How To Make Box Braids Lay Flat

How To Make Box Braids Lay Flat
Photo Credit: Unsplash

I’ve always loved the look of box braids, but I could never quite achieve the sleek and flat result that I saw in pictures. That is until I discovered the “How To Make Box Braids Lay Flat” method. With detailed step-by-step instructions, this product provides all the tips and tricks you need to transform your box braids into a smooth and flawless style. Whether you’re a novice or experienced in braiding, this guide will give you the tools to create a stunning and professional look that will turn heads wherever you go.This is an amazing article On Why Are My Box Braids Stiff? Check it out for all of the details.

how to make box braids lay flat

To make box braids lay flat, you can follow these tips:

  1. Wet the hair thoroughly: Wetting the hair before braiding can help to soften it, making it more pliable and easier to manipulate. Wetting the hair thoroughly ensures that the braids lay flat and smooth.
  2. Braid in the same direction: When braiding, make sure to maintain a consistent direction throughout the process. This helps to keep the braids uniform and prevents them from sticking up or becoming uneven.
  3. Use the rubber band method: The rubber band method involves securing the ends of the braids with small elastic bands. This helps to keep the braids in place and prevents them from sticking up or frizzing.
  4. Blow-dry the hair: After wetting the hair, you can use a blow dryer to dry and set the braids in place. This can help to make the braids lay flatter and more neatly.

By following these tips, you can achieve box braids that lay flat and look sleek and well-maintained.


Wash and Condition Your Hair

Before starting the box braiding process, it is crucial to wash and condition your hair. Use a gentle shampoo and a nourishing conditioner to cleanse and hydrate your hair. This step ensures that your hair is clean and free from any product buildup or impurities that may hinder the braiding process.

Detangle Your Hair

After washing, detangle your hair to remove any knots or tangles. Use a wide-toothed comb or a detangling brush to gently work through your hair, starting from the ends and gradually moving towards the roots. This step prevents unnecessary pulling or breakage when sectioning and braiding your hair.

Stretch Your Hair

To achieve flat box braids, it is important to stretch your hair before braiding. There are various methods to stretch natural hair, such as blow-drying on a low heat setting, threading, or using a stretching cream or gel. Stretching your hair helps to minimize the amount of tension applied during braiding, resulting in a neater and flatter end result.


Divide Your Hair into Sections

Once your hair is prepped, divide it into manageable sections. The size of each section will depend on the thickness and length of your hair. For smaller box braids, create smaller sections, and for larger box braids, create larger sections. Part your hair using a rat-tail comb or your fingers to ensure clean and even sections.

Secure Sections with Clips

After dividing your hair into sections, use hair clips or rubber bands to secure each section. This prevents the other sections from getting in the way while you braid, ensuring a more efficient and organized braiding process.

Start Braiding

Now that your hair is sectioned and secured, it’s time to start braiding! Begin at the nape of your neck and work your way upwards. Choose your desired braiding technique, whether it’s the tension method, cornrow base, rubber-band method, or gel and edge control technique. Each method will provide a different level of flatness, so choose the one that works best for your hair texture and desired outcome. Continue braiding each section until you’ve completed your entire head.

Techniques for Flat Box Braids

Tension Method

The tension method involves applying a moderate amount of tension while braiding to achieve a flatter and tighter braid. It is crucial to find the right balance of tension, as excessive pulling can lead to discomfort or hair breakage. By evenly distributing the tension throughout each braid, you’ll achieve a sleek and flat appearance.

Cornrow Base

Using a cornrow base involves braiding your hair close to the scalp, creating a foundation for your box braids. This technique not only ensures a flat result but also provides added durability and longevity to your braids. By incorporating cornrows at the base, your box braids will lay flatter and stay in place for an extended period.

Rubber-Band Method

The rubber-band method entails securing the ends of each braid with small elastic bands. This technique helps to maintain the shape and structure of your box braids, preventing them from unraveling or becoming loose over time. The rubber bands also contribute to the overall flatness and sleekness of the braids.

Gel and Edge Control

Applying gel or edge control along the hairline and partings can help to achieve an even flatter appearance. These products provide hold and control, ensuring that the baby hairs and frizzy sections lay down smoothly. Be cautious not to apply an excessive amount, as it can lead to product buildup or a greasy appearance.

