Box Braids: My DIY Experience

I really wanted to change my look so I decided to do something completely different, box braids. I was going for a Solange inspired look…


I wanted mine to be a little thinner than that, but I love this ethnic, boho look. Just in case you were wondering, the difference between box braids and micro braids is box braids are thicker and braided with synthetic hair.

I’ve had my hair braided a ton of times before, but I’ve never attempted them myself. I went to trusty you tube to learn a few things them I got started…


I started with freshly washed and deep conditioned hair.

Here is the braid hair I bought. It was on sale for 99 cents a bag.


Close up shot..

Then I started. Here is my first braid! It took me freakin’ 30 minutes!

Look how proud I was!

I spent 6 hours on Friday and I forgot to take a picture when I was done because I was exhausted! Saturday I started at 10:00 am this is what I had around 3:00.

Yea, 11 hours in that’s all I had done. I was so sad! So my new strategy was to braid all around the edges and leave the middle until then so if I didn’t finish I could at least pull all of the braids back.  I was so tired by this point and I knew I couldn’t do it on my own so I had to call in reinforcements. I bribed Alex to come help me. We braided from 4:00 to 9:20ish and this is how far we got.

Not to bad, but I had this entire section to do Sunday by myself.

On Sunday I was tired so I took big ass sections and braided the rest of it in 3 hours…the middle is a little janky but oh well.

The finished product!!

They are a little uneven, but they are DONE.  18 hours ( it took me about an hour to cut them and seal the ends) and 3 days later. Geez! It took 7 packs of hair so all and all this cost me only $7. You cant beat that.

Here are a few ways I’ve worn them over the past few days


This day my BF told me I looked like Ms. Cleo. I was like ok, well let me read your palm. I told him that the long line on his right hand tells me he’s a sucky BF! HA!  He eventually came around. He likes them now.

I’m looking around for more styles to wear..How do y’all think I, well we (Alex and I) did?

 Braid care regimen

Twice a day, I spray Sporty Afros G+ Moisturizing Spray on the top half of my braids where my hair is. Then, I use Shea Moisture deep masque treatment as a moisturizer. You can’t forget that  your natural hair is still in there so you have to keep it moisturized or it will break off. I also use Sporty Afros Ayurvedic oil on my scalp and to seal in the Shea Moisture.

I’m not going to wash them too often. I’m only going to wash them when I get out of the pool. I plan to use will use my Aubrey Organics swimmers shampoo diluted in a cup of water so I can just “rinse” the shampoo through my braids without manipulating them too much. I don’t want them to get frizzy. Then I’ll add my Kinky Curly Knot Today conditioner since its clear and won’t cause as much build up. Last, I’ll do my daily moisturizing routine detailed above.

Caring for braids while working out

As for working out, I didn’t really think that thorough before I started! So far I’ve just gone for a run. I sprayed them down with my Sporty Afros G+ Moisturizing spray and  pulled them up into 3 pony tails, one like I’m wearing them half up half down then the other half I split into pig tails and it stays out of my way. That’s the same way I’m going to wear them when I bike too.  I’m swimming tomorrow morning so I’ll let y’all know what I end up doing with them.

Picture Sources


  • Clare Holman says:

    I think this is a real great blog post. Will read on…

  • Kemi Robyn says:

    Hi there, I was just browsing through box braid images on google images when I come across this page. I have to say – your braids look amazing! Will definitely be getting this style done as it seems pretty low maintenance compared to weaves etc 🙂

    • Whitney says:

      Thanks! Yea, they are low maintenance, but the only thing is that they are really heavy and cumbersome! But definitely worth it!

  • Kayleigh says:

    Hey… love what you did with your braids… what id really like to know is, what brand/colour is your lipstick?! Please help x

    • Whitney says:

      Thanks. Its a mix of Revlon super lustrous black cherry and mac red lip gloss. I cant read the name of the color on the bottle of the lip gloss anymore 🙁

  • Ayana says:

    Definitely going to read on too. Beautiful hair!

