A box-braid bun looks beautiful to everyone but truthfully, after an hour carrying that basketball-sized bun on your head, you find yourself praying that your now-cramping neck doesn’t end up snapping off. And prior to this, you have to deal with the pain of having to redo your bun over and over again as your braids (which are also insanely heavy) refuse to cooperate and form a well-balanced, symmetrical, Solange-like bun that nestles perfectly at the centre of your head. Then your friends (who know absolutely nothing about styling braids) decide to chime in and tell you that ‘your bun looks perfect!’, but when you try point out that the left side is bulging out by an extra 5cm, they just look at you like you’re bat sh*t crazy. (So thank you, Solange Knowles, for setting unattainable box-braid styling standards.)
Being a girl is tough enough – you don’t need this added stress. So we’ve gathered six examples of stress-free, yes, stress-free, box-braid hairstyles that will ensure you look your best at all times.
1. Minnie Mouse Buns
An adorable take on the basic half-up/half-down hairdo (see image 2) that was incredibly popular last summer.
2. Half-Up/Half-Down Do (a top bun with the back braids hanging freely)
This hairstyle looks best worn with bright, printed summer dresses and statement jewellery.
3. Down-Do with a Flirty Side-Braid
Try this if you’re slightly bored with the classic down-do. Just make sure the side-braid is plaited loosely so it sweeps lightly from one side of your head to other.
4. Down-Do with a Head Wrap
This is the easiest way to style your box braids. Also, if the braids on top of your head are coming undone and you don’t have time to go to the hair salon, just put on a head wrap and no-one will know you’re in need of a touch-up.
If all else fails, forget the neat, symmetrical bun and opt for a messy, twisted bun. Or just wear your braids down like Beyoncé and Tia Mowry.
TIP: Wearing your hair up all the time can actually damage your hairline. If your forehead looks like it’s being pulled back tightly, you need to loosen your ponytail or bun just a little bit. This can damage your hair follicles and possibly lead to permanent hair loss, as the braids are constantly tugging your hairline throughout the day. Give your hair a break by wearing your braids down at least three times a week.
5. Twisted Bun
Give your hairline a break and wear a loose, twisted bun, or …
… just wear your braids down and give your natural hair a break from all that pulling.
6. Middle or Side-Parting Down-Do
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