Box braid installation may vary. You now have knotless box braids which are lighter in weight than tradition knot box braids.
There’s no bulge of hair stemming from the scalp, and instead, the root is flat and smooth. There is also a feed-in technique, which involves “adding braiding hair to the client’s natural hair as you go along, as opposed to adding it all at the beginning,” celebrity hairstylist Ursula Stephen.
Knotless box braids exposes more natural hair at the root, they also tend to get frizzier faster, meaning they may not last as long as the traditional version.
Highly Recommending Braiding Hair
5 Do’s and Don’ts of Braid Extensions
It’s widely believed that braid extensions help to “grow” hair, which in part can be true. While they are certainly a great protective style that helps you retain length, here are 5 Do’s and Don’ts of Braid Extensions to keep in mind:
SEE: Box Braid Tutorial
1. Braids don’t “make” or “promote” hair growth instead they help with length retention. Every time you style and detangle there’s a risk of breakage. It just happens. When your hair is braided, you dodge the risk of mechanical breakage from manipulation. This is why braids are a great protective style.
Read More About Protective Styles
2. Wearing Braids Long-Term (more than 4-6 weeks without touch-ups) Can Decrease Length Retention. “Six weeks is the maximum I would recommend [leaving in extensions],” says Natural Hairstylist Diane Bailey. For many, this is around the time that the hair begins to lock or mat. Leaving them in longer makes it difficult to detangle. It’s also good to thoroughly clean your hair and scalp without the extension to prevent infection and other conditions of the scalp.
3. For those who have sensitive and thinning edges, you have a higher chance of experiencing traction alopecia or increased hair loss in those areas. It’s best that you avoid any and all tugging and tightness in this area. This is a concern if you continuously wear braids back to back without any breaks. If you already have an issue with thinning or sensitive edges braid extensions may not be the best thing for your hair.
4. Keep Them Loose. During my last trip to the braiding salon there were so many beautiful braided styles being created around me. But I couldn’t help but notice that many of these women were victims of traction alopecia. If you feel that your hair is being pulled too tightly kindly ask your stylist to reduce the tension that is being applied.
5. Small Braids Can Cause Thinning. I know they look pretty but the small teeny braids (micros) put a lot of tension on the hair. This isn’t to say that you can never wear micro braids if you want, but constantly wearing them may lead to thinning hair rather than healthy length retention.
Plus, it’s not fun taking all those tiny braids down. Which if you don’t have the patience, micro braids might not be for you. In order for your protective styling to be beneficial, it must protect your hair and scalp from breakage. Otherwise, if you rough house with your hair, all of the length that you retained can easily break off.
5 Ways to Beat Itchy Scalp with Box Braids
Itchy scalp is a common issue even more so when wearing weave or extensions.
Often you find yourself doing the weave pat, you scratch all day and it just doesn’t seem to let up. To alleviate the itching and make your protective styling experience more enjoyable here are some tips:
Don’t be afraid to wash your hair
Yes, overtime washing will make your braids look less fresh, but in the long run your scalp will thank you. More often than not your scalp is itching due to product buildup, sweat, and elements from the outside. Washing your hair will give you some relief and allow your scalp to breathe easier. Dilute your shampoo to prevent residue in your braids.
On days where you opt not to wash use an astringent on your scalp
Again, your scalp must be cleansed and if you don’t feel like washing it at least go for a dry shampoo or astringent like witch hazel with aloe vera. This will help to clear up the gunk and buildup on your scalp your putting your scalp more at ease. See other ways to clean your scalp without shampoo.
Don’t pile on too much product
While you definitely don’t want to skip out on moisturizing your hair, you want to avoid piling too much product on your scalp as this can make the itchies even worse. Concentrate your efforts on moisturizing your hair by spritzing with water or a water-based product. Applying this to your scalp is not necessary. Especially if your scalp is already itching your like crazy piling on more product will likely do more harm than good.
Braid sheen or any of these 5 DIY Sprays are perfect.
Use medicated products for dandruff and itchy scalp
Using products like Sulfur 8 Braid Spray should definitely relieve your scalp. Heads up, it is not the best smelling product but it gets the job done. You could also try implementing shampoos like Head and Shoulders or Selson Blue Medicated Shampoo to really take control of a dandruff situation.
Know when it is time to call it quits
What woman doesn’t enjoy the ease of having a get up and go style? Braids are a protective style that definitely make your routine easier but ultimately you need to be able to thoroughly cleanse your hair and scalp . After 1 1/2 to 2 months its definitely time to let it go girl.