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Box braids. The black girl go-to for protective styles. However, it’s not so protective if you don’t manage them correctly. Improper care of this hairstyle will leave you with breakage and buildup. Let me be the first to inform you, that’s not cute. (Links to products will be included at the end).
Rule #1: Research hairstylists that know how to do the style you want.
The key to success when getting box braids is booking the right person. You don’t want to sit in a chair for several hours only to have stiff braids and an irritated scalp a week afterwards. Take about 20-30 minutes and research the best braiding places to go to in your area. Don’t forget to check reviews and their social media. It may seem extra but for all the money you’re about to spend it better come out correct!
Being petite, one of my biggest concerns were wether or not it would be too heavy or too long and make my body proportions look way off. Not even going to lie, the first time I got box braids they were uncomfortable for a week and even a little heavy. However, its just something to get used to and now I’m obsessed with them! To make sure the braids don’t look too long, ask to stand up after the first braid is done. This will show you what the maximum length for the rest of the braids will be so you don’t sit there stressed out thinking your braids are going to touch your ankles.
If you live in or close to Scottsdale, Arizona my favorite place to get box braids is called Jeannine La Belle Braids. They always do an amazing job for a reasonable price! Check out their Facebook page.
Rule #2: Keep that scalp moist!
Now you may be thinking, since I have box braids I can just wake up and go. I’m here to tell you that that kind of energy is not welcome here. One of the main reasons we get this style is to give our natural hair a break and hopefully gain some growth. It’s vital to moisturize your scalp at least three times a week with a leave-in conditioner of your choice. I’ve included some of my favorites below!
Rule #3: Wash them braids.
Washing your box braids is both annoying but necessary. There’s a variety of different ways you can go about this. However, for my petite girls, wetting your entire head in the shower is not the way to go. I did this and couldn’t even keep my head up right because of how heavy my braids were. The most practical way of achieving nice clean braids is to fill a spray bottle with water and a little bit of a shampoo of your choice. After you’ve sprayed your whole head, fill the spray bottle with just water to wash out the shampoo. Since only your scalp and the top of the braids are wet, you can just let your hair air dry. Using a towel increases your chances of frizz!
Rule #4: Wrap your hair at night. Periodt.
The first time I got box braids I slept with my hair in either a ponytail or bun. It had been about two-three weeks until I noticed an immense amount of frizz and my edges were almost untamable. Don’t be an amateur like me, go to your local beauty supply store and pick up a satin or silk bonnet. You can also purchase a satin pillowcase to sleep on however, I’m a crazy sleeper and that pillow would definitely end up on the floor.
Rule #5: When its grown out, cut ‘em out!
Nothing is more unappealing than grown-out braids. After two months of having them in, it’s time to get the scissors and get to cutting. Leaving them in longer than that could result in breakage and unnecessary build up which makes the whole protective style idea pretty much pointless.
This type of hair style is great for my fellow busy naturals. Whether it be school or work, we’re constantly running out of time trying to maintain our natural hair. Take some stress off your shoulders and try out this style!
Products mentioned (not sponsored):
I’m Adia and I am the editor of A Little Adia. This blog is catered towards petite girls through fashion, beauty and whatever else I decide to share with the world. For more info, take a look at my about page! (Photographer: Ceci Cruz)