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You want to grow hair with box braids, right?
It feels good to get a lil' break from your hair AND grow more length, ya know?
The step-by-step hair growth instructions in this tutorial have helped:
1000's of naturalistas who wanted faster growth and get more length retention...
...grow their hair half-way down their backs. Even those who once screamed to the heavens, "Why is my hair not growing!"
You want to get it poppin' like that?
Then simply LEARN NOW and DO what I show you.
In today's article I show you exactly how to get your hair growing fast with cute box braids.
These styles help you avoid too much hair manipulation and it's also a good time to focus on taking your natural hair-health herbs or even your favorite growth supps like the newly popular biotin growth gummies, whatever you use.
And you'll also learn how to:
Avoid the BIG mistakes that cause...
...breakage, damage, snap, crackle & poppage...
Let's get you some growth girly!
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After spending so much time on a strict natural hair regimen...
...doing all of your cleansing, moisturizing, strengthening and protecting your hair. it can sometimes take some stress off of you to install braids or a kinky curly weave and relax a little.
Especially when you have a busy schedule, and it's always a good feeling to think that putting in braids can actually help you grow your hair as an added bonus.
Here's the issue though:
Although getting box braids to grow your hair longer works for many women.
Some women, because of doing the wrong things with their braids, actually end up losing hair.
This is because of improper use, and the results are often balding, fungal growth and many types of hair complications.
Many also ask. "Which is better box braids or Senegalese twist?", well, if you are judging by which style last longest then the answer is that box braids are better than Senegalese twist in this instance.
Box Braids are well-known for being a long-lasting length retention protective hairstyle for naturals with kinky Afro-textured hair. They stay in for a long time without frizzing up too quickly when showering and washing your hair.
On the other hand, short Senegalese Twists can start to unravel relatively quickly, although a cuter style in my opinion.
Many of our readers have questions about the use of braids and weaves for retaining length and avoiding hair breakage.
Box braids and weaves are extremely low maintenance and they don't require daily styling, this is awesome because it frees you up to do other things and give you more time in the day.
What happens though:
Is many women get lax with their hair after installing braids.
That's a major mistake.
This can lead to improper practices and neglecting the care that your hair needs in order to grow long and healthy.
It would suck to install box braids in order to grow hair and end up with shorter more damaged hair in the end.
So the first thing we need to focus on is what you should do before installing box braids.
This is soooooooo dang important sis!
A MAJOR KEY!
Make-or-break (literally, as in hair breakage...)
Before you ever sit down in the stylist chair you need to have a serious conversation with him or her.
I emphasize, you must, must, must…
Clearly express your expectations with them, beforehand.
Many hair stylists are accustomed to ladies automatically wanting their braids installed tightly so that they last a lot longer.
Let your braider know that this is not what you want, at all.
If you want to maintain the health of your hair and scalp, you need to let them know you want your braids installed loosely.
Loose enough so that you don't feel ANY tension whatsoever.
And yes girl, that's very loose.
Some worry about if when braids get loose is hair growing still?
Yes, it is.
Much better than when your braids are tight.
So don’t trip sis… Your end goal is to grow hair with box braids.
And pay attention:
I need you to be on your A-game.
Oftentimes your stylist will start off making your braids loose. But...
...out of habit, they slowly begin twisting your box braids tighter and tighter.
You cannot allow this to happen.
Stop the braider and politely ask them to continue making your box braids loose.
You're paying them, you get to call the shots about YOUR hair health and natural hair growth.
Your hair growth (or lack thereof) hangs in the balance.
So you need to stay conscious of what's going on, pay attention, and speak up when necessary.
If you are too timid to do this, then forget the whole thing scaredy cat!
Don't even get no dang braids if you can't speak up about what you want and need.
You done made me mad...
(As I put words in your mouth)...
Why is it so important that your braids don't have too much tension?
Because if your box braids are installed too tightly it can cause traction alopecia.
So, it doesn't matter if your using these braids for natural hair protective styles or strictly for growth, alopecia is THE EXACT OPPOSITE of what you want.
