You have probably spent hours sitting in the salon, and now you have that perfect braided look. But maintaining the neatness for as long as possible is usually a dilemma for many. Fortunately, it is effortless to achieve it if you equip yourself with the correct information.
Frequently Wash, Rinse, and Dry Them Properly
Washing your box braid removes bacteria, dead skin cells, dandruff, dirt, product build-up, and anything that can hinder your hair from growing. It also helps you get rid of day-to-day not-so-great aromas on your hair and relieves itchiness.
But there is usually the concern of frizziness, loosened hair, or some plaits falling off. You can prevent all this from happening if you:
- Avoid harsh washing products, and dilute your mild sulfate-free conditioner and shampoo with water before using it.
- Always begin applying the products on the scalp and thereafter, along the lengths of the box braid.
- Concentrate the shampoo on high product build-up areas like the edges and directly on the scalp, using an applicator bottle.
- Clean the braids gently and lightly, and avoid rubbing them together while washing.
- Make sure that you rinse it thoroughly before drying it. Leaving some shampoo or conditioner in there can cause itchiness or flakiness.
- Air dry or use a dryer to remove moisture from the air to prevent mildew from forming overnight and leaving an odor on the box braids.
Cleaning the Box Braids Without Getting the Hair Wet
Using water to clean your box braids is the most commonly used method. But if for some reason, you can’t wash it, you have options. You can use a dry-conditioner and dry shampoo and gently rub it on the parts and along the length of the braid.
Alternatively, you can use apple cider vinegar to soothe your irritated scalp or remove build-up in your hair. Don’t forget to moisturize after the hair dries to keep it feeling and smelling great day after day.
Keep it Moist
Moisturized braids are less prone to breakage, and that is why you should commit to frequent moisturizing regimes. Moisture keeps your hair looking soft and shiny and promotes growth. It also gives newly growing hair in the roots elasticity to grow as it should. Here is what you can do weekly:
- Spritz some water throughout your entire head
- Apply some oil onto your palms
- Run your hands through your box braids
Another way to add moisture is to spray the hair with a live-in conditioner every week. Natural oils such as coconut and almond oils are great for moisturizing. Just make sure that they are free from mineral oils that can build up over time.
Keep the Box Braids Looking Cute
A week or two after braiding, you might notice that the front part of your hair needs to be redone. But you don’t have to worry if you don’t know how to braid because you can still hack it and achieve edge control. Simply twist the new growth not more than three times.
Notably, twisting it more than thrice can lock the hair. So consider doing it once or twice until the hair feels tight enough. Make sure that you use some water or some moisturizer on the new growth, before doing the twist. But be careful not to overdo the moisturizer because it can form some build-up between your hair and the braids.
Know When to Take Them Off
Agreeably, box braids are cute and allow you to style them in unlimited ways. Unfortunately, you have to undo them after some time, which is 8-10 weeks after plaiting. Keeping them longer than this can be detrimental to the health of your hair and scalp.
Remember to take a break before plaiting the next exciting style. The minimum period should be a week, and you will be ready to hold the next set of braid box – perhaps of a different color, more volume, or thinner in size.