Box braids are by no means a new trend but have had quite the resurgence in the last few years. Celebs such as Zoe Kravitz, Solange Knowles and Zedaya Coleman have all embraced the look so we therefore decided it was about time we broke down how you can get the hairstyle…
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So what are box braids?
Box braids are a style consisting of lots of individual braids. Often confused with cornrows, what makes box braids different is that the plaits are not plaited right up to the scalp. Although a time consuming style to create, once the plaits are in place its upkeep is pretty low maintenance.
Decide your size of braid
The first step to achieving this look is making a call on how big your individual plaits are going to be. If you’re hair is thick you probably want to go for bigger plaits so you don’t end up having a trillion braids. Whereas if your hair is thin it’s best to plump for smaller plaits to make sure you have enough to create volume. What’s great about this style is you can easily plait in extensions to give your hair added length or volume.
Prep your hair
It is key before starting your braiding mission to make sure your hair is in tip top condition. Take time to wash, deep condition and detangle your hair. Once your hair is in braids you won’t be able to wash it as thoroughly so it’s best to start off with it as squeaky clean as poss.
Creating the braids
Now comes for the time-consuming part. Depending on the length and thickness of your hair, braiding can take between 4 and 8 hours. Crikey. We suggest putting Netflix on at this point.
1. Start by dividing your hair into four even sections – you might want to use a wide toothed comb here.
2. Pinch a small section of hair and start to plait. It is easiest to start at the front of the section and remember to make each pinch of hair you take the same size so you avoid uneven hair – never a good look.
3. Depending on the size of your plaits you can tie the ends with small hair ties if needed.
4. Once you’ve worked your way through all four sections you’ll be done!
Looking after your box braids
There are a number of steps you can take to keep your box braids looking tiptop.
1. Cover your hair with silk scarf at night. This can stop your braids going frizzy.
2. If you wash your hair the braids can retain a lot of water and become very heavy – it is recommended to only wash them every 3 weeks or so. Instead of washing regularly, simply wipe down with Witch Hazel.
3. Plus, you can also wash just your scalp with shampoo and water to keep your hair feeling fresh.
By Elizabeth Bennett