Anyone who has had box braids knows the first few days after the install can be pretty intense (especially if the stylist is installing your braids a bit too tight). If you are not careful, you could lose your edges and damage your hair instead of growing it (which is the purpose of protective styling). Being proactive with your hair care while wearing box braids is essential to successfully rocking a protective style.

Let’s talk about Box Braid Essentials

1. Having a light leave in conditioner spray is essential while wearing a braided hair style. Kanekalon hair can deplete your hair of moisture and if you are not replenishing that lost moisture, your hair will become brittle and break off. Spray leave in’s are much easier to use than cream ones and they can reduce buildup around your roots as well. A leave in can also help reduce itchiness (caused by the alkaline on the extension that was used for your style). Grab your leave in and spray away whenever you feel your scalp becoming irritated.

2. I just recently purchased a hair net and it has made sleeping so much easier! Previously, I would try to stuff all of my braids into a silk bonnet which was difficult and resulted in crimped braids (if not done neatly) or I would place my braids in a bun (which was actually much too heavy and hurt my scalp). I now use my hair net to gather my braids at night. The material expands easily to accommodate my braids and keeps them secure at night. I still tie a satin head scarf around my edges though because they need protecting to avoid breakage caused by moving around at night while I sleep.

3. Plain black elastic headbands definitely come in handy if you have a large amount of braids. I could not get my braids in a regular hair tie if I tried because I simply have too many braids. This is where my elastic head bands come in to play. I usually double them and then use them as hair ties when I want to wear a bun or mini bun style. They are much easier to work with and they secure my braids without being too tight or breaking from the burden.

4. A method for cleansing your scalp is a must. I will be grabbing an astringent soon and a dry shampoo product so that I can cleanse my scalp while wearing my braids. This time around, I am really pushing to leave my braids in for 7 weeks so with that being said, I know my scalp would be in horrible condition if I went that long without cleansing so I will have to visit the store very soon to grab some Seabreeze possibly or a simple dry shampoo product.

Wearing braids can be perfect for you, but only if done carefully. Without careful consideration of your hair’s health, you could end up with your mane in a much worse state than how it started.


-Christian Byshe

We want to hear from you! How do you care for your braids?