I am someone who understands how to cherish my treasured possessions because I am aware that everything has a worthwhile existence, and while correct care and storage can let us enjoy it more, improper care and management will only hasten its demise. I’ve had box braids for years and have learnt a few things about how to take care of them. Black women frequently use box braids as a form of protection, but they do need maintenance to maintain them looking their best. So in this post, I’m going to provide a few upkeep tips for box braids that I’ve learned over the years.
Kicking off with the dos
Routine braid washing
Don’t believe the myth that skipping washing your scalp is good for box braids. Do wash your braids regularly. One of the most important things you can do to maintain your box braids is to keep them clean. I recommend washing them every 1-2 weeks, depending on how active you are and how much product you use. Use a gentle shampoo and focus on your scalp, being careful not to rough up the braids too much. Meanwhile, I wash my butterfly box braids once every two weeks and then give them an apple cider vinegar rinse. After washing, I rinse my scalp and braids with a solution I make by combining one part vinegar to one part water. This removes buildup and residue.
Hydrate your braids
Do moisturize your braids. Just like your natural hair, box braids need moisture to stay healthy and prevent breakage. I recommend using a lightweight leave-in conditioner or oil to keep your braids moisturized. Be sure to apply the product to the length of the braid, not just the roots. Every week, I massage a few drops of oil into my scalp with my fingertips. Excellent choices include Moroccan oil, coconut oil, and jojoba oil.
Keep your braids covered at night
Do protect your braids at night. To prevent your braids from getting frizzy or tangled while you sleep, it’s important to protect them with a satin or silk scarf or bonnet. This will also help to preserve your style and make your braids last longer. The slick material will enable your scalp to breathe and not grasp or drag on your braids like cotton would. To prevent it from pulling too firmly on my braids as I sleep, I knit my scarf gently.
Take care of your braids tenderly
Do be gentle with your braids. Box braids can be quite heavy, so it’s important to handle them gently to avoid pulling or tugging on your scalp. When washing or styling your braids, be gentle and avoid putting too much tension on the roots. If you’re a fan of box braids but don’t want to go through the hassle of braiding your own hair, you might consider trying FANCIVIVI braided wigs. This Black-owned brand specializes in creating high-quality braided wigs for Black women, and their products are truly top-notch.
Let’s move on to the negative direction
Don’t treat your braids with brute force
The first rule for box braids is to refrain from grabbing, yanking, and straining too much. Box braids are frequently viewed as an “out of sight, out of mind” style, but this laissez-faire attitude can create issues. When styling your braids, keep your strokes light to avoid breaking or loosening.
Don’t leave your braids in for too long
While box braids are a great protective style, it’s important not to leave them in for too long. I recommend taking them out after 6-8 weeks to give your hair a break and prevent breakage.
Don’t use heavy products on your braids
While it’s important to keep your braids moisturized, you don’t want to use products that are too heavy or greasy. This can weigh down your braids and make them look dull and lifeless. Stick to lightweight oils and conditioners to keep your braids looking their best.
Don’t neglect your scalp
While box braids can be a great way to protect your hair, it’s still important to take care of your scalp. If you notice any itching or flaking, use a medicated scalp treatment to soothe the area and prevent any irritation.
Don’t wear your braids in the same style for too long
While it can be tempting to wear your box braids in the same style every day, this can put too much tension on your hair and lead to breakage. Switch up your style every few days to give your hair a break and prevent any damage.
In addition to these dos and don’ts, there are a few other tips that can help you maintain your box braids:
Use a detangling spray or conditioner to help you comb through your braids after washing.
If you notice any frizz or flyaways, use a small amount of oil or gel to smooth them down.
If you’re planning to swim, be sure to wear a swim cap to protect your braids from chlorine or salt water.
If you’re experiencing any pain or discomfort, don’t hesitate to take out your braids. Your hair’s health is more important than any hairstyle.
While box braids themselves require very little upkeep, taking good care of your scalp and giving your braids regular moisture will significantly increase their longevity. Your braiding should remain in great condition if you follow these maintenance dos and don’ts for box braids! Your box braids journey can be as enjoyable and hassle-free as you thought with the right maintenance.