Box braids are good for natural tresses that need a break from heated styling and are a fun way to change up your look if you’re bored. The reason why they’re so popular is to do with the fact they require less attention than natural hair and allow you to get creative with colour and styles without any commitment.
You’re probably already seeing it everywhere: your favourite Instagram stars and celebrities wearing box braids on their natural hair. And If you’re a braid virgin, you might be wondering whether box braids are good for natural hair and how you can properly look after them. Luckily for you, we’re here to help!
Read on to find out if box braids are right for you, how to take care of them and see all the braided looks we can’t get enough of.
If you’re wondering if box braids are good for natural hair, the short answer is: it all depends on the state of your natural hair. While they certainly make a great protective hairstyle and also help you retain length, they are better suited to those who don’t have issues with severe dryness, thinning or scalp conditions.
No matter your hair length, there’s a lot of stunning box braids you can try with your natural hair. Scroll down to see our favourite examples for 2021.
Chunky Box Braids
Size matters when it comes to box braids with natural hair. From thick, chunky styles to dainty, small braids, it’s important to consider the size and shape of your desired finish.Credit: @martiniquaisement_
Curly Box Braids
While many women who choose box braids for natural hair will stick to the popular straight finish, you can choose to break the stereotype and opt for a curly finish instead. From all over curly braids to wavy ends, the world is your oyster! Credit: @freshlengths
Medium Box Braids
Bob Braids on Short Natural Hair
Bobs are the timeless haircut many opt for when looking for chic and sophisticated styles, so why not team yours with a set of box braids?
Editor’s tip: Finish off this playful look with a few pumps of the Dove Advanced Shine Revived Treatment.
Infused with African Macadamia Oil for beautifully supple hair, the lightweight, non-greasy formula instantly helps replenish lipids, soften and add shine.
Small Box Braids on Natural Hair
Small and dainty braids are ideal for hair that is more on the fine side. Why? Because choosing a chunky braid for fine hair could be too heavy and cause damage to your hair, ruining your overall style. Credit: @tach.j
Knotless Box Braids
With knotless braids, the braid is started with your own natural hair and then continued with the braiding hair, for a seamless effect. Credit: @____k.smith
This braiding style is great for those with finer natural hair, as it is light-weight and spread out more than regular box braids.
Box Braids with Shaved Sides
There’s nothing wrong with adding a little edge to your look! So, if you fancy taking the plunge, take a look at our favourite shaved box braids hairstyles, here. Credit: @rafafranco2
Dyed Box Braids
Box braids are a great way to test out new shades without the full commitment. So, that pink or rainbow hue you’ve been dreaming of? You can finally try it with the help of coloured braiding extensions. Credit: @magavilhas
Triangle Box Braids
The final piece of your box braids puzzle is the pattern. The most popular braiding pattern is of course box (square) shaped, but there are alternatives.
We love the triangle pattern we’ve seen popping up on all our social feeds and best of all it looks picturesque no matter what size, length and colour you choose. Credit: @ghanabraidstyles
Thick Box Braids
If you prefer thicker looks, you’ll love this take on box braids. Credit: @shyinstar
’90s Box Braids
Every day looks call for something that’s quick and easy but still makes you look put together – and this half-up hairdo does just that.
Editor’s tip: Looking for a way to lay down your baby hairs? We find the easiest way is to use a toothbrush and some gel to work the hairs into place. The VO5 Wet Look Styling Gel is a favourite of ours as it gives a slick, shiny finish that really completes the look.
The half-up bun trend isn’t going anywhere, so if you’re stumped on how to style long box braids, give it a try by dividing your hair into two and twisting the top section into a bun. Why not give your look some ’90s flair by adding a scrunchie, too?
Editor’s tip: Whichever long box braids hairstyles you fall in love with, remember to keep your hair well hydrated using a leave-in conditioner, like the TRESemmé Botanique Nourish & Replenish Hydrating Mist.
This convenient spray-on formula is a quick and easy way to make sure your hair is getting the nourishment it needs. Plus, it leaves your locks smelling like a tropical island!
Who needs accessories when you can make your own hair bow with your hair? Get the look in a cinch with our bow hair tutorial!
A high bun is a fail-safe way to bring some elegance to your daily hair routine. Professional enough to wear to work but also glam enough for a night out with the girls, its versatility is what makes us love it so much.
