Box braids for beginners * or at least things I wish I had known before getting box braids*

Box braids are good for several convenient reasons; such as vacationing, *protective hair styling, low maintenance, and quick easy go to styling. They can serve as great way to transition from one style to the next. I wanted them as a way to have a break from wigs and weaves. Unfortunately for me, there were somethings about box braids that I was not privy to. So I wanted to comprise a list of 3 things you should know about box braids before getting them.

1. Tell your hair braider, “leave my edges out and not too tight please!” if not you’ll regret it! 

Now I’ll admit this is something that I sorta kinda knew about before hand but this is such a important warning that I could NOT leave it out. Box braids tend to attach to the hair near the root of your scalp. Just basic styling and wearing your braids down alone can cause your braids to pull on the natural hair its attached to. Along side tight braiding and the pulling, your bound to loose hair. Therefore causing breakage and damage to most commonly the hair line (edges) area. *That’s why I put the asterisks next to protective hair style, I never really knew why people considered it protective. I happened to get my hair braided in a Harlem hair salon. So I was very vocal about what I wanted, how I wanted it done and so on. If you are paying for a service, do not be afraid to be vocal about how you want the service to be preformed! If your stylist is easily agitated by your requests, they are not the stylist for you.

2. Prepare for the weight of the world on head.

Now I’m being dramatic with saying that. Truth be told after the first 5 days or so you wont feel the weight of the box braids as much as you did when you first got them. With that being said I personally would feel the weight of my braids under pressure or stress. For example, one night I was at work and it was a busy day. My manager was low key riding my back and micro managing shit as always. Me being annoyed, stressed, and under pressure started feeling this overwhelming sense of pain and weakness in my neck unlike any other time before. Keep in mind I had my braids up in a high bun at that moment. So I had to take a moment and gather my self. I went to the rest room and took down my bun and immediately felt slight better. I can go on and on about how heavy my braids were. Ughhh even sleeping… nevermind next warning.

3. Be prepared for stares, questions, and touching.

Now as black women, we get the brunt of respect when it comes to personal space with our hair (amongst other things, but we are talking about hair). People wanna touch and feel. Folks wanna ask questions and stare. At the end of the day its extremely disrespectful to touch. You can ask me questions all day. I can choose to answer or to ignore; but you didn’t violate my personal space, so its all to the good. What crosses the line is the “omgggg” lean in and touch. To their uneducated credit, most people who want to touch are genuinely amazed and love what they see. But that doesn’t make it okay. I’m prepared for the staring because I’m used to that. I get stared at quite often so it doesn’t make me too uncomfortable. Also be ready to be called ‘Poetic Justice’ or ‘brandy’. I was called that quite often and each time I’d take it in stride because Brandy and Janet are two women I’d love to keep company with. Also if I took to heart every nasty thing people had to say about me, I’d be under somebodies bridge in the rain. 

So that concludes that. I know y’all like, ″bitch why the thesis”. Its just a little pre-warning to the ladies considering the box braids that’s all. I also had quite a bit of time on my hands and figured maybe I could help a sistah out. Not to say box braids are bad just know what your getting yourself into thats all. Hell, I’ve gotten them done twice this year.