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How to Style Box Braids

How to Style Beach Braids 4 Ways

This scorching weather means tons of time in the water. To limit the damage (and time spent) on your hair, take a cue from Beyoncé and Solange Knowles and get braids. Box braids, Senegalese twists, microbraids, and two-strand twists will protect your hair from harm. And by the end of the season, you'll have plenty of hair growth to admire. Check out a few of our favorite styling ideas for extra-long braids.

Tied Up
Pounds of synthetic hair can be stifling and hot, so try one of these updos to keep your neck cool. A chunky side braid works for the office with a headband. Try a messy topknot for a day on the beach to keep sand at bay (but beware: this style can cause neck pains).

Let Down
Let those bum-grazing braids flow with these styles. Accentuate a ponytail with a scarf headband or plop on a floppy hat to keep the sun away. Keep in mind that even though your hair is tucked away, it still needs special care. Rely on an apple cider vinegar spritz to keep your scalp clean, and moisturize daily with a leave-in conditioner spray like Carol's Daughter Black Vanilla ($12).

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