3 Best Types of Big Box Braids

Braid-ception alert! We love tongue-in-cheek look of using regular braids to create thicker big box braids styles. 

Back at it again with the big box braid hairstyles! A few weeks ago, we gave you guys a look into how to do big box braid styles with our jumbo braids tutorial. Since we love the style so much, we thought we’d reiterate with a few more inspirational big braids looks and tips to help you ace the look.

Big box braids hairstyles are a popular protective look, especially in the natural hair community. Big braids offer up an instant shot of cool while also keeping your real hair manageable and safe from manipulation damage. Although a full head of box braids, big or small, may take as long as four to eight hours to create, they’re not that complicated and actually just entail a regular three-strand stitch woven into a snug, shiny plait.

You can also play with the size and shape of your box braids hairstyle, depending on preference. Some women like the neat, uniform sheath of hair they get from a bunch of medium-sized box braids, while others like them super-skinny (a.k.a. microbraids). Even others like the look of chunky, big box braids done on thicker sections of hair.

To achieve the latter, divide hair into bigger sections and attach thicker strips of extensions to each. Proceed to braid hair as normal, crossing the left over the middle, then the right over the middle to create that pretty, crisp-looking three-strand link. Continue all the way to the ends and secure with either a hair tie or by dipping the end of your plait in searing hot water.

Option 2: You can also go really cute and meta with your big box braid hairstyle by forming a bigger stitch with a set of skinnier braids (or, as we here like to call it, braid-ception). Starting with regularly box-braided hair, take the strips nearest your fringe/hairline area and begin to French-braid these sections downwards to your ear. Then switch to a regular braid once you go past the ear, and continue towards the ends. Charming and kind of cheeky, this look gives a literal spin on the big box braids trend. It’s also a clever way to switch up your look once you’ve hit the two-week mark and are looking for new ways to wear your hair.

Check out three of our favorite braid-on-braid ways to wear this look:

1. Three-Strand Side Braid

big box braids hairstyle with a side braid
A chunky three-strand plait is one of the most versatile braids out there. Photo credit: Verity Jane Smith

Box braids that are styled into a bigger three-strand braid gives this otherwise run-of-the-mill braid more texture and personality. Especially when done off to one side, the big braid hairstyle is one part boho and one part polished, and showcases your personality (and your cute big braids hairdo) with the added bonus of some control.

2. Half-Crown

big box braid hairstyle in a french braided crown
Work from your fringe area downwards.
big box braids in a french braided crown
Secure at the back of your head with a “shoelace” knot.

One of the main sells of box braids is that they give natural-textured women the opportunity to wear hairstyles previously only available to long, straight hair types. One of these looks is a thicker half-up crown braid, which can now easily be hacked around with wearing regular-sized box braids that are then styled in a French-braided process starting from the fringe.

3. Turban

big box braids in a turban
Look closer! Photo credit: Dvora

Almost painfully cool, this super fashionable big braid hairstyle features a whole head of box braids woven into a regular three-strand braid, then twisted up into a turban-inspired updo. You can do this by splitting your box braids down the center and by first creating pigtails, then pinning each one up and across the head. Tuck the ends into the seams with bobby pins to secure.

Want more inspiration for natural hair? Check out our roundup on these pretty twist hairstyles.