How to care for box braids with Curlture

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30 Jul, 2020

We teamed up with the haircare experts and empowering babes at Curlture to find out more about them and get their top tips on caring for your box braids. Founded and created by Jay and Trina, Curlture is a platform to celebrate Black culture, speak out on important issues and of course talk about EVERYTHING hair.

It all started when Jay and Trina realised that there was very little representation of Black British bloggers talking about natural hair, so they decided to take it upon themselves and create Curlture.

We chatted to them about their brand, their book KINK and got a little expert knowledge on caring for box braids.

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The story of Curlture

How did you meet?

We met when we were just 14 years old. We’re both from the same area, so would see each other on the bus, on the way back from school. You know when they say your vibe attracts your tribe?- yeah that, so it was bound to happen really! We then found out we had mutual friends, which then solidified our friendship.

How did you start Curlture?

We were both starting to explore our natural hair and embarked on a journey discovering natural products and practices. Most of the content we consumed on Youtube was from American bloggers, often referring to products that weren’t available in the UK. This led us to do research in the hope of discovering some Black British bloggers, however we had to dig deep to find them. So, we decided to start our own platform and document our conversations about hair, products, culture and pride – hence the name Curlture *wink wink* 

Why was it important to create such an empowering platform?

The short answer is that representation matters and it is important to see yourself reflected! It was super important for us to maintain an empowering platform because both mainstream media and social media have a habit of telling Black Women to change their hair to be accepted. We are passionate about telling every woman to embrace the magic they naturally possess. We can’t keep holding White women and racially ambiguous women as the epitome of beauty, there should be space to flaunt all different shades and shapes. We’re really proactive women. If we see a problem, we’ll tackle it head on and that’s our goal with Curlture.

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“It was super important for us to maintain an empowering platform because both mainstream media and social media have a habit of telling Black Women to change their hair to be accepted”

CURLTURE

Did you come from hairdressing backgrounds?

Funny enough, neither of us have hairdressing backgrounds – through Curlture we’ve developed our skills over the last 6 years. Prior to starting Curlture, Trina worked in TV production and Jay worked in recruitment. Curlture was our passion project, turned business whilst we were still working full time. We never imaged that starting this platform 6 years ago would have led us to do the incredible work we’re able to do today. So to anyone reading this, we would encourage you to explore your hobbies and interests.

What can people expect to see if they follow you?

Lewks baby! Lots of innovative hair styles, hair tips and advice, Black girl magic, Black owned businesses, as well as a sprinkle of skin care and travel content.

Where can we buy your book?

Our book KINK, was birthed out of frustration of the lack of representation and versatility seen of Black Women and their natural hair. So, we created a book highlighting what we felt was lacking and it’s definitely one of our proudest accomplishments. You can purchase our book via our website or you can buy it directly from here

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How to care for box braids…

Whether you are struggling to get a hairdressers appointment post-lockdown, you wanna save a little money or you are feeling a little nervous about visiting the salon, we’ve got you covered. Scroll down below to see Jay and Trina’s advice on caring for your box braids and making them last.

Q: Tips for removing braids with minimal damage to your hair

A: Our top tips for removing braids:

  1. Unravel the braid from the ends, working your way to the scalp, using your finger tips or a metal tail comb. If you have long braid installed cut the extensions about a hand’s width away from where your actual hair ends to save some time. 
  2. You can opt to spray or apply oil to each braid to allow the hair to slip and not get tangled whilst undoing the braid too. 
  3. Repeat the process until all your braids are undone. Remember, don’t pull too hard, be gentle and take your time – maybe sit down and watch a Netflix series so that you’re not rushing and damaging your hair.
  4. Finally, gently detangle your hair with a wide tooth comb, to remove any large knots before washing.
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Q: How to make your braids last longer when you can’t get to the hairdressers

A: To keep your hair neat whilst in braids, probably once every week, we would recommend you apply a foam holding product or/and a leave in spray and cover you head every night with a satin scarf – the scarf helps lay down flyaway hairs and also help retain moisture.

Q: How frequently should you get box braids redone and what are the tell-tale signs that you need to?

A: The reality is protective styling should always be short term. You should keep your braids in between 4-6 weeks maximum. Don’t. Leave. Them. In. For. Months.!!

Just because you have braids in, that doesn’t mean you should neglect your hair. You’ll know when it’s time to take them out, as your braid will begin to loosen, causing it to get a little messy. This is completely normal and due to the natural growth of your hair. Also, if you’re thinking about box braids the type of hair that you use can also dry out your hair so having it in too long isn’t great.  You should also double check you are not allergic to the extension hair as some are treated with chemicals that can cause irritation.

Q: How to stop your braids from frizzing

A: To stop your hair from getting too frizzy our top 3 tips would be:

  1. Use gel or a wax when installing your braids for a longer lasting hold.
  2. Use a leave in spray to moisturise your hair
  3. Protect your hair at night with a silk/satin safe to lay down your flyways.
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How to wash your hair and scalp without damaging your braids

The key here is to not rub your braids as you’re washing your hair. Focus your finger tips on gently massaging your scalp in a vertical direction, or following the natural direction of the braid. We recommend using a clarifying shampoo to really remove build up and look after your scalp. After washing, get a t-shirt which will cause less friction to dampen your hair, removing the excess water. Follow steps 2 & 3 in our top tips to moisturise and ensure your hair stays neat.

How to choose the right hair covering for bed

To protect your hair for bed, we recommend using a satin or silk scarf. The reason for this is that it will reduce the friction between your pillow and your braids, so that it’s not so frizzy when you wake up in the morning. You can get some really cute scarves as well to match your pyjamas.- make it fashion!

What are your top haircare products on the site & why?

  1. Castor Oil is natural hair cult classic.  If you don’t know, now you know!!! It’s super good for edges and thickening hair. 
  2. The Shea Moisture Curl and Shine shampoo is another cult classic, it’s not super drying but it still gets rid of product build up.
  3. It’s always good to prep your hair before the braids, using the Protein Smoothing Conditioner will help strengthen your hair before you install them.