Box braids: 13 ‘Poetic Justice’ hairstyles to inspire your next look

Love box braids? Hairstyles a bit hard to come by? Well, there's no need to suffer in silence. Just take a look at our images of box braids for instant inspo!

We’ll level with you: we love box braids styles (AKA Poetic Justice braids). Not only are they a pretty and long-term styling option, they also protect your hair from daily manipulation and handling – making them an overall winner in our eyes.

So to see just how versatile these braids can be, simply scroll down. Or click through our box braids gallery for our favourite hairstyles with box braids. 

Cute box braids: Young black woman with half-up, half-down bow bun
Half-up, half-down bow bun.

1. Half-up, half-down bow bun

Want super cute box braids? Well, we’re totally obsessed with this half-up, half-down bow bun, which looks super chic on box braided hair.

To achieve this look, start by tying the top section of your hair into a half-up, half-down top knot. Then separate the top knot in half, and bring the tail of the top knot forward. so that it sits in between the separated top knot, creating a bow shape; secure at the back with a clip.

Finally, wrap the rest of the tail around the base of the top knot, and secure with bobby pins.

Box braids hairstyles: Young black woman with high side ponytail
High side ponytail.

2. High side ponytail

Keep cool while you party by wearing your hair up in a stylish high, side ponytail.

To create this ponytail, try tipping your head upside down, before gathering your hair into a high ponytail that sits on whichever side you want. Flip your head back up, and secure your ponytail with a strong-hold hair band.

Then take 2-3 box braids from the tail of your pony, and wrap them around the base to form a makeshift hairband. And there you have it: a sleek-looking ponytail that will let you boogie all night long!

Images of box braids: Young black woman with half-up, half-down knotted crown
Half-up, half-down knotted crown.

3. Half-up, half-down plaited crown

Whether you’re rocking a dress or bomber jacket to a party, know that this box braid hairstyle looks good with almost any outfit. Why? Because the combination of the playful plait with the sophisticated, loose, flowing box braids underneath make for a hairdo that’s super versatile, not to mention utterly stunning.

hairstyles for box braids: laughing young black woman with box braids in a high bun
High bun with box braids.

4. High bun

Ah, the bun… It’s perfect (and cute!) for keeping your tresses out of your face. And when it comes to creating box braid styles, this ‘do is super easy!

All you need to do is put your braids into a high ponytail and secure with a large hairband. Then, twist it to create your bun, gently wrapping it around itself and using bobby pins to hold it in place. Easy-peasy!

hairstyles for box braids: black and white image of a young black woman with a box braids plaited into an updo
A sophisticated braided updo.

5. Braided pompadour

Looking for unusual styles for box braids? Then ladies, meet the braided pompadour!

To create the look, simply gather your box braids into a high ponytail and secure with a hairband. Section your ponytail into 3 equal parts and create 3 braids by weaving each section into a standard plait.

Now create your quiff by taking the farthest braid and pinning it to the opposite side of your head, sweeping it across your hairline and behind your ear. Pin it at the back of your head with bobby pins. Take the middle braid, and secure it snugly behind the first one, before repeating the process with the last braid – and you’re done!

Pin it at the back of your head with bobby pins. Take the middle braid, and secure it snugly behind the first one, before repeating the process with the last braid – and you’re done!

Styles for box braids: young black woman wearing a shirt with box braids put into a high ponytail
The high ponytail.

6. High ponytail

No roster of box braid hairstyles would be complete without the high ponytail. And just because this style is a classic, it doesn’t mean it should be overlooked (in fact, this ‘do is the basis of so many hairstyles!).

All you need to create it is a simple hairband! Just make sure you get one that’s large and box braid-friendly. Then simply gather your plaits high on your head and wrap your hairband around them a couple of times to hold your ponytail. The result? A pretty and practical updo, perfect for all occasions.

box braid hairstyles: young black woman with box braids in a half-up bun
Top knot for box braids.