Use Smaller Sections

When making box braids lay flat, opt for smaller sections. Smaller sections allow for more control and precision while braiding, resulting in neater and flatter braids. Additionally, smaller sections create a more intricate and detailed look, enhancing the overall appearance of your box braids.

Stretch Your Extensions

If you’re using hair extensions for your box braids, it’s essential to stretch them before installation. Stretching the extensions helps to reduce their natural elasticity, ensuring that they lay flatter once braided into your hair. This step contributes to the seamless integration of extensions with your natural hair, resulting in a smooth and flat look.

Add Extra Tension

To make your box braids lay flatter, consider adding some extra tension while braiding. Be cautious not to apply excessive force, as it can lead to discomfort or damage to your hair. The key is to find the right balance, applying enough tension to create flat braids without compromising the health of your hair.

Moisturize Regularly

Maintaining proper moisture levels is crucial for the health of your hair and the longevity of your box braids. Moisturize your scalp and braids regularly using a lightweight oil or leave-in conditioner. Hydrated hair is more pliable and less prone to frizz, helping your box braids to lay flatter and remain sleek.

Avoid Excessive Product Usage

While it’s important to moisturize your hair regularly, it’s equally important to avoid excessive product usage. Applying an excessive amount of oils, creams, or gels can weigh down your hair and cause product buildup, making your braids appear bulky and less flat. Use products sparingly and opt for lightweight options to maintain the flatness of your braids.

Avoid Excessive Product Usage on box braids
Photo Credit: Unsplash


Use a Satin or Silk Scarf or Bonnet

To preserve the flatness of your box braids and prevent frizz, sleep with a satin or silk scarf or bonnet. Satin and silk materials help to retain moisture, reduce friction, and minimize frizz, allowing your braids to stay flatter and in place for longer periods. Simply tie a scarf or wear a bonnet before bed to keep your braids protected and intact.

Avoid Constant Manipulation

While it’s tempting to constantly touch and style your box braids, excessive manipulation can cause them to become frizzy or lose their flatness. Minimize the amount of touching, pulling, or styling you do on a daily basis to maintain the sleek appearance of your braids. Less manipulation means less disturbance to the braids, resulting in a flatter and longer-lasting style.

Re-Braid Loose or Frizzy Braids

Over time, some braids may become loose or frizzy. To maintain a uniform and flat look, take the time to re-braid any loose or frizzy braids. Carefully undo the braids, detangle the hair, and re-braid using the same technique as before. This simple maintenance step ensures that your overall style remains neat and flat.

How Long to Keep Box Braids In

Depends on Hair Type and Care

The duration for keeping box braids in varies depending on your hair type and how well you care for them. Generally, box braids can be kept in for two to eight weeks. However, it’s crucial to pay attention to the condition of your scalp and hair. If you notice any excessive itching, dryness, or breakage, it may be time to remove the braids.

2-8 Weeks is Common

As mentioned, the average timeframe for keeping box braids is typically between two to eight weeks. This allows for a balance between enjoying the style and preventing damage or matting from occurring. It’s important not to keep the braids in for too long, as it can lead to tension alopecia or hair breakage.

Take Breaks Between Styles

To promote healthy hair growth and allow your scalp to breathe, it’s beneficial to take breaks between box braid styles. Give your hair a rest for a few weeks before installing a new set of box braids. This break allows your hair to recover from the tension and manipulation, reducing the risk of long-term damage.

Dos and Don’ts

Do: Be Gentle

When handling your box braids, be gentle to prevent unnecessary tension or breakage. Avoid pulling or tugging on the braids and handle them with care, especially when styling or tying them up.

Do: Protect Edges

Pay special attention to your hairline and edges. Apply edge control or gel to lay down any baby hairs or flyaways, protecting your edges and maintaining a neat and flat appearance.

Do: Moisturize

Regularly moisturize your scalp and braids to keep them hydrated and prevent dryness or frizz. Use a lightweight oil or leave-in conditioner to maintain the moisture balance.

