Box braids have been around forever. The ‘90s were notorious for the multiple stranded box braids that were all about the ethnic and the sexy style. Long hair pulled into multiple strands of braids seemed hip and cool, rocked by top girl band singers and the ladies of pop.
Today, those who opt for the natural and need a way to keep their hair out of their eyes, sometimes quite literally, head towards the box braid hairstyle. Women of color have been wearing this look forever really, the head of braids concept quite the norm for many African tribes as well.
The revival originally came about in 2015 but it did not take hold in a way we thought it would. But, everyone from the Knowles sisters to Zoe Kravitz was showing off the sleekly tangled tresses.
There are multiple reasons for one to indulge in box braids as well: protection from the elements by keeping ends tucked in safely, low maintenance, major convenience and dealing with the frizz caused by the harsh humidity of the summer months. With so many factors for the style, it only makes sense that we can enjoy the look hassle free today as well.
Once you have considered the size (thick rope or thin plaits), prepped your hair by conditioning and blow drying it straight, and are ready with your clean hair, make sure you have a good amount of time allotted to having the braids done. Remember to maintain it well though and to be careful not to add too much pressure to your scalp as the weight and the pull of the hair can cause temporary or even permanent hair loss once you release the tresses. It’s a versatile look so be sure to have fun with it.
Now that you have decided on getting your hair done into box braids, here are a few awesome box braids hairstyles to choose from when heading in to the specialist.
#1: Long and Thin Box Braids With a Side Part
Adding in extensions is a common thing when going for the box braids, which means you have all the sexiness of a ‘90s pop star! Braids that fall to the waist are pretty awesome unto themselves, albeit really heavy, and keeping them thin and sleek adds to the beauty of each strand, the side part giving it a fuller look overall. Wear with thick eyebrows and overdrawn lips for the most attractive exotic look.
#2: Long and Medium Box Braids
Long box braids are the norm and we know that. Many of the looks on this list fall into that category. While some are super thin though, we see those that are a bit on the thicker side, the braids themselves appearing more relaxed. For women of color, this is a great go-to look and it looks wonderful with the makeup focused mainly on the slanted eyes.
#3: Long Silver Gray Box Braids
These gorgeous box braids are dyed in the granny-chic silver gray hue, and the multiple strands make for a very lovely ‘do. The plaits work best on medium length or long hair that falls below the shoulders, but also looks perfect when styled into such a casual ‘do. The makeup with it should outline the lips the best, contour the cheekbones and add on the lashes, though we absolutely love the au naturel look on this pic.
#4: Long Jumbo Box Braids with Top Bun
Jumbo box braids are a common look among women of color, especially when they pick this half up and half down look, pulling part of the plaits up into a circular ring from the crown and leaving the rest from above the ears down around the shoulders. The roots are nice and thick, tapering off towards the ends. This looks best with some layers in there to really work those tapers.
#5: Red Tinged Long Box Braids
Half pulled into a half updo and the rest left down to cascade over one shoulder, this is a look that is full of braids and just a tinge of color. While black hair is the most common among women of African roots, the gorgeous mass of braids that is created when you add a few dark brick red low lights creates just the right amount of contrast to draw the eyes over without appearing fake. Add cat eyes and you are good to go.
#6: Box Braids Twisted In a Crown Halo
Not all box braids are actually worn loose. Some can be twisted and braided again and that is where this crown halo comes in, giving the model a lived in look while still showing off the splendor of those vibrant blue tresses. Nothing says exotic updo quite like one with the casually twisted strands pulled into a loose half-up hairstyle, complete with black and blue hair colors.
#7: Black and White Box Braids
It looks like the hair has been dipped into a can of white paint really, the box braids coming in a gorgeous black and white that tapers out to nearly only white at the ends, despite starting at the roots in mostly black. The ombre effect of the stark contrasts only serves to make this long box braid look even more awesome than it already is.
#8: Double Top Buns and Box Braids
Love the totally retro pigtail buns with the box braids? You can totally rock them now as well, looking sharp and cute and utterly exotic Sailor Moon-esque. Just add in the half down effect to give those box braids somewhere to be. After all, it is always best to keep half the hair down in order to better balance out the weight of the hair.
#9: Thin Box Braids In a Casual Updo
The ring over the head is a pretty casual bun compared to many others, the shine to the thin box braids only adding to the beauty of the half up and half down design of the style. The hair is extremely long, falling below the waist, even after part of the locks have been twisted into a loose bun over the crown of the head.
#10: Versatile Box Braids
One of the best things about box braids is the ease with which you can manoeuvre to the look to suit your mood or needs. With the longer locks that incorporate thinner plaiting, that versatility increases. You can use the hair to create high ponytails or pull it up into a crown like top bun that literally covers the whole of the top of the head. You decide which your look is.
