In case you haven’t noticed, I’m back in box braids once again. I really wanted to give my hair a break for the Fall/ Winter season and I also want to grow the front out long again. I may even grow it into a bob who knows. Anyway, I did a post a while back on how to maintain your box braids while keeping your own hair healthy, but this time around I’d like to give you guys some tips on what not to do while you are wearing box braids. These are absolute no nos!
1. Don’t forgo washing/cleansing
You must cleanse your hair and scalp while braided and notice that I said cleanse. Some people may not like to wash their braids and I don’t suggest washing human hair braids, but I recommend at least using a cleanser made especially for braids or a dry shampoo. The gunk and excess dirt that nests at the knots of the braids can cause extra breakage upon removal. You will get build up on your scalp which can cause itching and irritation that can be damaging. Oh and let’s not talk about the semi-funk that you will develop, especially if you’re very active and do a lot of physical activities. Trust me I know as I used to be one of those who wears braids for months with no type of cleansing and it wasn’t fun.
2. Don’t pull your hair up too tight
I sometimes see people with their braids pulled up so tight that their edges are screaming and it makes me cringe. Synthetic hair by default is heavier, while larger and longer braids also tend to be heavy. This already puts extra stress on the hair particularly the edges. Do not add more stress by pulling your hair up too tight… not if you want to preserve your hairline. It doesn’t look good anyway.
3. Don’t overload your hair with heavy products
All you need is a water based braid spray or a homemade mixture of your own that includes water, a little glycerin to moisturize and essential oils. Do not put petroleum jelly, hair grease, heavy creams and gels or heavy oil on your scalp or in your hair while braided. It will weigh your hair down, make it dirty and attract extra lint. It can also cause slippage.
4. Don’t skip touch ups
You must retouch your edges/ part braids every few weeks. Not only will your hair not look good with frizzy and untamed new growth, it will also start to break off from the stress of the hanging braids. The “dirt ball” at the knot which also contains shedding hair will be hard to remove as well causing breakage.
5. Don’t go to sleep without covering up your hair
After all of that hard work putting your braids in or sitting for hours letting someone else do them, don’t you want to keep them looking nice? Exactly. Tie your hair up at night to avoid the frizzies and excess lint. I just wear an extra large satin bonnet.
6. Don’t be afraid to get creative
Box braids are very versatile and the styling possibilities are endless. Don’t be afraid to try different styles to avoid getting bored with the braids. If you need some styling inspiration check out my post on how to style your box braids.
If you have any questions or more don’ts or do’s to wearing box braids leave it in the comments! 🙂