Did you know that box braids, that popular versatile hairstyle, can be achieved in more than one way? These include the regular method, the knotless technique, and the crochet method, among others. Whether you’re a beginner who’s passionate about learning how to do box braids themselves or you’re a braider who wants to expand their knowledge on the different techniques of how to do them, then this article is for you.
How to do box braids with the traditional technique
Box Braids Method 1
The first thing you want to do is part your hair at the back, just below the ears in a horizontal line. Next, make three or four equal vertical lines starting from the horizontal line all the way down to form the boxes (the sizes depend on your preference). Grab a one-inch thick extension (the length can be as long or short as you want it to be) and hold it in the middle. Place the middle on the natural hair strand and weave the natural hair to the left side. Grab the extension strand that was on the left and weave to the middle. Then take the strand that was in the middle and weave it towards the right side. Continue to intertwine the natural all the way down. As you do this, Priskeylia T. Dama, owner of and hairstylist at Braidsbytiti advises that you add more extension to the natural hair for even distribution. “When it comes braiding, you definitely have to add hair into the natural hair strands in order to make it all even…you can take it from whatever section (of the braiding hair you’re using) you feel comfortable with…a little tiny piece not too much cause you definitely want to make it as even as possible,” she says.
Box Braids Method 2
Start by splitting the selected braiding hair into two strands with one being a little less thicker than the other. Place the less thick braiding hair directly on the natural hair. Then grab both the smaller braiding hair and natural hair as firmly as you can and weave it over to your right side. Take the braiding hair at the right side and weave to the left while you weave the one at the left to the middle. Continue doing this all the way down while adding bits of hair strands from either braiding hair to the natural hair for evenness. Dama notes that there is a difference in the outcome of both techniques. “I like this method (method two) a lot because the knot is not as big as the first knot (in method one),”
How to Do Box Braids with the Tucking Method
The most popular among braiders, you’ll first take a small piece out of the selected braiding hair and cross it over the larger strand to form a loop. Join the two sides of the small piece together – that will become the middle piece – and place the braiding hair on the natural hair with the middle piece directly on the natural hair. Weave all three together all the way down.
You can watch Braidsbytiti’s video tutorial on how to achieve box braids using all three methods:
How to Do Knotless Box Braids
Start by creating box sections on your natural hair as already described above. Take the piece of braiding hair, separate it into three equal parts, and keep it somewhere close by. Next, apply a small amount of hair gel to a box of natural hair and comb through with the rattail comb. Further, separate the box part into three equal sections.
Christina, a hairstylist with over 20 years of experience, tutors, “If you’re right-handed like me, you’re gonna take your right index finger, go underneath the section of (natural) hair next to it to grab the (natural) hair out of your left hand and then you’re gonna take your left hand and grab the hair. Grab the hair on top of your right hand, take your left index finger, and go underneath to grab the hair on your right hand.”
She further instructs that you do this one more time and then pause because it’s time to add the braiding hair. Do this and weave it together with the natural hair all the way down, making sure you add new strands of braiding hair as you do for even thickness.
Christina notes that the rattail comb should be handy. “It’s always good to have it because there are times when you know, hair gets kind of tangled…you can use the comb to comb it out,” she says.
Furthermore, she advises that you should use your hair gel on your braids as they “make sure the braids stay smooth and consistent throughout.”
Lastly, Christina says to add some gel to the end of the weave so “you’re not dry braiding.” She explains that once you’re braiding, the extension can dry at the ends so it’s always good to use hair gel on the ends of the braiding hair.
See Christina’s YouTube video tutorial for a visual guide on how to do box braids using the knotless method:
Read next: How Long do Box Braids Last
How to Do Crochet Box Braids
This method is the easiest for the beginner. The major supplies you’ll need are:
- Ready-made crochet braids
- Crochet latch hook
Start by putting your natural hair into box braids. Then insert the latch hook into the middle of the natural hair so that the hook itself is almost out on one side while its handle is out on the other side. Attach the hook to the base of one of the ready-made braids and pull in at some five to six inches. Next, use the latch hook to attach the base of the braids to its end and then pull with your hands to form a secure knot on the roots of the natural hair.
To hide the natural hair, Freedom Styles‘ stylist advises that you pull it into the extension braid in a zigzag motion, that is on either side of the braid.
“Don’t hide it in a straight way or you’ll be showing natural hair,” she guides.
If you’re using a black extension (or an extension of the color of the natural hair), you can hide it the straight way but if you’re using a different color from your natural hair, the side-by-side way is your best bet.
Watch Freedom Styles’ video on how to achieve box braids the crochet method:
Check out: 12 Stylish Ways to Style Your Box Braids