How Do I Make My Box Braids Curly or Wavy?
People have asked me this question, time and time again, and so, here’s the answer.
1.) I basically do what is called a “braid-out” with my box braid extensions, just as people would do with their natural, or kinky hair. When you make big braids in your hair and leave them in until your hair sets (sometimes using styling products, until it dries) and then unravel the braid, its called a “braid-out.” The only difference is that I’m using braids, instead of loose hair. I do not use hair that is already curly, or wavy.
2.) I gather and braid at least three, six, nine, or more single braids all into one big braid, and then I repeat this all over my head. So 100+ single/box braids eventually becomes about 20+ big braids total.
3.) In order for the curls, or waves to set, I wet the braids with water; the hotter the water, the deeper the curl! Be very careful. I’ve been referring to this technique as “dipping.” It’s done in African braiding salons all over Harlem and elsewhere, but I first learned of this, from watching my mom do her hair, when I was younger.
What Kind of Hair Do I Use?
I use 100% Kanekalon hair only. “Dipping” your braids/extensions works with some 100% Synthetic hair. Both 100% Synthetic and 100%Kanekalon hair are usually non-flammable and because of this, at times, they don’t respond well to heat, or the curl doesn’t hold very long. Since my natural hair is dread locked, silky 100% Human hair is ‘not the move’ for me, the braids won’t last for three months, maybe they’ll hold for two weeks, but with all the time that goes into braiding, two weeks just isn’t long enough. I’ve found that the 100% Kanekalon braiding hair from the JANET Collection works well with my hair.
How Do I Make My (Braid) Curls, or Waves Bigger or Smaller?
For bigger, looser curls or waves include more single braids into the big braid, and for smaller, tighter curls, include less single braids into the big braid.
I hope this helps!