Long box braids are a popular protective hairstyle for natural hair in which the hair is boxed off into squares and individually braided, with real or synthetic hair woven in to add extra length.
Once installed, they’re incredibly low maintenance and with good care, they can last between 1-2 months. However, once you’ve had your hair braided, you’ll probably be wondering what you can do to change up your look from day to day, right?
So, whether you’re a long-term box braid wearer looking to jazz up your mane or you’re new to the world of long box braids hairstyles and need some style advice, there are plenty of cute and creative ways to wear them — and the proof is in our inspiration gallery.
1. Simple half-up
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.
2. Half-up bun
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?
3. Braided braid
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!
4. Braided bow
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!
5. High bun
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.
6. Coloured braids
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
8. Half-up ponytail
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
9. Space buns
Who said you can’t rock long box braids styles and still slay the latest hair trends, right? Credit: @meet_the_stylist
10. Blue braids
11. Headband braid
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
12. Side braided ponytail
13. Top knot
14. 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_
15. Mermaid braid
16. Rapunzel braids
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.
17. Curly 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
19. Fishtail braid
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
20. Retro pompadour
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
21. Hair wraps
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