Whether you call this plaiting style a boxer braid, cornrow, or Dutch braid – we can all agree that it has proven staying power, season after season. After seeing a surge in mainstream popularity thanks to Kim K & Zendaya, this ‘do definitely isn’t disappearing from our social feeds anytime soon.
This is my go-to style on gym days - Jaz
Still not ready to tackle the trend? It might look like it takes a skilled set of hands to create – but we’re here to prove otherwise. As a totally budge-proof updo option, the boxer braid is a lifesaver when you need to keep your hair up and away from your face.
Perfect for everything from a fitness class to a festival, it’s easily suited to all hair types and textures. Convinced? Follow our easy step-by-step tutorials to master this look once and for all.
How to master the boxer braid in 8 steps
Start with dry shampoo.
Prep your tresses for a boxer braid by spraying the TONI&GUY Instant Refresh Dry Shampoo all over the hair, from root to tip.
This will absorb any excess oil and give the hair more grip, making braiding a lot easier.
Divide the hair.
Using a comb, create a precise centre parting. Separate the hair into two sections and tie up the section you are not focusing on, if needed.
Next, take a small section of hair from the front of your head and use your fingers to divide it into three even pieces. This will form the start of your boxer braid.
Take the three separate sections of hair and start weaving them into a braid at the top of your head.
Cross the left section of hair under the middle strand and then cross the right section underneath the middle.
Braid from front to back.
Continue this plaiting process as you braid back towards the nape of your neck.
Pick up small sections of hair from either side of the braid as you move down, the same way you would with a French plait.
Tie to secure.
Once you have braided all the way down to the end of your hair. Leave around a one-inch section at the bottom loose and secure the plait tightly with a hairband.
Repeat the process.
Now you’ve completed one boxer braid, it’s time to move on to the other side of your head.
Taking the loose section of hair from the other side of your parting, repeat this braiding process. Moving from front to back and securing with a hairband.
Pancake your braid.
This step is optional, but if you want to create a fuller-looking braid, (especially if you have thin hair), then use your fingers to gently tug on either side.
This will loosen the braid very slightly and help it look thicker.
Seal the look with hairspray.
That’s all there is to it! Once you’re happy with your boxer braid hairstyle, keep the look in place by misting the VO5 Ultimate Hold Hairspray all over your strands.
After spraying your hair, run your hand over your tresses to flatten and smooth any flyaways or frizz.
Creating a boxer braid on natural hair?
For black hair, give the styling sprays a miss. Instead, use a couple of pumps of hair oil, like the Dove Advanced Hair Series Pure Care Dry Oil, while braiding your hair.
Not only will it help moisturise your tresses, it will also smooth down any frizz or flyaways around your hairline so your boxer braid hairstyle looks perfectly polished – bonus!