Part of the reason braids are so popular is that they can give hair the structure needed for more elaborate looks. This is acutely true for the natural hair community, where styles with box braids can offer normally curly or afro-textured hair some heft and length. Hairstyles to do with box braids also provide a stunning starting point for longer-haired looks such as the half up half down bun.
Don’t get us wrong: The half up half down bun is a hairstyle that can very much work across the board—it is basically just, you guessed it, a half-ponytail with a top knot—but really long, straight to wavy hair usually showcases the nuances of this look the best: namely, strand and scalp quality, and a remarkable sheen. It’s an updo that can highlight a not-so-healthy scalp or put dry, frizzy hair on the spotlight, so if you’ve got all these things on lock, you’re well on your way to rocking this queenly ’do!
For this post, we highlight two new styles to do with box braids: first, a fun half-up, half-down bun, and the next, a totally charming bow-bun hairstyle that’s just so meta! Read on for easy guides for each:
Styles with Box Braids Tutorial #1: The Half-Up Bun
Start with your hair down.
Start on freshly (and gently) washed braids for the best, most shiniest results. To do this, use a co-washing routine. Blot away any excess moisture, especially focusing on the scalp area.
Twist the top-front section.
Section off the top third or fourth of your braided hair and start twisting them in one direction, up and away from your face. Grabbing more braids results in a trendy, boho-chic turban or wrap effect too.
Coil your twist around.
Coil your twist around its own base, creating a loop. You may need to make more than one full revolution, depending on the thickness of your braids (or your hair).
Secure your bun.
Insert several bobby pins around the base (and any other wobbly seams) to secure the loop. Feel free to use a hair elastic if your bun feels shaky without one, but make sure the elastic has got quite a lot of give and won’t cause unnecessary tension on your crown.
Refine your edges.
Apply a tiny amount of hair oil or serum on your palm.We like how the polished, salon-smooth shine provided by TRESemmé Keratin Smooth Shine Serum is great for cowlicks and frizzies.
Smooth 'em down.
Using your fingertips or a brush, smooth down any cowlicks, halo frizzies or sideburns that stick out for a truly refined finish.
You’re all set! Try to keep your styles with box braids in for up to six weeks to give your strands a breather. Otherwise, keep rocking your new on-trend updo!
Styles with Box Braids Tutorial #2: The Bow Bun Updo
As one of our favorite easy and quick hairstyles, buns can be worn in so many ways, including the creative and girly bow bun updo that’s already been making the rounds in the Asian hairstyling community (with box braids with bangs being another popular look). As another super-cute way to wear your box braids, it’s chic, modern and on-trend. Read on to learn how to get the box bun updo in just under 10 minutes.
Refresh your braids.
Before creating your bun, refresh your braids if needed with a dry shampoo. Simply spray a few inches away from your roots and massage it in. Try Dove Refresh+Care Detox & Purify Dry Shampoo.
Gather hair into a high ponytail.
Gather the braids on the middle section of your head into a high ponytail.
Form a loop.
Instead of pulling all of your ends out of the ponytail, create a loop instead. Be sure to leave enough length out as you will need to use your hair ends to create your bow bun later.
Split the loop into two sections.
Grab onto each side of the loop with both hands and spread apart to divide them into two equal sections.
Pull hair ends over.
Pull the hair ends that you left out in Step 2 over the mid-section of your bow bun.
Wrap the ends around.
After you’ve pulled your braids over the bun, wrap the remaining ends around the bun to finish your bow bun.
Here’s your final look. If needed, add some shine to your braids with a hair oil or hair serum. Try out Suave Professionals Moroccan Infusion Styling Oil, a product that’s infused with Moroccan Argan oil. This works to deliver a long-lasting shine without weighing down your hair. Bonus: It smells awesome!
Love those box braid styles? Then, you’ll love to flex your box braiding chops with these 8 on-trend box braid hairstyles. You’ll love the inspiration these box braid pics will give you. Scroll on for more looks:
1.Twisted Half Updo
2. Half-up Space Buns
Looking for cool styles for box braids? Look no further! Space buns are back with a vengeance and we find it to be one of the coolest box braids hair looks at the moment. Try out this old-school style on your box braids. For a modern twist, pair the look up with the half-up hair trend.
3. Micro Braids
Medium to chunky sized braids not your thing? Try out micro braids. This style may take hours to do but it’s totally worth it. Many women opt for this size since it’s much lighter in weight. Thicker braids can feel a little heavy on your head. So if you’re looking for hairstyles with box braids that won’t weigh your head down, opt for this teeny-tiny option.
4. Colored Streak
The perfect way to give your box braid hairstyles a cool touch is by adding a pop of color. Opt for braiding one or two strands with a fun hue that stands out.
5. Multi-Colored Hairstyles for Box Braids
If the previous style is just a little too basic for your funky style, go for the go hard or go home approach. One of the best parts of this style is that it requires no commitment to a permanent hair color since you’re using extensions. Stick to two colors or try out more for a fun rainbow effect.
6. Scarf Updo
We love a good hair accessory and you should, too! Dress up your box braids with scarves. For a stylish spin mix prints and textures. Opt for mixing patterns that have the same color story to give your ensemble the perfect blend.
7. Side Crown Braid
For some ladies, a full-on crown braid may feel too heavy on a box braid style. Take some of the weight off your neck and consider styling your box braids into a half-crown braid instead.
8. Side-Swept Box Braids
Side swept hairstyles have a super sexy and romantic appeal. To get your braids to stay put, use large bobby pins to set in place.
Loved these pictures of box braids? After finding the look you love, learn how to care for your box braids style.