Knotless braids are a type of protective hairstyle achieved by gradually ‘feeding-in’ hair extensions to your natural hair as you plait, to create a natural, seamless look.
While traditional braiding methods require you to create a knot and add extensions right at the root before braiding, the knotless method skips this step and starts with your own hair instead. This creates less stress on the scalp and hair, which heavy braids can sometimes cause.
Here are a few reasons why knotless box braids are so popular: they’re lightweight, great for fine natural hair, and, most importantly, cause less breakage because of the careful way they’re installed. The downside? They can take longer to achieve and fall on the pricier side, but the pain-free results are seriously worth it.
If you still need more convincing, we’re sharing the pros of getting this popular braid style and the best ways you can wear it in 2023 and beyond.
Do Knotless Braids Last Longer?
Like box braids, knotless braids last 4-6 weeks, depending on how you care for them.
Are Knotless Braids Better?
Knotless braid styles tend to be favoured over regular box braids because they cause less stress to the scalp and hair. This makes them a better option to consider if you’re worried about your protective style impacting your hair health.
What’s the Difference Between Knotless Braids and Box Braids?
As mentioned above, knotless braids are installed using a ‘feed-in’ method, while box braids stick to the traditional braiding approach. Box braids can be heavy, while knotless ones are lighter and easier to style.
Do Knotless Braids Hurt Less?
Knotless braid hairstyles tend to be less painful than methods that require tight knots. If you’ve got a sensitive scalp, opting for this pain-free plait style is your best option.
How do you Care for Knotless Braids?
To keep your braids and scalp moisturised, make sure to mist them with your favourite leave-in conditioner.
If you want to refresh your knotless plaits and give them moisture in between styles, try a hydrating mask like the SheaMoisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen & Restore Hair Treatment Masque.
At night, protect your style by wrapping it up with a silk scarf or bonnet.
25 Ways to Wear Knotless Braids in 2023
Now, if you still need more convincing and fancy seeing how this gorgeous style looks on celebs and real ladies, you’re in luck. Keep on scrolling to see all the stunning ways you can rock knotless braids in 2023.
If you still don’t know what knotless braids look like, here’s a great example. With knotless braids, the braid starts with your own natural hair and then continues with the braiding hair for a seamless effect.
Beyoncé Blonde Knotless Braids
If anyone is going to convince you to try this protective hairstyle, it’s Beyoncé. We love her blonde take on the trend – the perfect way to go blonde without commitment.
Jhené Aiko’s Knotless Style
If mini knotless plaits aren’t your thing, you’ll love these chunkier ones.
Editor’s tip: Whichever knotless hairstyles you fall in love with, remember to keep your hair well hydrated using a leave-in conditioner like SheaMoisture Miracle Hair Styler Leave-In Treatment.
Zendaya’s Auburn Plaits
When Zendaya rocked these knotless auburn plaits on the red carpet, everyone (including us!) became obsessed. What takes this protective look to the next level? The zig-zag parting style, of course.
Laura Harrier’s Super Long Braids
Rapunzel, is that you? If you’re dreaming of long braided locks, try this gorgeous hairstyle.
Kerry Washington’s Braids
We love how Kerry Washington has added an accent cuff and some cute rings to her plaited hairstyle.
Jumbo Knotless Braids
The bigger the braid, the less time it takes for your braid stylist to do them.
If you want a fuller look, opting for small plaits is your next best option. They’ll take longer to achieve, but the results will be totally worth it.
Medium-sized braids are a pretty look for any natural-haired beauty. We’re sure you’ll agree that Zazie Beetz’ hair looks amazing.
Red Knotless Plaits
Going back to your Rhianna red-hair phase? Take a page from this beauty’s look.
In the summer, you’ll earn extra style points if you go for this gorgeous honey-toned knotless braid hairstyle.
We love the contrast of colours in this eye-catching look. Think of the possibilities!
Simple Yet Effective Braids
There’s nothing wrong with keeping it simple with your knotless braid colour choice. These natural-coloured braids are all you need to make your mane feel fresh again!
Short Knotless Style
Although most knotless looks are long, you can also wear them short as this beauty has done.
Medium-Length Knotless Plaits
If you’re finding it hard to pick between long and short braids, going for a medium-length style like this one is fail-safe. Look at those pretty curls, too.
Long Knotless Box Braids
This lengthy style is completed perfectly with the addition of colourful bands. It will help you stand out at your next festival (whether it’s in IRL or virtual!).
Knotless Plaits with Cute Edges
We love how this beauty has styled her edges! They team perfectly with her long braids.
Editor’s tip: Looking for a way to style your edges? We find the easiest way is to use a toothbrush and some gel to work the hairs into place. The TRESemmé Freeze Hold Hairspray is a favourite of ours as it gives a slick, shiny finish that really completes the look.
Box Braids with Wavy Ends
Another summer-perfect look, these boho braids look super-beachy thanks to the wavy ends.
Curly Goddess Braids
Curly pieces peeking out make this knotless braid style beach-ready.
The flexibility and lightness of knotless box braids make them super easy to style.
From buns to ponytails, there are so many box braids hairstyles you can experiment with.
Braids on Braids
If you want to get really creative with your knotless look, try this cute braided look.
Half-Up Braided Space Buns
Another cute hairstyle you can try with knotless plaits? These half-up space buns.
Deep Side Parted Box Braids
If you’re a fan of side-parted braids styles, make this knotless look your next pick.
As if we needed another reason to try knotless box braids, this gorgeous aquamarine look will tap into your mermaid energy in no time.