Box braids = low-maintenance.

Hey there! Hope all is well. Today I want to hang out and chop it up about my low-maintenance, must have (at least twice a year or so) hairstyle. It’s nothing like a good set of box braids to give you a break from dealing with your hair on a regular basis! I grew up having my hair maintained and styled by others and I only have sons, so this is a big deal. I can barely pull my own hair back in a neat ponytail and don’t even think about me using any hot hair appliances to make anything happen. YEAH RIGHT! Not only is the upkeep very minimal, but the style protects your natural hair from constantly being tugged and pulled on. It also gives your hair a break from a lot of heat and chemicals that you may normally use to style your hair.

Before I get any deeper into this, I would like to give a shout out to Sandra, Anu and Antilinda over at Super Braids and Weaving Salon for taming this mane! Those three are some of the absolute sweetest ladies there. Not only did they take good care of my hair, but were good company and very entertaining. We talked about the different countries in Africa that each of them were from. Each of them gave me good insight on places to go and things to do for when my husband and I finally visit. They were so gentle and considerate while working with my hair. They understood that I’m tender-headed (I have a sensitive scalp) and carefully took the time to keep me comfortable, and they were still able to get me in and out of the shop in a timely manner. I had arrived there around 10AM. The ladies took down a set of box braids I’d previously had installed, then fully combed through and opened up my natural hair that had been twisted up in braids for two months. Next, my hair was shampooed, detangled and blow dried. The final step was having the new set of box braids put in. All of this was done in 5 hours. Now that may sound harsh to some of you, but I’ve sat in a chair for over 12 hours in the past just to have braids done. This was record-breaking time for me and to have little to do with my hair for a while, I’d do it all over again!

Getting my hair braided not only allows me a physical break, but it also gives me mental relief because I don’t have to think about it everyday. Of course there is the necessary washing and moisturizing to keep it healthy, but neither are burdens for me when it’s braided. Washing is not needed on a daily basis and moisturizing doesn’t take a whole lot of effort.

Another thing I love is how easy it is to change from having the long flowing look, to quickly pulling them up into a high ponytail. In the words of Beyoncé, “Let me fix my hair ‘fore I go inside.” As challenging as it is to style my own hair, it’s the total opposite for braids. Since the braids are basically a style, it gives me a template to work with. I don’t have to start from scratch trying to figure something out.

Then I can easily change the high ponytail into a more classy and studious look. It’s a simple process of twisting and wrapping the braids around the ponytail until all of the hair is tucked in. And just like that, you have a classic bun. This look can be worn for a daily business casual look or for an elegant night out. When you want to let your ponytail hang down again you quickly untuck and untwist the hair. Voilà! You’re right back to your simple high ponytail.

Now let me leave you with this…Braids are not for everyone! Some people cannot fathom changing the style of their natural hair. Some hair types are not strong or healthy enough to be put into that type of style. However, if you can handle getting the braids installed which at times can be painful, the other side of the process makes it worth it. For those of you that have wanted to try it, go for it. For those of you that wear them on a consistent basis, in my best Snoop Dog voice, “ROCK ON WITCHA BAD SELF!”

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