25 Knotless Braids To Inspire Your Next Protective Look

Knotless braids are shaping up to be 2021's biggest trend!

Knotless braids are a type of protective hairstyle that is achieved when you gradually ‘feed-in’ hair extensions and add them 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 is done to create less stress on the scalp and hair, which heavy braids can sometimes cause.

The reason why knotless box braids are so popular is to do with the fact they’re light-weight, great for fine natural hair and most importantly, cause less breakage to occur 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.

What’s the Difference Between Knotless Braids and Box Braids?

Wondering what the differences are 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. Both styles last 4-6 weeks, depending on how you care for them.

25 Ways to Wear Knotless Braids in 2021

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 plaits in 2021.

Knotless Braids

If you still don’t know what knotless braids look like, here’s a great example. With knotless braids, the braid is started with your own natural hair and then continued 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 the actual 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 the TRESemmé Botanique Nourish & Replenish Hydrating Mist.

Zendaya’s Auburn Plaits

Zendaya with long knotless braids on the red carpet
Credit: Rex by Shutterstock

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

Laura Harrier with knotless plaits
Credit: Rex by Shutterstock

Rapunzel, is that you? If you’re dreaming of long locks, try this gorgeous hairstyle.

Kerry Washington’s Braids

Kerry Washington with long knotless box braids with hair jewellery
Credit: Rex by Shutterstock

We love how Kerry Washington has added an accent cuff to her plaited hairstyle.

Jumbo Knotless Braids

The bigger the braid, the less time it takes for your braid stylist to do them.

Small Plaits

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

Medium-sized braids are a great pick for those who can’t decide. We’re sure you’ll agree that Zazie Beetz’ hair looks amazing.

Red Knotless Plaits

Yearning to go red? Take a page from this beauty’s look.

Summer Braids

In the summer, you’ll earn extra style points if you go for this gorgeous honey-toned knotless braid hairstyle.

Ombre Plaits

We love the contrast of colours in this eye-catching example.

Chocolate Braids

There’s nothing wrong with keeping it simple with your knotless braid colour choice. These chocolate-toned 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 like this beauty has done.

Medium-Length Knotless Plaits

Again, 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.

Long Knotless Box Braids

This lengthy style is completed perfectly with the addition of colourful bands. These knotless braids will seriously make you stand out at your next festival (whether it’s in RL or virtual!).

Knotless Plaits With Cute Baby Hairs

We love how this beauty has styled her baby hairs! They team perfectly with her long braids.

Editor’s tip: Looking for a way to style 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.

Knotless Box Braids With Wavy Ends

Another summer-perfect look? These boho braids, which look super-beachy thanks to the wavy ends.

Curly Goddess Braids

Curly pieces peaking out make this knotless braid style beach-ready.

Knotless Bun

The flexibility and lightness of knotless box braids make them super easy to style.

Knotless Ponytail

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 Buns

Another cute hairstyle you can try with knotless plaits? These half-up buns.

Deep Side Parted Knotless Box Braids

If you’re a fan of side-parted braids styles, make this knotless look your next pick.

Gorgeous Braids

As if we needed another reason to try knotless box braids!

How Do You Care for Knotless Braids?

To keep your braids and scalp moisturised, make sure to mist them with your fave leave-in conditioner.

If you want to refresh your knotless plaits without getting them fully wet, simply use a dry shampoo foam like the TRESemmé Day 2 Curl Boosting Foam on them.

At night, you can easily protect your style by wrapping it up with a silk scarf or bonnet.

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