House3
CLOSE
MENUCLOSE

The One Product That Made My Box Braids Bearable

Beauty

And a couple of other protective hairstyle-friendly products we recommend

For many black women, summer is when the curls go away and the box braids come out to play. Natural hair is wonderful and versatile and able to shape-shift if and when you need it to, but it’s also a hassle to deal with in the warmer months because it gets drier faster than usual. Protective hairstyles like box braids provide a much-needed reprieve.

That said, I never ascribed to the beauty is pain mentality until I got box braids for the first time. For those who have never had to sit through the five-plus-hours-long process, it’s as arduous as that time frame suggests. For one thing, you’re required to sit still for what feels like forever, which means you have to make your own entertainment. It's a long time to just stare at your phone. For another, not only are you bored, but you’re bored while a woman pulls and tugs at your hair. Ouch. And then even once you're up and out of the chair, you've got another harsh reality to face: Your braids will hurt for the first few days—like, really hurt.

There are a couple of reasons for this. Your head likely isn’t used to carrying all the extra hair that’s required for box braids. And, whoever braided your hair, likely did so very tightly on your scalp, so that the style would last longer.

All in all, it's a terrible couple of days, especially because there seemed to be no way to ameliorate the pain. All I could do was complain until either my friends got tired of my whining, or a couple of weeks had passed, and the style loosened up. 

For me, Shea Moisture’s ingenious track tension and itch relief serum was a saving grace during my first couple of braid days. The product's mini dropper allowed me to carefully squirt the shea butter, witch hazel, and peppermint and jojoba oil concoction directly onto my scalp, providing instant relief. I’ve even been using it weekly when I feel the urge to scratch my hair. It's simple to use, too. Just apply, massage in, and keep your complaints to a minimum.

Ahead are some additional products great for box braids and other protective styles. Beauty is pain, sure, but it doesn’t have to make you completely miserable.

Yes, you should still be washing your hair when you have box braids. Yes, it's very annoying to do so when that requires you to get them wet. This no-rinse cleanser is an easy work-around. It not only works to cleanse the scalp but will save you the hassle of carrying around pounds of wet hair all day.

Shea Moisture, Jojoba Oil & Ucuuba Butter No-Rinse Foam Cleanser, $9.97, available at Walmart.

Photo by Lea Colombo

She is building quite the modeling resume

Billie Eilish is a high fashion model. After fronting a Calvin Klein campaign back in May, Eilish now stars in MCM's AW19 campaign visuals alongside rapper Childish Major.

Keep reading... Show less
True
FROM THE WORLD WIDE WEB
Photo courtesy of The CW

Thank the prep school gods

My day has just gotten 100 times better, because it was just announced that Gossip Girl is officially getting a reboot. All I need to know now is whether Kristen Bell is down to still be the narrator.

Keep reading... Show less
True
Photo via @zara Instagram

The company announced its sustainability plan, and it's pretty impressive

Yesterday, Zara, one of the largest global fashion retailers, announced its sustainability plan for the next five years, which includes its goal to make its collections from 100 percent sustainable materials before the year 2025. Given just how many collections and pieces Zara puts out each year, this goal is pretty ambitious. Zara's parent company, Inditex, has also announced that its other brands, which include Zara Home, Massimo Dutti, and Pull&Bear, will be following suit.

Keep reading... Show less
True
Asset 7
MORE in VIDEO
Photo courtesy of HipDot

Is this keeping you up at night?

In celebration of SpongeBob's solar return (it's the 20th anniversary of SpongeBob SquarePants' first episode), HipDot—best known for their influencer collaborations and marble packaging—launched a skin-care and makeup collection inspired by everyone's favorite underwater sponge. For the most part, the collection is everything you'd expect; the eyeshadow palette features show-appropriate shades like Bikini Bottom Blue, and there's a coconut oil-infused lip gloss called Jelly Fish. Cute, right?

Keep reading... Show less
True

Whether you're going through heartbreak or not

Back with her first release since 2017's Bad Baby, singer-songwriter Sarah Jaffe needed to dig herself out of heartbreak, and, in the process, wound up with two EPs worth of new music encapsulating the experience. Ahead of the release of her This Is Better Pt. 1 and Pt. 2 EPs this Friday, Jaffe shares her latest single, "LAY LOW (TAKE CARE)," exclusively via NYLON.

Keep reading... Show less
True