Protective hairstyles, such as rope twists like the Senegalese twist and Havana twists, are beautiful styles that also do a great job of giving your real hair a break from styling and daily wear and tear. Wearing jumbo box braids hairstyles is another trend you can explore as well. Jumbo box braids, especially when done with a weave or some hair extensions, can give you a long, thick feminine sheath of hair—all with minimal product and close to zero heat damage.
Box braids have been around for quite some time and hit a fever pitch in the ’90s, making it seriously on-trend, now that ’90s hairstyles are back. Once you’ve got your huge box braids in place (and like other protective hairstyles, they can take hours to create so be prepared), the sky’s the limit to what looks you can do—a cool top knot, half-up buns, huge twists—which makes this an efficient foundation hairstyle as well.
Read on as we break down the steps and give you some style inspo below:
Tutorial: Jumbo Box Braids
Step 1: Wash and Condition (or Co-Wash) Your Natural Hair
Use a lightweight, yet intensely moisturizing cleanser, such as Love Beauty and Planet Purposeful Hydration Shea Butter & Sandalwood Gentle Cleansing Conditioner or your favorite natural hair shampoo and conditioning system. Towel-dry and follow up with a leave-in hair care product, like Dove Absolute Curls Leave-In Detangler, which helps soften and prep your hair as well as get rid of any knots.
Step 2: Prepare your hair extensions.
Jumbo braids styles require bigger sections of hair, so adjust the thickness of each strip to your liking. Some women also like to pull the ends of their extensions so they fall more naturally when braided, and don’t look as blunt.
Step 3: Section All of Your Natural Hair into Four, and Clamp Three Aside
Using a rat-tail comb, further divide the loose section into smaller grids (some prefer grids underneath and triangles at the hairline—up to you). You can also opt to refine your sections with a hair wax, such as Nexxus Exxpand Plus Volumizing Whip, to clean up the edges.
Step 4: Split Each Small grid into two.
Take a strip of hair extensions, holding it in the center so it doubles up into an upside-down “U” shape, and lay each side of the weave on top of each side of your natural hair. Both the left and right sections must have a weave laying on it.
Step 5: Anchor your braid with a twist.
Some like to go directly into braiding using their natural hair as the third section, but we find that starting with a twist results in a more secure base. Starting with the right side, hold the hair snugly and begin twisting in one direction, for about two or three times. Repeat on the left side for about two to three twists.
Step 6: Begin braiding.
Now that your weave is nicely secured into your natural hair, split that entire grid into three, as you would with a regular three-strand braid. Begin braiding until you reach the ends.
Step 7: Secure your ends.
You can either use a hair tie at the tips or dip them in hot water to seal them off.
Step 8: Rub on some styling oil.
The plaits on jumbo box braids usually already end up with a pretty gleam. For more standout shine, however, a hair oil, such as Nexxus Oil Infinite Nourishing Hair Oil, can help.
Step 9: Revitalize with a Dry Shampoo
Jumbo box braids can be left in for weeks at a time, so a dry shampoo, such as TRESemmé Fresh Start Basic Care Dry Shampoo, can help refresh your scalp while you skip the washes. Remember to spritz at least 12” from your head (or until your arms form a capital letter “L”) to avoid any telltale white flakes on your scalp.
Jumbo Box Braid Styles: 8 Ways to Wear the Look
1. Bantu Box Braids
Update your large box braids style by mixing in a few Bantu knots. To add more visual interest to your look, opt for using colored hair extensions.
2. Jet Black Box Braids
Keep your big box braids styles simple with a jet black hue.
3. Blonde Box Braids
Blonde jumbo box braids styles are taking the street style scene by storm.
4. Brown Jumbo Braids
Highlight your braids by adding light brown braiding hair into the mix.
5. Jumbo Braids on Mini Box Braids
Try two styles in one by braiding your small box braids into jumbo sections.
6. Braided Ponytail
In the mood for an updo? Gather your braids into a side pony.
7. Colorful Braids
Looking to try something fun? Add a mix of colors into your look to make it stand out.
8. Extra Jumbo Braids
Make a bigger impact with your look with extremely huge box braids.