What Do I Need For Box Braids: Here’s everything

What Do I Need For Box Braids
Photo by Shari Sirotnak on Unsplash

Box braids have become increasingly popular in recent years, with many people embracing this stylish and versatile protective hairstyle. However, for those new to box braids, the question of what supplies are needed can be overwhelming. That’s where “What Do I Need For Box Braids” comes in. This essential product provides a comprehensive list of all the necessary items and tools needed to achieve flawless box braids. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned braider, this guide is your go-to resource for everything you need to know about box braids. Say goodbye to confusion and hello to fabulous braids with “What Do I Need For Box Braids.This is an amazing article On How To Keep Box Braids From Unraveling: Find out Check it out for all of the details.

What Do I Need For Box Braids?

To create box braids, you will need the following supplies:

  1. Hydrating shampoo and conditioner
  2. Leave-in conditioner
  3. Heat protectant
  4. Pomade and edge control for maintenance
  5. Deep conditioner for pre-installation treatment
  6. Gels, pomades, and leave-in conditioners for moisturizing the hair and scalp
  7. Mousse, braiding spray, and a light pomade for controlling frizz and adding shine

Choosing the Right Hair Length

Determining the Desired Hair Length

When it comes to getting box braids, one of the first things you need to consider is the length of hair you desire. Box braids can be styled in various lengths, ranging from short, shoulder-length, to long and flowing. The length you choose will depend on your personal preference and the look you want to achieve. For some people, shorter box braids might be more manageable and easier to maintain, while others may prefer the versatility of longer braids.

Considering Your Natural Hair Length

Another important factor to consider when choosing the right hair length for your box braids is your natural hair length. If you have short hair, it is still possible to achieve the desired length with extensions. However, keep in mind that the longer the extensions you use, the heavier your hair will become. This may result in added strain on your scalp, so it’s important to consider the health of your natural hair when deciding on the length of your box braids.

Deciding on the Size of Box Braids

In addition to the length, you will also need to decide on the size of the box braids. Box braids can range from thin and delicate to thick and chunky. The size you choose should complement your face shape and hair texture. Thinner braids may take longer to install but can provide a more intricate and detailed look, while thicker braids can create a bold and statement-making hairstyle. Consider your personal style and the look you want to achieve when deciding on the size of your box braids.

Hair Extensions and Braiding Hair

Selecting the Right Hair Extensions

When it comes to box braids, hair extensions play a crucial role in achieving the desired length and thickness. There are various types of hair extensions available in the market, such as synthetic hair and human hair extensions. Synthetic hair extensions are more affordable and come in a wide range of colors, making it easier to experiment with different looks. On the other hand, human hair extensions offer a more natural look and feel, but they tend to be more expensive. Consider your budget, desired look, and maintenance requirements when selecting the right hair extensions for your box braids.

Choosing the Appropriate Braiding Hair Type

Apart from hair extensions, you will also need to choose the appropriate braiding hair type. The most commonly used braiding hair is kanekalon hair, which is a synthetic fiber that closely resembles natural hair. Kanekalon hair is lightweight, easy to work with, and provides a smooth and sleek finish to your box braids. Another popular option is Marley hair, which has a thicker texture and is often preferred for creating thicker and fuller box braids. Consider your hair texture and the look you want to achieve when selecting the appropriate braiding hair type.

Hair Care Products and Tools

Shampoo and Conditioner

Before you begin the box braiding process, it is essential to prepare your hair by washing it with a gentle shampoo and conditioner. This will help remove any product buildup, dirt, and oils from your hair, ensuring a clean base for the braids. Choose a sulfate-free shampoo and a moisturizing conditioner to keep your hair hydrated and nourished.

Leave-In Conditioner or Moisturizer

To maintain the moisture balance in your hair, it is important to use a leave-in conditioner or moisturizer. This will help keep your hair hydrated and prevent it from becoming dry and brittle. Look for products that are lightweight and specifically formulated for natural hair or braids. Apply the leave-in conditioner or moisturizer to your hair before beginning the braiding process.

