Tip #1: Wash and Moisturise Your Hair First
It's much easier to style hair when it's clean and properly moisturised. Before getting started, I shampooed with OGX Nourishing + Coconut Milk Shampoo ($6) and followed up with the Dove Beauty Moisture Recovery Mask ($7) to deep condition for 30 minutes afterward. I then applied Dove Beauty Moisture Locking Leave In Conditioner ($7) and let my hair air-dry instead of blowing it out, but I made sure to moisturise with jojoba oil before installing each braid.
I'd recommend you also consider washing your braiding hair. If you've ever dealt with itchy box braids, know that it's not always the result of a dry scalp; some synthetic braiding hairs contain an alkaline coating that can irritate the scalp if you don't wash them before installing. I used three packs of Xpression Braiding Hair ($6) and soaked them all in apple cider vinegar to get rid of the coating before rinsing them out a day ahead of time. Once I was done, I hung up the bundles on a towel rack to let them air-dry before starting my braids.