Box braids are definitely head turners especially if they are done right and maintained. However, box braids as intricate as they seem to be, demand a lot of attention and care. Many braid their hair to symbolize their ethnicity while some others keep box braids to strengthen the hair.
There is a popular concept that leaving hair braided is the best way to boost its growth and length but not all braids can do the same. Here are 5 things that happen to your hair when you wear box braids.1
1. Braiding Prevents Hair Breakage
When the hairs are woven with each other through box braids or simple plaits, the strands remain immobilized. This prevents hair from getting rubbed against fabrics, objects or people on a regular basis. Often hair breakage occurs as a result of excessive friction, which can be avoided by braiding. So, if you would love your locks to be protected from the damage of friction and excessive grooming, braiding is a good way to do that.
2. Your Box Braids Demand Proper Care
If you are one of those who doesn’t bother about giving some tender love and care to your hair then box braids are not for you. Hair, whether braided or not needs to be washed and conditioned at least 2-3 times in a week for its health. When you’ve opted to go for a demanding hairdo like box braids, then you need to ensure that your scalp remains clean and braids matt-free. Wash your braids and scalp with a nourishing shampoo at least once in two weeks. Keep your scalp moisturized with natural moisturizers like coconut oil, aloe gel, argan oil or shea butter on a weekly basis. Studies have proved that improper scalp care can lead to infections and hair loss.2
3. They Will Need All Night Protection
It’s ideal to wrap a satin scarf around your box braids while sleeping at night to protect them from damage due to mechanical stresses. The edges of the box braids remain fresh and your roots are prevented from drying out when they are protected with a scarf.
4. They Could Weigh You Down
Box braids are heavy especially because of the structure of the hairstyle. They can weigh you down sometimes even to the point where you begin to experience headaches. This has been commonly reported amongst people who have worn them at least once in their lives.
5. They Can Lead To Hair Loss
Traction alopecia is the type of hair loss seen in certain areas on the scalp that experience a constant pulling force. Studies have claimed that it’s prevalent in women of African decent especially because their hair structure is curlier with a smaller diameter. Box braids are one of those hairstyles where the hair roots experience a lot of tug due to mechanical forces. Therefore it’s important to remember that your braids although protective are not a long-term hairstyle. Remove your box braids after 1 month at a stretch to prevent your hair falling off in clumps. Even while installing box braids, tell your stylist to pull your hairs gently and braid them so that your scalp doesn’t feel sore and you avoid hair loss.3
Box braids look absolutely gorgeous especially if the braids have a healthy sheen without any odor. Box braids aren’t just a stunning hairdo but it’s also something that demands a lot of commitment. If you have an itchy or oily scalp, this hairstyle is best avoided to prevent chances of scalp buildup and infection.
Ultimately, if you want your hair to grow lusciously then it’s crucial to follow a balanced diet rich in carbs, proteins, vitamins, and minerals. A proper hair care routine that involves, moisturization, cleaning and conditioning is also a must to promote hair growth.4
|↑1||Aguh, Crystal. Okoye, Ginette. Fundamentals of Ethnic Hair: The Dermatologist’s Perspective.|
|↑2||Grunzweig, Katherine, and Kari A. Keys. “Full-thickness Scalp Injury Due to Hair Braiding and Weave.” Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Global Open 3, no. 8 (2015).|
|↑3||Traction alopecia. DermNet New Zealand|
|↑4||Nutrition and hair health. The Trichological Society|