You’ve finally took the plunge and tried something different with your hair. Box braids have been around for forever, but in recent years they’ve made a comeback due to the increased functionality as a trendy, protective style. But now that you’ve shoveled out the money to pay for them, you’re lost as to how to wear them. No worries, I got it covered.
1. Down (Side/Middle Part)
This is the easiest way to wear your hair during the first few days. Chances are your scalp is still a bit tight and tender from the initial installation. Wearing your braids down saves your edges from any unnecessary tension (We gotta protect those edges by any means necessary, girl!) and is a super cute way to debut your new style to everyone.
2. High Pony
A chic way to show off the beauty of your face, length of your braids and (if you have them) laid/slayed baby hairs, the high ponytail is one of my favorites ways to wear my box braids. There’s something empowering about feeling your ponytail swing with every single body movement. This style can be done after the first three or four days, while your braids still look fresh, but the tension has worn off. The only item required is an elastic headband that you’ll need to double up to ensure security and strength. The pony keeps the braids out of your face, which can get annoying, and allows for full and unrestricted carefree black girl freedom. I wore mine in this style while in San Juan, Puerto Rico after graduating high school and again, but in a cherry bomb red color, during my freshmen year of college.
3. Modified Half Up, Half Down
A basic, everyday hairstyle. Regardless of where you are in your box braid journey, this style is always going to be a go-to. It allows you to mix the confidence you get from enjoying your length while wearing it down in a middle or side part and the relief you feel when the hair is out of your face like in the high pony. It can be done simply by taking one or two braids closest to the temples and pulling them back. Sometimes, when I want to be different, I tie the braids from either side into a double knot, instead of using a small rubber band, but both are fine.
4. The Bun Bun
A term deemed by a good friend of mine, this style is an infamous staple for all box braids wearers. Its height and weight may be a little intimidating at first, but something about it sitting so high up on your head gives off Queen vibes. You begin to hold your shoulders back and switch your hips a little harder than you did before. Same steps as the high pony, just simultaneously twist and wrap the braids around the base until you get your desired circular shape. Depending on the day, it’ll stay without any extra help, but if I’m struggling I’ll use a few bobby pins to make sure my crown stays put.
5. Half Up Bun, Half Down
Popular among younger box braid wearers, this style, in my opinion, is the hardest to pull off based off of the simple fact of its creative freedom. There is no right or wrong amount of hair to include in your bun, but your bun to remaining hair ratio can make or break you. Style wisely.
No matter how you choose to wear your new hairstyle, remember nothing is off limits. Any style is free range, but just remember that to fully take advantage of your time as a box-braid babe, you must keep your scalp and your real hair (especially those edges!) moisturized and protected (at night) to reduce breakage. These are just to get those creative juices flowing.