I love wearing box braids. Preferably long, and medium in width. Braids are a dope hairstyle any time of year, but they’re the perfect in the summer. I always get into a hair rut when it’s hot, I find that I don’t really want to deal with my hair when temperatures go above 80 degrees. These are the times when I’m happy if I can give myself a break from styling it for a few weeks.
What I love even more than wearing box braids, is the fact that I can save money by installing them myself. A good set of braids can cost hundreds of dollars, depending on who does them. I’m not a professional braider by any means, but I feel good about the results I get when I braid my own hair. I don’t experience things that I sometimes do when I go to a braider, like a tight, painful scalp and excessive shedding at take-down.
Before last year, I had never attempted to braid my own hair. One day I decided to DIY it, after watching a bunch of box braid tutorials on YouTube.
These are DIY box braid tutorials that helped me:
I purchased my braiding hair (1B Rast Afri) from Trina’s Beauty Supply, a black-owned business here in Los Angeles. Rast Afri hair is available at most black beauty supply stores and on Amazon. I like the blown-out afro texture of Rast Afri hair for braiding, but Black & Gold works too.
A tip, before putting braids in…
The day before braiding, I soak the RastAfri hair in apple cider vinegar and water, rinse it well, and let it air dry overnight. This step is important because the apple cider vinegar rinse removes chemical deposits from the synthetic hair that cause scalp itchiness and irritation.
Sure, it’s faster to let someone else braid my hair but if I can do it myself, why not?