Hair Oil or Serum

To add shine and nourishment to your box braids, using hair oil or serum can be beneficial. These products help seal in moisture, reduce frizz, and give your braids a healthy and polished look. Look for lightweight oils or serums that won’t weigh your braids down or make them greasy. Apply a small amount of oil or serum to your braids for a glossy finish.

Detangling Comb or Brush

Before you start braiding your hair, it is important to detangle it to ensure smooth and even braids. Use a wide-toothed comb or a detangling brush to remove any knots or tangles from your hair. Start from the ends and work your way up to the roots, gently combing through your hair to prevent breakage or damage.

Hair Ties and Bobby Pins

Having a few hair ties and bobby pins on hand is essential for keeping your sections of hair organized and secure during the braiding process. These tools help prevent hair from unraveling or getting tangled while you work on other sections. Opt for hair ties without any metal parts to prevent snagging or pulling on your hair.

Hair Clips

Hair clips are useful for holding back sections of hair that you’re not currently braiding. They help keep the rest of your hair out of the way, making the braiding process more manageable and organized. Use hair clips to secure your hair and ensure that each section is neatly divided.

Edge Control or Gel

To achieve sleek and polished edges, using an edge control product or gel is recommended. This helps lay down any flyaways and prevents your edges from frizzing or unraveling. Apply a small amount of edge control or gel along your hairline and smooth it down with a brush or your fingers for a clean and finished look.

Preparation and Protective Measures

Washing and Detangling Your Hair

Before you start the box braiding process, it is important to wash and condition your hair. This will ensure that your hair and scalp are clean and free from any product buildup. Use a gentle shampoo and conditioner, avoiding any harsh chemicals that can strip your hair of its natural oils. After washing, detangle your hair using a wide-toothed comb or a detangling brush to remove any knots and tangles.

Trimming Your Ends

If you have split ends or damaged hair, it is a good idea to trim them before starting the braiding process. Trimming your ends will help prevent further damage and ensure that your box braids have a clean and fresh appearance. Use sharp hair scissors and carefully trim any split ends or damaged sections of hair.

Deep Conditioning Treatment

To keep your hair moisturized and nourished during the box braiding process, consider doing a deep conditioning treatment. Deep conditioning helps restore moisture, strengthen your hair, and improve its overall health. Apply a deep conditioning mask or treatment to your hair and leave it on for the specified amount of time before rinsing it out.

Protecting Your Hairline with a Gel or Cream

To protect your hairline from tension and potential damage, it is important to apply a gel or cream along your edges before starting the braiding process. This provides a barrier between your hair and the braiding hair, reducing the risk of breakage and hair loss. Gently smooth the gel or cream along your hairline, making sure to cover all the edges.

Getting Your Tools and Accessories Ready

Before you begin braiding, gather all the necessary tools and accessories you will need during the process. This includes your hair extensions, braiding hair, hair care products, and tools such as combs, clips, and hair ties. Having everything prepared and within reach will make the braiding process smoother and more efficient.

Braiding Process

Braiding Process

Sectioning Your Hair

To start the braiding process, divide your hair into sections. The number of sections will depend on the thickness and length of your hair, as well as the desired size of your braids. Use hair clips or ties to secure each section, ensuring that they are evenly divided.

Applying Hair Extensions

If you’re using hair extensions, start by adding them to your natural hair. Take a small section of your hair and divide it into two parts. Take a strand of hair extension and place it in between the two sections of your natural hair. Braid the hair extension along with your natural hair until you reach the desired length. Repeat this process with each section of hair until all the extensions are applied.

Creating the First Braid

Once the hair extensions are added, it’s time to create the first braid. Take a small section of hair and divide it into three equal parts. Cross the right section over the middle section, then cross the left section over the new middle section. Continue crossing the right and left sections over the middle until you reach the end of the braid. Secure the end of the braid with a small hair tie or rubber band.

Braiding Techniques

There are different braiding techniques you can use for your box braids, including traditional three-strand braids, two-strand twists, or even more intricate styles such as cornrows. Choose the technique that you are most comfortable with and that suits the look you want to achieve. Practice the braiding technique before starting your box braids to ensure you have a good understanding of the process.

