether that be casual, dressy, or edgy.
You can also add accessories to the braids which will give them the extra pop that they need. Some people will add bling pieces or gold accessories for events. Some people will use box braids as an opportunity to try a new color hair. The sky is the limit for what you can do with your hair when it comes to box braids. Box braids also come in many shapes and sizes, you can get them thin or thick or you can get them so that they are short like a bob or waist long styles.
Some people will get them done at a salon while others will have it done in their own homes. There are lots of people that do box braids by traveling to someone’s house or doing them in their own homes. But be prepared that this particular style can take hours to do. We have all the details that you want about this cool style and we implore you to be inspired by the style. Check out these low-maintenance styles that will have you running to the salon.
The 90’s Style
As we said before, there are so many ways that you can style these braids, they can basically be styled just like your regular hair.
The Clean Look
This is a cool and casual look that you can wear anywhere. It’s parted down the middle in a style that has been popular for decades.
Choose The Thickness That You Want
When it comes to these styles, they come in varying thickness, it’s up to you to determine what kind you want. Here we see them to be very thin which gives off an entirely different look. This is a classic look that has been popular for a while and the thinner the braid the easier it is to pull it up and style it.
Add A Splash of Color
This is a great opportunity to try out some new colors without it affecting your natural hair. We have a splash of purple in this look that makes the whole thing pop. We also see how easy it is to style it in a very elegant way.
Another great casual look that will have you smiling every day. You can see she has added some gold accessories to give her look a personal style.
A Tight Style
A cool look like this is one of a kind. You can see how tight the style is to your head, there is no moving it. She has her style up in a partial bun.
The Side Part
A cute style that is going to have heads turning wherever you go. This is a look that you can rock out anywhere.
It’s Vacation Time
A lot of people will get box braids for vacation because it allows them to have a low maintenance style that they don’t have to worry about for a couple of weeks while they are away. You can just pull the hair up when it’s time to hit the beach or saddle up to the pool bar.
The Bohemian Style
These braids are quite thin which means that there will be a lot of them. We love the combination of her casual style and the hat just fits the look perfectly.
Maybe you are looking for a long style, something that is different from the look that you want. Box braids allow you to add a lot of length to your hair because you’re essentially just adding extra hair to your look. It’s a cool style that is sure to turn heads wherever you go.
What Is A Box Braid?
Let’s start at the beginning, for those who have never had box braids before. Stylists consider box braids to be plaits or more specifically three-strand braids that are divided into square-shaped sections. If you have long enough hair you can certainly use your own hair to create the style, but most people get the braid extensions so that they can not only add length to their hair, but they can have more fullness and thickness to their style. You can get really thin braids or very thick braids or many variations in between. Regardless of what size your box braids are, they will always have four corners, like a box.
How stunning is this look? The braids are thick and this would be what we would call a classic box braid because you can see where it is added to the natural hair. It’s a stunning look that will make you feel like you are a goddess. The gold accessories are a nice touch.
What Are Knotless Braids?
There are classic box braids and knotless box braids. The difference being is that knotless braids have more of a seamless look compared to the classic look. This style tends to look more natural and will even resemble the person’s natural hair. Whereas the classic look typically has a visible knot at the beginning of the braid where you can see where the extensions were added to the natural hair. Both looks are popular, it’s really all in preference. If you are someone that has a sensitive scalp, you might want to opt for the knotless braids as they typically put a lot less pressure on the scalp.
There is no wrong style to get. Just as many people get classic box braids as they get the knotless one. It’s all about your own personal style and the look that you are going for. There is no right or wrong style when it comes to box braids. The classic box braids are the old-school style that started in the 90’s and honestly that’s a lot of girls get because that’s what they are used to and have been getting for years. The knots at the base also tend to remind the women of their African culture and how the style originated or they are 90’s girls and just love the look of the braid. Either way, both looks are just as amazing.
Some people won’t color their hair because they don’t want to damage their hair with color or have something that is permanent. This is a stunning shade and a great example of what you can do when you are using box braids. This could be the opportunity that you are looking for in regards to trying the shade that you have been eyeing for a long time. Maybe you want to try this bright purple or maybe you want to try red, yellow or a hot white blonde style. You can try one color or many colors together. These are fun styles that can be a great experience for you.
How Much Do Box Braids Cost?
Box braids are definitely not a cheap style and anyone who thinks that they can get the look for cheap will end up with a mess in their hair. The reason for the cost of the hair is because it takes a lot of time to create. There is usually a price range of between $100-300 to get box braids. The price will differ depending on the style, size and length of the braids. If you visit a high-end salon or dare we say a celebrity salon you can expect to spend a lot more than $300.
Do Box Braids Damage Your Hair?
