Box Braids: How to Take Them Down

Last week I took down my braids. I only had them in for a month, but they looked terrible! Case and point…

I was either going to redo them, which would take me a few days or take them out. I obviously opted for the latter. Although I enjoyed having a different look, my box braids were SUPER annoying! They were so long that  they got in the way all of the time. It was annoying to sleep, workout, etc. Plus, I liked wearing them in a bun on top of my head and they were super heavy… to the point that they made my neck hurt.

Instead of taking them down one by one, like I’ve done a million times before like with my microbraids,  I did some you tube research and found a super quick way to take them down.Here is the video I used.

Essentially, you cut them at the point where your hair starts.

I cut mine a little long to ensure I didn’t chop my hair off!

Then you take a small section, wet it, put conditioner on it and gently comb the braids out.

I used my cheapo V05 conditioner and started combing..

After you get the hang of it, it goes pretty quick. But it still took me 5 hours to take them down.

 The Aftermath

After my hair was free, I completed  my usual hair regimen. I pre-pooed with Sporty Afros Ayurvedic Oil, then I washed it with Neutrogena Clarifying Shampoo since my hair had been braided for so long, I wanted to get rid of all of the hair product build up. Then, I deep conditioned my hair with Shea Moisture Deep Masque Treatment and started the detangling process. I didn’t realize how matted my hair had gotten in the braids. It took  me about 2 hours to get all of the knots out! It was mostly knotted at the root where each braid started. It was ridiculously frustrating, but I didn’t want to pull my hair out while detangling, so I was really careful. After I was finally done ,I washed out the conditioner and noticed something really odd…my curl pattern was different.  It was less defined. I was really sad! My “curls”  aren’t really that defined in the first place, but I’ve always had OK definition in the front but my curls turned into almost loose waves, not the pretty kind either. The “what’s wrong with your hair” kind. My usual wash and go with kinky curly knot today and a touch of Kinky Curly Curling Custard didn’t work at all! I had to literally coat my hair with gel to get any kind of definition and what I got sucked. Here is a picture my coworker to me this week.


We were in my bosses office celebrating his bday, hence the birthday hat. But do you see what I mean? It just looks like a frizzy mess.

Since I have a 4a/3c curl pattern I don’t really practice stretching because the few curls I do have would cease to exist. But that’s exactly what happened when I wore braids. My curls were essentially stretched for an entire month. I didn’t really think about this before hand since I’ve always had a perm when I’ve gotten braids before. Me no likey. I HOPE and pray it returns to normal soon 🙁  I’ll keep y’all posted.


  • Dorothy Ricot says:

    Don’t worry. It definitely will.

  • Andre says:

    In the process of using this technique for box braids (male) now and I know exactly what you’re talking about with the matting at the roots. I had my box braids in for maybe 5 or 6 months (honestly lost count) and it’s gotten to the point where the matted hair has new growth under it that’s straight and easy to comb through. Basically, while I’m combing out each braid, the matted part takes up tons of time and then there’s about an inch of unbraided/unmatted hair below that. Its a nice way of directly tracking new growth but it’s extremely time consuming.

    I’m currently about 1/4, maybe 1/3 of the way done and it’s been about 12 hours over the course of 2 days so it’s nuts. Definitely something you need to do on a week off to not feel pressured and start pulling out your hair.

    I’m in for a long week…to say the least.

  • C.J. says:

    Yu are so beautiful! & thx for the help

  • andria says:

    how do you do it girl it will be a long time i am taking mind out right now

  • andria says:

    pkay i looking at the video now

  • tiara says:

    ii want box braids very badly. whats the best type of hair to get?

    • Box braid Queen says:

      If you’re natural, natural like 4A-4C then I suggest 100% Kanekalon. If you’re in the 3’s and / or have a perm, human hair is better. I am 4C and when I wore human hair braids 3 times, they slipped out & unraveled on their own. For some reason, Kanekalon hugs tighly coiled hair better. Human hair on looser curls, fine or relaxed hair is less stressful on the hair.

  • Box braid Queen says:

    Thanks for this article. It is extremely frustrating combing out those knots. Currently, all I wear are braids and I leave them in for 3-5 months due to money. At one point, money was so low I left them in for about 7 months before I got them redone. I know, I know, not a good excuse but in my defense, I was working a 6PM-12AM shift. The LAST thing I wanted to do was wear my hair natural and come home at 1:00AM to do my hair. Now I work a typical 9-5, Mon-Fri I get paid more, but not enough to comfortably get my hair done every 3 months. I use my Saturdays (8AM appointments) to get my hair redone. What I do is start taking out the back of my hair on Monday and do a couple of rows each night after work, then wrap the front and sides around my natural hair which is tucked under. By the time Friday rolls around, I’ll have little to take out. Maybe you should try that method. This time I will comb out the knots after each row instead of taking out the whole thing and then being frustrated at the amount of knots. When my finances get better, I will leave my braids in for only 3 months like I used to when I was a kid. It was much easier back then when braids only cost $50-$80 AND moms was paying. Now the cheapest + good quality braid price I pay is $160 (Washington, DC).

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