How to Maintain and Take Care of Box Braids

Hollie Shirley / Hair & Skincare Editor

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 are 5 ways to care for your box braids.

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Maintain your nighttime hair regimen 

It is very easy to bask in the euphoria of the protection which braids promise and truly delivers. 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 even as it helps keep your hair and edges looking fresh. 

If you find wearing scarves, bonnets or caps to bed uncomfortable, you can simply sleep a silk pillowcase. Silk pillowcases ensure that you are covered even if your scarves fall off while you sleep. 

 

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Ensure that you moisturize 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. 

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 shea butter or essential oils. Simply get a generous quantity of whichever organic sealant of your choice onto your palms. And then, smooth it onto your scalp. Avoid unnatural hair products even when you have the box braids on.  

 

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Wash your braids once every two weeks 

Many ladies are guilty of going weeks without washing their braids. Your box braids are not resistant to sweat and dirt buildups, and you certainly do not want your braids stinking.  

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. 

 

Avoid tying your hair up all the time 

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

 

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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. Six weeks is ideal, and 8 weeks is just 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 go bald. 

 

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Hollie Shirley
Hair & Skincare Editor

Hollie Shirley is SILKUP’s hair and skincare editor. She’s obsessed with all things hair care and results-driven skincare, that is kind to the environment and your wallet. She has a weakness for limited edition eyeshadows and is always testing out the newest and greatest deep conditioners. Hollie has a passion for hair and is studying Trichology, working towards becoming a Member of the Association of Registered Trichologists.