Box braids are more or less “individual plaits that are usually divided [into] small squared off parts or boxes.” They can be done on any hair length, but there are cases when ladies choose to add synthetic hair to make the braid longer and to increase the hair’s fullness and thickness.

This hair style was popularised by Janet Jackson in the 90s. Time passed and a lot of people felt that box braids’ heyday is finished. But presently, box braids are starting to make a comeback and if you want a unique yet easy – to – maintain hairstyle, box braids are perfect for you.

Box braids remains the most popular hairstyles for black women, and they are incredibly stylish, easy to maintain, and there are several different styling options. This hair style can be spotted easily by their somewhat boxy, squared off divisions. Hair extensions are often critical for pulling off the appropriate look. Best of all, box braids even serve as a form of protective styling.

However, there’s no denying the cultural impact this hairstyle has had over the years. It is a joy to see that their elegance and versatility are now back in full force. Crochet braids, goddess braids, Ghana braids, and poetic justice braids are some of the most popular braiding styles.

The box braiding process usually takes a lot of time to complete, but the wait is all worth it because the finish look is definitely beautiful.

Box braids are typically salon services. The costs tend to actually depend on the salon or the hairstylist, but there are other factors that affect the costs. On average, however, the box braids prices can range from $75 to as much as $455, depending on certain circumstances.

Factors That Influence The Cost Of Making Box Braids

  1. Braid Box Size

Typically, box braids come in 3 sizes:

  • Chunky, Jumbo Box Braids: Jumbo box braids are quite popular due to their fashionable, dramatic appearance. Some women also complain about jumbo box braids being too heavy and causing tension of their hair strands, so it is always advisable to pay close attention to the tightness of the braids and size of sections used. Also, due to the size of jumbo box braids, some women have trouble keeping them clean compared to micro braids.
  • Thin, Micro Braids: When considering micro braids, it is imperative to consider that more tension could be placed on your hair follicles as less hair is used to carry the weight of these braids. Howbeit, when installing micro braids, make sure that your stylist doesn’t make your braids too tight leading to additional tension of your hair follicles. One advantage of micro braids is that they offer more access to the scalp, which makes cleaning your scalp and hair a lot easier.
  • Normal, Pencil – Sized Box Braids: The normal box braids may be the best option when you want to play it safe. They’re not heavy like some jumbo box braids can be, and they aren’t thin, micro braids that can put stress on small sections of your hair. These “normal” box braids are often the best place to start for people new to braiding hairstyles.

Note that this type of service is done by hand and that’s why it can take several hours to finish. If you choose thin braids, it can take, at least, seven hours to complete. More hours are consumed if your hair is very long, so don’t wonder why the price is relatively high.

  1. Salon

Salons in the United States tend to commonly use two pricing methods: by hair length and by hour. Note that some braiding salons base their box braids prices on the client’s hair length. Prices start at $120 for hair 10 to 12 inches long. The cost increases about $10 to $20 for every additional two inch. On the other hand, some braiding salons charge on an hourly basis. For instance, the cost for large box braids start at $45 for the first hour and becomes $15 for every succeeding hour. Meanwhile, single box braids have a fixed fee of $35 per hour.

  1. Length

The length of the box braid can also affect the cost of having the braids done. However, below are the most common box braid lengths:

  • Long – Box Braids: If you are looking for a more dramatic look, then long braids are the better option. However, keep in mind that these braids can get in your way and may be uncomfortable when you sleep at night.
  • Short – Box Braids: One of the more popular trends at the moment is the short box braids styled into a bob.
  • Medium – Box Braids: Medium length braids may also appeal to you as this is not the common length. In most cases, you will see women either sporting short or long braids.

The most expensive box braids are those that go down to the waist. You can expect to pay more than $200 in nearly every market for waist – length box braids.

  1. Location

The stylist may charge more or less as well, depending on the market. According to reports, geographic region can also be a factor since the market can differ drastically. It depends on population, competition, and many other location – based factors. Price can vary widely in large cities like New York, Jacksonville, Kansas City, Denver, Atlanta, Los Angeles and Houston. Also, prices outside of the United States are unpredictable; Canada, United Kingdom, and Africa (for example) will have very different pricing models.

  1. Age

Have it in mind that kids and adults often have different prices. Some salons charge a minimum price of $150 to style box braids for an adult, but children usually will have a minimum price of less than $100.Depending on the length of the hair and the size of the braids, the price for kids ages 2 to 12 ranges from $70 to $255. For teens ages 13 to 18, the cost can run from $180 to $310.

  1. Hair Preparations

Before braiding, the hair is expected to be cleaned first. It should be shampooed, conditioned, and detangled. Then, it should be blow – dried. Some salons offer to treat the hair and scalp with hot oil to make them more manageable. Hair preparation usually costs $15 to $30.

  1. Hair Extensions

If your hair is already long enough, you can just have it braided. But if it isn’t, then you’ll need to purchase hair extensions. Some stylists will charge you less if you bring your own braiding hair. Your local beauty supply store should be able to help you find good braiding hair for box braids. Most braiding salons provide synthetic hair braids to use for this situation. But if you want to save a few bucks, you’d do well to buy your own hair extensions.

Conclusion

Right before you let the stylist touch your hair, instruct him or her to not braid too tightly, particularly around your head’s edges. If you feel any pain or burning sensation on your scalp, your braids may be too tight. In addition, while the prices listed in this article are helpful, you should still do your own research before box braiding. After all, no matter how accurate the cost estimates are, nothing still surpasses actual consultation.

Ajaero Tony Martins