Box braids are the No. 1 protective style in the world right now. This style is a classic staple of our community that has been around since natural hair coiled. Here is a list of ways to maintain yours while you’re home during this pandemic.
The first and crucial tip to maximizing this style’s longevity is protecting the braids and your edges while you sleep. Simply wearing a cotton or silk scarf around your edges can make a significant difference. If you find keeping one on at night to be difficult, you can switch out your regular pillowcases for silk ones.
Next, you want to make sure your scalp is getting the moisture it needs. Due to the braids sealing in some of the essential oils used during installation, you won’t need to do nearly as much as in your natural hair care routine. Gently and sparingly apply a light oil to your scalp every few days or once a week. Excessive application can lead to product build-up and leave a mess when it’s time to take the braids down.
Carefully wash your braids. Everyone’s hair is a different texture and thickness. You will need to GENTLY wash your braids every 2-4 weeks; however, it’s essential to know your hair. If you have a coarse texture, you can wash your hair more frequently. In contrast, those with softer curls need to wait as long as they can. The reason being is that softer hair will get older faster.
Lastly, do not go past eight weeks with this hairstyle. Wearing your hair in one style too long, no matter how protective, can lead to hair matting and unintentional locs. All the growth you achieved can be lost to having to cut the hair from the braids when left in too long.