I know one thing, looking at photos of hair styles will definitely impact the styling choices I make. After posting several photos of women and even one man rockin' fierce Poetic Justice, Box Braids, or Individuals (what ever name floats your boat) I was compelled to braid my own in the trendy style. So glad I did. Here are the details on how to install box braids with zero damage to hair, hair line, and scalp.
It's very important you choose 100% Kanekalon hair. I've been braiding hair with extensions since 2001 and the BEST hair I've found is Rastafri by Afrelle. It's super soft and has a natural shine to it. It doesn't cause me to itch like many of the other brands I've used in the past and it doesn't snag or cut my fingers no matter how many hours I find myself braiding. At an average of $3 per pack you can't beat it. If you're thinking of braiding your own hair and need a quality hair this is the one for you. If your local beauty supply store doesn't carry this brand, Black and God Platinum (silver package) is just as good but tends to be even harder to find. At least here in TX.
I bought 5 packs but only used just under 3 pks. I've seen and read all over the web of people using 8,9,10 packs of hair. That's fine in some cases. For hair that is extremely dense you will need more packs of hair even if the hair is short. However, if the hair is fine or thin less hair should be used to prevent the natural hair from breaking off due to it having way too much weight on it.
I made sure I used the same amount of extension her per section or box I was braiding. Here is a close up where you can see the amount in the section I parted off matches the amount of hair used in each braid. This is very important to prevent breakage, bumps, and unnecessary hair loss.
It's important the hair is prepped for braids. Especially in cases like mine where the intention is to wear them for a month or longer. The deep conditioning treatment I did added strength to my hair and moisture. Should I decide to take them down and redo them in a month I will shampoo and deep condition again before re-installing the braids. I took the time to dust my ends as I installed the braids as needed. This for me will be the perfect style for the Luv My Kynxx Castor Oil Challenge.
It took me 2 hours to complete the section in the photo on the left and the photo on the right shows the amount of braids I was able to do with one pack of the Rastafri braiding hair.
As you can see from these close ups of my hair line I have no red bumps, no swelling between the parts, I didn't take any pain killers before during or after the install.
I cut them a bit since this photo was taken. Instead of full waist length they are mid back.
Since burning the tips of braids is no longer an option like back in the day it is a must that the ends of each braid look natural and not blunt. I used a razor comb to thin the ends of the braids out prior to dipping them in a cup of boiling hot water for 5-10 seconds to get them this way.
Of the 3 packs of braiding hair I used, this was left from the third pack. I used just over 2 1/2 packs for my entire head. They are extremely light and very comfortable.
Whenever I wear braids...cornrows especially I have to have some type of bead accessory to add to them. I picked these hand carved wooden beads up for .50 each at the Texas International Hair Show I attended back in July this year. I knew I'd get a chance to rock these babies one day!
I plan to do some really cute styles with these braids and will have styling post through out this month. Depending on my tolerance level, I may incorporate the Crown and Glory method and keep this as my staple style for awhile to retain all that I grow through the course of the next year. That's a maybe...don't hold me to it :)
Some of you may be asking yourselves what is the Crown and Glory Method? [click here for details about the Crown and Glory method.