You might think that this style can damage your hair but it actually does the opposite. It’s considered to be a style that protects your hair. Because there is no thermal heat on your hair, it offers more protection and it won’t affect your hair growth. But we do encourage you to make sure that you get a good stylist that has been doing box braids for a while. The reason for this is that damage can be caused to the hair if the braids are installed incorrectly. You might think, how hard can it be to install braids but you would be surprised. If the braids are left in too long or if they are installed so that the braids are too heavy then that’s going to add too much pressure on the hair in your scalp. In order to ensure that there is no damage done to the hair you need to make sure that you take care of your hair before and after the braids are installed. There is night maintenance involved that we will go into soon and this will help to maintain the hair. It’s also a good idea to not keep the braids in longer than you are supposed to and we will go into that as well.
This is a great example of how you can choose a shorter style for your box braids. It’s not the most popular look because honestly, a lot more people choose to get more length to their hair. But there are still a lot of women that opt for a look like this because it’s easier to manage. It’s a cute style that you can wear on a day to day basis.
How Long To Keep ox Braids In For?
A lot of people get box braids done because it offers a low maintenance style that they can have for a decent amount of time without worrying about styling their hair. But you also can’t keep them in forever. Don’t get us wrong, you do get to have them for a long period of time, we just don’t want you thinking that you can keep them in for 6 months at a time. That might be a hard pill to swallow especially since you had to sit in the salon chair for upwards of 10 hours (yes you read that right) but it’s recommended that you not keep them in longer than 8 weeks. During this time your hair will have grown out a few inches and it can start causing tangles and matting in your hair and this can lead to damage. If you are someone that opts to get the mini braids, this means that you will have more packs on your head as someone who goes with bigger braids and that leads to heavier hair. The smaller braids are likely to need maintenance sooner than the larger braids.
White Hot Blonde
This is a stunning style for the girl who has always wanted to try being blonde. We can see that she normally has a dark color naturally and this is her opportunity to try a blonde shade without damaging the natural shade with bleach. The braids are quite small which offers a very different look but with braids this small you are going to be in the chair for a very long time, likely ten hours. It’s a cool style however and one that you will appreciate.
Is There A Certain Type of Hair That Is Better For Box Braids?
No there is no “type” of hair that is required for box braids. Both black women and Caucasian women have rocked the style and really any ethnicity can give the style a shot. You also don’t need to worry about getting human hair especially if you are on a budget. There are plenty of pros that say that you can use synthetic hair if you don’t want to go for the human hair option. Kanekalon braiding hair is also a popular option and it actually lasts longer and is more durable. If you are unsure of what you want to do, you can just talk it over with your stylist/braider to see what they think.
How Long Does It Take To Get Box Braids?
At the minimum, it usually takes 4-8 hours to get box braids done. But if this is your first time it can take upwards of 8-10 hours. If you are with a professional braider who has been doing it for a long time, the time is usually lesser because they can work quickly but you will still be in the chair for hours at a time.
What Can You Expect During Your Hair Appointment?
If you have been getting box braids done for a while, then you know what to expect but if this is the first time that you are getting box braids, there are some things to keep in mind. You want to have realistic expectations for your appointment for example you might have assumed box braids only take an hour to do and probably would have been shocked to find that you needed to book the whole day off.
Every stylist has their own way of doing things but these are a few things that you can expect:
You Will Be There For A Long Time
It’s best to bring something with you to entertain yourself because you will be there for hours on end. Some people will bring a book or an iPad, Netflix or a journal; basically something that will keep you entertained for long periods of time.
Then It’s Time To Wash
Your stylist should be washing and conditioning your hair before putting the braids in and she will likely do a quick blow dry before getting started.
Adding The Braids
The stylist usually starts at the back of your neck with the braids but it does depend on the size that you chose. The style is created with little square sections from right to left, hence why they are called box braids. If the braids are being fed into your natural hair, your stylist will take your hair and split it into two sections so that you have three strands to work with.
If you chose the classic box braid style, then your stylist will take these three sections of your hair and wrap it around the base of the box. The hair is then braided from the base (root to tip). If you have chosen knotless braids then your stylist will feed the hair in.
Even the short styles that only go to the shoulder will take hours and that’s where you need to have some patience. A short bob style can still take around 3 hours while other styles like the mini braids that go down to your waist will likely take ten hours. Obviously the smaller the braid, the more braids you will need and that’s why it takes so much longer.
Another great style that is super short. You will likely only have to sit for 3-4 hours for this style but it will be well worth the wait. It’s a style that is likely to make you look younger because it’s such a fresh style. It will limit you when it comes to styling. You won’t be able to do buns, ponytails or updos but maybe you want a style that is low-maintenance. Try it out and make yourself happier with a fresh new look this year and you won’t regret it.
How Do You Wash The Braids?
There are a lot of pros out there that don’t believe you should wash the braids at all while others will tell you to do so. Follow the advice of your stylist because they know best. Here are a few things to keep in mind in regards to washing your braids.
