Braided Bun with Box Braids | Pictorial

One thing I have been enjoying with my box braids is trying new styles. The last time I had box braids I only tried a few new styles. This braided bun is one I've seen different variations of and always liked so I decided to try my own. It's so easy, but looks very intricate. I love styles like that. Here's a quick and easy tutorial of how I created this style:

1. Pull braids into a high ponytail or wherever you would like your bun to be. With box braids and similar styles, it is easiest for me to turn my head upside down to make sure I get all the braids into the position I want them. 

2. Spread the hair evenly around the ponytail. Like cover your face and head with it. You should look your whole head is covered once you've done this step. 

3. Divide the hair into 4 sections and braid each one. 

4. Moving in one direction, I chose clock-wise, begin pinning each braid around the ponytail until you have pinned each one. 

There you have it - a braided bun!  I initially tried this style with 3 braids and it didn't work out as well because of the amount of hair I have in with these braids. So, if you try this style with 4 braids and you bun is too bulky or just not sitting right, try it with 5 instead. I also suggest adjusting the braids around your edges and nape before you start braiding, just to make sure they aren't too tight. My braids had grown out at this point, but I still found that the style could cause tension even when it doesn't feel tight. 

Box Braid Wash Day

Wash days when protective styling are the easiest wash days ever! After about 3 weeks or so with my box braids, I decided it was time to wash them - more like my scalp decided it was time to be washed. I used my usual method of washing box braids. Here's how the day went:

{1} Divided my braids into 6 sections and braided each one. Secured each braid with a small rubber band.

{2} Cleansed with a mix of CON Moisturizing Argan Oil and a small amount of ORS Creamy Aloe shampoos watered down in an applicator bottle. I focused on my scalp and the roots of the braids. Lathered twice.

{3} Watered down TRESemme Naturals in an applicator bottle and applied that from the roots of the braids down the length to where I believed my hair ends. Massaged it in and let it sit for about 10 minutes. Rinsed with cool water.

{4} ACV and aloe vera juice rinsed spraying both my scalp and the length of my hair. I didn't rinse this out.

{5} Towel wrapped the braids to soak up excess water for about 20 minutes.

{6} Unbraided each section and applied some coconut oil to seal in the moisture.

{7} T-shirt wrapped the braids to let them finish air-drying.

Once the braids were completely dry, I decided to re-braid around the perimeter of my head to freshen them up a little. I felt like I had about half an inch of new growth with some of them. I didn't make them as tight as I did initially though. After that I put my hair in the big, high bun at the beginning of this post.

Washing box braids
Braided sections
4 weeks is usually my limit for these types of styles, but I've been trying to figure out a way to get a couple more weeks out of this style. My hair is doing well in them, it's easy, and I'm still not sure about what to do with my hair when I take these out. So, I figure keeping it put away for a little while longer will be good for me.

How was your wash day this week? Be sure to check out other Wash Day Experiences over at SavingOurStrands and JustGrowAlready!

My Box Braid Installation #2

I'm still on my protective styling til the end of the year challenge. So my hair was out for about a week or so before I started installing my box braids. Initially, I planned to do them crochet style, but that ended up not working out the way I wanted so I just did singles. When I was putting the braids in around the perimeter of my head, I had a moment where I felt like my hair is actually getting pretty long. Am I the only one whose definition of long hair has progressively changed during this hair journey? Yes? Oh... ok. Well most of the time, I don't think my hair is actually that long. However, when I was able to compare it to the braid I had just installed, which is clearly long, I was like wow! my hair IS getting long! :-D Of course I had to take a pic to share!

I used my usual X-Pression Braiding hair (some of which I used again from my twists) in 1B and 1B/33. After the perimeter of my hair was done, I started installing braids crochet style and I was! I didn't get too far before I realized this either. So, I took them out and started putting singles in. It actually made for a really easy process since my hair was braided straight back. I would take out one cornrow, put all that hair into box braids, and then move onto the next cornrow. Not a lot of fighting with my huge hair for parts and such. 

People always ask me how long it takes me to complete a style like this on myself and I can never give them a real answer. I don't like to sit and do my hair straight through for some reason. I'll do the perimeter of my hair first so that I can hide the unfinished part with a bun until I'm ready to finish. I would guess I spent 5-6 hours on it total? Who knows.

I've had my braids in for a few weeks now. I actually don't remember when exactly in September I put them in. That's how I know I'm really enjoying them. I haven't been counting down the days til I meet a goal and can take them out or anything along those lines. I'm loving them! I think the ease of protective styling is allowing me to hold on to them for longer. It's so awesome when you don't have to worry about what you're going to do with your hair in the morning.

Before I gave up on the crochet idea

When I put these in, I was coming up on 14 weeks post. I definitely could have relaxed my hair, but I chose not to because I knew I wanted to put another protective style in quickly. I would have had to wait some time after relaxing before I could put these braids in and I was not up for waiting. So, I'm thinking by the time I take these out and am ready to relax my hair I'll be around 20 weeks post. Eeek! I'm a little nervous about that. I've only stretched that long once before (25 weeks to be exact) and I really had no desire to ever do it again before transitioning. But I will be excited to see how much of a difference protective styling for the past few months has made. The comparison pic makes me feel like I've made some good progress!
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