As a popular wig style, box braid wigs require diligent care and maintenance to keep them looking fresh and new. After wearing handcrafted box braid wigs for several years, here are my tips for keeping your wig in top shape:
Invest in a high-quality wig
The key to a natural-looking, long-lasting wig is a high-quality piece made of resilient fibers and braided by hand with precision and care. For box braid wigs, look for styles made of fiber or human hair and with braids that are tightly and evenly braided. Higher quality wigs may cost more upfront but will hold up much better to styling and wear.
One brand that specializes in premium box braid wigs is FANCIVIVI—their wigs are handcrafted from fiber and braided by experienced stylists to create wigs that look and feel like natural hair yet last for months or years with proper care. You can learn more about their brand and shop for wigs at www.fancivivi.com.
Wash the wig regularly
While it may seem counterintuitive, washing your wig regularly is important to keep it fresh and prevent buildup even for a braided style. Natural hair oils, dirt, and debris will accumulate in the braids over time and make the wig look greasy and dirty if not washed every 7 to 10 wears or when visibly dirty. To wash, fill a sink with cool water and wig shampoo and gently dunk the wig to wet it. Gently massage the shampoo through the braids, then rinse thoroughly with cool water until the water runs clear. Gently squeeze out excess water and lay the wig flat on a towel to air dry away from direct heat. Never machine wash or dry a wig as this can severely damage the fibers and braids.
Apply leave-in conditioner
After washing and drying the wig, apply a few spritzes of leave-in conditioner, especially to the ends of the braids. Leave-in conditioner helps keep synthetic fibers hydrated and prevents breakage or frizzing, which helps braids look neat and fresh longer. Look for a conditioner designed for use on synthetic wigs and follow the directions on the product packaging. Leave-in conditioner helps combat the drying effect of washing and also detangles any knots for easier styling.
Style as desired
Once the wig is washed and conditioned, you can style it as desired. Styling the wig differently every time you wear it helps vary your look and prevents ongoing stress on the braids from the same tight style each day. Be gentle while styling to avoid breakage and use wig pins, hair ties, and styling products designed for use on synthetic wigs. Avoid excessive heat styling which can damage the synthetic fibers.
Inspect and tighten braids as needed
Check the braids every few wears or washes and tighten any braids that are loose, frayed, or slipping. Loose or damaged braids make the wig look messy and unkempt, but tightening the braids yourself extends time between professional styling appointments and maintains the wig's style and shape. To tighten, gently twist and retwist the braid, being careful not to make it too tight. Trim any stray ends with small scissors to keep the wig looking neat.
With proper care and regular washing, conditioning, styling, and inspections, a high-quality box braid wig can look fresh and new for many months or even years. While box braid wigs require more effort than other wig styles, taking the time to properly care for your wig investment will pay off to keep you looking your best.