Although box braids are beloved for their versatility and look, the downside is the ills that come with a fresh install — like tight braids that make it difficult to sleep and do everyday things (like raising your eyebrows). Many of us have come to accept this adjustment period as standard fare, but we’ve all seen the photos of too-tight braids and heard the horror stories about loss of edges and traction alopecia. In an attempt to avoid this, many have turned to larger braids, in the hopes that there would be less points of tension on the scalp. But does that solve the problem at hand? When it comes to box braids, does size, in fact, matter? 

According to natural hairstylist Kamilah (known on the ‘gram as @mshairandhumor), size does not matter, but proper install does. “If someone does tight small braids, chances are they will do tight large ones,” she says, emphasizing that the stylist’s technique is paramount. Not only does tightness affect proper install, but knowing when and where to add pressure does, too. The amount of hair in the braid can impact tension as well, says Kamilah, noting that there is often more added hair than the natural hair, weighing it down as it grows out. This is unhealthy for the hair of the scalp and will create tension regardless of size.


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Don’t say I didn’t give you enough time for this class! Anyone in ATL or planning on going to ATL can take advantage of this super early heads up for my #thefutureisknotless braiding workshop at the @naturalhairindustry convention! **Swipe** for the flyer !! I am honored and excited that @naturalhairindustry reached out to lil ole ME to teach a class this year at the convention in Atlanta in November! Like...WHET!!!???!😩 This is an UBER early heads up to get your tickets to this class because 1. The price is a STEAL...TRUST! and 2. Seating is limited! Can’t wait to see you! 🙃 I told you...The Future is Knotless! #thefutureisknotless #mshairandhumor #classisinsession #allidoisbraid and mind my business 😌 #thejourneycontinues #knotlessbraids #naturalhairstylist #protectivestyles Head over to @naturalhairindustry page for ticket link and look for my class! #naturalhairindustry #naturalhair #natural #bighair #naturalhaircommunity #atlantabraider #stylist #hairstylist

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For the least amount of tension, Kamilah recommends opting for knotless braids, a different box braid technique that lessens the amount of tension on the hair considerably (there’s no post-install pain). It’s also important to find the right stylist, she adds, stressing that it’s who does the style that matters most.

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Nobody: Client: I can’t wait to leave here with my bun!!! 🤣 I didn’t even have to ask if she wanted it😏 Day 1, messy bun. #mshairandhumorknotlessbraids #knotlessbraids #protectivestyles #messybun #braidedbun #braids #beauty #naturalhair #naturalbeauty

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Read More:

6 Best Edge Brushes for Slicking Down Your Edges

7 Short Hairstyles for Black Women You’ll Want to Rock All Summer and Beyond

7 Crochet Styles You Can Definitely DIY 


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