Highly popular in the 1990s, box braids are back and trending in 2020. They’re one of the most popular hairstyles for women, and it shouldn’t come as a surprise. Box braids are easy to maintain, incredibly stylish and offer several styling options.
You can easily spot box braids by their boxy, squared-off divisions. Choosing the right hair extensions is crucial for pulling off a classy look. Box braids can even serve as a form of protective style while adding length.
Hollywood celebs like Brandy, Janet Jackson, Alicia Keys, Jada Pickett Smith, Eve and Sanna Lathan have all worn waist-length box braids. It’s definitely a popular trend that’s here to stay.
What’s the Best Hair to use for Box Braids?
Synthetic braiding hair is usually the best choice for those who want box braids. One of the most popular choices is Kanekalon hair because it is relatively lightweight and inexpensive.
Always choose a top brand that sells Kanekalon hair that is long and full. This meanings you won’t need to buy as many packs.
Even though it is possible to use human hair for box braids, it generally isn’t recommended especially if you’re planning to leave box braids in for an extended period of time.
Using human hair means you won’t be able to seal the ends with a lighter or by dipping the hair in hot water the way you can with synthetic hair. Also, the braids will frizz and slip easier than braids made with synthetic hair.
How many Bags of hair are Needed for Box Braids?
It can be quite tricky to determine exactly how many packs of hair are needed for box braids. Ultimately, this will depend on the size and length of hair braids as well as the brand and type of synthetic hair you’re using.
On average, you might need as many as 8-10 bags of Kanekalon hair. In most cased, if you choose a top-quality brand, you would probably need 4-6 bags as they’ll be longer and fuller than your average hair.
If you’re looking for short braids, you won’t need as much. As a general rule of thumb, its best to get a bit more than what you think you might need. Always be on the safer side as you wouldn’t want to run out of hair during the braiding process.
You can save any unused hair and use it the next time, or you can even return any unopened packages and get some money back depending on the vendor’s return policy.
Which Products should you use to Maintain your Box Braids?
One of the advantages of box braids is that they’re low-maintenance. It is still important to maintain your braids properly while taking care of your natural hair.
While you might be tempted to wait until you’ve taken your braids down to wash your hair, its a better idea to continue washing your hair as needed while wearing braids.
An itchy scalp can be a common occurrence while you’re wearing box braids. While keeping the scalp clean and free from any build-up is the best way to keep an itchy scalp at bay, there are a few things you can do in between washes to keep your scalp moisturized.
Rosewater is exceptional for your hair and skin, which makes it a terrific product to use to maintain box braids. You can spritz your scalp and box braids with rosewater whenever you need a boost of moisture.
You can even massage a small amount of jojoba oil onto the scalp afterwards to help your hair retain moisture. Try mixing the jojoba oil with 2-3 drops of rosemary, peppermint, or tea tree oil to further prevent flaking and itchiness.
What should I do to my Hair before Getting Braids?
Before getting box braids, it is essential to shampoo and condition your hair to ensure that its clean and moisturized. It is easy to wash your hair while wearing braids, but you should start off with a clean slate.
This would also be a good time to trim your ends in case you haven’t done so recently. Damaged ends may cause excessive tangling and even breakage during the takedown process.
Many people find it easier to install braids on hair that has been blow-dried straight. If you’re choosing to blow dry your hair, always make sure to use a heat protectant.