How to Maintain and Take Care of Box Braids

Megan Dominion

Box braids are great protective styles that can help maintain the healthiness of your natural hair through harsh weather conditions. They are also ideal if you want to lower maintenance without compromising your hair’s integrity. But then, things could also go wrong if you don’t maintain and care for your braids. 

Here’s how to take care of your box braids, making your box braids last longer  and look fresher with these 5 easy tips.

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Maintain your night-time hair regimen 

It is very easy to bask in the euphoria of the protection which braids promise and truly deliver. It is no wonder why most ladies usually go to bed without wrapping their braids.

Covering your braids with a silk scarf not only protects your edges, but it also ensures that your roots do not dry out. This is great because it prevents hair breakage and damage as it helps keep your hair and edges looking fresh. Our article on how to sleep with braids further explains how to protect your box braids overnight.

If you find wearing scarves, bonnets or caps to bed uncomfortable, you can simply sleep with a silk pillowcase. Silk pillowcases ensure that your hair stays covered and protected, compared to wearing a bonnet or scarf as there is a risk of them falling off while you sleep.


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Ensure that you moisturise your scalp as often as needed 

Remember how you would spritz moisture into your natural hair? Great! Now, do not quit doing that simply because you are wearing box braids. Your scalp and roots still need adequate moisture to survive and grow, respectively. It is important to maintain moisture to keep your hair smooth, hydrated and reduce frizz.

Get that spray bottle and fill it up with water. Yes, just water. Your scalp doesn’t need too much with box braids on it. Just water will do. Spritzing would take up to 5 minutes and is that is nothing close to time-consuming.

You can also seal in that moisture using a shea butter or essential oil. Simply get a generous quantity of whichever organic sealant of your choice onto your palms. And then, smooth it gently onto your scalp, ensuring you cover all your head. Avoid unnatural hair products even when you have the box braids on.


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Wash your braids once every two weeks 

It is important to wash your braids and many ladies are guilty of going weeks without washing their braids. Your box braids are not resistant to sweat and dirt build-ups, and you certainly do not want your braids to start smelling bad.

Wash your hair the regular way or dry wash using a cloth, shampoo and some water. Do this by wiping your scalp down in parted hair sections, using a damp cloth. Make sure you rise out all the shampoo and don’t leave any behind, otherwise this can cause a flaky scalp and dandruff.

Avoid tying your hair up all the time 

Constant up-dos can compromise the integrity of your hair edges. Avoid styles that involve pulling the hair too tightly. Do this and your hairlines will thank you.


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How long do boxbraids last?

Never wear your box braids beyond 8 weeks.

This is the most committed box braid sin. Some women have carried their box braids for 12 months and more. This is wrong. If you want to take care of your box braids correctly six weeks is ideal. 8 weeks is the maximum limit to which you can rock your box braid. Yes, it is protective styling but even those are meant to be short-term temporary.

Do not carry your braids beyond 8 weeks if you do not want to run the risk of going bald.

Megan Dominion

Megan Dominion is SILKUP's Managing Editor. She's been down both the curly hair and skincare rabbit holes many times and loves that there's always something new to learn; a new science, method, product or personal experience.