Boxer Braid Ideas: Cornrows, or Dutch Braids, Rebooted

Eunice Lucero | 09 May 2016

Get in on the boxer braid trend, a rebooted braided style that’s been around way before millennials made it famous.

First things first: These cool braids are officially called cornrows, or in some cases (and if you want to flex your braid vocabulary), pigtail Dutch braids a.k.a. reverse French braids. Although the boxer braid hairstyle has been worn for decades—the pop star cornrow boom of the Noughties, #NeverForget!—has been rebranded as boxer braids in the last few years. Some say it’s because it’s the hairstyle of choice of female athletes as they duke it out in the ring, but we definitely think it’s just a clever re-marketing ploy.

Who would dare spend the time rebooting a hairstyle that’s been around for scores, the world may never know. But hey, whether they’re called cornrows, double Dutches, boxer braids or reverse French pigtails, a rose by any other name would still look as cool. And they are actually pretty easy to create where you rock this fierce look when you break a sweat at the gym, for date night or even for work! They are super playful and get your hair out of your face, which is a total win/win in our book. Read on to check out how you can create your very own boxer braids.

How to Create a Boxer Braid or Pigtail Dutch Braids

boxer braid hairstyles: back view
Dutch pigtails entail braiding sections under the other, resulting in an inverted French look. Photo credit: Dvora

Step 1: Start on clean, washed and blowdried hair.

Nothing holds a braid better than strands that have been shampooed, conditioned and prepped for the tugging. Do so with a fortifying system, such as TRESemmé Repair & Protect 7 Shampoo and the TRESemmé Repair and Protect 7 Conditioner. This duo works to gently cleanse and nourish your hair. Then prep your hair for blow-drying by spraying some of the TRESemmé Thermal Creations Heat Tamer Spray throughout your hair.

Step 2: Blow-dry until 90% or completely dry.

Make sure that your hair is dry before you start your boxer braid style.

Step 3: Detangle and brush out any knots.

Create a middle part all the way from your hairline to the back of your head, as if sectioning your hair for pigtails. Using the end of a fishtail comb can help give a precise part line.

Step 4: Clamp one section off.

Begin Dutch-braiding the loose section from the hairline downwards. A Dutch braid is a reverse French braid: The side sections are crossed under instead of over the middle section. This will result in the braid looking as if it’s virtually on top of your head, like a ridge on your scalp. Continue past the point it detaches from your nape, and braid until the ends. Secure with a hair tie.

Step 5: Repeat step 4 on the remaining side.

Secure the ends with a hair tie.

Step 6: Lock in your new braided hairstyle.

Braid styles like the boxer braid are more impactful when done with immaculate precision. This means a big no to frizzies! Finish with a light dusting of hairspray for hold and frizz protection. We love the humidity protection we get from Nexxus New York Salon Care Frizz Defy Finishing Mist.

Looking for more cool braided hairstyles? Check out how to create an upside down braid.