With summer in full swing, we thought we would give you the low down on box braids, by covering the things no one talks about. Whether it’s your first time getting braids, or you’re a veteran--here are few things to note before sitting in that chair.
1. Braids can be really really really itchy.
Plan for the first two weeks of your braids to be itching, patting and scratching. An itchy scalp is due to the fact, that typical braiding hair is coated in an alkaline base, prior to being packaged. The alkaline make the hair heat resistant, keeps it clean, and helps prevent mold. Additionally, if braids are too tight it can cause tension on the scalp, making it also sensitive
PRO-TIP : Wash your braiding hair prior to installing.
PRO-TIP 2 : Use a braid spray with tea tree oil or peppermint to soothe an itchy scalp.
2. Braids can be HEAVY
If you want the glamorous 22 inch long braids seen all over pinterest, twitter and Instagram get ready to lift...your head that is. What many fail to mention is how heavy the braids can be. Simple tasks like sleeping, putting your hair in a ponytail, and running can become a bit more difficult due to the extra weight from the braided extensions.
PRO-TIP : Ask your stylist for less dense hair and to use fewer packets of hair on your head.
3. Be prepared to sit.
Depending on different factors, box braids can take as long as 12 hours. The size of your braids, the hair used, hair stylist etc. All these things contribute to the amount of time it takes to get braids done. The average professional hairstylist can install box braids in about 5 to 6 hours, but the longer the hair, the more time required.
PRO-TIP : Opt for shorter braid styles to cut down braid time
4. Braids don’t last forever.
As carefree as itto have braids, it is important not to leave braids in too long. The longer braids are in, the harder it is to detangle hair after. It is recommended to have braids no longer than 8 weeks.
PRO-TIP : Recommended length to have box braids in for fine hair is 2 to 3 weeks, for medium Hair is4 to 6 weeks, and for thick hair is 6 to 8 weeks.
5. Be prepared to spend $$$
Braids are expensive!—this is labor intensive hairstyle. With your stylist on her feet for5 plus hours, and her hands braiding at the speed of light—the price is validated. As with any other hairstyle this can vary based on location, and other factors. Be sure to scour Instagram and Styleseat for the best price.
PRO-TIP : Tip your stylist for making you look fabulous.
6. Shedding is real
When you’re finally ready to take down braids, expect a lot of shedding. Hair sheds about 50 to 100strands per day! So the shedding strands that have been kept intact within the braid, but this is all revealed when taking down the braids. So shedding that was supposed to occur over 5 weeks, is coming out all at once. Additionally, the added weight of braids can pull your hair strands out, this tends to occur more towards the edges and nape of your head.
PRO-TIP : Be sure to not install your braids too tight.
7. Styling can be limited.
If you intended on getting individual braids, of 22 inches. Your opportunities for styles become a bit limited. Big buns would need to balanced on your head. Ponytails could just about knock you over—and a braided braid? fugget aboutit
PRO-TIP : To switch up the style add some curls or waves to your braids, by adding curlers and re-dipping them in hot water