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How Long Do Box Braids Last?

How Long Do Box Braids Last?

Box braids can last for years but the problem is that hair is constantly growing, and it may start to look messy, as well (not well) as to form dreadlocks, so it is not recommended to keep them for more than two months, in some exceptional cases maximum three months.

Trying to keep your braids as much as possible, even though it is possible to maintain them looking good with some tricks (covering the roots), isn’t a good idea if you care about having your natural hair intact afterward.

So better set your target to two months, and see what you can do in order to help maintain their neat aspect.

box braids
Box Braids (from archive ©Ina Shan ©HairstyleCamp)

Besides, not every type of box braid can hold so much. If braids are few, thick, and the hair path big, they will last much less.

Of course, many tiny braids would be hard to unbraid and unravel in the end, and would also take much more time and money to be made, so the ideal box braids would be not too thin, not too thick, and in proportion to your natural hair.

Why Do Box Braids Get Messy?

Apart from the fact that hair is growing, depending on your natural hair type, box braids can get messy or frizzy in different ways.

If you have a fresh haircut or you cut your ends regularly and the hair is thick on the ends, that part can be the first one starting to come out of braids (supposing the hair extension is longer than your natural hair, you’ll start to see the length of your hair that way, but it doesn’t look good). Try not to cut your ends shortly before having box braids.

If you have a lot of baby hair or short or fuzzy hair, the messiest part would be on the scalp.

If you don’t wash it, you can have scurf, dandruff, dirt, plus itching sensations, and scratching isn’t a good idea.

You would even be able to see some of your fallen hairs stuck in braids.

Can You Make Box Braids Last Longer?

Why Do Box Braids Get Messy?
More Than One Year Old Box Braids (from archive ©Ina Shan ©HairstyleCamp)

You can influence how they maintain their aspect in time, you can style them nicely, but you can’t make them last for more than 2–3 months without rebraiding if you don’t want to have dreadlocks when you remove the braids.

If you still want to keep box braids for more than I suggested, take a look at the above picture of someone who kept her box braids for more than one year.

Besides usual care, like carefully washing when needed and avoiding rough textures or tight stylings, you can do some maintenance like putting the ends that got out back in the braids with a special hook needle and taking out the fallen hairs with a tweezer.

You can also cut the ends that got out if you don’t mind, and another thing is to rebraid some of the visible braids if you can or use accessories to cover the roots (but don’t get used to this too much, you still need to take them off).

How to Make Box Braids Last Longer

How to Make Box Braids Last Longer
  1. The easiest way you can help your braids not to get messy is by sleeping on a silky fabric (satin or silk). During the night, you will move and if the surface is rough, it will make your hair frizz. So some of your natural hair endings may come out. You can also use a silk or satin scarf instead of bed sheets.
  2. Don’t scratch your scalp! Try to spray some water instead.
  3. Don’t wear tense styles. Try to hold them as much as they can get together without pulling them tight.
  4. Wash your hair carefully, as much as you need, and squeeze the braids well. You can also try dry shampoo, water, and use different products like oils if you need to hydrate your scalp.
  5. Use a dedicated crochet hook to bring the hair that came out and the baby hair back in. You can also cut the ends that got out of braids if you want or cover some with accessories.
  6. Remake the most visible braids if you can, and/or use accessories (jewelry, beads or thread, bandanas or scarves) to cover the roots. You can also style it in buns so you don’t see the roots, and baby hairs can be nicely styled on the forehead.


Do box braids last longer on white, caucasian, or natural hair?

No, it normally lasts less, as afro hair stays close to the scalp when growing and it also slides less.

What type of box braids last longest?

Those with no visible empty spaces in between. Being too thin and tiny wouldn’t help much either.

How long should I keep my box braids in?

Up to two months.