  • Whitley says:

    Beautiful braids… I’m currently in the middle of doing some myself, however, I really like th way yours have natural parts rather than the neat little boxes, it looks more natural… Thanks for making me want to redo mine :/ lol. Very cute though!

  • Wow says:

    The braids look really nice on you, and your bone structure is very lovely, the braids look really good on you, I am trying to get box braids as well but I don’t know which brand of hair to by, is there a certain one that is best?

  • Nichelle says:

    Lol that was funny wat u said about doing big ass sections in the middle becuz im sure that ill end up doing the same thing since im going for the same look. This information is very helpful and so far i only bought 2 bags of hair but i see that imma need to grab a few more bags smh. Thanks alot & keep up the doo;)

  • Dea says:

    Im trying out box braids for the first time too. Did you burn the ends? Or seal them with boiling water ?

  • ts says:

    Ughhhh…. idk how females be inspired by Solange braids cuz her shhhh look fckd up. 1st of all braids aren’t suppose to look rugged. if done right and yours do…. i aint hatin but i dont like it. all th at time u spent braiding youcoulda had someone else who knew what they was doin to do your hair 4 u. idk what fashion and hairstyleshave come to today?

    • unique says:

      that was really rude to say.. i have box braids and i have gotten many compliments on them so b4 u try to dog them u need to see ppl with cute ones ..LIKE ME!!! ion care what anyone says i think they look cute and that’s all that really matters. And hers look cute as well

  • Stephanie says:

    Hey Whitney, they look great! How long did you keep them in? what would you have done differently?

    • Whitney says:

      Hey Stephanie,
      Sorry for the super delayed response. I only kept them in for a month. I would have done a few things differently: I would have picked a lighter type of hair and I would have had friends come in shifts to help me!

  • Curious Aya says:

    hey I have a question, I have thick curly hair and I want to get micro braids, will it be possible without having ten pounds on my head?

  • Tara says:

    Is it better to burn the ends or feather tips? And is a perm good before getting the braids?

    • Whitney says:

      I would recommend feather tips. Burning the ends is time consuming and they get caught on your clothes. I would NOT recommend getting a perm before you get braids. The perm and the tension of the braids will snap your hair off. Email me if you have any more questions

  • Whitney says:

    I am trying to get them for the summer. What do you use to keep your edges nice?

  • cheri says:

    I think its totally cute!! I’m gonna start with mine today and hope it doesn’t take 18 hours.

  • Christina says:

    I really love the way your braids turned out. For the length, what length hair would you suggest I buy for a mid-back length? Thanks.

  • I was wondering how it worked out to work out with this hair style.I’ve been dying to get these so bad but i work out 6 days a week and my hair takes a beating for it with all the sweat. I wanted something where i didn’t have to wash and straighten it every week(well straighten it) and i was hoping this could be an option for me.

    How often can you wash them and how do you prevent frizziness? Should i just forgo a hairstyle like this seeing i workout 6 days a week.

    My fitness regimen
    Twice a week i take martial arts.
    Once a week i take tumbling/gymnastics(in addition to running)
    Twice a week i strength Train(In addition to running)
    Once a week I train at a parkour studio(in addition to running)

    Please tell me this hair style can be in my near future.If not are there any easier styles you could reccommend?

    • Whitney says:

      I would wash once every two weeks. They do get frizzy pretty fast. Honestly I wouldn’t recommend these as a workout hair style because they are so heavy. If you want braids, I would do shorter free style braids or twists. Something that can be pulled back into a pony tail comfortably.

  • Ariantè says:

    Did this style break your natural hair out any or did it help it grow?
    Would you recommend this for someone who is allergic to that kind of hair? Can I wash it with something first before use?

    • Whitney says:

      It actually broke my hair off a bit, not because of the braids, but because I wasn’t careful enough when I took them down. I would recommended using human braid hair. It’s pricey but its out there.

  • Carrie says:

    I love this look, love how u styled different ways too!!

  • Gush says:


    Love Afro Cosmetics dot com website has the utmost best braids and hair extensions available and so much other cosmetics to choose from – you should check it out

  • TA says:

    Three words: crochet box braids.
    It all gets down a lot quicker!

    Your braids looks lovely, though 🙂

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