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DIY BOX BRAIDS: 3 Easy Simple techniques for Beginner Braiders

By September 14th, 2023No Comments

Doing our own Box Braids

box braids
I decided that I did not want to spend $200-$400+ on box braids because girl! lets face it, everything is costing more and I want to hold onto as much money as possible and If I can do something myself I’m doing it. After making sure that we prep our hair correctly before putting in a protective style, I went to the hair store and picked up 3 packs of braiding hair, edge booster to slick down the boxes, a rat tail comb to part and rubber bands to hold extra hair out of the way.

Just to set up the scene for you, I started my hair on Thursday and didn’t finish until Saturday. Yes! it took me 3 days for numerous factors, such as, parting, figuring out how to braid and balancing being a mommy. If you want to skip the reading and go straight to visual, I have my YouTube video Easy, simple DIY Box braid: Beginner Friendly  where I show the exact products I got, and how I achieved my box braids with a Fulani Insp. twist. If you like a detailed demo video, realistic, and also includes the reference video within the video,  I have that for you.  Now let’s get back into a breakdown of what I did.

Now to give detail about why I settled on 3 packs of hair for my box braids, my hair is high density, which means I have a lot of hair on my head. And because I wanted medium box braids, I did not need as many packs as I would if I wanted smedium box braids or even small box braids. After getting the supplies I will need, I then went on YouTube and did my research for different techniques I could try, being that I never tried to box braid my own hair before.

The only thing I do to my hair is flat twist, braid outs and wash n gos. I will go more into detail about the techniques I attempted and what actually worked for me because GIRL! it was a uphill battle, but first, the 2 YouTubers I referenced are TheChicNatural and Tupo1 and they both have numerous videos on techniques to help.

Now we have to part our hair and in my silly mind I thought that would be the quickest step. It wasn’t! It took me hours to initially part my hair to how I wanted it and I say initially because I re parted my hair numerous times throughout the process just to achieve the nice and neat box braids. To part my hair in the back and also braid to make sure the box braids and parts were as clean and neat I used my computer screen as a monitor and had my phone as the camera, which mirrored to the laptop as seen in my video

The realistic journey: 4 Different techniques for Beginners

The first technique: Knotless braids

The first style I attempted was the knotless braid by referencing thechicnatural and girl can I tell you it is harder than what it looks like. You are suppose to braid 3 times and then start to add the hair to the two pieces whose turn it isn’t to get braided yet underneath the hair. It’s hard to explain without visual, I would suggest to just click on thechicnatural video. I wanted so bad to accomplish the knotless box braids look because it looks so neat and seamless.

When I say I attempted to do knotless braids so many times before I just moved on, it took me after the fourth attempt to be like, “ok, im done”. I am a very determined woman and I don’t give up on things I want easy. I have the live view on how it went and how hard I tried, just skip to 7 mins 37 secs Knotless braids In my video and you will see. It was just a mess as you can see below

knotless braids

The braid was just a hot mess and not neat and uniform

The second Technique: Traditional box braids

The second style and technique I attempted was the traditional box braids with the traditional technique of gripping the hair. I again referenced thechicnatural and girl it was a mess! I could not figure it out. I tried to take my time and do it but I was not gripping all the way to the roots and the knot looked messy. I give It up to the braiders of the world who can part, grip the hair and finish a braid in less than 1 minute. As you can see below I just was not grasping the one two, three of it all.

In my DIY box braid video I really thought I got the hang of it but it just was not working for me and after doing a few rows in the back, I started all over. Yes! I did about 2-3 rows in the back and decided I could do better and I’m glad I did. If you want to see a live view of the attempt of this technique just skip to 11 mins and 13 secs

box braid

The Third Technique: Rubber band/Braid/ crochet method

This third method I attempted, I referenced tupo1 and her technique was to use the rubber band/crochet method all in one. You are suppose to use the rubber band to make sure all of your hair is neat and gathered, braid your hair into a braid and then take the crochet needle and pull the braiding hair through and start to braid.

Its really a simple technique, but one I didn’t use the rubber band because I did not want the knot to be bulky and I was iffy about using rubber bands on my hair because it could pull it out. If you do not mind the slight bulkiness of the knot and just want a traditional box braid, then this is the method for you

The fourth and Last technique: Easy, simple Box Braids technique

So, I’m laying in bed after spending all day Thursday and part of Friday doing the traditional grip of it all and not liking how I could not grip it from the roots and on top of the parts being crooked. I’m like what if I just split my hair in 3 like Im going to braid my own hair and just lay the braiding hair on top and start to braid?! and that was it! that was the simple, easy technique that worked for me and made my time from Friday until Saturday night so easy and seamless.

I literally split the hair in 3, prepared the braiding hair by splitting a piece in 2, taking one piece and folding it over which makes the folding piece the middle of the braid. I literally laid the middle folded piece on top of the middle piece of my hair, and then laid the 2 side pieces on the side pieces of my hair. By doing this, it allowed me to control how tight I was able to grip the roots and make sure the box braids was uniformed.

knotless box braid

I could have saved so much time and frustration if I would have done this from the start. And to the Flip over fulani inspo twist that I included with the cross over box braids on the side. Can I just say how much I love that little peek a boo addition. Just a quick explanation as to what Flip over Fulani braids are. Fulani braids are from Africa and are tribal braids that incorporate cornrows and box braids all in one hair style.

The cornrows are usually down the crown and side of the head, with loose box braids around the remaining of the head. Once I saw this style I knew I wanted something like this but I also knew my limits girl. So I decided to keep my non braiding skills in check and just do 2 simple cornrows on the side. And I love it!

Fulani braids

As to how I achieved the criss cross cornrows, within the box braids. I cornrowed my hair after making sure the parts were to my liken and braided until the braid was no longer attached to my scalp and started feeding in hair to the tail end to make it long like the rest. Now, if you look close it looks off and not as uniformed, but no one should be that close! But for my first time again, I think I did a good job. I love wearing my hair to the side, so It was a very cute add on and I will definitely explore the style more next time.


Girl we made it! Box braids with a Fulani Inspo twist

So to wrap this up. We attempted 4 different techniques for our DIY Box braids and the last one was the one for me. The main thing before even starting is making sure that we prep our hair to make sure it as healthy as possible and we can minimize as much hair lose as possible. But to be clear, we will have a lot of shedding due to the fact that we shed at least 100 hair strands a day. So multiply that by how many days you will have the style in and be prepared.

Then after preping our hair, make sure you have everything you need to make the process easier and what size you want your braids. I wanted medium box braids and that is how I made sure I parted my hair.

The first technique was knotless braids and that will take me a little more practice, the second technique was the traditional box braid grip and I just did not like how it looked, the third technique was the rubber band method and IDK it just wasn’t for me, But our last one placing the braiding hair on top and just start braiding is my favorite one!

Have you every tried to diy box braids? What technique of you use?

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