What are you doing to make the appearance of your box braids last? Seriously. Think about the money you spend going to salons, purchasing hair, not to mention the time it takes to bring the vision together. I take pride in educating my clients on how to extend the life of their box braids. By the time you’ve finished reading these tips, you’ll better understand what you can do to maintain the fresh look of your braids and possibly save money in the process.
Tip #1: Braid Protection – Keeping your hair covered when showering, sleeping, or working out is essential. You should use coverings such as bonnets, scarves, or headwraps. These coverings offer protection from the elements, sweat, and lint (to name a few). Moisture can be a big issue for some styles when it comes to showering. The steam from a hot shower can cause one’s hair to frizz, which will shorten the time span of the style. To prevent this, you can purchase plastic shower caps which are sold at most beauty supply stores. They even have bonnets that double as shower caps because they have a plastic lining.
When covering your hair for sleeping, it is best to use satin or silk coverings because they don’t compromise your hair’s moisture. In contrast, cotton scarves have the opposite effect and absorb moisture from your hair, causing your hair to become dry. However, there are instances, such as after exercising, where cotton scarves or bandanas are beneficial. Cotton is better for soaking up sweat and drying hair quicker.
Tip #2: Proper Product Use – Limit usage of gels and crème-based conditioners while wearing box braids. It is best to use a water-based braid spray to keep your hair moisturized. One thing to note is that excessive hair oil does you no good when your hair isn’t properly moisturized. The oil acts as a sealant. If your hair is dry, the oil will seal in dryness. If your hair is moisturized, the oil will lock in the moisture. Finally, edge controls and jams should only be used lightly, as build-up can occur over time.
Tip #3: Get A Touch Up – I offer a Touch Up service to keep my clients’ box braids looking the best for longer. This service involves removing and redoing the braids around the head’s perimeter, the front hairline. This technique gives the illusion that my clients’ box braids have been redone. It’s been a complete game-changer for them. Instead of having braids that last four to five weeks, my clients can get a touch-up that enables them to wear their braids for double the amount of time they usually would. It offers the appearance of a new look at a fraction of the cost. Who doesn’t want that?