Maintaining Consistent Tension

When braiding your hair, it is important to maintain consistent tension throughout the braid. Pull the sections of hair firmly but without causing any pain or discomfort. Too loose of a braid can result in braids falling out or unraveling quickly, while braiding too tightly can cause unnecessary tension on your scalp and lead to breakage or hair loss. Finding the right balance of tension is key to achieving beautiful and long-lasting box braids.

Securing the Ends

To ensure that your box braids stay intact, it is important to secure the ends properly. Use a small hair tie or rubber band to secure the end of each braid. You can also use a lighter to carefully seal the ends of the braids or wrap them with a small piece of braiding hair for added security. Securing the ends will prevent your braids from unraveling and keep them looking neat and polished.

Maintenance and Care

Protecting Your Braids at Night

To maintain the integrity of your box braids and prevent them from frizzing or tangling, it is important to protect them while you sleep. Consider wrapping your braids with a satin or silk scarf or using a satin or silk pillowcase. These materials help reduce friction and keep your braids smooth and intact. Avoid using cotton pillowcases, as they can cause friction and lead to frizz and breakage.

Moisturizing Your Scalp and Braids

To keep your scalp and braids moisturized, use a water-based moisturizer or a spray bottle filled with water to lightly mist your scalp and braids. Dryness can lead to itchiness and discomfort, so it’s important to regularly moisturize your hair. Avoid using heavy products that may weigh your braids down or cause product buildup.

Avoiding Excessive Manipulation

To prevent unnecessary breakage or damage to your box braids, it is important to avoid excessive manipulation. Refrain from constantly touching, pulling, or playing with your braids, as this can cause stress on the hair shaft and lead to breakage. Handle your braids with care and try to keep them as undisturbed as possible to maintain their longevity.

Cleaning Your Braids

While it’s important to keep your scalp and braids moisturized, it is also necessary to clean them regularly to remove any dirt or product buildup. You can do this by using a diluted mixture of shampoo and water or by using a dry shampoo specifically formulated for braids. Gently massage the cleanser onto your scalp and along the length of the braids, then rinse thoroughly. Pat dry your braids with a towel or allow them to air dry completely before styling.

Styling Options

Half-Up, Half-Down Style

One of the most versatile styling options for box braids is the half-up, half-down style. This allows you to show off the length and texture of your braids while keeping them out of your face. Simply gather the top half of your braids and secure them with a hair tie or pin them back with bobby pins. You can leave the rest of your braids flowing freely or style them in a loose bun or ponytail.

Bun or Topknot

For a more elegant and sophisticated look, consider styling your box braids in a bun or topknot. Gather all your braids into a high ponytail and wrap them around the base, securing them with bobby pins. This creates a voluminous and stylish bun. You can also twist or braid your braids before wrapping them around the base for added texture and visual interest.

Pigtails or Space Buns

For a fun and youthful look, try styling your box braids into pigtails or space buns. Divide your braids into two equal sections and secure each section with a hair tie. You can leave the ends of the braids loose or wrap them up into small buns. This style is perfect for those who want a playful and trendy look.

Wrapped Ponytail

To add a touch of elegance to your box braids, consider styling them in a wrapped ponytail. Gather all your braids into a high or low ponytail and secure them with a hair tie. Take a small section of braiding hair and wrap it around the base of the ponytail, covering the hair tie. Secure the wrapped hair with bobby pins for a sleek and polished look.

Duration and Removal

How Long Box Braids Typically Last

The duration of box braids can vary depending on various factors such as the quality of the hair extensions, the installation technique, and the overall care and maintenance. On average, box braids can last anywhere from four to eight weeks. However, it is important to monitor the condition of your braids to avoid any potential damage or breakage. If your braids start to look frizzy or show signs of wear and tear, it may be time to consider removing and replacing them.

Proper Maintenance to Extend the Lifespan

To ensure that your box braids last as long as possible, proper maintenance is crucial. Avoid excessive manipulation, protect your braids at night, and keep your scalp and braids moisturized. Regularly cleaning your braids and avoiding excessive heat or chemical treatments can also help extend the lifespan of your braids. Additionally, avoid any activities that may put excessive strain or tension on your braids, such as tight hairstyles or vigorous exercise.

