Mainly worn in African, African Diaspora, and African American households, “box braid” hairstyle dates back more than 3000 years. In this style, the hair is divided into square-shaped bits; this hairstyle can be described as “boxy”, hence the name “box braids”. Although they can be worn naturally, synthetic hair is often added to these braids to make them thicker or longer. Due to the fact that they aren’t tied down to the scalp, unlike cornrows and other such hairstyles, box braids are worn in various different styles. The process of installing these takes quite some time, but when done, box braids can be left in for six to eight weeks and are quite easy to handle.
Although many people simply regard these braids as a way of wearing hair, box braids have a lengthy, heavy history.
A Brief History:
Although box braids weren’t given their name till the 1990s when Janet Jackson popularized them, this particular braiding style originated 3000 years ago from the Nambia style Eembuvi braids or the chin-length braids from the Nile Valley women. Hair braiding styles were used to help differentiate between tribes, locations and were even used as symbols of wealth and social status due to the effort that went into stylizing them. The elders of the tribes would pass on the art of braiding to their young ones, and this quickly became a preferred activity among society. Even now in Africa, patterns and styles of braids are a means of recognizing tribes, age, wealth, marital status, religion, along with social rankings.
In certain parts of Africa, these braids have been used as a communication method. In some of the Caribbean islands, braids were utilized to evade slavery by braiding the hair in intricate patterns that displayed maps on the scalp. To create these braids, tribes would make use of thick layers of tree bark and that was chopped finely, in addition to oils that were used to stabilize the hairdo. Meaningful items such as jewels, beads, colored bark, cowrie shells and others were adorned by earlier women to signify their willingness to marry, have children, display their high priesthood, wealth, and other such symbols.
In the past century, box braids have become a controversial topic concerning who can wear them and who can not. The black community has borne numerous injustices and marked milestones concerning their rights from education to wear their cultural hairstyles, which sparks the conversation that other races do not deserve to wear these hairstyles, not knowing the cultural history not the struggles behind them.
How Do You Style Box Braids?
There’s a variety of ways in which you can wear your box braids and look like a goddess. Some of them being:
#1 Ponytails box braid hairstyles:
Gather your braids into a ponytail, high, low, side, however, you want. Tie them off using a scrunchie or a ponytail and then use a glamorous silk scarf to wrap your hair or stick a flower in your hair. Ready to go.
#2 Buns box braid hairstyles:
One major advantage of buns is the vast variety of ways in which they can be worn. This is a popularly loving way in which you can wear your braids. Throw them into an updo for a chic look. Your high bun can be loose, or as tight as you prefer, or even bulky.
Make asymmetrical braids, or wrap them around the crown of your head. Perhaps drape them down on your shoulder in a classy side braid.
This is another creative idea to incorporate into your box braid hairdo. Twist the front section away from the face and secure it tightly.
What Are Some Different Hairstyles For Box Braids?
There’s no need to fret, even when you’re wearing a semi permanent hairstyle, there are various ways in which you can alter it to your heart’s content.
Use Colored Synthetic Hair:
This one is a fail safe way to spice up your hairstyle; one that doesn’t take an hour every day to style. Box braids are always worn with synthetic hair to thicken the rope of hair. Integrate colored extensions into the mix. Ask your hairstylist whether or not they have colored extensions. Now choose a color of your choice, and begin!
Use clasps and clip-on to deck your hair. They’re cute, they’re temporary, and they glamorize your hair in seconds.
This style has just one setback: it needs to be constantly maintained. Other than that, it’s chic, it’s fabulous, and you can get tattoos on the side of your head if you’re committed to the hairstyle.
Dye your hair. Color them. It’s simple and effortlessly cool.
Get your hair cut before you head in for braiding. Get it cut below the jaw, and style it as you want after the braiding.
#5 Long And Thin Box Braid Hairstyles:
These micro braids look stunning. With beautifully layered hair, this hairstyle can give you a side part that allows that fabulous hair to fall on one side, and show off your cheekbones on the other.
#6 Bun Style With A Side Braid:
When dealing with medium length box braids, you get to be your own hairstylist; medium length box braids are that easy to handle. Don’t set limits: make a bun on the top of your head, and a braid on the side. Let your artistic skills flow.
#7 Ombre Black And Colored Braids:
We’ve already established that box braids are easy to handle. They can also incorporate just about any other trend into them. Right next to black, vibrant colors such as red, violet, or orange are favorites. Knock out the runway with brightly colored strands of your own choosing.
#8 Chunky Braids In Half Side Buns:
This throwback to the 90s will have you looking like your favorite childhood pop star. Twist some of your braids into half buns on the side of your head, and style the rest into braids. Or better yet, leave them be.
#9 Thick Jumbo Box Braid:
Thick jumbo box braids are a risk that you need to take. Communicate with your stylist about the tension level, and don’t let them be too tight, or there could be breakage.
#10 Huge Protective Short Box Braid:
With box braids, you don’t need to rely on length to style your hair. Get this ultra modern hairstyle as soon as you can. This is a fresh and chic way to wear your braids, and putting in clasps and cuffs is a no-brainer.
Tips For Box Braid
#1 Style them with care. While it’s tempting to wear a new style every day, you don’t want to deal with breakage.
#2 Trim the escapees. There might be a few flyaways making their way out. In order to keep your style looking fresh, trim them.
#3 Use water-based mousse. These types of products are generally easier to wash out.
#4 Take care of your edges. Seriously. The last thing we want is a real life scenario of “weave snatched”.
With these cool tips in your hands, it’s time to get funky with these box braid hairstyles!