What are box braids?: Box braids are simply a hair style in which your hair is parted into “boxes” and fake/synthetic hair is braided into your own hair. This style is perfect for summer, right after having a baby, when you don’t feel like doing your hair, or for when you want to give your hair a “break” and want an easy low manipulation (or “protective” style).
How long does it take to install them?: Depends on the braider and number of braiders (could be 1-4), the condition of your hair, the size of the braids, and how long you want them. Usually 6-8 hours.
What do you do for 6-8 hours while someone braids your hair?: If you are getting them done at the braider’s house, then you usually watch (reality) TV, talk shows or (Nigerian) movies. If you are getting them done in a salon, you will probably just listen to typical beauty salon gossip and giggles. Bring your own food. You can stand up and stretch if you like, and your braider will most likely do the same. It’s an all day situation. If you have somewhere to be, get them done the day before.
Cost: $140-$180+ Again, each stylist is different and charges accordingly. Also depends on if you are bringing your own packs of (fake) hair for you braider to use or if she is supplying it for you. Some braiders only like certain brands of hair. When you schedule your appointment, ask what type of hair to buy, where to get it from, and how many packs to bring. If you have a bigger head, like I do, bring 1-2 extra packs just in case.
How Long do Box Braids Last?: Personally, I wouldn’t leave box braids in longer than 8 weeks. Make sure to take care of them, keep your scalp clean and moisturized and wrap them up with a silk scarf at night. Some stylists will suggest coming back in at 4-6 weeks and they’ll take down the braids around the edges/front wash your hair, and then put new braids in this part. This is extra but well worth it.
Anything Else?: These braids are heavy! Make sure your braider is gentle with your edges (baby hairs) and doesn’t pull too tight. If hair is pulled too tight and/or braids are too heavy around the edges, that hair will break off. Not a very chic look. If your hair is already thin around this area, box braids may not be the best style for you right now.
I personally will be scheduling myself a hair appointment in the next few weeks.