How to Do Box Braids

There’s been a lot of misinformation floating around lately about box braids, so I thought I’d clear some things up.

First of all, box braids are 4 strand braids that are woven by repeatedly crossing the strands at opposing ends or corners over one another.

They are not braids for which the parts on the scalp are shaped like squares.

They are not just individual braids.

First of all, you need four strands.  These can be four locks of hair, four braids, or in my case, four dreadlocks.  For the sake of clarity, I thought it best to show you on my locks.

Cross the strands that are opposite each other.

Cross the other two opposing strands.

Repeat crossing over strands on opposite sides until you end up with a braid that looks sort of like a round or twisted chain.

As you can see, this is a difficult technique to do with only two hands.  You may want to get help from another person, or rig a couple of hair pins to help.  I suppose wishful thinking is maybe why so many people are spreading the rumor that box braids are just individual braids with square parts…but they are mistaken.

When you’re all done, they look like this:

Box Braided Dreads

We have illustrated instructions for how to do box braids here at

Now that you know how to do box braids, please spread the word.

Here are some of the few links I found with accurate information and real photos of real box braids:

Spicybraids’s Flickr photos - box braids on straight hair.

The Hair Growers’ Handbook: Box Braids - illustrated instructions on how to do box braids.

LH Sagi at YouTube does a quick demonstration of how to do a box braid:

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