That tightness you feel with tight braiding are your nerve endings reacting to the fact that your hair is on the verge of being plucked out of your doggone scalp.
And once you've allowed your stylist to put your box braids in tightly, your roots are stuck in this very tense state and give your scalp no relief until some new growth starts to grow in.
You often don't feel any relief with new braids that are too tight until almost a week later.
This type of tension not only stops you from healthily growing hair with box braids...
...it causes your blood vessels to constrict and dilate which triggers the pain sensors in your brain and causes some killer headaches too.
Worst of all:
You won't successfully grow hair with box braids in this type of tense state.
This crazy tension can lead to permanent damage to your hair follicles.
As time goes on, you'll start to notice traction alopecia, meaning you will stop growing hair from those damaged follicles altogether.
A straight up disaster-fest and true hot mess!
And here's the kicker:
If you want to grow hair with box braids you need to be careful not to cause traction alopecia which will completely destroy your hair growth cycle.
Some naturals think that traction alopecia is some kind of scalp disease, it isn't.
What it is though:
Is a condition that is mechanically caused by you or your stylist.
Traction alopecia is the result of what someone has done with their hands to your head.
I know you've seen those girls with the edges just snatched up (not "snatched" as in a good edge control type of way) and pulling up on their scalp, that's so dangerous. These are the main one's who tear their edges up and then are scrambling to try and regrow their hairline edges. SMH...
Traction alopecia will just sneak up on you, so it's best to eliminate the risk right now before it's too late.
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Before trying to grow hair with box braids and getting them installed
You need to do a protein treatment with hydrolyzed wheat protein.
This type of protein treatment will properly fill in all the damaged areas along your hair cuticles, causing your hair to look and feel strong and behave as it should.
Your hair is in the best condition to withstand all the tugging and pulling of installing box braids without causing your hair more damaged and snapping off any weak pieces.
This also may be a great time to do a rice water rinse, we recently wrote about how beneficial rice water is for natural hair.
Here's a major tip that many women don't even think about.
Here's the deal:
It is a best practice to always book your braiding appointment for early in the day.
Being a hairstylist is physically and mentally challenging, and they're only human.
If you show up at the end of the day...
...your stylist will have already washed, styled, and braided many women's hair.
They will be tired and not on top of their game.
Thie thing is:
If you're trying to grow hair with box braids you need a top-notch installation.
Here's what you do:
Go early in the morning and catch your braiders when they are fresh and alert.
They are more likely to listen to you and be patient.
Follow this blueprint and you'll grow hair with box braids like a BOSS!
Let's talk about staying on your regimen now...
Trick question for you:
How do you know if your hair is growing with braids?
When you are keeping up with your hair care and moisturizing regimen, that’s when!
Here’s the deal:
We all know that getting box braids installed can cut down on styling time.
That's a blessing!
This turns sometimes turns natural sistas who had been on top of their natural hair regimen into a lazy naturals, LOL.
See, if you aren't careful...
Getting an installation so that you can grow hair with box braids sometimes can cause you to abandon your hair maintenance regimen.
This aint what you wanna do when trying to SUCCESSFULLY grow hair with box braids.
No matter what you're doing with your hair at the time, you should always be following some type of regimen.
It doesn't matter if you're wearing your hair out or you have your hair in box braids.
In order to grow your hair with box braids, you need to:
If your hair produces a lot of oil or you have alot of hair product build-up, you need to:
After you wash your scalp, you need to nourish your hair with a bomb deep conditioner or a good, penetrating hot oil treatment.
While you try to grow hair with box braids your hair will be in need of much moisture.
Because the braid hair that is installed on your head is soaking up a lot of moisture from your real hair.
Feel me on this sis:
To effectively grow hair with box braids...
...you MUST make sure that your real hair is not being robbed of moisture.
Moisture is the life-blood of healthy and fast-growing hair.
So here are some things you need to do:
So after reading these best practices on how to grow hair with box braids, you might be thinking that you're going to end up with frizzy braids.
And you're right, kind of...
That's the sacrifice you have to make if you want to grow hair with box braids.
Growing a bunch of hair is worth a lil' frizz, right?
