Mastering The Art of Box Braids – A Step-by-Step Guide

how to do box braids

Box braids are not only a versatile and protective hairstyle but also a beautiful form of self-expression. With a history dating back thousands of years, this style has stood the test of time and remains a popular choice for many. Whether you’re a seasoned braider or a beginner, learning how to create flawless box braids is a valuable skill. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll take you through the process step by step, ensuring you can achieve stunning box braids with confidence.

What You’ll Need

Before we dive into the braiding process, it’s essential to gather the necessary supplies. Here’s a list of what you’ll need

  • Hair Extensions You can choose from various types of extensions, including synthetic or human hair. Make sure you have enough for your desired braid length.
  • Wide-Tooth Comb To detangle and part your hair effectively.
  • Rat-Tail Comb For precise parting and sectioning.
  • Hair Clips To keep sections of hair separate while you work.
  • Edge Control or Gel To sleek down your edges and create a polished look.
  • Hair Ties or Rubber Bands For securing the ends of your braids.
  • Braid Shine Spray or Oil To keep your braids looking fresh and shiny.
  • A Beeswax Stick or Hair Wax For a firm hold at the roots and to reduce frizz.
  • A Mirror So you can see what you’re doing from all angles.

Preparing Your Hair

  • Wash and Condition Start by washing your hair with a gentle shampoo and conditioner. Clean hair is easier to work with and will help your braids last longer.
  • Detangle Your Hair Using a wide-tooth comb, gently detangle your hair. Begin at the tips and work your way up to the roots, being careful not to cause breakage.
  • Blow Dry or Stretch If your hair is naturally curly, you may want to blow dry it straight or use a stretching method like braiding or banding to make the braiding process easier.
  • Moisturize Apply a leave-in conditioner or hair oil to ensure your hair remains hydrated throughout the process.

Section Your Hair

  • Start by Parting Use your rat-tail comb to part your hair in the desired pattern. The size of the sections will determine the thickness of your braids. Traditional box braids are square-shaped, so make sure your sections are even.
  • Clip the Sections Secure the sections you’re not currently working on with hair clips.

Adding Hair Extensions

  • Take a small piece of hair from the section you’re working on The size of this piece depends on the thickness you want for your box braid.

Fold the hair extension in half to create a loop

  • Place the loop at the root of your natural hair Make sure it’s centred and secure.
  • Divide the loop into three sections two with the extension hair and one with your natural hair.
  • Start braiding normallyCross the left section over the middle, and then the right section over the middle.
  • Add a piece of extension hai to each of the three sections each time you braid. This ensures that the extension hair is incorporated into the braid and extends the length of your natural hair.
  • Continue this process until you’ve reached the desired braid length Secure the end with a hair tie or rubber band.

Finishing Your Box Braids

  • Seal the Ends If you’re using synthetic hair extensions, you can seal the ends by dipping them in hot water briefly. This prevents unravelling. Be cautious not to burn yourself while doing this.
  • Apply Edge Control or Gel Use a small amount of edge control or gel to smooth down your edges and give your braids a polished finish.
  • Apply Braid Shine Spray or Oil To keep your box braids looking lustrous, apply a braid shine spray or oil to each braid.
  • Style as Desired You can wear your box braids in various styles, from a simple down-do to ponytails, buns, or even creative updos. Experiment and find the look that suits you best.

Tips for Maintaining Box Braids

  • Regular Maintenance To keep your box braids looking fresh, you’ll need to touch up your edges and apply oil or shine spray regularly.
  • Protect at NightTo prevent frizz and breakage, wrap your braids in a silk or satin scarf or use a silk or satin pillowcase.
  • Washing You can wash your braids, but be gentle. Use a diluted shampoo mixture and carefully cleanse your scalp, avoiding excessive manipulation of the braids themselves.
  • Avoid Overuse of Tension Be mindful not to braid your hair too tightly, as this can lead to damage and hair loss.
  • Keep Scalp Hydrated Apply a light, hydrating oil to your scalp as needed to prevent dryness and itchiness.
  • Take Breaks Box braids are a protective style, but it’s essential to take breaks between installations to give your hair and scalp a rest.


Is box braiding easy?

Think of box braids for natural hair as the oldest sibling in the protective style set. It’s the style that many people start with on their first foray into the braid world. Not only is it one of the easiest options to master, but once you have them in, there’s tons of flexibility to create even more looks.

Do box braids suit everyone?

Anyone with any texture can have box braids as long as their hair is long enough to create a braid. But this service requires time, so be prepared to sit for a few hours or more! L: How often do you need to get them rebraided? __JV:__A few weeks or months—it depends on how long you decide to keep them in.

In conclusion, mastering the art of box braids requires patience and practice. But with the right tools, a clear understanding of the technique, and some creativity, you can achieve stunning box braids that not only protect your natural hair but also allow you to express your unique style. So, gather your supplies, find a comfortable spot, and begin your journey to becoming a box braid pro. Your beautiful, braided journey awaits!

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