17 flawless ways to style long box braids

Beth | 28 August 2018

Lacking styling inspiration for your long box braids? We’ve got you sorted!

Long box braids are by far one of the most loved black hairstyles around and really, it’s not hard to see why. They’re one of the best protective styles you can rock while trying to grow your natural hair as once installed, it’s incredibly low maintenance (lasting 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.

17 of our favourite go-to long box braids styles


Long box braids hairstyles: ATH editor Amra with long box braids in a half-up half-down style
A half-up, half-down is one of the easiest everyday hairstyles. Credit: Verity Jane Smith

1. Half-up hair

Don’t be afraid to start simple. Every day looks call for something that’s quick and easy but still makes an impact – and this half-up hairdo does just that.

VO5 Wet Look Styling Gel

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.

Long box braids hairstyles: Close up of a woman with dark brown box braids wrapped up in a bun in a black elastic head wrap
What would we do without our trusty headbands? Credit: Instagram.com/_zazzooo

2. 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

Long box braids hairstyles: ATH editor Amra with long box braids in a half-up bun hairstyle
Casual and cutesy, we love the hun. Credit: Verity Jane Smith

3. Half-up bun

The hun (AKA a half-up, half-down bun) is undeniably in the running for the cutest style around. But did you also know it’s one of the easiest hairstyles for long box braids?

Simply divide your hair into 2 layers (top and bottom) and twist the top section around on itself to form a neat little bun. Et voila: instantly cool hair without even having to try!

Editor’s tip: The size of your hun will vary depending on the thickness of your braids, so if your bun is too big or small for your liking, simply add or take away hair from your top section until you achieve your perfect result.

Long box braids hairstyles: Smiling side profile of a woman with long dark brown box braids in a high bun, wearing a yellow top
Is there anything more perfect for taking you from day to night?

4. 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, it’s versatility is what makes us love it so much.

Long box braids hairstyles: Girl with long box braids tied in a half-up ponytail
This is giving us major ’90s spice girls vibes. Credit: Instagram.com/seyi.ebiesuwa

5. 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. Credit: @seyi.ebiesuwa

Long box braids hairstyles: Smiling model with long golden box braids in a half-up bow hairstyle, wearing an orange top
A hair bow is the perfect party look.

6. 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!

Long box braids hairstyles: woman with long box braids in a half up half down space bun style
For an out-of-this-world style, space buns are a winner! Credit: Instagram.com/meet_the_stylist

7. Space buns

We’re firm believers that space buns are for life and not just for festivals. Essentially the same as a half-up bun, but with two instead of one! After all, double the buns = double the fun, making this the perfect way to show off your bubbly personality through your hair.

Who said you can’t rock long box braids styles and still slay the latest hair trends, right? Credit: @meet_the_stylist

Long box braids hairstyles: ATH editor Amra with long box braids in a side braid
Braids on braids on braids. Credit: Verity Jane Smith

8. Braided braid

A braided braid, who knew? This gorgeously intricate side braid is the perfect way to show off your long box braids and keep them looking neat.

TRESemmé Botanique Nourish & Replenish Hydrating Mist

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.

Long box braids hairstyles: Long box braids hairstyles: woman with box braided hair in a crown braid style
Sometimes the simplest details can make all the difference to your style! Credit: Instagram.com/keepingupwiththekinks

9. 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 weave it into a basic 3-strand braid, tucking it into the back of your head using a clip. And that’s it — perfectly polished princess hair without the stress, phew! Credit: @keepingupwiththekinks

Long box braids hairstyles: woman with grey coloured box braids in a side braid ponytail
The ’80s called, they want their side pony back! Credit: Instagram.com/nakittahannah

10. Side braided ponytail

Madonna just turned 60 and the ’80s vibes are everywhere right now, so why not carry the throwback vibes on into your hair with a sweet side braided ponytail?

Super fun but also a practical way to keep your long box braids in check (ideal for work or even the gym when you want them out of your way), your only trouble will be deciding which side to put it on.Credit: @nakittahannah

Long box braids hairstyles: Woman with golden box braids in a high top knot bun
Messy buns and getting stuff done! Credit: Instagram.com/jebraids

11. Top knot

Can you ever go wrong with a top knot? We think not. Take heed of this #braidsgang member’s blonde long box braids which she’s worked into an effortless top knot bun. Credit: @jebraids

Long box braids hairstyles: side profile photo of a woman with long box braids in a pompadour style
This retro pompadour is poppin’! Credit: Instagram.com/msaliciajames

12. 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

Long box braids hairstyles: Street style photo of a woman with coloured long box braids in a ponytail
Our inner unicorn is living for these rainbow braids. Credit: Rex by Shutterstock

13. 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.

Long box braids hairstyles: car selfie of a black woman with long box braids and an undercut detail
Box braids don’t get much edgier than this! Credit: Instagram.com/sararose.official

14. Box braid with undercut

If standard long box braids styles aren’t your cup of tea and you’re looking for something a bit more out there, try adding a punky edge to your look with a shaved undercut.

Incorporating traditional long box braids hairstyles with a more daring shaved section, it’s the ultimate contrast between girly and tough, because newsflash: it’s 2018 and you can be both. Credit: @sararose.official

Long box braids hairstyles: Woman with red brown long box braids in a half-up braid with yellow flower accessories
Flowers and braids, a combo made in hair heaven. Credit: Instagram.com/hippie_toya

15. Half-up flower braid

Here’s one for the accessory lovers! This Instagrammer has spruced up her red-brown long box braids with a straightforward half-up braid and summery yellow flowers. Credit: @hippie_toya

Long box braids hairstyles: Side profile of a woman with long box braids styled into a mohawk of bantu knots
Take your braids sky high with these bantu knots. Credit: Instagram.com/beingmaryinjai

16. Mohawk

If you’re over your usual updos and want to know how to style long box braids in a brand new way, give this mohawk a try and see how heads turn. Credit: @beingmaryinjai

Long box braids hairstyles: Woman with long dark brown box braids in a crown braid and side fishtail braid
We love that this look combines two of our favourite braids in one, the crown braid and the fishtail. Credit: Instagram.com/naturally_candace

17. 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



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