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How To Maintain Box Braids So It Lasts Longer & Looks Great

Protectives Styles.

We know them. We love them. We understand how important they are in helping our hair to grow.

And we know braids are the ultimate protective hairstyle when done right.

Whether it’s regular box braids, locs, curls, crochet braids… you can’t go wrong with it.

But then you also have to know how to maintain your box braids. No one wants to have to redo braids every week or two.

If you completely abandon your hair while your braids are in, your hair might come out worse rather than better.

So, how exactly do you maintain your box braids so that it lasts longer and looks fly?

Let’s dive in.

Taking care of your hair when braids are in actually starts before you install your braids.

So we’ll look at all you should be doing Before, During, and After Getting Your Braids.

How To Maintain Your Box Braids

Before Braiding

Strengthen Your Hair

The first thing you need to do before you get your hair braided is to deep condition your hair.

Deep conditioning your hair before you install braids will help strengthen your hair and reduce the chances of breakage while your braids are in.

Do this 48-72 hours before.

Moisturize & Seal

Next, you want to make sure to moisturize and seal

Just like you would when you’re taking care of your hair out of braids…

When you’re about to go into protective style mode, your hair needs this more than ever.

So, be sure to properly moisturize your hair. For the best results, section your hair and moisturize each section thoroughly. 

Then, follow up with your favorite hair oil (Coconut Oil, Avocado Oil, Castor oil) to seal in the moisture.

Do NOT trim your hair

Contrary to what you may believe, it’s never a good idea to trim your hair just before getting braids done. 

So, if next time you’re installing braids, skip trimming.

During

Watch your edges

When you’re actually installing your braids, it’s important critical that you watch your edges. You don’t want to pull your braids too tight because that can completely leave you without edges when you’re taking out your braids.

Not a pretty sight.

Your scalp needs some TLC!

When your braids are in, your hair is pretty much protected but you need to focus on your scalp.

Here are some of the things you can do to your scalp while your braids are in:

  • Wash it: Focus on the scalp and massage shampoo in with your fingertips. Leave the braids out of it as much as possible to keep your braids looking fresh.
  • Clarify your scalp: You can do this instead of a shampoo wash. This involves cleaning your scalp from time to time with a Root Rinse or a natural product like Apple Cider Vinegar.
  • Massage it with oils: Massaging your scalp stimulates growth and so, you want to do this as often as possible. Add in your favorite essential oils – peppermint or tea tree oil – for the best results. You can also use your regular hair oils to keep your scalp moisturized like coconut oil or avocado oil are some real options.

Moisturize!

Yup… you read that right. Even though your hair is in braids, you want to be sure to keep it moisturized.

Simply get a spray bottle, mix in your favorite leave-in conditioner and water and spritz our hair consistently.

Know when it’s time to let go.

While it’s a great idea to keep your braids in for as long as possible, you don’t want to overdo it.

We’ve found that 8 weeks is a good amount of time to keep your braids in.

After that, it is advisable to take those braids out and give your hair a chance to breathe a bit.

Anything more than that can work against your hair and cause major breakage.

After

Hello Wash Day!

Once your braids are out, it’s time for Wash Day.

But first, you’ll need to detangle. Take your time to do this. 

Then, wash and deep condition your hair as needed. 

Pause!

When you take out your braids, don’t rush back in to get new braids.

Give your hair a chance to breathe.

It’s advisable to wait at least 2 weeks before you install braids again.

That’s how to care for your hair when using braids.

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