Safely Removing Box Braids

When it’s time to remove your box braids, it’s important to do it safely to avoid causing damage to your natural hair. Start by carefully cutting the hair extensions near the roots, being cautious not to cut your own hair. Once the extensions are removed, gently unravel the braids, using a detangling comb or your fingers to separate any tangled sections. Be patient and take your time to minimize hair breakage or damage. After removing the braids, give your hair a thorough wash and conditioning treatment to restore moisture and nourishment.

Taking Care of Natural Hair Under Box Braids

Maintaining Moisture in Your Natural Hair

One of the key aspects of taking care of your natural hair under box braids is maintaining moisture. Although your hair is protected by the braids, it is still important to ensure that your natural hair remains moisturized. Spray your scalp and roots with water or a leave-in conditioner to keep them hydrated. You can also apply a lightweight oil or moisturizer to the length of your hair to prevent it from drying out.

Scalp Care and Hygiene

Maintaining a healthy scalp is crucial for overall hair health, even when it’s covered with box braids. It is important to cleanse your scalp regularly to remove any buildup or dirt. You can use a diluted shampoo mixture or a cleansing spray specifically formulated for braids. Gently massage the cleanser onto your scalp using your fingertips, then rinse thoroughly. Avoid scratching or picking at your scalp to prevent irritation or possible damage to your braids.

Avoiding Excessive Hair Shedding

While some hair shedding is normal, excessive shedding can be a cause for concern. To minimize hair shedding, be gentle when manipulating your braids and avoid any styles that put excessive tension or strain on your hair. Avoid tight hairstyles or ponytails that can cause tension on your hairline and lead to breakage. Additionally, regular maintenance and care, such as proper washing and conditioning, can help prevent excessive hair shedding.

Preventing Breakage

To prevent breakage, it is important to handle your box braids with care. Avoid pulling or tugging at your braids, as this can cause stress on the hair shaft and lead to breakage. When removing or styling your braids, be gentle and use appropriate tools to avoid unnecessary damage. Additionally, make sure to moisturize your hair regularly and avoid using harsh products or chemicals that can weaken the hair shaft.

Professional Stylist or DIY?

Benefits of Visiting a Professional Stylist

Getting box braids done by a professional stylist has several benefits. Professional stylists have experience and expertise in creating intricate and detailed braiding styles. They can guide you in choosing the right hair length, size, and type for your box braids. They also have the necessary tools and products to achieve a polished and long-lasting result. Moreover, visiting a professional stylist provides an opportunity to pamper yourself and relax while someone else takes care of your hair.

Cost Considerations

Visiting a professional stylist for box braids can be more expensive compared to doing it yourself. The cost will depend on various factors such as the length of your hair, the desired size and length of the braids, and the location and expertise of the stylist. Keep in mind that professional stylists usually charge for their time and expertise, so it’s important to consider your budget when deciding between a DIY approach and visiting a stylist.

Pros and Cons of Doing It Yourself

Doing box braids yourself can be a rewarding experience and more cost-effective compared to visiting a stylist. It allows you to have full control over the process, from choosing the hair extensions to the braiding technique. However, it requires time, patience, and practice to achieve professional-looking results. DIY box braids require learning and mastering the braiding technique, proper sectioning, and tension control. It’s important to be realistic about your skills and consider the amount of time and effort you are willing to invest in the process.

In conclusion, choosing the right hair length for box braids is an essential part of achieving the desired look. Considering your natural hair length and texture, as well as personal style preferences, can help you determine the best hair length and size for your box braids. Selecting the appropriate hair extensions and braiding hair type is also crucial for achieving the desired length, thickness, and texture. Taking proper care of your natural hair and the braids, as well as following the correct preparation, braiding, maintenance, and removal processes, will ensure a long-lasting and healthy box braid hairstyle. Whether you choose to visit a professional stylist or do it yourself, box braids can be a versatile and stylish protective hairstyle that suits various occasions and personal styles.

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