With so many different ways and myths on how to braid your hair, it can be difficult to know which methods are best and which are downright harmful. To clear this up, I’ve asked some professionals and friends what they think, and the answer will surprise you!
You can use rubber bands on your braids during the actual braiding process or simply to add a little extra hold by applying them to your braid tips and on the braids themselves. That said, it is important that you remove the rubber bands correctly in order to minimize damage to your natural hair.
Let’s take a closer look at how you can box braid using rubber bands, AND how to remove them safely.
5 Steps To Braiding Your Hair Using The Rubber Band Method
If you have ever attempted to braid your own hair, you would know that one of the hardest parts is securing a grip when starting your braid. This is why the rubber band method was created to ensure that those who battle with getting a grip can do it more easily.
The best way to braid your hair using the rubber band method is to prep your hair by stretching it to eliminate any shrinkage and ensure that your hair is moisturized. Following this, you need to create your sections and use hair gel to make sure your hair is laid and flat before securing it with a rubber band before braiding.
It is a simple five-step method that works really well. If you have braided your own hair before, you can probably easily navigate these steps without much explanation. However, let’s get into each step for all of our other readers a little more for understanding.
1. Stretch your hair
If you have curlier or frizzy hair, you would know that shrinkage is a real problem. You could have hair that is 8 inches long that appears as four or five inches in length due to shrinkage.
This is why stretching your hair is extremely important before braiding. Once your hair is stretched, it becomes easier to work without the stress of curls or frizz getting in the way.
To stretch your hair, you can simply blow it out using a wide-toothed comb and a blow dryer. Comb through your hair as you blow it to ensure that all the curls and frizz are removed, as well as any tangles.
2. Use the right products
Caring for your natural hair while it is braided is one of the most important things about braiding. You want to ensure that your natural hair is well moisturized when you braid your hair so the moisture is retained while it is in the protective style.
You also need good products that will create a good hold when you are braiding your hair as well as provide a smooth, neat, and put together effect when your braids are done while keeping ‘fly-aways’ in check.
The right products include a good moisturizer, chosen according to your hair’s porosity level, and a mousse or gel to set your hair and make it easier to manage when braiding.
3. Create parts to section your hair
This is one of the best steps because it allows your creative juices to flow completely and gives you the opportunity to design the braid look that you desire. There are so many different ways to part your hair for braids and each creating its own unique style.
To part your hair you can start by creating a few major sections, so you can work with smaller portions of hair at a time. This makes the process more manageable. After you have done this, part each section according to the size of the braids you require and the style you prefer.
4. Secure each section for braiding
You are now able to use your rubber bands to prepare for braiding your hair. Once you have created your parts in your desired style, you are able to carry out this step.
To secure each section for braiding take a section of hair that you have parted and secure it with a rubber band. Ensure that when you are tying your rubber band, the hair is brushed neatly and the band is tied tightly enough to last while not tight enough to cause damage to your natural hair.
Repeat this step until all of your natural hair has been neatly secured by rubber bands and is ready for braiding.
5. Braid your hair
This is when the fun part begins as you can be really creative in the style that you braid your hair in. Besides the many different parting variations out there, there are also plenty of braiding variations.
This means that even if you choose to part your hair the same way each time you braid it, you can make it look completely different by using a different braiding technique.
To braid your hair, begin by tying your braid hair to your hair that has been secured by a rubber band. You want to do this as close to the roots as possible, over the rubber band. Once you have tied your braid hair to your natural hair, split the hair into sections depending on the type of braid you’d like.
Ensure that you properly blend your natural hair and braid hair before you begin braiding. Once you have done this, you can proceed to braid your hair into your desired style.
Removing Your Rubber Bands With 3 Easy Steps
The biggest concern for anyone who wants to use rubber bands when braiding their hair is whether the rubber bands will damage their hair. Although we want great styles, most of us don’t really want this at the expense of our natural hair.
This is why the removal process of your rubber bands is super important. If removed wrongfully, you can cause irreparable damage to your natural hair.
Here is how you rightfully remove your rubber bands from your hair in three steps:
You will need:
- a bobby pin or sharp-edged comb
- a pair of normal or eyebrow scissors
1. Remove your braids
You cannot remove your elastic bands without removing your braids first. Attempting to do so might cause far too much damage as the braids make it difficult to navigate where the elastic bands are positioned.
2. Secure one fold of the elastic band
Once you have removed your braids, feel along the elastic band to get a grip on one of the folds. Be mindful to only pull one as if you pull too many, it applies pressure to your hair and can cause breakage. You can use a bobby pin or your comb to help with this step.
3. Pull away and cut
Once you’ve secured one fold, gently pull it away from your natural hair. Pull it far enough to cut it without cutting your natural hair by mistake.
The two main ways that elastic bands cause damage is if they are tied wrongfully or removed wrongfully. If you are careful when applying them, ensuring that your natural hair is smoothed out to avoid tangles, and when removing them, you don’t have to stress about damage!