#11: Rainbow Box Braids In a Ponytail
These are the brightest and most colorful box braids we have seen so far, definitely meant for those who want to stand out in the crowd. Add in a whole lot of pink, yellow, green, blue and other rainbow hues and you have exquisite box braids to work, which so easily win our hearts. The red adds the fighting spirit, while the other colors themselves speak of a stronger, more confident personality. It’s sexy and we all know it, meaning you should definitely go for some glaring bright colors to your hair this coming summer.
#12: Blonde Haystack Twisted Updo
Blonde highlights to the black hair? Why not? It’s a pretty fun look actually and can be used beautifully to show off the pretty box braids that take over the twisted updo look you hastily created. It allows the hair to stay together really, while the color combinations make it appear like hay has been braided in with the real hair. It is pretty awesome as it is.
#13: Double Trouble Retro Look
Double buns to the side of the head make this box braid hairstyle seem like it belongs in an anime series by the Japanese, except that it has been around since the ‘90s and long before that in certain tribes around the world. The twisted buns allow for better balance on the head, shifting the weight about and allowing half to cascade down in a truly retro style.
#14: Volume with Purple Tinge
Box braids add in quite a bit of volume really, sleeking things out but still keeping up with the latest hairstyle trends. Adding a bit more bump to the crown can only make things look better, and when those box braids are a combination of medium and thin strands, adding in some color only brightens up the look. Purple hair with purple/coral makeup is just our cup of tea.
#15: Pink and Trendy Tree Braids
Micro braids are also known as tree braids and are really tiny when putting together. This style includes thicker box braids turning into micro braids, with most of the hair braided nearer to the roots, the strands falling in a glaring pink color that is very pretty to behold. Must be the Congo trend if the caption to the image has anything to say about it. Pulled up into a half up and half down high ponytail, it is certainly a style we can see ourselves enjoying, particularly since the pink is faux extensions added in.
#16: Half Up Half Down Long Box Braided Hairstyle
Box braids put in a half updo are lovable. Really. If they are done right, with the correct twists and the hair is clean, the box braids can look amazing, especially if they begin from a side part and appear as if they are the dark rays to the sun. The thin plaits cascading down the shoulders only add to the appeal. With the right amount of makeup and the focus on the eyes, this style is one of the best box braid hairstyles by far.
#17: Box Braids Pulled In Boxer Braids
You love the box braids as well as the double braided boxer braids. You love the braid in braid look and cannot get enough of braids as a whole. This is just perfect, especially if you have a fondness for pigtails that look like you have grown up and not still 6 years old. This box braid turned into boxer braid look is exactly what you need to appear chic, sexy and all around ready for a night out.
#18: Twisted Top Bun Half Updo
With half the hair falling over the shoulders and the rest skillfully twisted into a top bun, this style is quite chic and apparently meant to wear to any occasion. There is something tribal about it all, a pretty partial updo that we can all try out, the braids themselves being thin.
#19: Chic High Bun with Waterfall Braids
Quite similar to the previous look, the tresses fall from a high bun over the top of the head, twisted in a chic fashion to resemble a royal look, the cascades of thin braids falling down over the shoulders to the waist. It is gorgeous to say the least and quite like a black waterfall, as the lack of highlights or lowlights ensure the natural style, particularly the tribal style is what attracts attention. The pretty cat eyed makeup only accentuates the exotic nature of the whole presentation.
#20: Black and Gold Funky Updo
Golden wheat highlights added to the dark natural hair is what lends this box braid updo its major appeal. It is all about the small box braids, thicker somewhat at the roots and tapering off into rather thin micro braids come the edges, twisted about a messy high bun to create an updo that requires no additional products to stay in place. The contrasting color combination is what gives the whole things its natural flair for beauty, while minimal makeup ensures that everyone will be complimenting your braids through the night.
#21: Thick Braided High Bun
A woman who enjoys having her hair in a bun will want to opt for the high bun that is closer to the crown in order to better distribute the weight of her box braids. Of course, you will need long hair for the box braids, with extensions adding to the loveliness of it all. The natural black color of the tresses is the best route to take and the little baby hairs can be left as is to match the latest trends. Add large earrings and you have a lovely creation.
#22: Multi Colored Side Braids
Pulling the box braids over from a side part allows for your jewelry to play peek-a-boo from the other. Adding colors to that set of braids only makes thing all the more interesting, especially when it appears as if we are heading down to the Caribbean. Green, yellow and red are most certainly Caribbean colors and bringing in these extensions to your natural dark hair allows for an intriguing contrast combo.
#23: Greying Twists at Crown
The black white and grey combination of colors to the thick and thin braided box hair makes it look quite diva-esque. It is almost as if the ladies are about to belt out a “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend” song while swinging from the ceiling before moving into a few intriguing dance moves. With the twist at the crown, it is even more diva than expected, while the side sweep of the braids gives it a chic appearance.
#24: Black and White Side Crown
With a rather royal look to the style, the black and white combination box braids are twisted into a loose crown broad, from which we have a few strands cascading down the back. It is quite regal in style and paired with dark lipstick and darker jewelry, it is quite intriguing to behold during the day or night, on a special occasion or while strolling around town. Definitely a look we can all appreciate.
#25: Fashion Savvy Side Part
Gorgeous and youthful is what we are going for here, enjoying the sun and surf and the long, thicker box braids that are so very ‘90s. Add on pink lipstick, a modern pair of sunglasses, part the hair from the side and pull the top strands back for a half down look and you have that beauty look that many only dream of. It’s rebellious yet sweet, youthful yet somehow matured all at once. Definitely one of the best box braid summer hairstyles on this list, loved for its simplicity.
#26: Purple Side Twist with Matching Lips
Know how the new hair trends are all about the Gothic colors and strong style? The bold lips and bolder hair? This look brings all that into perspective with super long box braids, hair colored a deep aubergine, side parted and twisted over on the other side to fall in pretty plaited cascades. Add on a baby doll appearance, gorgeous purple lips to match the hair and you have the modernized retro princess for the ladies of certain color.
#27: Curved Short Box Braids with Top Knot
The curved nature of the shoulder-length box braids is what really attracts people in the first place, appearing rather perfect in its shape. The extra braids that add too much volume are then piled on top of the head for a top knot, producing a rather unique style that easily balances weight and loveliness, adding a spark of confidence to the sweeter short bob. It is very pretty according to over a thousand Intagrammers who have found the style.
#28: Black and White Regal Knot
Elongating the face along with the knot on top of the head, the addition of white extensions to the hair with the black creates a cookies and cream contrast that is hard to avert one’s gaze from. The added twists and prettier concepts throughout, without any hair pulling, add a certain regal softness, almost as if we are looking at a politician’s wife’s hairstyle.
#29: Side Twist Beauty
Appearing of a more demure nature, the mass of box braids here appears to have been pulled together to create a few large twists, thick and beautifully coiled so that it appears to be a tribal headdress, the additional strands of the box braids flowing over the shoulders and down the back to the waist. It is lovely to behold, not quite sexy but certainly an awesome look to wear out on a daily basis.
#30: Lots of Colors Twisted Box Braids
Forget playing with the box braids themselves alone; we are seeing massive colors here, like they would be out of a rainforest, and appearing in masses of shades of green, blue and purple. The greens are what catch the light best, with combinations of yellow and deeper diver aqua. The blues range less but are no less integral to the long strands pulled over the shoulder. The twist at the back of the head provides some style, while the colors do most of the talking.
#31: Gold-Laced Micro Braids
Teeny tiny box braids, thin as can be, are given life with the masses of gold threading throughout, creating a rather jungle-themed style to the box braids that are micro and end undone at the edges. The twist at the crown adds to its appeal, while the overall vibe we notice is sexy and potent, able to grab hold and not let go. The length is perfect, while the golden aspect to the black hair is all that is needed to bring wild felines to mind.
#32: Green Box Braided High Ponytail
There is sexy and then there is a whole new level of sexy. Box braids that combine black and green perfectly are a rare enough sight but can be done with the right specialists. Follow that up with the long braids pulled up into a high ponytail, the green of it practically the only color seen from about mid-length, meaning that you can create this look with short locks as well.
#33: Beach Blonde Micro Braid Beauty
Gorgeous box braids can be worn by ladies who have spent a whole lot of time under the sun as well, not just women of color. For those who rock the blonde with perfection, combined with sky blue eyes, the micro braids or tree braids are the look you should be going for, with the strands around your crown pulled back and clipped into place, the rest of the lovely pieces of dirty blonde over your shoulders.
#34: Anime Perfect Box Braid Bangs
Have you seen the funky hairstyles that anime characters seem to always be rocking? Ever wonder about the way they carry so much of their hair in front of their faces? You can try it yourself, adding in purple and pink extensions for extra effect. Light purple lips finish off the look with ease.
#35: Rainbow Yarn Box Braids
We love pretty twists as it is. It is like a unicorn tribe here, something out of a fantasy. The colors range all over the spectrum and that is what makes the hair so awesome. The yarn braids are a common style to the box braid genre, making this one awesome look to finish off our list with. Go for maximum color and a good amount of length, swinging their weight as you confidently walk down the streets.
Photos courtesy of Instagram