When it comes to protective styles, box braids are a classic go-to for many of us looking for a way to switch up our look without compromising our hair health. They are versatile and stylish and make for an incredibly easy way to give your hair a break from daily styling and manipulation. Need some inspiration? I’ve got you covered! Keep scrolling to see pictures of the best box braids for black women, plus some helpful tips and tricks you can use to make sure your new braids are always looking stunning.
What Are Box Braids?
Box braids are a great protective style for African-American women. They’re divided into small sections, or “boxes.” Each section is braided with an extension of hair, usually synthetic. Plus, they last for weeks and are easy to maintain. So, if you’re looking for a stylish, low-maintenance look, box braids might be perfect!
Are Box Braids Bad for Your Hair?
If you’re considering box braids styles, keeping hair health in mind is important. While they look stunning, box braids for women can put tension on your hair and scalp if not done properly. Using natural hair extensions is also important, as synthetic extensions can dry out and damage your hair. To keep your hair healthy while wearing box braids, moisturize your scalp, protect the ends of your hair, and don’t leave them in for more than 8-10 weeks. It would be best to wash your box braids every two to three weeks. To get the best results, having a professional braider or stylist install them is best. With the right care and caution, box braids can be a beautiful way to wear your hair.
Check out these pictures of the best ways to get box braids for women!
#1: Crochet Box Braids
Try crochet box braids for a fresh and unique look. This style is perfect for those who want to add texture and dimension to their hair. And you don’t need to commit to long-term extensions. To get such braid hairstyles, ask your braider to use a crochet hook when creating the plaits with synthetic or natural hair. Ensure you communicate exactly what type of braid pattern you want. Tell your braider the size of each braid, too. This will ensure that your desired outcome is achieved!
#2: Side-Swept Purple Box Braids
Get into this sexy purple tone in the side-swept purple box braids. A classic braid style, these individuals have the knot at the base and blunt cut ends. But ultimately, it gives your style a longer duration. To keep them well-kept, use a bonnet at night and keep them covered from steam and moisture.
#3: Medium Sized Box Braids with Curls
If you’re stuck between braids and curls, why not get both? Ask for medium-sized box braids with curls. Ask your braider for Gypsy curls instead of Bohemian curls. But only if you want to achieve a far more full look with curls throughout and curly ends. Getting medium-sized braids with medium-sized partings will certainly help with braid weight management. Have some fun with cuffs and different hair accessories to style.
#4: Long Neat Box Braids
For an easy approach to a protective style, consider getting long neat box braids. Ladies can appreciate the simplicity of neat box parting and braids consistent in size. For thicker braids, ask your braider to add more braid hair for a fuller look.
#5: Trendy Box Braids with Tendril Curls
Take part in the newest trend rocking box braids with tendril curls. The unique slender curl on the ends resembles much of a Shirley Temple curl in how the curl pattern twirls. The curls can easily be achieved on straw or flex rods. Be careful not to overlap the ends when wrapping. It will deliver a slightly different curl pattern.
#6: Bohemian Box Braid Style
A popular protective style among youth black women is the Bohemian box braid style. They’re fluid in voluminous curls and movement. These box braids for black women creatively combine loose curls and individual braids. I suggest using 100% human hair for the curls to maintain longevity. Manage upkeep with product and heat as needed.
#7: Blonde Mini Box Braids for Women with Lighter Skin
Stop contemplating hair color choices within your next braid style. Try blonde mini-box braids if you’re a woman with lighter skin. Brighter skin tones compliment lighter blonde shades. As all skin tones are gorgeous, the popular blonde color 613 is quite eye-catching because of how light it is. 613 melts into a lighter skin tone and adds radiance. Mini in size and straight with no curl, these box braids allow the blonde to make the biggest statement.
#8: Neat Box Braids with Rings and Cuffs
Neat box braids with rings and cuffs will always be an option for the youthful and creative woman. You have endless possibilities in styling choices with your box braids. Add cuffs, rings, hair string, beads, or other accessories. While standard box braids can often be done at home, I advise seeking a professional braider. Especially if neatness is a quality at the top of your list. This way, your natural hair is tucked, parts are crisper, and the style lasts longer.