Sure, these pink and blue coloured braids might not be for the faint of heart – but we say if you’re going to do colour, why not go all out? Plus, with such head-turning hues, you can afford to keep your actual style super simple – just a basic low pony will do.
In case you missed the news, bunchies are back and cuter than ever! Do your best Baby Spice impression with these adorable pigtails – we love how this beauty has laid down her baby hairs. Credit: @jasmeannnn
Our main concern when choosing the day’s hairstyle is how much extra time it’ll let us spend in bed. Anyone else? That’s why this easy as pie half-up pony is one we find ourselves going back to time and time again. Sorry, not sorry. Credit: @seyi.ebiesuwa
Who said you can’t rock long box braids styles and still slay the latest hair trends, right? Credit: @meet_the_stylist
Have you spent ages searching how to style long box braids yet find that all of the looks you’re coming across are too complicated? This romantic headband braid may look intricate but is actually super simple.
All you need to do is take the front section of your hair and twist it, tucking it into the back of your head using a clip. And that’s it — perfectly polished princess hair without the stress, phew! Credit: @emily_rana
Grey Box Braids Ponytail
Braided Top Knot
Box Braid With Undercut
If standard long box braids styles aren’t exciting enough for you and you’re looking for something a bit more out there, try adding a punky edge to your look with a shaved undercut. Credit: @pelagiestyles_
The benefit of braids is they give you the chance to wear your hair super long without having to wait years for it to grow, so why not really make the most of it with waist or even hip-length locks? Beyonce and Solange are both fans of statement lengths, which should be incentive enough to try them! Credit: @alannanicolex
Editor’s tip: To wash your braids, we suggest co-washing with the Love Beauty And Planet Happy & Hydrated Gentle Cleansing Conditioner to cleanse your scalp and remove any dirt or build-up. This 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner contains shea butter, which is known for its moisturising benefits.
Loose Box Braids
Most box braids are worn straight but if you’re after something a bit different, wavy and curly box braids are another super covetable option. You can either curl the braids themselves with a curling iron (if they’re made of real hair) or by braiding them into larger braids first and dipping them into hot water.
Or, instead of having your hair in long box braids all the way to the tips, you can leave the ends loose and curl them like this Instagrammer. Credit: @mbalz
Who says having box braids means you can’t rock those envy-inducing braids we see all over Pinterest? This dreamy side-swept fishtail braid is the stuff of any Pinner’s dreams and looks totally mermaid-worthy. Credit: @naturally_candace
If vintage hairstyles are your jam, first, us too! and second, the pompadour is surely the ‘do for you. Loved by stars like Janelle Monae and Keke Palmer, this classically androgynous style has had a feminine reincarnation on the red carpet.
As hairstyles for long box braids go, this is the perfect way to dress up your mane for a special occasion or night out. It may take a little practice if you’re a beginner, but we think you’ll agree it’s well worth the effort. Credit: @msaliciajames
Headbands of all kinds are having a moment right now and this is the best news for girls with long box braids.
Headbands and hair wraps can be used in a variety of different ways like wrapped around a bun as seen here. Once you get one, you’ll honestly wonder what you ever did before! Credit: @_zazzooo
Golden 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!
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.
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!
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!
Cool 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!).
Easy 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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
Purple Box Twists
Kicking things up a notch is this trendsetter, who has turned her mane into a romantic masterpiece by working her box braids ponytail low and with a delicate pink hue! Credit: @bestboxbraids
Got a more casual event to attend and don’t need your locks to look pristine? Say no more. Opting for a messy, undone box braids ponytail (just like this Instagrammer has) will make you look like a street style star in no time. Credit: @natalyneri
This sultry yet minimal hairstyle is perfect for days or nights where you want to exude high-fashion vibes (so basically always). Credit: @graciii3
Poetic Justice Braids
When it comes to high ponytail box braids, take your style cue from Janet Jackson in Poetic Justice and you’ll #slay wherever you go!
High Ponytail with Bandana
We never thought we would be happy to see the return of this ’80s hair trend. Whether you opt for a sparkly headband or even a bandana, you’ll have a gorgeously-simple hairstyle that’s ready for anything. Credit: @afrog4l
Side Box Braids
Who needs hair accessories when your hair can be an accessory? After fashioning your box braids in a ponytail, simply braid it for a chic and unique look that’s bound to get everyone talking.
Now that you’ve got out rundown of the hottest styles around, learn how to do box braids on natural hair, here!