How to Do Box Braids on Any Types of Hair: Style Guide for Beginners

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Jane Taylor in Fashion

Last updated: 14 January 2020, 04:44 GMT

Box Braids have been around for more than 3000 years! This stylish hairstyle gained prominence in the 1990s, and women with Box Braids have been absolutely slaying ever since. If you want to know how to do box braids without paying stupidly high salon prices, then read on!

What Are Box Braids?


Box braids are one of many different types of hair-braiding style. Literally anyone can have box braids, but they are most popular throughout Africa, with African-Americans, and those who have a strong interest in African culture. Box Braids are sometimes nicknamedBoxies or B-Braids. 

Box Braids are comprised of multiple square-shaped hair segments. Although you could use natural hair, Box braids are usually created using synthetic hair. Synthetic hair is used because it doesn't get frizzy like real hair.

Box Braids can add thickness and length to the hair you already have on your head. Since Box Braids aren't fastened to your scalp like other hairstyles, they can be styled in an almost infinite number of cute and stylish ways. 

A Caveat

No one said beauty comes easy., and Box Braids are no exception. Putting in your beautiful new Box Braids can be a long process; but once they are in, they are easy to keep and they will last for about two months. At this point, you're probably wondering how to do box braids yourself. Read on to find out how to prepare your hair for box braids and how to put them in.

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7 Steps to Prepare Your Hair for Box Braids


There is not an absurdly large amount of work that needs to be done before you put in your box braids, but you also can't just start without doing a little bit of prep.

Step 1: Clean Your Hair

There is a good chance that you have at least one shampoo and conditioner that you like to use to make your hair silky and smooth. It's time to take a nice relaxing shower and lather up. Some people are anti-conditioner, but for box braids, it is important to use some so that your hair does not become frizzy after drying. We're all about frizzy hair in some circumstances, but putting in box braids is difficult when you've got friz.

Step 2: Untangle Your Hair

Once your hair is mostly dry, start working on those tangles. Use a comb and start from the bottom, getting rid of any knots or tangles you might have. Some tangles are harder than others, but be patient and gentle so you don't hurt yourself.

Step 3: Straighten Your Hair

If you have curly hair, then you will want to straighten it out so that the braids can last as long as possible. You can blow dry your hair out in sections using a brush to get it to lay flat. 

Step 4: Trim Your Hair

Get rid of any loose ends. Box braids need fresh hair to connect to, so split and dry ends will be a problem.

Step 5: Separate Your Hair

Using a wide-tooth comb, split your hair into 4 equal sections. Two in front and two in back work best. Clip three of the sections so they stay separated and out of the way as you put in your braids in the first section. We suggest you do this in front of a mirror so you can ensure that the sections are even.

Step 6: Hydrate Your Hair

Get some hydrating hair cream and gently rub it into the ends of your hair. It's best to take your time with this to ensure you really get that gel in there good. This hydrating gel will help the synthetic hair mix with your real hair.

Step 7: Part Your Hair

Using a rat-tailed comb, part your hair in 1-inch sections. Once you've separated this small section, you can put the rest of the hair up in a clip. You will want to make sure you brush any loose hair out so that it's either in the section you're working on, or that it will be in the next section. We like the way 1-inch looks, but you can go 1/2 inches or even 2 inches for different styles. Mix and match if you want!

Your hair is ready. Time to put in those Box Braids!

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How to Do Box Braids in 10 Easy Steps


Step 1: Select Your Synthetic Hair

Go online or to your local beauty shop and look at all the beautiful synthetic hair that is on sale. You could get human hair, but synthetic hair will maintain longer and not get all frazzled as easy. You're going to want to get 6-8 packets of hair to do this right.

Step 2: Gather Your Synthetic Hair

Take 1 to 2 inches of your new synthetic hair and place it between your fingers, broken up into 3 sections. The 1st section should go between your first and middle fingers. The second section between your middle and ring finger an inch or two below the first section. Then put the third section between your ring finger and pinkie an inch or two below the second section.

Step 3: Remove Some of the Hair

Take out about 1/2 to 1/4 of the hair and set it aside for a moment. You will use it later when making new sections for your braids.

Step 4: Loop the Synthetic Hair

Take the first section of synthetic hair and lay it over the remaining portion of synthetic hair so they form a loop. The first section should have more synthetic hair than the other section. The 2 pieces should create a loose loop where the smaller section hangs over the bigger section.

Step 5: Attach the Synthetic Hair

Getting as close to the root of your hair as possible, place a section of the synthetic hair down. To get the synthetic hair attached right, the trick is to spin your hand so the flat part is facing inward. Now, put the portion of synthetic hair right in the middle of the section you've created. Use your first finger and thumb to lay it down over your hair. You'll know you did it right if your natural hair is laying between the synthetic hair parts.

Step 6: Braid the Synthetic Hair With Your Natural Hair

Firmly grasp the middle section of synthetic hair and reach around to the outside section closest to your hand. Now pull that little section of hair so that it is now in the middle. Reach underneath your newly forming hair braid and yank the hair portion from the other outside section to the middle. Congrats, you just made your first braid!

For a pro braid, you'll want to make sure you start off as close to the scalp as is comfortable for you. This will ensure your braid is good and tight, but don't feel like you need to get it literally on your scalp. Now, reach under your center portion of hair and keep alternating which sections of hair you place on top. If you keep braiding, you'll eventually run out of hair to braid.

Step 7: Secure Your Hair

Get yourself a nice elastic band and secure the hair at the end of the braid. This will help to keep the braid in place before you seal it.

Step 8: Keep Going!

The average human head contains a lot of hair. Trying to do all the braids in one sitting can be time-consuming and cause hand cramps. Go at your own pace as you make your way section by section. Try to maintain a constant level of pressure when you make your braids so they all look consistent.

Step 9: Trim Your Hair

If you have any loose hairs at the ends of your braids, which you most likely will trim them with shears. Try to get as close to the braid as possible so it looks nice and smooth.

Step 10: Seal Your Braids

Gather up some hot water and dip the very ends of the braids in it seal them up. Once they've sealed, you can take off the elastics if you want.

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How to Care for Box Braids


You've got some luscious Box Braids, now follow these tips to make sure they stay nice for as long as possible:

  • Cover your braids with a scarf at night to stop them from getting frizzy
  • Wash your scalp with shampoo 4 times a week to maintain healthy roots and stop your scalp from itching
  • Massage shea butter or coconut oil into scalp your scalp once a week to keep it hydrated
  • Remove your braids after two months to prevent damaging your hair
  • Wait a month and repeat the process for new Box Braids.

Now you know how to do Box Braids like a pro! Stay beautiful.




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