Wash day and the best darn box braid method for natural hair

21:17 Naija girl next door 33 Comments

I didn't take any pictures of my actual hair this last wash day because I wasn't doing anything different and frankly, my arm wasn't ready.
I have gotten to the point where I need to put my hair away before I go bonkers and chop it off.
    Box braids have been a craving for months. I have a zillion inspiration pictures on my phone and I finally got around to it on election day. This wash day was to prep for that protective style.
By the way, congrats Nigeria on our new president.  I'm so glad we kept the peace most of all.

  Wash day was almost a week prior. I kept it simple and short with a 2-in-1 wash and dc with Shea Moisture Purification Masque + a teaspoon of castor oil. I have a fancy new hair towel! But that's another post.
    Leave-in was Shea Moisture Restorative Conditioner and I sealed with my oil mix (coconut, olive and jojoba now).

Even though box braids are pretty basic I went on YouTube just to see and I learnt a new trick! The key to box braid heaven- to get smoother, longer-lasting box braids on natural hair...
... start with two strand twists.
Yes lovelies.
  So three days to box braid day, I co-washed with Africa Naturalistas Moisturising and Detangling Conditioner, let it dry 80% and sealed with the Savvy & Chic Shea buttercup (Go Naija!)
Then did my regular medium-sized two-strand twists.

D-day. I got the extensions ready: Xpression braiding hair, two packs in 99J and one in 33 (because they had run out of 99J at the shop).
Left: 33- reddish brown   Right: 99J- wine

Had to "pick" the ends by pulling lightly to get them from a straight across cut to wispy and tapered.

  • Take some hair (amount depends on size of braids desired) loop it over the root of a twist, making sure the ends of the added hair are at the same level; such that you have two pieces of braiding hair with the twist in the middle; 
  • Braid using the twist as the third leg.
  • When the twist starts to thin out, create a new third leg by borrowing hair from the main two, and try to conceal the end of the twist in it.
  • Continue till you get to the bottom. You know how sometimes as you braid, one leg thins out before the others? Borrow as needed from the fatter legs as you go down. This even helps to protect the braid from unravelling. 
  • I finished mine with a two-strand twist at the very tip, but you can also tie it off.

    Extra tip- Take this from someone who learnt the hard way: If you don't want hair that is too big/heavy to manage, make it scantier at the back by doing bigger twists there so more hair is used in a single braid = fewer braids at the back. Don't worry the ones in front will cover them completely.

    It took me seven hours with breaks to eat, rest, etc; which is not bad at all for a first-time box braider (using extensions) in my opinion. Before now I had only done twists by myself.

   I'm in love with this method because:

  1.  I can rock my twists and not have to take them down before braiding. 
  2. I got smooth, even braids without having to blowdry or stretch my loose hair.
  3. I didn't need to part with a tail comb.
  4. No worries about breakage when the braiding hair tangled and I had to work through.
  5. I didn't have to deal with free hair finding its way into a braid halfway down, and then trying to figure out whether to loosen the braid and start again or just cut the stray strands. (don't you hate when that happens!)
  6. It's like a double protective style.
  7. You can go in twists to the salon/market, tell them what to do, and not have to worry about them battling with your kinks.
  8. It looks like it's going to stay smooth for quite a while because it's secure and won't puff up so much when exposed to humidity/water like stretched loose hair does. 
  9. Takedown is going to be a breeze.

I want to be more adventurous with styling this one than I've been in the past with box braids.
This morning-

   I'm thinking of doing different styles and compiling a how-to post on all the styles I do. Yay or nay? Please tell me in the comments. *slobbery kisses*


P.s. if you're new to The Wash Day Experience and want to join, start here. We want to see how you pamper your hair :)


  1. You did great with the explanations of the technique.

    1. Thanks Abena, I was hoping it wouldn't fly over people's heads

  2. Yay....I want how to postsssssssss..
    Ur hair is gorg BTW

    1. :* :* thank youuu... my head is working on them already :D

  3. You braided all by yourself? You must be superwoman

    1. No o, just a determined, salon-phobic cheapskate

  4. Please, a very big yay!
    This new method is good oh. Haven't even let myself think of box braids because of how they get rough so fast with kinky hair. I will try this in a few months!

    1. I have AB's blessing :D ūüôĆ
      I hope you try it and put it up some time. You can trust my stalking abilities

  5. Like always, great results. Are you sure you were meant to be a doctor? :")

    I will use your method when I install box braids, it sounds simple.

    Congrats on your new president!!!

    1. Hahaha! Thanks Yvette, I would like to believe I'm good with my hands at work too.
      It's really simple, I hope you do

  6. You have got to be kidding me! Omg! This is the best method EVER! Girl you know I am going to try this:-)

  7. Looks really good! Braids and I are frenemies, might have to watch a YouTube video to really get a hang of this (I'm a slow learner when it comes to these things, welp)


    1. Thank you :D
      It's not your fault jor, videos are easier to follow

  8. Pls I want to go natural and I nid ur help.am going for transitioning. Can u tell me d do and don't. And also d products to use. pls email me at oluwatomiolajumoke@gmail.com.

  9. Nice work! Nne, I need the secret to being able to section hair for twists or other styles in my life! I suck at it

    1. Hi Lissa! Hmmm, sectioning is not something I pay much attention to. I just don't think I need to make very neat, perfect parts.
      I use my fingers to feel around the scalp of that section, to make sure there's no hair in the way then I braid/twist

  10. Oh you've unraveled the best braiding secret there is!
    I think I should try this, I hate how my hair sticks out days after I braid/twist with extentions.


  11. This article sounds great and worthy of commenting on. I think I should ask for your permission to share this content. Thanks once again.