When I decided (years ago) that I would be my own hairdresser, I didn’t realise how poorly qualified I was for the job. It has been such an exciting learning process but, I soon found that box braids would be my biggest challenge. I’ve mastered other things like cornrows and twists, but when I attempted box braids for the first time, I failed miserably. I could’ve even plant a single one. Fast forward, and a wave of determination hit me; I finally cracked it, thanks to some good YouTube tutorials!

There’s a plethora of box braids tutorials on YT and they vary so much in terms of technique and complexity. Most don’t show or explain how to plant the braid (also referred to as gripping your hair) so aren’t very helpful to a complete beginner. I ended up spending hours trying to find one that I would understand, and throughout that process, I made note of those I found to be most helpful.

I chose to use the first technique below, which uses three strands of braiding hair. The gripping technique takes a bit of practice but it’s very well demonstrated and easy to follow:

The other technique I considered was to use two strands of braiding hair, and my natural hair in a two-strand twist as the third strand. The major pro with this technique is that it helps to keep your hair and ends protected for the duration of the hairstyle.

For another option, you could skip the two strand twist and use your stretched hair as your third strand. This looks like the easiest and the quickest technique.

Overall, I’m happy with how they turned out. I used four packs of Xpression Braiding Hair in colour 1B. I doubt I will ever do this more than twice a year because it took forever about 18 or so hours altogether spread over a weekend but, I’m hoping to keep them in for ten weeks to make them worth my while. It took a lot of patience no doubt, but now I’ve added one more skill to my bag of tricks!

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