Box braids are some of the most controversial hairstyles. Many people say, even from their personal experience, that braids are painful and damage the natural hair, while others say that braids protect their hair and help it grow.
So, before you take this step and decide to get box braids, especially if you are Caucasian, you need to find out if it is safe for you.
Can Box Braids Damage My Caucasian Hair?
Yes, box braids can damage your Caucasian hair only if your head hurts, because your hair is braided too tightly or if you don’t unbraid them properly.
But if done the right way, box braids won’t damage your caucasian hair.
What Can Cause Damage to Caucasian Hair While Braiding?
Caucasian hair is softer, thinner, more delicate, sensitive and silkier than afro hair. So, damage happens more often than you might think, especially when the hairstylist is not used to this type of hair and the braids are tightened excessively hard, in order not to slip the hair extension.
It can also happen that the proportion is inappropriate, adding too many extensions on a tiny piece of hair, as caucasian hair isn’t as thick as afro hairs.
How to Make Box Braids on Caucasian Hair Safely
The braid must start exactly where the hair comes together on the scalp, without tensioning the strands. You must be able to move the braids from one side to another without any pain from the very beginning (not after the over-tensioned threads have broken, or as they say, after they “start to loosen”). It is okay if they feel tight, well fixed in the beginning, but not painfully tense.
If you feel pain when you move your head, if you feel like you’re smiling and raising your eyebrows without intending to, if you can’t sleep because of the pain, take them off immediately, cry, and find another braidist.
Next time cancel from the beginning if you feel that the first braid is too tight (and by the way, this also applies to afro hair, being damaging for all kinds of hair if the braids are too tight.
The trauma that such an episode can leave behind on your hair can be very serious, even with long-term effects.
So don’t ignore the pain and irritation in the hope that they will pass and you will enjoy the investment you made.
An expensive hairstylist doesn’t necessarily guarantee any safety, but I also do not recommend you try a cheap and inexperienced one. It’s good to consider the experiences of previous clients, if you know.
You should also try looking them up on social media, exploring their Instagram/Facebook/websites, and studying their photos a bit, and if you notice tensed roots in knotted extensions, it may not be a good choice.
What about the quantity of extensions? We all want a voluminous look!
How to Make My Box Braids Look Voluminous?
The secret to making the braids look voluminous and not seeing the scalp with gaps between the braids lies in the geometry, and not in the number of extensions!
Of course, extensions are absolutely necessary, regardless of whether or not you want different colors or lengths, but they should not be put on more than necessary and they must be proportioned according to the density of the strand to which it is attached.
An excessive amount of extensions will stress the scapula and it will also be very uncomfortable, heavy, and difficult for you to style them.
How Can I Ensure Safety When Getting Braids On My Caucasian Hair?
So, let’s say you found the perfect hairstylist, who braided your hair without any pain and proportioned the extensions well. Are you safe now?
Almost, but things can still go wrong.
The main things to be careful with while you’re wearing the braids, is to wring them well after washing because they become heavy when wet, and not to keep them in non-relaxed hairstyles for too long.
But these aren’t the most dangerous situations, you can wear your braids without stressing yourself, the actual problem is when you take them off, if you aren’t aware of the proper removal process.
After about 2 months of enjoying your hairstyle, you should remember that the way you unbraid your hair is very important. You must avoid tangling your hair in an absolutely devastating way.
The hair must be well-combed when it’s still dry and curly, before the first wash of your natural hair, after having removed the extensions, and then use conditioner before applying the shampoo, as another safety measure.
You have to be very patient to untangle and comb your hair well if you don’t go to untangle them by a professional. Insist a lot on the roots, where they tangle and form little dreadlocks!
Comb the hair very carefully, use your fingers or a comb tail to untangle the knots formed up to the roots. Do NOT start directly with the brush, this way you will break a lot of hair.
I would also recommend moisturizing your hair a little with hair oil after removing your braids. Your hair may be a little more dehydrated than before, but at the same time, if your hair usually produces a lot of sebum and requires daily washing, braids can help it recover.
If you want to re-braid your hair immediately, try to take a break for at least one week.
Will Braids Make Your Hair Grow Faster?
Yes, braids make your hair grow faster and protect your ends from splitting.
To test this I even braided only half of my hair once, and the difference between the braided half and the other, after 2 months of keeping the braids on, was shocking!
You can try this experiment on your own hair too if you want, or just notice that your hair grows more in braids than usual, and the ends are in the same condition or better than before braiding them.
So, Are Braids Bad for Caucasian Hair?
No, if done the right way. It depends on you and your braidist.
If you and your braidist do everything by the book, after box braids you should enjoy your healthy and longer than before – natural hair.
Keep loving your braids and take care!