How to Box Braid Hair with Extensions for Beginners

Protective styles can do a lot more than just protect your natural hair but also offer different ways to wear your hair all year long. Box braids are the perfect style to learn if you want to change up your look at any time.

My name is Lauren, and I have been wearing box braids for many years and learned how to do them as a teenager. They are very popular, extremely versatile, and have evolved in so many ways over time.

Luckily, there is more than one way to skin a cat and also how to learn to do box braids. Don’t worry we won’t be skinning cats but you will walk away with not one but two methods on how to box braid hair with extensions for beginners.

Ready to unlock your box braid journey? Find out how below.

2 Easy Methods to Box Braid Hair with Extensions for Beginners

Here are my top methods for how to box braid hair with extensions for beginners.

Method 1: Traditional Method

Now to box braid your hair with extensions, you can try the traditional method that is the most common. Here are the tools you will need:

  • Clips
  • Comb
  • Synthetic braiding hair
  • Styling gel or jam
  • Elastic hair ties
  • Boiling hot water
  • Towel
  • Mousse

Prep your natural hair: Before you start your box braids you want to make sure that your natural hair is washed, conditioned, and moisturized. This will help to keep your hair hydrated while you are wearing your box braids.

Step 1: Section your hair into four equal parts and tie it with the elastic hair band. This will make it easier to divide the hair into smaller parts so that you can braid a section at a time.

Step 2: Pick one section and begin making smaller square parts for your box braids. I prefer to start by my ear and work my way back. Your parts should look like bricks so that when you are finished braiding your braids will lay flat.

Step 3: Add some styling jam to the root of the hair you just parted and split the hair into three sections. From here you want to gather and split your extension hair into two parts, a large section, and a smaller section.

Next, fold the smaller section over the larger which will leave you with 3 even pieces.

Step 4: You want to pair the three pieces of extension hair with three pieces of your own hair as close to the scalp as possible, holding down where you looped the extension with your index finger.

Grip tight, but not too firmly that you pull the hair too tightly. Then start braiding as you normally would, tucking any loose hairs or fly aways as you go. Continue braiding down until you have completed braiding to the end.

Step 5: Repeat these steps until you have completed each of the 4 sections.

Step 6: This step is very important and will need to be done with some help.

After you have finished box braiding your hair, you need to section the braids and dip the ends in hot water to avoid unraveling. The hot water will secure the ends of the braids and will also help to keep them smooth and laying flat.

After you have dipped the ends, gently squeeze the excess water out with a towel in a downward motion.

Step 7: Apply mousse from the top of your head to the ends of the braids to finish your look. You can also lay your edges at this step if you like.

Let your braids air dry if they are still damp from the hot water. You can wear the hair up if it’s not too tight on your scalp.

Method 2: Rubber Band Method

To box braid your hair with extensions, you can try the rubber band method that is the easiest of the two. Here are the tools you will need:

  • Small rubber bands (black or clear)
  • Clips
  • Comb
  • Synthetic braiding hair
  • Styling gel or jam
  • Elastic hair ties
  • Boiling hot water
  • Towel
  • Mousse

Prep your natural hair: Before you start your box braids, make sure that your natural hair is washed, conditioned, and moisturized, especially with this method. While this option is the easiest, you are more prone to breakage.

Step 1: Section your hair into four equal parts and tie it with the elastic hair band. This will make it easier to divide the hair into smaller parts so that you can braid a section at a time.

Step 2: Pick one section and begin by making a smaller square part for your box braid. Add some styling jam to the root of the hair and loop your parted hair in a rubber band, creating your base for your box braids.

Feel free to part the entire head here with your rubber bands or part as you go. I prefer to start by my ear and work my way back. Your parts should look like bricks so that when you are finished braiding your braids will lay flat.

Step 3: Split the hair into three sections here. Next, you want to gather and split your extension hair into two parts, a large section, and a smaller section. Now, fold the smaller section over the larger which will leave you with 3 even pieces.

Step 4: You want to pair the three pieces of extension hair with three pieces of your own hair as close to the scalp as possible, making sure to cover the rubber band here.

 Holding down where you looped the extension with your index finger, grip the hair tight but not too tight. Then start braiding as you normally would, tucking any loose hairs or fly aways as you go. Continue braiding down until you have completed braiding to the end.

Step 5: Repeat these steps until you have completed each of the 4 sections.

Step 6: This step is very important and will need to be done with some help.

After you have finished box braiding your hair, you need to section the braids and dip the ends into hot water to avoid unraveling. The hot water will secure the ends of the braids and will also help to keep them smooth and laying flat.

After you have dipped the ends, gently squeeze the excess water out with a towel in a downward motion.

Step 7: Apply mousse from the top of your head to the ends of the braids to finish your look. You can also lay your edges at this step if you like.

Feel free to air dry your hair or tie it up if it doesn’t hurt. Just make sure your braids are not pulling at the scalp.

FAQs

Here are some common questions that you should know when it comes to how to box braid hair with extensions for beginners.

What Kind of Synthetic Hair Should I Buy?

When it comes to extensions for box braids, it’s normally synthetic hair that’s used. However, not all synthetic hair is treated equally.

You want to look specifically for Kanekalon Hair, which is a type of high-quality synthetic hair. It’s smoother, softer, and less irritating than other synthetic hair types.

I would also suggest that you buy a pre-stretched braiding hair if you don’t know how to stretch the hair yourself. Even experienced braiders enjoy using pre-stretched hair because of the time it saves you when doing box braids.

How Do You Sleep With Box Braids?

Sleeping with box braids isn’t as difficult as it seems. A silk bonnet will give you a comfortable night’s sleep, without leaving your box braids scattered all over the place when you wake up.

Silk is great for protecting your hair and keeping in the moisture as well. I suggest you grab a few of these bonnets if you plan on wearing your box braids for a while.

How Long Should You Keep Box Braids In?

That’s a great question and is honestly dependent on the person. I say anywhere from 2 to 3 months maximum. If your hair grows fast, maybe 1.5-2 months should be good.

You can also consider retouching the perimeter if you want to keep them in longer. This method is great for getting wear out of your box braids for an extended period of time.

Wrap Up

Learning how to do box braids can be challenging but once you find your rhythm, you will pick up the speed and the quality. Box braids are a great style for any occasion and can give you a beautiful look if you have the patience to do them. 

Just remember to practice the method that comes easiest for you and soon you will become a natural!

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