7 Essential Tips for Maintaining Box Braids: A Comprehensive Guide

Box braids are one of the most common protective styles for natural hair. It eliminates the need to comb or style your hair every other day, and protects it from harsh weather conditions.

However, if not cared for properly, they can become rough and lose their beauty. This can also lead to dryness, excessive shedding, and even hair breakage.

In this article, I will share helpful tips on maintaining box braids.

How To Care For Your Box Braids

Here are some simple tips to keep in mind for caring and maintaining your box braids:

1. Avoid excessive styling

While box braids allow you to be versatile with your styling, it's important to avoid styling them too frequently. Over-styling can put pressure on your hair roots and edges, leading to thinning or hair breakage. Additionally, over-styling can make your box braids rough.

2. Don't leave your braids in for too long

Box braids are great protective styles, but they should not be left in for too long. It's recommended that you take them down after about 5 to 6 weeks.

Leaving them in for longer periods can cause excessive hair shedding, thinning, breakage, or even permanent hair damage.

3. Wash your braids

While many people may not like the idea of washing their box braids, it's a necessary step for maintaining them. Braids tend to collect dust, sweat, and product build-up. This can cause them to smell.

To avoid this, wash your braids with shampoo or co-wash them. If you're uncomfortable with washing them, you can apply shampoo to a clean damp cloth and wipe your scalp and braids with it.

4. Moisturize your scalp

It's easy to forget about your scalp when you have box braids. However, this can lead to a dry and itchy scalp. To avoid this, use a spray bottle to spritz water on your scalp and lock in moisture with any natural oil of your choice.

5. Protect your braids while sleeping

To keep your braids free from frizz and protect your natural hair, wrap a satin or silk scarf around your braids before bed. If you're uncomfortable with that, you can wear a satin bonnet or use silk or satin pillowcases instead.

6. Avoid excessive trimming

Tufts of natural hair sticking out from your box braids can make them look frizzy. While trimming them may seem like a solution, it's recommended that you don't trim them more than once. Moisturize and seal instead to take care of both your braids and natural hair.

7. Don't forget your edges

Your hair edges need proper care to avoid falling off. Use a spray bottle to moisturize them and lock in moisture with lightweight oils in the morning and at night.

By following these tips, you can get the most out of your box braids and maintain healthy natural hair.

For more practical tips, check out this video tutorial by Seun Okimi.