How to Plait Afro Hair

Updated March 23, 2017

Plaits are also referred to as box braids or individual braids because they are braided using square sections. This style is normally worn by African Americans. It a low-maintenance style that gives its wearers a break from chemicals and curling irons. Afro hair tends to be a little thicker and courser, so if you're plaiting this hair type have a little patience and don't be afraid to use a little moisturiser if you're having trouble combing the hair.

Wash and condition the hair. You want to use a moisturising shampoo and conditioner because African-American hair tends to be dryer and requires more moisture.

Towel-dry the air. You can braid the hair wet or dry. Depending on the size of the plaits you want to create, the sections can be as thick or as thin as you choose. Start at the back of the hairline. Take your comb and separate the hair into a small square section. Clip the rest of the hair up and out of the way.

Divide the hair into three sections and start braiding. Take the right piece and cross it over the middle piece. Hold both the right and middle pieces with the right hand. Take the left piece and pass it over the now middle piece. Continue these steps until all the hair is braided.

Secure the ends. There are many techniques you can use depending on the style and who's wearing the plaits. If you're plaiting a little girl's hair, you can use barrettes on the ends. If you're plaiting a male's hair you can use little rubber bands to secure the ends.


Never plait hair too tight. Too much tension can cause breakage and hair loss.

Things You'll Need

  • Comb
  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Hair clips
  • Barrettes
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About the Author

Stacey Price started writing for various websites in December 2009. She has an associate degree in public health administration from South Eastern University. She has spent many years working in a hospital setting in the human resource field. She also writes about travel, parenting and beauty/personal care, drawing from more than seven years experience as a licensed cosmetologist.