One of the basics of having natural hair is sleeping in silk or satin scarf or bonnet, and that’s a habit you should maintain even when you’re wearing a protective style. Kay likes the Your Smile Silk Like Scarf. “Satin is much better so your edges don’t get matted,” she says. The Glow by Daye Satin Bonnets are also a good choice, coming in a number of cute colors and patterns.
If you are one of those people who often forgets to put on your scarf or bonnet before falling asleep, invest in a silk or satin pillowcase. The Slip Silk Pillowcase is a good choice, but if you’re looking for more options, we’ve got a whole roundup right here.
Sure, your hair is all woven into braids, but you still need to make sure it’s moisturized. Albertini shares that you can add moisture and reduce breakage by “spritzing your whole head lightly with some water, then applying some oil in the palms of your hands and running it through your braids.” This will also give your strands a nice little shine. She recommends doing this at least once a week.
Twist or rebraid your new growth
Sometimes the front of your hair simply needs to be redone. If you don’t know how to braid, you’re still in luck. Oludele shares that you can use an edge control to touch up your new growth. “Twist your new growth no more than three times to freshen up your edges — if you twist more than three to four times, it will lock your hair. If it tightens on the second time, then you are good.” Use water to prep the hair first. If you prefer using a moisturizer, make sure you work the formula into your new growth and don’t overuse the product. You don’t want to get buildup at the point between your new growth and the braid.
But then, of course, there’s always actually re-braiding the front of your hair. It might seem daunting, but Tupo insists that it’s not as hard as it looks. Ready to take the plunge? “Part your hair and start braiding,” she instructs. “You will want to section your hair in four or six parts to make it more manageable and then divide those parts into smaller sections, your desired size for each individual braid.”
An easy method for first-timers (and a way to ensure your braids are tight and last longer) is it to make a tiny ponytail with a black rubber band. Your natural hair will serve as the middle piece of the braid. Take the synthetic hair and create a loop around the rubber band, covering it. Now you will have three segments and you can begin to braid the synthetic hair with your natural hair. It might not be done as perfectly as a braider, but Tupo encourages, “it will be close and you can rock it for some time.” After all — you do have time in quarantine and practice makes perfect. YouTube videos can also help.
Now go forth, and keep those box braids looking cute.
Here are some more at-home hair tips:
Now, watch this woman get her head shaved for the first time: