How To Style Box Braids

Getting box braids is a great way to help protect your hair and keep it looking fresh and under control. 

However, no matter how beneficial they can be as a hairstyle, it can become boring to keep the same hairstyle all the time. 

Luckily, there are many ways to change up your box braids and keep them interesting and fun.  Some styles will need to be done when you get your braids refreshed and others can be done whenever you like. 

In this article, we will be looking at some different ways you can style your box braids.

What Are Box Braids?

Box braids are rooted in African culture and have increased in popularity around the globe, thanks in part to high-profile black celebrities such as Rihanna and Lewis Hamilton. 

The name ‘box braids’ comes from the appearance of the braids which are made by taking small, square-shaped segments of hair and braiding them freely, away from the scalp. 

Sometimes extensions will be braided into the hair to add volume and length.  Not only do these braids protect the hair from damage, but they are also very easy to maintain once they have been completed.  

How To Style Box Braids

Box braids are one of the most versatile hairstyles.  There are endless possibilities for the length, color, placement, and size of the braids. 

Similarly, there are many different ways of keeping your braids out of your face once they have been done.  Below are some different ways to style your box braids.  

Half Up Half Down

This half-up, half-down style is a great option for anyone who has longer box braids and wants to keep them out of their face while retaining the aesthetic of long braids. 

With this look, all you need to do is take a section of your braids from just behind your ears and pull it up into an elastic band on the top of your head. 

This will keep the front braids out of your face when you need them to be while retaining the length.


Another way to keep your braids fun and interesting is to style them with beads or cuffs.  These can be added during the braiding process or can be added after when you feel like it. 

Beads and cuffs can be placed at any point on the braid and can add color and expression to your braids.  Metal cuffs and beads can be personalized too to give your braids an extra touch that is unique to you. 

Top Knot

A top knot, sometimes known as pineapple, is a great way to keep all of your braids out of your face and away from your shoulders when you need them to be.

This can be useful when you are playing sports, doing DIY, or just want the braids out of the way. 

Top knots, when styled properly, can also make great hairstyles for going out to events and restaurants to change up your style. 

Simply pull your braids up onto the crown of your head and secure them with an elastic. 

High Bun

The high bun style is very similar to that of the top knot/pineapple style. 

Putting your braids into a bun on the crown of your head is a great way to keep longer braids out of the way when you are doing something physical or don’t want to get them wet in the pool or shower. 

Simply twist the braids around each other to form a bun shape at the top of your head and secure them with a large hair elastic. 

Colored Extensions

Colored, synthetic extensions are a great way to add a temporary pop of color to your hair.  Using extensions rather than dying your hair helps protect it from damage and requires much less of a commitment. 

Extensions can be removed or changed whenever you get your braids taken out or redone.  The dye will often last a lot longer and has the potential to cause more damage. 

Simply ask your stylist prior to getting your braids done about getting synthetic extensions added. 

Knotless Box Braids

Knotless box braids are exactly what you would think they are, box braids that aren’t secured or tied off at the ends.  This means that the ends are left with your natural texture. 

Despite the fact that these braids aren’t secured with knots or elastics, they still last an impressive amount of time.  The ends are likely to become frayed or loose quicker than secured braids but the effect is stylish. 

Simply ask your braider to leave the ends knotless.

How To Maintain Box Braids

There are certain steps that should be taken to help maintain your braids and keep them looking fresh for as long as possible while looking after your scalp and hair. 

Although you don’t need to wash your hair while it is braided, it is important to spot wash your scalp once or twice a week. 

This can be done by spraying a solution of water and shampoo onto your scalp, gently massaging it into your scalp, then rinsing it in the shower.  Use a towel to squeeze the excess water out of your braids.

Keeping your scalp moisturized is also important to maintain your braids and the condition of your scalp.  This can be done by applying a leave-in conditioner treatment or an oil-based cream. 

This should be done at least once a day.  Simply apply the product to your hands and gently massage it into your scalp and braids. 

You should also be careful not to wear your braids for too long.  Six weeks is the recommended maximum time to keep braids. 

This is because new growth can be stretched and even be broken with braids which can leave you with hair loss.

Final Thoughts

There are endless ways to style your box braids using beads, extensions, and tying your braids in different ways.  You can experiment with your styles each time you have your braids done to help you find a look you like best.

Matt Park
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