The Pro Shampooers
When it comes to the stylists that want you to wash your hair, they usually say to wash your hair every couple of weeks. But some will even tell you to wash your hair weekly. It’s unlikely that they will want you to use your normal shampoo. It’s less about washing then it is about moisturizing the hair. They will usually tell you to use a co-wash which is more moisturizing and that way you don’t have to use a conditioner. A lot of stylists recommend using scalp refreshers that are loaded with clarifying and soothing ingredients such as tea tree oil, peppermint or spearmint.
There are some stylists that don’t believe in washing your braids unless you come into contact with saltwater or chlorine which usually isn’t the case unless you go on vacation. If you do happen to come into contact with these then they recommend to only rinse the braids and allow them to fully dry. The reason that they don’t recommend washing is that it can lead to your hair getting matted or starting to get frizzy.
Night Maintenance of Box Braids
Your braids are in now and it’s time to end the day, so what do you do now? There are things that you can do at night to maintain your braids so that they are comfortable to sleep in and also keep them protected from frizzing. There are two products that are highly recommended to get and that’s a satin scarf and a bonnet. The scarf is used to tie around your edges to protect the very front of your hair. This will protect your edges from getting frizzy. The bonnet is used to keep the individual braids out of the way while you sleep.
How To Sleep With Box Braids
The first night can be a bit uncomfortable especially if your braids are really tight. You usually feel a lot more tension in your hair on the first night because your hair has been manipulated for ten hours and is probably already sensitive. There should be no pain however in your scalp. If there is then talk to your braider. The tension that you do feel shouldn’t last longer than 24 hours and if it does then you should consider taking the braids out.
Day Maintenance of Box Braids
Yes, it’s true that this is a low-maintenance hairstyle but there are still some things that you should be doing to make sure that your braids stay looking beautiful for as long as possible. When you first get the braids in it will be a couple of days before you really need to do anything. But at some point, you will need to care for your scalp. You want to be able to promote hair growth as well as prevent flakiness from your scalp so you should be using a light oil on your scalp. You could also use a light hold edge control to keep the edge of your braids tame. Just make sure that you don’t use edge control too often because it can result in hair loss. There is alcohol in the product that can dry the hair out and make it brittle and therefore cause breakage.
A great way to keep your scalp healthy is to wash your braids weekly but again we suggest following whatever advice your stylist gives you.
How To Take Box Braids Out
If you want to take your braids out yourself, it’s not as hard as you think it is. If you are planning on getting them done again, don’t take them out yourself, your stylist will do that before she gets started on your next set.
One thing to remember is taking out the box braids is just as important as putting them in. You don’t want to do any damage in the process because that’s the last thing you want. If you aren’t confident about the process, it’s best to go back to the salon and pay to have them take it out.
There will be shedding of the hair and that’s normal as each strand has their own lifecycle. Some of the hair will reach the end of their lifecycle while you have your braids. There are things that you can do to prevent shedding if you follow a few tips.
Take Them Out Slowly
Make sure you have time to take out your braids, the last thing that you want to do is rush when taking them out. Go slow. Slowly unravel those braids as you pull them apart. A lot of people have used conditioner or water at the roots that the extension will slip out easier.
Don’t Pull On The Hair
You might find that you hit a snag while you are trying to take the braids out. You just need to comb it out gently. You don’t want to pull the snag because that tangle can cause breakage.
Use Lots Of Moisturizers
You want to moisturize your hair as much as possible during this process. It’s not a big deal if you use a lot because you will probably wash your hair after the braids are out anyway since it’s been a couple of months since you washed your hair properly. This is a great time to put some oil or a hair mask into it while you are taking down your hair.
How To Style Your Gorgeous Box Braids
There are many ways that you can style your box braids to make sure that you have a new look often. We have a few different styles that you can choose from to make your style truly one of a kind.
This is a popular idea for women who get box braids because it offers up a chic updo. It can allow you to keep the braids out of your face while you are at work or out with your friends. You can do high buns but depending on the size of the braids they can wither be bulky or compact. If you use mini braids then you are likely that you will have a tight bun.
This is a creative element that you can add to your hairstyles. A twist would work in a ponytail as well as in the front section of your forehead.
High ponytails are a great look for box braids and you can wrap them in a silk scarf to achieve a very elegant style. You can also add a flower to the side to get a wonderful style.
Yes, you can do braids on braids to get a unique style. You can have asymmetrical braids from box braids and then wrap them on either side of your forehead.
Box braids have been hugely popular since the 90’s and it’s not hard to see why. We have seen them grow even more in popularity as they are often seen worn by celebrities on the red carpet. They aren’t a style that is just used for casual days as evidenced by women wearing them on the red carpet while wearing thousand-dollar gowns. It’s popular because it’s a low maintenance style that you can have in for a couple of months and it’s the kind of style that you can dress down or dress up. It’s even considered to be more acceptable in the workplace because legislation has been put in place that protects against natural hair discrimination. Black women love the style because not only does it look amazing but it allows them to connect with their African culture.
The downside to the style is having to sit in a salon chair for 6-10 hours but if that’s not something that bothers you, then you should definitely give this style a try.