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How to Make Individual Braids

Also known as box braids, the individual braids are mostly made with synthetic hair. Provided here are steps for this African braiding hairstyle.
Smita Pandit
Braiding is an integral aspect of African-American hairstyles. Micro braids, tree braids, pixie braids, goddess braids, and box braids are some of the popular styles. Box braids, which are also referred to as single or individual braids, have square or box-shaped parts for each braid.
Though box braid style can be created with natural hair, extensions are ensuring that the braids are uniform in thickness, as well as length. This type of braiding can take around 6 to 12 hours to complete.
However, it can last for several weeks, if you maintain them properly. It must be noted that braids that are too tight and kept for extended periods can put you at a risk of traction alopecia.

How to Do Box Braids

Box braids last longer than cornrows and offer movement as these are not attached to the scalp. Here are the instructions for making these braids.
>> First of all, you need to shampoo your hair with a clarifying shampoo. You can use a standard shampoo, if your hair is extremely dry.
>> Apply a detangling conditioner.
>> Allow your hair to air dry. Thereafter, use a wide-toothed comb to detangle your hair from the root to the tip.
>> Divide your hair into four even and equal square sections.
>> Once the hair is sectioned off, use clips to divide and hold each section.
>> Start with the front section. Pinch a small section of the hair, depending on the size of the braids you want.
>> Hold the hair between your index finger and thumb. Remember each braid should be of the same width, so take the same amount of hair for every braid.
>> Divide this into three sections of equal thickness. Hold the left section between the left thumb and index finger and hold the right section in the right thumb and index finger.
>> If you are using extensions, you can take a small section of the extensions and stretch it. Bend it into half, so that it looks like an inverted U.
>> If you are using extensions, then the middle section of real hair should be slightly thicker than the left and the right sections.
>> Place the extension over the middle section of your real hair, while the ends of the extensions should be over the left and the right sections of your real hair.
>> Cross the left section under the middle section. After that, cross the right section under the middle section.
>> Continue braiding, till the entire section is braided. If the piece of synthetic extension gets over midway, you can use another piece in the aforementioned manner till the end of the section.
>> Now, pinch another section of hair, so that the size of the part is same. Follow the aforementioned method to make equal-sized braids in all the four sections.
>> Make sure that the braids are neither loose nor too tight. When you are braiding your hair into such braids, try to maintain symmetry, as these braids look good, only when all of them are of the same thickness.

Styling Options

A stylist will take about 6-12 hours to make braids. This hairstyle allows your hair to rest and recover, but it's best not to wear these braids for an extended period. These braids can also be styled into the following hairdos.


Besides wearing them down, you could tie these braids together to form a ponytail. You also have the option of weaving all the braids into a bigger braid. You can make use of accessories such as cute rubber bands, hair clips, or beads to enhance your braided look further.

Classic Updos

This is a very elegant style which looks great and accents a woman's neck. You can tie the braids into a classic updo.
You can make a neat bun and neatly tuck in the ends of the braids using pins. Medium or long hair also look pretty in a half up and half down style. Classic crown updos using partial cornrows and finished updos braids also look great.

Small Braids

Making braids with all your hair can be time-consuming. If you are one of those who don't have that kind of patience, you could save time by making just a few braids and then try out various styles. You can twist these smaller braids to form small buns. In case you have short hair, use hair add-ons.
If you are planning to style your tresses in this braided hairdo, it would be best to seek the services of a stylist. You can tie these braids into a bun or an updo for formal occasions.
Braided style gives you a neat and stylish look while giving your hair time to rest. Do ask the stylist about the hair care regimen, which includes tips on shampooing and conditioning braided hair.