#9: Long Gypsy Box Braids with Baby Hairs
Get into these long Gypsy box braids with baby hairs designed heavily with Gen Z in mind. Often seeing more curls than braids distinguishes between bohemian and gypsy curls. The baby hairs gelled down along the hairline can be as wavy, thick, and long as you want. Think of these designs as a freestyle with your small tooth comb and baby brush.
#10: Half Up, Half Down Box Braids
A beautiful way to style your hair is in a half-up half-down box braids style. Have fun and creatively twist your braids in the top bun or use a sock to create the infamous chignon bun. This choice with these types of box braids is beneficial in distributing weight. Depending on how long or heavy the braids are, pulling some of them up helps pull some of the weight up without being top-heavy.
#11: Waist Length Box Braids with a Dark Brown Hair Color
An easy and quick braid style with some jazz is long bohemian knotless braids with color. Color combos with 30, 27, and 613 will bring warmth to your style because of their warm tones. To add some movement to your braid tresses, ask your braider for human hair waves throughout. Remember, human hair is always best for bohemian styles. This is because synthetic wavy hair can’t take heat or product. And thus, styling becomes a challenge sooner than later.
#12: Black Box Braids with Wavy Ends
A popular and versatile protective style to rock at any time and age are black box braids with wavy ends. The braids are individual-like locks. They can be pulled up, down, and styled into many creative styles. One of the best features is the ability to manipulate the ends because of the type of braid hair used. For wavy ends, you can braid the ends together and dip them in boiling water. If you want them straight again or change the curl pattern, re-dip them in hot water.
#13: Dark Brown Box Braids
A simple protective style for black women will always be dark brown box braids. Plaited at the base with precise square partings, this look can be done in the salon or at home. But only by those who know how to do 3 strand braids consistently. Box braiding styles have a wide range of versatility, so it’s not always the same look. Try ombre color combos to add some extra styling without switching up the technique.
#14: Medium to Large Box Braids
Medium to large box braids can be determined by the size of your actual braids or the size of the plaited sections. While box braids are a convenient hairdo, the weight can often play a part in what you can do with them. For a more lightweight style, ask your braider for larger parts with smaller braids. This way, you can easily pull up into a ponytail or bun and not feel top-heavy.
#15: Grey Asymmetrical Box Braid Bob
For the mature black woman who loves a neat set of braids, try a grey asymmetrical box braid bob. This look is low on maintenance, lightweight, and can last up to 8 weeks. Bobs are cute box braid hairstyles. This is because it adds a little more sophistication to your hairstyling. And all while still wearing a protective style over your natural hair.
#16: Mid-Length Box Braids with Ombre
Mid-length box braids with ombre color are a great option for those looking for a great hairstyle. This hairstyle works best for those with medium to long hair length. And it’s perfect for those who like to play with color combos. To keep your braids looking great, it’s important to clean but not over-wash them. And, ensure that they are dried properly after getting wet.
#17: Box Braids with Two Buns
Spice up your knotless box braids with this chic spin, featuring two buns and natural curly ends. This look is perfect for black girls who want a fun but functional hairstyle that can be dressed up or down. To get the best results, I suggest you start with clean, moisturized hair before braiding. Avoid leaving your braids in for too long to prevent damage. The best way to give your braids a touch of personality is by adding various hair accessories. Or, you can opt for different braid sizes.
#18: Stunning Box Braids with Teal Highlights
Looking to add some color to your box braids? Consider rocking box braids with teal highlights for a vibrant and unique look. To take the style up a notch, ask for the ends of your braids to be loose and curled with human hair for a boho look. This style works best for black women who want to add some dimension to their hair and stand out from the crowd. Remember to be aware of the health of your natural hair. Take out your braids after six to eight weeks to avoid any damage. Be sure to deep condition your hair before and after getting the braids. This will help to keep your strands healthy and strong.
