Boxer braids? Done. I’ve been doing my own braids since I was an ’80s/90s kid when my mom told me she didn’t know how to do French braids. Like a young #ladyboss before her time, I would lie on my stomach, watching afterschool specials (a.k.a. teen dramas, pre-The OC), perfecting my plaits for school. (So rad with my tennis sweater and Tretorn sneaks.) To get a basic boxer braid look, I just do two French braids (like in the image below on the right).
I normally reserve braids for day-two hair. But for these boxer braid pics, my hair was freshly washed because I didn’t want it to fall flat. I still used dry shampoo to give my locks a bit of grit (helps the braids stick). I like Cake Beauty Satin Sugar Volumizing Dry Shampoo for a few reasons: 1. It blends well, without leaving a white, powdery residue; 2. The sweet scent doesn’t conflict with my shampoo or perfume fragrances; and 3. And I love that it’s a Canadian brand. You can also use a flexible hairspray. Just make sure you brush it through. To my grooming tool belt, I added The Knot Dr. The Pro The Hybrid Detangler, because, well, obvs, it detangles. These are must-haves when doing boxer braids like mine, or even cornrows (like all the Kardashians are sporting lately) to reverse braids (above left).
After that, follow these steps:
- Part your hair into two sections, from the middle of the forehead down to the nape of the neck. Secure the right side into a ponytail. This will help you keep your part straight and ensure you don’t blindly grab hair from the wrong side.
- Brush the hair on the left side until there isn’t even a hint of a snag or a knot. Since both your hands will be busy holding one section, you don’t want to have to grab a comb or brush to section more hair.
- Now for the side you’re going to braid:
- Take about a one-inch section at the hairline with your right hand and divide it into three with two fingers of your left hand. Pull the centre section over to the left as if you’re crossing your fingers for good luck. Your right hand will hold the other two sections – the far right piece, closest to the part, is held by your pinky, and the now centre piece is held by your right two fingers.
- Cross over the right section into the centre, swapping your hand positions, so that your left hand now holds one section and your right holds two (looped in the pinky and between two fingers).
- Drop the left section in your pinky and hold onto the centre piece with your left fingers. I know it feels strange to let go of a piece, but you’ll be okay, and so will your hair. Promise. Pinky swear.
- It’s time to add hair from the side. That piece you briefly let go comes into play here.
- Take your left pointer finger and bring it to the hairline, so that it is inline with where you just left your braid. Use your well-manicured nail to create a part up until you reach the dropped part of your braid. You’ll feel it because your hair will feel more dense when you reach it.
- Drop the centre piece, and grab onto the new piece (new as in you just added hair to the section) with your right hand.
- Pull the centre with your left hand ensuring the braid is taut.
- Onto the other side.
- Drop the right piece, and loop your pinky finger of your left hand around the left piece. Grab the centre piece with your left two fingers (fingers crossed again).
- Go to the centre part in the back of your head, and using your right just-as-well-manicured pointer finger, create a part to gather hair until you reach the dropped piece.
- Drop the centre piece and hold it with your fingers of your left hand. Tightly pull the centre piece over to the right with your right hand, between your fingers, and move the right piece over to your pinky.
- Now that you’ve added hair from both sides, repeat steps 5 and 6, until you run out hair to pull from the sides. Braid the remainder of the hair into a braid and secure with a hair band. I like to double or triple up. I stole this styling trick from a 2013 Balmain runway look.
- Now just do the same thing to the other side, going from steps 2 through 6. Just remember to remember to remove the elastic before you start.
As far as boxer braid looks go, this is pretty basic. And it’s a good place to start, if you’re doing your own gym hair. The trick to perfecting this is to seamlessly move your hair between your hands. And that takes practice. So, stay tuned. I’m aiming to make my gym hair next level with reverse and cornrow braiding instead of these simple plaits. I just need some Netflix time and some space on my living room floor.
Cake Beauty Satin Sugar Volumizing Dry Shampoo
Cake Beauty Satin Sugar Volumizing Dry Shampoo