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How to Start a Box Braid

Hey there!

Did you know that box braids are not only a stylish and trendy hairstyle, but they also provide a protective and low-maintenance option for your hair?

In this article, I'll be sharing my personal tips and techniques on how to start your own box braid journey. From choosing the right type of hair extensions to sectioning your hair and getting those braids started, I've got you covered.

So grab your comb and let's dive into the world of box braiding!

Key Takeaways

  • Moisturize your hair and detangle it before starting the box braid
  • Section your hair properly to ensure neat and uniform braids
  • Begin the box braid on the first section by dividing it into three parts and crossing them over each other
  • Take care of your box braids by moisturizing regularly, protecting them while sleeping, and avoiding excessive heat styling

Choosing the Right Type of Hair Extensions

Now, you'll want to choose the right type of hair extensions for your box braid. This is an important step as the type of extensions you choose will greatly impact the overall look and feel of your braids.

There are several factors to consider when selecting the right hair extensions.

Firstly, you need to decide whether you want synthetic or human hair extensions. Synthetic hair extensions are generally more affordable and come in a wide range of colors and styles. However, they may not blend as seamlessly with your natural hair and can be prone to tangling. On the other hand, human hair extensions offer a more natural look and feel. They can be styled and treated just like your own hair, making them a popular choice among those seeking a more realistic look.

Next, consider the length and texture of the hair extensions. The length of the extensions should complement the length of your natural hair. If you have short hair, opt for shorter extensions to achieve a more seamless blend. Additionally, the texture of the extensions should match your natural hair texture. Whether you have straight, wavy, or curly hair, there are extensions available to match your desired style.

Lastly, consider the method of attachment for the hair extensions. There are various methods available, such as clip-ins, weaves, and fusion. Clip-in extensions are the easiest to install and remove, making them a great choice for beginners. Weaves involve braiding the extensions into your natural hair, providing a long-lasting and secure attachment. Fusion extensions use heat to bond the extensions to your natural hair, resulting in a seamless and natural look.

Preparing Your Hair for Box Braiding

First, I want to stress the importance of properly moisturizing and detangling your hair before starting the box braiding process. This is crucial because it ensures that your hair is in the best possible condition for braiding, making the process smoother and more comfortable for you.

To moisturize your hair, apply a leave-in conditioner or a moisturizing hair oil. This will help to hydrate your hair and prevent it from becoming dry and brittle during the braiding process.

Next, gently detangle your hair using a wide-toothed comb or your fingers. Start from the ends and work your way up to the roots, being careful not to pull or tug at any knots or tangles. This step is important because it helps to minimize breakage and damage to your hair.

Once your hair is properly moisturized and detangled, you can begin the braiding process. Divide your hair into small sections and secure each section with a hair tie or clip. This will make it easier for you to work with smaller sections at a time and ensure that your braids are neat and uniform.

Now you're ready to start braiding!

Sectioning Your Hair for Box Braiding

Before you begin sectioning your hair for braiding, it's important to have all the necessary tools ready and within reach. Trust me, I've been there before, trying to find a comb or clip while my hair is all tangled and ready to be braided. It's frustrating and can even ruin the whole process. So, let's avoid that and make sure we have everything we need.

First things first, grab a wide-tooth comb. This will help you detangle your hair and make it easier to section. You'll also need some hair clips or rubber bands to hold the sections in place. I like to have a few extra on hand, just in case.

Now, let's start sectioning. Begin by parting your hair down the middle and divide it into two equal sections. Use your comb to make a clean, straight part from your forehead to the nape of your neck. Secure one side with a clip or rubber band to keep it out of the way.

Next, take the loose side and divide it into smaller sections. The size of these sections will depend on how thick or thin you want your braids to be. Personally, I like to go for smaller sections, as it gives me more control and a neater look. Use your comb to create the sections, making sure they are all the same size.

Continue this process until you have sectioned all of your hair. Take your time and be patient. Remember, the better you section, the better your braids will turn out.

Now that you have all your sections ready, you're one step closer to achieving those beautiful box braids. Stay tuned for the next step: 'How to Start Braiding Your Box Braids.'

Starting the Box Braid on the First Section

Once you've divided your hair into sections, it's time to begin braiding the first one. Take a deep breath and let's get started.