#19: Stunning Purple Box Braids
Have some fun with color and wear stunning purple box braids. Box braid styles for women are notorious for being a simple “go-to” protective style. It’s because of their versatility and low maintenance. When the braids are installed, the key to getting color to pop is the tuck method. Ask for your natural hair to be tucked under the colored braid hair. That way, the color stands out and keeps your hair protected underneath.
#20: Chunky Box Braids with Ribbon Accents
The chunky box braids with ribbon accents and cuffs are an unexpected way to make a splash! This daring bob braid style is edgy on traditional box braid styles. It’s one of the best protective styles for oval, heart, and diamond face shapes. Ask your braider for a custom-tailored set of jumbo twists to add subtle dimension. And try to explore different hair strings and jewelry for added flair.
#21: Small Box Braids
These small box braids are edgy and low-maintenance. One thing I like about this look is that it’s versatile. This style is perfect for a woman with many personalities, especially with extension hair. To keep up with this style, it’s best to wear a silk or satin scarf over the hair at night to ensure the style maintains neatness over time.
This style can last up to 4 weeks. I usually tell my clients only to wear these styles for up to four weeks. I’m all about keeping natural hair healthy. Also, all hair types can enjoy this look. However, the size of the braids may vary depending on the texture. You must consider the weight of the extension hair when adding. Lastly, an edge control product can be used on the front perimeter of the hairline to keep the finer hairs intact.
#22: Bright Blonde Box Braids
Bright blonde box braids are eye-catching and have a timeless braid style. Dating back to times in B.C., box braids have always been an iconic braid style for black women. Even with naturally dark hair, an excellent braider can tuck your hair completely under the braided hair to allow the blonde to show on its own. One of the best ways to maintain box braids is by washing them gently with soap and water and keeping your scalp moisturized.
#23: Relaxed Braids for Mid-Length Hair
Consider box braids for mid-length hair as an easy, low-maintenance style. I’ve found that these braided hairstyles are both flattering and versatile. Depending on how you accessorize, they can give you a chic bohemian vibe or a sophisticated edge. They’re best for those with thick strands of hair. The key to keeping these bohemian box braids fresh is to gently shampoo them once every two weeks and use light oil products to hydrate your scalp.
#24: Extra Long Box Braids
Extra-long box braids are an ideal choice for tall women. It’s best to have your braider taper the ends well so they can be easily pulled up into buns and ponytails. Remember that the longer the braids, the shorter you may look. So tall women and long braids will always be a winning look.
#25: Golden Long Braids with a High Bun
Try long golden braids with a high bun as a style choice with knotless braids. Knotless is a versatile style so that you can try endless style choices. Ask your braider to tuck your natural hair when getting these installed. Tucking will ensure that they last for at least a couple of months.
#26: Mid-Length Box Braids with Accessories
If you’re rocking a shaved side or have a ton of hair, mid-length box braids will always be a safe option. When wearing individuals, you can wear your hair in several different styles. Plus, you can keep them installed for up to 8 weeks. Remember to shampoo your box braids now and then to avoid product buildup.
#27: Braids for Long Hair
Box braids for long hair are a timeless braid style and are suitable for all ages. Because the knot at the base can add some weight over time, these are great box braids for black girls with healthy and full roots. You’ve seen box braids become knotless in recent years. But the knot at the base creates longevity and protection if you want a long-term braid style.
#28: Burgundy Box Braids
Burgundy box braids are a funky way to protect and style your hair simultaneously. These Rihanna-inspired red box braids are perfect for the summer (and all year!)
#29: Short Box Braids
Short box braids are perfect for those who can’t spend much time in the chair getting them installed. Styling options are limited, but you can still have fun with color combos and hair jewelry. For this shape, you’ll need to have your braider use synthetic Kanekalon hair. But only if it’s not flame retardant. This way, the ends can be sealed with heat and bent to give them shape.
