Box braids are a popular protective style for natural hair that involves braiding the hair close to the scalp in tight, box-like sections. Box braid wigs allow you to achieve the look of box braids without the hours-long braiding process and potential damage to your natural hair. However, box braid wigs still require care to maximize their lifespan and retain their fresh look. Wondering how to maintain your Box Braid Wigs? Follow this article and find your answer. With the proper dos and don'ts, you can keep your box braid wig looking stylish and natural for several weeks or months of wear.
1. Wash and deep condition your wig regularly
Just like your natural hair, box braid wigs need to be washed regularly to maintain their appearance and prevent buildup of dirt and oils. It is recommended that you wash your wig every 2-4 weeks, depending on how often you wear it. When washing your wig, make sure to use a gentle shampoo and conditioner to avoid causing harm to the fibers of the wig. Deep conditioning treatment is also necessary to maintain your wigs, keeping the hair soft and moisturized. While doing that, be careful not to saturate the braids with the treatment, and then rinse again with water. Allow the wig to air dry completely before wearing again or styling. Regular washing and deep conditioning will keep your box braid wig fibers soft, minimize frizz and tangling, and prevent the growth of odor-causing bacteria.
2. Use a wig stand or mannequin head
When not in use, the box braid wig should be put properly to prevent being tangled or damaged. Using a wig stand or mannequin head can help maintain the shape and style of the wig, while also allowing air to circulate and prevent the form of mold and mildew. When storing your wig, make sure to cover it with a hair net or scarf to keep it clean and protected.
3. Use a wide-tooth comb or brush
When styling your box braid wig, it’s essential to use the right tools to prevent damage and breakage. A wide-tooth comb or brush is recommended to gently detangle the hair, starting at the ends and working your way up to the roots. While a regular brush or comb is not recommended, as it can cause the hair fibers to become frizzy and tangled.
4. Protect your wig from heat
Just like your natural hair, box braid wigs can be damaged by heat styling tools such as flat irons and curling wands. If you need to style your wig with heat, make sure to use a heat protectant spray and keep the temperature low to prevent damage to the fibers. You can also use alternative styling methods such as braids or twists to create a variety of looks without using heat.
5. Protect your wig from the elements
When you are in the open air, your box braid wigs can be damaged by intense sunlight, strong winds, and rainwater. To protect your wig from these elements, you’d better wear a hat or scarf when you’re outside. You can also use a UV protectant spray to prevent the fibers from becoming brittle and damaged.
1. Overwash your wig
While it’s important to keep your wig clean, overwashing can actually do more harm than good. Overwashing can cause the hair fibers to become dry and brittle, leading to breakage and damage. It’s also important to protect your wig from hot water when you are washing it, as this can cause the fibers to become frizzy and damaged. Lukewarm water and a gentle shampoo are the best combination to keep your wig looking its best.
2. Brush or comb the wig when wet
One of the major don'ts for box braid wig care is brushing or combing the wig when it is wet. That’s because the braids and fibers are much more delicate when wet and prone to breakage, fuzz, and frizz from brushing. Only detangle or loosen the braids with your fingers while the wig is wet. Once the wig is fully air dried, you can gently brush out any tangles with a wide-tooth comb or brush to restore the braids to their proper shape and fullness. Being patient and you will find it worthwile waiting till the wig becomes dry before styling or brushing it, and you will also get a ever long-lasting wig.
3. Store your wig in a plastic bag
While it may seem like a convenient option, storing your box braid wig in a plastic bag can actually do more harm than good. Plastic bags can trap moisture and cause mold and mildew to form, leading to unpleasant odors and damage to the wig fibers. The style of the wig can also be affected since the wig might be squeezed in plastic bags. If you need to transport your wig, use a wig box or travel case that allows certain room for air to circulate and for maintain the bueaty of the wig.
4. Pull or tug on the hair
When detangling your box braid wig, it’s important to be gentle and avoid pulling or tugging on the hair. This can cause the fibers to be stretched and damaged, leading to breakage and frizz. Instead, use a detangling spray or leave-in conditioner to help loosen any knots or tangles.
5. Use harsh chemicals on your wig
Harsh chemicals such as bleach, hair dye, and hair relaxers can cause serious damage to box braid wigs. Avoid using these chemicals on your wig, as they can strip the fibers of their natural oils and cause breakage and damage. If you want to change the color or style of your wig, consider using a wig cap or purchasing a new wig instead.
6. Sleep in your wig
While it may be tempting to sleep in your box braid wig for convenience, this can actually cause serious damage to the fibers. Sleeping in your wig can cause tangling, matting, and breakage, leading to a shorter lifespan for the wig. Instead, remove your wig before bed and store it properly on a wig stand or mannequin head.
If you are still confused about specfic cleaning steps of your box braid wig, check it out in the following tips.
Seven tips for spot cleaning stains
- Treat stains promptly. The sooner you treat a stain, the more likely it is to come out. Check your wig after each wear and treat any stains you notice right away.
- Identify the stain type. Determine if the stain is protein-based like sweat, oil, or blood, or dye-based like ketchup or wine. Then use a stain remover targeted for that type of stain.
- Test in an inconspicuous area. It is wise to apply a small amount of stain remover on small, hidden part of the wig just in case. If you find the wig be damaged or discolored, clean off the stain remover right away and change for another remover product.
- Apply with a cotton swab or cloth. Use a cotton swab or clean cloth to apply the stain remover directly to the stain, blotting repeatedly until the stain is removed. Do not rub the stain, which can spread it or damage the wig fibers.
- Rinse and air dry. After removing the stain, rinse the area with water and blot to absorb the moisture. Then lay the wig flat, leave it alone, and allow it to air dry completely.
- Condition after staining. Once the stain is removed and the area is dry, apply a small amount of conditioner to the section and distribute it evenly to restore moisture and softness to the fibers.
- Repeat as needed. For stubborn stains, you may need to repeat the stain removal process a few times. Be patient, and the stain should come out with consistent, gentle treatment. It takse time for your wig to regain its glow.
Taking proper care of your box braid wig is essential for long-lasting wear and maintaining its appearance. Following these essential wig care dos and don'ts will have your box braids turning heads for weeks or months on end.