7. Half-up bun

Can’t decide whether you want to an updo or to leave your hair down? Well, you don’t have to choose. This half-up, half-down hairstyle lets you have the best of both worlds!

Divide your box braids horizontally on the crown, making sure you have more hair in the lower section. Tie the top section into a high ponytail using a hairband, then twist and wrap your ponytail to create your bun before tucking the ends under, using bobby pins to secure.

box braid styles: '90s-inspired half-up half-down box braid hairstyle
Looking for a fun and protective ‘do? ’90s-inspired buns!

8. Mini space buns

We love buns at All Things Hair. That’s why we couldn’t miss any opportunity to include another bun-tastic look to our box braid hairstyles rundown.

And if you’re wondering what hairstyle you should rock at all those festivals and summer parties? These ’90s-inspired mini space buns are just the trick.

To create the style, start by dividing your box braids horizontally at the temples, making sure you have more hair in the lower section. Then split the top section into 2 equal parts vertically, and tie them into 2 high ponytails.

Gently twist and wrap the ponytail around itself and secure with bobby pins. Repeat the process on the other side, and you’re done!

box braids: young black woman with box braids wearing a patterned headscraf
Wrap it up with a head scarf.

9. Head-wrap

Looking for an easy way to add a bohemian touch to your hairstyles for box braids? Why not try a headscarf? It’s a really easy way to jazz up box braid hairstyles – and all you have to do is pick out a pretty scarf or piece of fabric to achieve the look.

Take a square scarf, fold it in half, and tie it at the front your head. Twist the ends of the scarf together as if you were doing a two-strand twist. Then wrap the scarf around itself to create a bun-like shape, tucking in its ends to secure.

Editor’s tip: Want to keep your hair hydrated while looking pretty? Try a silk scarf for your tresses – it’s much softer and won’t absorb any of your precious moisture!

Box braids gallery: Tia Mowry with box braids to the side
The side swept ‘do. Credit: Rex by Shutterstock

Rock them like Tia Mowry and sweep them to the side

If having your hair down is your preferred style, but you still want to jazz things up, sweep your braids to the side in a similar way to Tia Mowry. This pretty box braid style is casual, understated, and looks great with any outfit. Plus, the slightly undone ends bring an edgy, Rock ‘n’ Roll vibe to this otherwise simple style!

Also, you might want to consider inserting some hair cuffs your braids, too, as they’re an easy to way to earn yourself some extra style points (not to mention being super pretty!).

Box braids hairstyles: Keke Palmer with box braids updo hairstyle
The bun. Credit: Rex by Shutterstock

Wear them up a la Keke Palmer

If having your hair up is more your thing, then styling your box braids in a giant top knot a la Keke Palmer should be right up your street! Not only does styling box braids like this mean your hair is out of your face, but it’s also a great way to take your mane to new heights, while showing off each intricate braid.

Whether you have thin or chunky box braids, simply pull your mane up into a high ponytail, twist into a bun shape and pin in place. Yep, that’s really all it takes! 

Pictures of box braids: FKA Twigs double bun box braids hairstyle
Mini buns. Credit: David Fisher for Rex by Shutterstock

Try FKA Twigs’ buns

One look we’re totally in love with, is the this cute half-up, half-down double bun hairstyle, which we recently spotted FKA Twigs rocking on the red carpet. This gorgeous ’90s-inspired look is practical, creative, and great for the gym and formal events alike. So, if you’re looking to make a stylish impact with your box braids, consider pairing them with a set of cute space buns!

Hairstyles with box braids: Jade Avia with coloured purple box braids styling box braids to the side
Styling box braids: Add some colour. Credit: Rex by Shutterstock

Add a touch of colour like Jade Avia

Want to make your cute box braids really pop? Then why not try experimenting with some bold hair colours? Go for vibrant highlights, or be brave a rock all over dye job, as shown by Jade Avia. Box braids are really versatile and look great in practically any colour, so don’t be scared to opt for some funky hues to help you really stand out from the crowd!