How to Do Box Braids in 10 Easy Steps

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

Box braids are achieved when you section off hair into neat squares (or boxes) and use hair extensions or your own hair to create a three-strand braid, from the roots down to the tips. The resulting look will leave you with beautiful individual plaits that you shake around freely and style as desired.

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.

But, 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.


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. 


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 weave and give your braids a smooth and shiny finish.



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. 


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.


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. 


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.


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.


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. 


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. 


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

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