Box braids are one of the most popular protective styles for a number of reasons: they’re cute, easy to style, protective, and you can rock them for months with little maintenance. The most difficult part about box braids is the take down; you spend hours unlatching and unraveling hair from your scalp only to spend an additional hour washing and prepping your hair for everyday styling.
It’s a tedious process but perhaps the most important part because if you don’t properly care for your hair after box braids, you will experience unnecessary dryness, breakage, and shedding–ultimately missing out on all of the benefits of protective styling!
In addition, those of you with high porosity hair need to be extra careful when caring for hair after box braids because your kinks, curls, and coils are fragile and far more susceptible to damage. It sounds a little bit risky and time-consuming, but I promise that if you take your time and truly work through the steps, your hair will be perfectly fine.
Below are a few steps you can take to properly wash and care for high porosity hair after taking down your box braids.
Saturate Hair With Oil and Finger Detangle
If your hair is anything like mine, you will definitely experience dryness and build up after you take down your box braids. Whether it is from sweat and improper/no washing or product collecting on your scalp, there’s a good chance you’ll have some buildup after months of wearing braids.
To break down the build up and combat some of that dryness, spritz your hair with a little water and then drizzle or rub oil on your roots and scalp–focusing more on the parts where you have build up. Work the oil through your hair and gently detangle with your fingers.
When I detangle, I use a mixture of heavy oils* and light oils* (like JBCO* and grapeseed oil*) because the heavier oil coats the hair while the lighter oil has more “slip” and makes it easier to work my fingers through my hair and detangle. It also helps to break down and remove any build up that you may have.