Three weeks ago, Cecily installed box braids into my hair. I had been lusting over this style for months prior to actually getting them. After, bouncing back & forth between marley twists and poetic justice braids I finally made a decision. However, my new style was very short lived. Although, I loved how easy this hairstyle was there were a few things that I wasn’t too happy about.
Keep reading to learn about a few of the pros and cons of protective styling with braids. I’ve also added some helpfully tips at the end of this post as well, for those who may be considering this style.
Con #1 Breakage: Even though the idea of this style is to protect your hair, be weary of breakage! I noticed after about a week or so that the tension from the weight of the braids had caused the delicate hairs around my hair line to start breaking.
Prevention Tip : When I noticed that this was happening I tried to wear my hair up in a loose bun more often to help relieve the some of the weight.
Also a great tip to prevent breakage in this area is to moisturize the area daily. I used raw shea butter to slick my edges each morning, instead of gel this kept them hydrated and very soft.
Pro #1 Growth: Typically, my hair grows about 1/2 per month. Look at the new growth I got in just 3 weeks! This is at least an inch.
Con #2: Sleeping with these braids are NOT FUN! They are extremely heavy, very itchy and uncomfortable. At one point I actually thought the hair was breaking out the side of my face. The easiest way to sleep with these would be in a huge bun or by pulling them in a low ponytail & tucking them into a satin scarf.
Pro #2: Versatility & Ease Being able to wake up and go was amazing. I was so happy that I didn’t have to style my hair every week. I’m sure my fellow naturals can relate to how frustating that can be sometimes. Although, this was a effortless style I could easily switch it up by simply changing my parting, adding a simple braid or pulling it up into a mega bun!
Hydrate-To keep the hair from feeling so itchy I would recommend spraying the braids with a light mist of warm water every couple of days.
Protect -Always wear a a silk scarf around your hairline when you are going to bed to prevent frizzing and breakage.
Nourish -Be sure to deep condition your hair before you get your braids installed. The process will put a lot of stress on your hair so I would recommend a deep condition & protein treatment to make sure your hair can handle it.
Don’t Scratch! -Although, it is tempting fight the urge by misting your scalp instead. Be sure to hydrate and oil your scalp. I like to use a mix of EVOO, castro oil & warm water. This will prevent dryness, scalp irritation and those dreaded white flakes. Doing this will also promote hair growth!
Products I used daily to maintain my style:
Raw African Shea Butter (edges)
Water (all over)
Jane Carter Solutions Nourish & Shine (scalp)
Eco Styler Gel (edges)
“Overall, I loved these braids, of course every style has it’s positives & negatives. I wish I would have been a little more gentle on my edges, but aside from that I have no regrets! ”