How to do box braids yourself: An at-home guide to perfecting this protective style

All Things Hair | 01 March 2019
How to do box braids tutorial
20 Mins Style Medium

Craving a versatile new look? Learn how to do box braids with our video tutorial.

Don’t worry about booking that salon appointment, ATH is here to teach you how to do box braids yourself in just 10 simple steps. Apart from the fact that they are one of the prettiest protective hairstyles, this technique also has the added advantage of being practical and versatile. However you choose to wear them, you’ll never regret learning how to do box braids.

There’s so much you can do with box braids. I love this protective style – Uche

This style first gained mainstream popularity when Janet Jackson rocked them in Poetic Justice. And since then, the likes of Beyoncé, Solange and Zoe Kravitz have made the look as covetable as ever.

One of the biggest selling points of learning how to box braid your own hair is that, when looked after, they can be a long-lasting protective hairstyle.

Ready to learn how to box braid? Follow our easy step-by-step tutorial to find out just how simple this technique really is.


How to do box braids in 10 easy steps


How to do box braids tutorial woman with afro hair parting it

Section the hair.

Wondering how to start a box braid? It’s simple! Using a wide tooth comb, carefully detangle your mane. Next, use your comb to section your hair in half horizontally.

Clip the top half up so it doesn’t get your way when you start plaiting. Then, divide the loose section of hair vertically into two equal sections. 

How to do box braids tutorial woman with afro hair parting it

Use a wax.

Take a small amount of the VO5 Styling Wax and, using your fingers, gently comb it through the hair, concentrating on the roots.

This will make the hair easier to braid and help reduce frizz at the scalp. 

How to do box braids tutorial woman with afro hair parting it and tying with hairband

Tie to secure.

Use a small elastic (preferably either clear or the same colour as your hair) to tie off the section at the top. 

This will help to prevent tension on the roots and keep the hair flat against the scalp. 

How to do box braids tutorial black girl brushing our hair extensions 

Style your extensions.

Take a folded section of the extensions you are going to use and pull gently on the ends. 

This will separate them and make them slightly uneven, giving you a tapered effect that’s more natural.

How to do box braids tutorial black girl brushing our hair extensions 

Start braiding.

Braiding hair for box braids couldn’t be simpler. Place the folded extension over your hair tie and pull the strand apart so it lies either side of your natural hair section. 

This will help keep the braid as close as possible to your scalp. Then, start a regular three strand braid by weaving the outer extensions under the middle strand. 

How to do box braids tutorial black girl braiding hair and smiling

Plait from root to tip.

Braid the hair all the way down until you reach the point where your natural hair runs out.

Then, separate the remaining two sections of hair (the extensions) into three and continue weaving the hair until you reach the bottom.

How to do box braids tutorial back section of hair braided

Repeat the process.

Moving section by section, divide the hair equally and continue this braiding process.

It’s essential to use the same size and length extension for each braid so that the style looks seamless.

How to do box braids tutorial dipping hair in water

Dip the ends in hot water.

Once you’ve finished, dip the ends of your braids into hot water to seal the tips. Use a towel to remove any excess water

You can also press a hot towel all over your entire head to flatten any flyaway hairs so each braid looks perfectly polished. 

a black woman hair brushing her baby hair

Style your edges.

Now your braids are sealed, use scissors to trim the ends if necessary. The final step of this box braids tutorial? Styling your hairline.

Place a small amount of the VO5 Mega Hold Styling Gel onto a spare dry toothbrush and use it to seal any stray hairs around your hairline into place. 

How to do box braids tutorial girl with box braids smiling

You're done!

See, we told you it wasn’t that hard!

Now you’ve mastered your box braids, experiment with how you’re going to style them by scrolling through our handy inspo gallery