Box Braids 101
Hey loves! I got box braids last month and I love them. One of my goals for 2018 is to do one protective style per quarter - to help my hair retain length. The everyday manipulation of our strands can cause tension and stress that lead to breakage, thankfully protective styles allow for minimum maintenance. They are also perfect for the summer weather!
I used to be reluctant to wear protective styles in the workplace, because I thought they wouldn't be seen as "professional". However, at my current employer there are tons of melanin queens who wear natural fro's, braids, etc., so I feel a lot more comfortable trying new styles. My company strongly values diversity and inclusion, which I appreciate! At previous jobs I often felt like the token black girl that stood out as an outcast, and the last thing I wanted to do was attract more attention to myself with braids.
We should be able to bring our full selves to work and that means being comfortable wearing eccentric hairstyles. For those who work in an environment that's not as inclusive, I say as long as your hair is well-groomed, neat, and hygienic - do your thing sis. You already have the job, so what's the worse that can happen?! This is what I would tell my younger self while working at different companies.
Below are some pro's & con's as well as do's & don'ts for having box braids in the summer.
1. As with any protective style it's so nice to wake up and not have to deal with my hair in the morning. This is a major WIN.
2. Box braids are relatively affordable compared to other braided styles. This also depends on the size braids you get. I got medium sized.
3. There are so many braid accessories! Check out some of my fav's here!
4. There's a ton of ways to style braids. I've seen girls wear them half up half down. I wear mine pulled to the back or all down.
5. They will last you for at least a month - depending on how you take care of them.
1. My braids are super hot and heavy compared to my goddess locs that I had last year. I still love them, but next time I would get them during a cooler season.
2. They can be hard on your edges. I would say make sure your edges are in the best shape of their life before getting braids. I did have a "problem area" before getting my braids and the weight of the hair caused extra tension and baldness. Now that the braids have loosened up I can see my hair growing back in. I also use Shea Moisture's Edge Treatment, which has helped me greatly! It is a must buy.
3. They take a while to loosen. Even though my stylist didn't do my braids too tight. It took me almost 2 weeks before being able to pull my hair back, but that could be because my hair is sensitive.
1. Do get a braid bonnet found here! You want to keep your braids fresh, so I would definitely recommend a braid bonnet to keep your braids looking silky.
2. Do oil your scalp on a regular basis. I use pure anti-oxidant Vitamin E oil to keep my scalp refreshed and moisturized.
1. Don't neglect your hair underneath your braids. Realize when it's time to wash, oil, and deep condition. Essence has a great article found here that discusses the best way to wash your braids.
2. Don't try to pull your braids up until you no longer feel tension around your edges.
3. Don't let the fear of being judged in the workplace stop you from getting braids!
I hope this helps! Any other braid tips? I'd love to hear below.