First, make sure your hair is detangled and smooth. It's important to have a good foundation for your box braids.

Start by grabbing a small section of hair at the front of your head. Divide it into three equal parts. Hold the left section with your left hand, the middle section with your right hand, and let the right section hang freely.

Now comes the braiding technique. Take the left section and cross it over the middle section. Then, take the right section and cross it over the new middle section. Repeat this process, alternating between left and right, until you reach the end of the section.

It's essential to keep the tension consistent throughout the braid. Not too tight, but not too loose either. This will ensure that your braids stay neat and secure. As you go along, you may need to add more hair to each section. Take a small amount of hair from the roots, and incorporate it into the corresponding section before crossing it over.

Continue braiding all the way down, making sure to keep the sections neat and even. If you encounter any tangles or knots, gently detangle them with your fingers or a wide-toothed comb before continuing.

Once you reach the end of the section, secure the braid with a small hair elastic. You've successfully completed your first box braid! Repeat this process on the remaining sections until your entire head is beautifully braided.

Tips for Maintaining and Extending the Lifespan of Your Box Braids

To maintain and extend the lifespan of your box braids, it's important to keep them moisturized and protected while sleeping. Proper care will help prevent frizz, breakage, and maintain the overall health of your braids. Here are some tips to help you keep your box braids looking fresh and fabulous for as long as possible.

First, moisturize your braids regularly. Dryness can lead to breakage, so it's crucial to keep your hair hydrated. Use a lightweight leave-in conditioner or a moisturizing spray to keep your braids moisturized. Be sure to focus on the ends, as they tend to be the driest part.

Next, protect your braids while sleeping. Invest in a satin or silk pillowcase or wrap your hair with a satin scarf. These materials are gentle on your hair and reduce friction, preventing frizz and breakage. Additionally, consider sleeping with your hair in a loose bun or pineapple to minimize tangles.

When washing your hair, be gentle. Use a sulfate-free shampoo diluted with water to cleanse your scalp without stripping away moisture. Avoid vigorously scrubbing or twisting your braids, as this can cause them to unravel or become frizzy. Instead, focus on massaging your scalp and rinsing the shampoo out carefully.

Lastly, avoid excessive heat styling. Heat can weaken your braids and cause them to unravel or break. If you must use heat, use a heat protectant spray and keep the temperature low. It's also a good idea to limit the use of styling tools and opt for protective hairstyles instead.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Does It Take to Complete a Full Set of Box Braids?

It takes several hours to complete a full set of box braids, depending on the length and thickness of your hair. The process involves sectioning the hair, creating small braids, and securing them with extensions.

Can I Wash My Box Braids?

Yes, you can wash your box braids! It's important to cleanse your scalp and keep your braids clean. Use a gentle shampoo and focus on massaging your scalp. Avoid excessive pulling or tugging to prevent damage.

Can I Swim With Box Braids?

Yes, you can swim with box braids, but it's important to take precautions. Before swimming, apply a leave-in conditioner or oil to protect your braids from drying out. Additionally, wear a swim cap to minimize exposure to chlorine or saltwater.

How Often Should I Moisturize My Box Braids?

I moisturize my box braids every two to three days to keep them hydrated and prevent dryness. It's important to use a lightweight, water-based moisturizer and apply it gently to avoid frizz and maintain the longevity of the braids.

How Can I Prevent Frizz and Flyaways in My Box Braids?

To prevent frizz and flyaways in my box braids, I make sure to properly moisturize and seal my hair before braiding. I also tie a silk or satin scarf around my edges at night to minimize friction.


In conclusion, starting a box braid is not as daunting as it may seem. With the right type of hair extensions, proper preparation, and effective sectioning techniques, you can achieve beautiful and long-lasting box braids.

Just like a well-tended garden, your box braids require maintenance to extend their lifespan. Treat them with care, moisturize regularly, and protect them while sleeping to ensure they stay looking fresh and vibrant.

So go ahead, unleash your creativity and let your box braids bloom like a garden of style.


With a certified makeup artist's expertise, I specialize in creating versatile looks that range from understated elegance to bold and artistic statements. Through a balance of technique and creativity, I guide you in mastering makeup artistry to express yourself in a myriad of captivating ways.

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