#30: Twisted Long Box Braids
If you want a protective style that’s lightweight, get long spring twists for extra bounce. Installed with pre-curled crochet hair, the style can be done by your braider or at home if you have the patience. Because the hair is already twisted and curled, your 2 strand twists will last for several weeks. Keep in mind that this particular hair is synthetic. So avoid heat and product, using only a light shine spray from time to time.
#31: Ombre Box Braids
Ombre box braids are perfect for black women who want just enough pizazz to take it a step up from simple braids. Fortunately, there’s a growing number of ombre color combinations for braids. For warm skin tones, the ombre blend with 4/613 roots fading into solid 613 ends is a sure head-turner. It’s an ashy yet soft blend on black women with warm brown skin tones. Note that the synthetic hair can be dipped in boiling water for straight or curly ends. So you have flexibility in your style changes.
#32: Medium to Large Box Braids
I’ve found that medium to large box braids are an ideal choice to achieve a stylish and long-lasting look. They provide flattering coverage while allowing you to make a statement with your style. These braids can be the perfect solution when you need a protective hairstyle that will last for weeks. As an experienced hairstylist, my tip is to use smaller sections of hair when creating this look, as it will help ensure neatness and evenness throughout.
#33: Bold Box Braids with Pink Accents
Here’s a daring but subtle approach to protective styles. Consider bold box braids with pink accents for a surprise pop of color. If you want to add spunk, ask your braider to change the color of a few box braids in the back, side, or even front and center. Because it’s only a few braids, you can quickly change the color to match the rest of your braids when you’re ready.
#34: Poetic Justice Janet Jackson Inspired Braids
Even before the 1993 movie, black women rocked this cute Poetic Justice braids style. Represent the cult classic with another classic box braid style.
#35: Boxed Fishtail Braid
Even after having your intricate box braids, putting them all in one big braid is an easy trick to keep the hair all in one place.
#36: Box Braids Bun
This box braids style is a versatile and effortless style that can be pinned up for an elegant updo, or you can let it all hang down for a sassy, carefree look. My favorite style is to bun the top and let the back hang down for a combination of both looks, but the styles are endless for box braids. My favorite thing about it is its great protective style for natural hair. It is long-lasting (can be worn for up to 3 months) and, again, super versatile.
The healthiest way to install and maintain this protective style is to start with thoroughly cleaned, conditioned, and moisturized hair. Thoroughly detangle hair with a good leave-in conditioner or moisturizing cream. Try Shea Moisture’s Curl Enhancing Smoothie and Hair Milk, Taliah Waajid Easy Herbal Comb Out, and Ouidad Moisture Lock Leave-In.
Maintain this style with an excellent moisturizing spray you can purchase or make yourself by adding water and your favorite oil (essential oils and conditioner) in a cheap spray bottle. Ideas for cocktail recipes are endless, and I recommend spraying the scalp and hair daily for maximum benefits.
This is one of many go-to protective styles that anyone can wear. Any face shape, hair type, or lifestyle can pull off this look. I recommend that the box braids be between jumbo to medium-sized as small and micro-sizes can contribute to breakage, especially for fine hair textures.
It is also essential to use an equal ratio of hair extensions to natural hair to minimize breakage. No one wants heavy braids! This protective style is great for the natural seeking a protective style to aid in length retention and for those seeking a low-maintenance, long-lasting tone.
#37: A-line Bob Box Braids
Consider an A-line bob box braids style. It gives you an edgy style with the lowest amount of at-home maintenance required. This is perfect for ladies who are continuously on the go and need their hair out of the way. This is designed for women with short hair, no longer than approximately 4 inches. Even though the braids are short, you can still have fun with color combos and hair jewelry.
#38: 2 Toned Senegalese Twists
The perfect soft vacation style for black women is 2 toned Senegalese twists. One of the softer yet precise techniques in braiding, this style is versatile in its styling. It looks great with multiple color combinations. Ask your braider for a 3 strand braid at the base before twisting. This has a stronger and more stable base to last longer instead of starting with a 2 strand twist. Senegalese twists aren’t the easiest technique. So be sure to seek an experienced braider if you want consistency in the braids.