Then you got to do what you got to do baby girl...
The thing is:
You'll feel great knowing that the hair underneath your box braids is healthy and growing quickly.
You'll feel even better knowing that your length retention program is working.
Here's the best part:
The braid frizziness really won't be not that bad if you stay on top of your regimen.
If you are consistently washing your hair, moisturizing it properly, and wrapping it at night, most of the frizziness will go away.
So here's the deal:
If your true goal is to grow hair with box braids, you need to make sure that you don't weigh down your real hair too much.
Because even if you have not had your box braids installed too tightly, weighing your real hair down too heavily can cause the same tension effect on your scalp.
Too much tension can lead to permanent hair loss and traction alopecia.
So here is a best practice to remember:
Use only a medium sized amount of braid hair for a medium to large section of your real hair.
If you want to install bulky looking braids like Havana braids or Marley braids, don't get extremely long ones.
Get Havana hair or quality Marley braids that are short to medium length, this will reduce the amount of weight that is hanging from your scalp.
So how long to keep braids in for hair to grow?
In 1 year you can grow a good 6" of hair if you follow this hair growth regimen.
I'm not talking about keeping one set of braids in for a whole year.
To grow hair with box braids...
...you should not wear tthe same hair for longer than 2 months straight.
Also when you're taking your box braids down, make sure you do it on a day that you have plenty of time to chillax.
The worst thing you can do is be in a rush when taking your box braids down.
You want to make sure that you have time to be patient, and pamper your hair.
Removing YOUR Box Braids: Best Practices
If you have very long box braids in your hair...
...it's okay to cut them to save time on removal.
But to be on the safe side, try to cut 1 1/2" to 2" away from the tips of your real hair.
If you've successfully grown hair with box braids, it doesn't make sense to cut it off while removing the braids, you MUST use the proper removal technique.
Without doubt, you will have to deal with some shredded hair strands that weren't able to fall from your hair because of the braids, because of this...
...your real hair is going to appear a lot thicker than usual.
Here's the great news:
If you stayed on top of your hair health regimen by maintaining, moisturizing for hairn growth, and caring for your real hair the way you should have while your braids were in...
...you hair should feel and look a lot softer than usual with your box braids out.
Once you have removed all your braids...
Be sure to detangle your hair and smaller sections than normal.
Because right after taking your braids out, your hair is more susceptible to friction and entangling.
So, it's also extremely important to create as much slip as possible when detangling, just detangle in smaller sections
5 Steps to Take Before Re-installing Box Braids
Sloooow down sis!
Before reinstalling more box braids for hair growth, there are a few steps you need to take.
You need to:
So look sis:
Don't just remove your box braids on Sunday and then go box braids installed again on Monday.
Don't you do your luscious like that!
To grow hair with box braids you need to take care of your hair in between installations.
You can also switch styles up on these fools, rock some high-quality kinky curly extension hair for a minute, then...
Slap em' in the face with them box braids again.
They'll never see it coming girl, LOL!
Check your scalp and make sure you see no redness, abrasions, stress marks or any braid-related damage.
Pay attention to if your hair is growing and take care of your ends especially.
So after carefully removing your braids without losing hair, pay special attention to washing, conditioning, and moisturizing as you normally would in your natural hair regimen.
And give your hair some time to enjoy it's freedom before installing new braids, that way you avoid irritating your scalp with too much manipulation. Manipulation is one of the main reasons why your hair won't grow long,
Give it 1 week atleast
And pamper it the whole time!.
You WILL grow your hair out long with braids, I promise you!
I hope this tutorial about how to grow hair with box braids has given you some good pointers and will help you avoid the common pitfalls that some natural hair women have suffered.
If done properly, you can grow hair with box braids pretty easily and take your hair growth regimen to the next level.
Do you have something to say about growing hair with braids?
Share it with the world!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Melissa Lee
Melissa Lee is a Contributing Editor to NHP and a former owner of the BlackhairOMG website. She formed 4C Trichology Growth Services, LLC., a US based hair care consultation service. She has also contributed as a writer and consultant for various hair and beauty websites. Melissa can be followed on Twitter here.