Do: Sleep with a Satin or Silk Pillowcase

Invest in a satin or silk pillowcase to sleep on. These materials reduce friction and minimize frizz, ensuring that your box braids stay flat and intact while you sleep.

Don’t: Keep Braids In Too Long

Avoid keeping your box braids in for an extended period. Over time, the tension from the braids can cause hair breakage or traction alopecia. Take them out at the recommended timeframe to prevent any long-term damage.

Don’t: Use Excessive Heat

Excessive heat can weaken your hair and cause breakage. Minimize the use of heat styling tools on your box braids to maintain their integrity and flatness.

Don’t: Neglect Your Scalp

Keep your scalp clean and properly moisturized to prevent itching, dryness, or dandruff. Neglecting your scalp can lead to discomfort and may affect the health of your natural hair and the longevity of your box braids.

Common Box Braids Mistakes

Using Too Much Tension While Braiding

Applying excessive tension while braiding can lead to discomfort, hair breakage, and a less flat end result. Finding the right balance of tension is crucial to achieving a sleek and flat appearance, so be mindful of the amount of force you use.

Not Fully Detangling Hair Before Braiding

Neglecting to fully detangle your hair before braiding can result in knots, tangles, and uneven braids. Take the time to thoroughly comb or brush your hair, starting from the ends and working your way up, for a smooth and flat braiding experience.

Neglecting Proper Maintenance

Proper maintenance is essential for the longevity and flatness of your box braids. Neglecting to re-braid loose or frizzy braids, skipping moisturizing routines, or not protecting your hair at night can all contribute to a less flat and messy appearance.

Failing to Secure the Ends

Securing the ends of your box braids is crucial to maintaining their shape and preventing unraveling. Whether you opt for rubber bands or tying the ends, be sure to secure them properly to keep your braids flat and intact.

Don not Neglecting Proper Maintenance of box braids

Best Hair Products for Box Braids

Leave-in Conditioner

A lightweight leave-in conditioner is essential for moisturizing your scalp and braids. Look for one that is water-based and non-greasy to prevent product buildup and maintain the flatness of your braids.

Hair Oil

Using a hair oil can provide added moisture and shine to your box braids. Opt for a lightweight oil that won’t weigh down your braids or make them appear greasy.

Edge Control

Edge control products are perfect for taming flyaways and baby hairs along the hairline. Apply a small amount to your edges to create a sleek and flat look.

Mousse or Foam

A mousse or foam can add volume and hold to your box braids. Use it sparingly to avoid product buildup, and focus on applying it to the roots or areas that need extra support.

Spray Bottle with Water

Keep a spray bottle filled with water to refresh and hydrate your scalp and braids throughout the day. Spritzing your braids with water helps to maintain their flatness and reduce frizz.

Satin or Silk Scarf/Bonnet

Invest in a satin or silk scarf or bonnet to protect your box braids at night. Sleeping on satin or silk minimizes friction and keeps your braids flat and intact.

How to Remove Box Braids

How to Remove Box Braids

Carefully Cut Off the Extensions

To remove your box braids, start by carefully cutting off the extensions at the ends. Take care not to cut your natural hair while removing the braids.

Apply Oil or Conditioner

After cutting off the extensions, apply oil or conditioner to your hair and the remaining braids. This helps to soften and lubricate the hair, making the removal process smoother and minimizing breakage.

Detangle and Wash Your Hair

Gently detangle your hair using a wide-toothed comb or your fingers. Remove any shed hair, tangles, or knots before washing. Once detangled, cleanse your hair with a clarifying shampoo and follow up with a moisturizing conditioner.

Deep Condition and Moisturize

To restore moisture and nourishment to your hair, apply a deep conditioner and leave it on for the recommended time. Rinse thoroughly and follow up with a leave-in conditioner or hair oil to lock in moisture. Regularly moisturize your hair to promote post-removal hair health and prevent dryness or breakage.

By following these comprehensive steps, you’ll be well-equipped to create flat and sleek box braids that not only look amazing but also protect and nourish your natural hair. Remember to be gentle, moisturize regularly, and maintain proper hair care practices to ensure a successful and satisfying box braiding experience.We wrote this article on What Is The Best Hair For Bohemian Box Braids? Check it out for all of the details.

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