While some people might be new to box braids, in some cultural circles such as the African diaspora and natural hair community, this classic style is a staple that serves as a protective style with a major appeal. Box braids can be created in a range of widths, and with a wide array of textures and colors, making it a versatile style where the only limitation is your imagination.
There are so many ways you can style box braid hairstyles, from loose braids to half updos or messy ponytails. Here you have 61 ideas to inspire! Keep reading for some major style inspo and the best practices!
1. Warm Cinnamon Curls
Who says you can’t change texture with box braids? Shorter box braids are given more dimension by curling the ends for a fashion-forward effect. Achieve this look by setting ends on curlers using a lightweight hair mousse to create hold.
2. Soft Blonde Tresses
Box braids don’t have to be completely braided from root to ends. To achieve this look, have your braider only braid to just past your actual hair and leave ends loose. You’ll love the freedom you have to style the loose ends in beachy waves, straight hair, or voluminous curls.
3. Deep Waves
Sometimes the texture of your hair extensions is just as important as the braiding style. Switch up your look with this no-brainer option that gives you perfect beachy curls. To snag this look, opt for deep wave or water wave loose braiding hair.
4. Freedom with Ombre
With box braid hairstyles, the sky is the limit in terms of color or style. Go for a classic ombre effect by selecting braiding hair with a gradient. In this look, the roots are left natural, while the ends are a playful ash blonde.
5. The Classic Janet
If you haven’t watched Poetic Justice, we highly recommend you do just for the style inspo. There’s nothing wrong with a classic box braid style that pairs a wider plait with a natural hair hue for a sleek hairdo that’s always on-trend.
6. Big & Bold Box Braids
If you love braids but not the time it takes to install small ones, opt for larger braids. But just be sure that your braider is mindful of not installing too-large of a braid on small sections of hair, as this can encourage traction alopecia.
7. A Length Switch-Up
Who said you can’t pair a short crop with box braids? To achieve this look, consider where you want to create the drama and cut it short using clippers. Leave the rest of your length intact and head to the braider for a mesmerizing effect.
8. Keeping It Long
There’s something mesmerizing about long box braids. To keep it fresh, leave all ends unbraided, opt for a curlier texture, and leave a few braids loose even towards the roots.
9. A Little Bling
Create a unique effect by adding a few golden beads to your box braids. Choose to add them closer to the roots as shown here or place them mid-length to create visual interest.
10. A Classic Beyonce Throwback
The great thing about braided hairstyles is that there aren’t very many limitations. Channel your inner Bey from her “Say My Name” days and opt for a flat braided style through the crown before leaving the ends free. For a true Bey reimagining, go blonde.
11. Strawberry Blondes Have More Fun
There is a color for everyone with box braids. Strawberry blonde hair pairs with smaller box braids for a fresh and fashion-forward effect – extra-long baby hairs are optional!
12. Contrasting Roots
Create visual texture with contrasting roots. To achieve this look, pick a hue for your braiding hair that’s significantly lighter than your actual roots. Pick bigger braids, as shown here, or select the size that fits your personality.
13. Classic Box-Braid Buns
Nothing looks more pulled together than the rich texture of multiple box braids pulled into a neat top-bun. These buns always look best on fresher braids, although you should probably wait a few days if you’ve just had your braids installed.
14. Classic Mini Box Braids
If you’ve got the patience to sit for them, there’s nothing like small box braids to create visual interest. Whether you opt for braids that completely match your natural hair color or go for something bold, the focus is on being willing to sit for these beauties to be installed.
15. Creating a Crown
Box braids are beautiful on their own because of the visual texture they create. But you can take that look a step further by having your braider (or you!) add some contrasting thread into a few select braids to give you a crown effect.
16. Creating Shapes
In addition to focusing on clean and neat braiding, a lot of braiders make their mark with the designs they create at the root of the braid. Create more drama by asking for diamond-shaped plaits instead of simple boxes.
17. Go Micro
Nothing is more mesmerizing than looking at someone with a head full of micros. Although we all know that this particular box braid hairstyle takes a lot of work to complete, it’s well worth it when you see someone on the street with them.
18. Bold & Dynamic
There are so many options when it comes to box braid hairstyles, and we see a lot of variety in this one style without overwhelming the overall look. Ombre combines with curly loose ends to draw the eye in, while select charms are strategically placed throughout the length.
19. A Light Accent
There are so many ways to make your braided tresses stand out. We love the combination of the colorful thread on the one accent braid as well as the smattering of charms placed throughout the length.
20. Classic Black
You can’t go wrong with classic black braids. These micro box braids are paired with a natural hair hue to create a seamless effect that makes sense at the beach, the office, or when hanging out with your friends.
21. A Honeyed Affair
If blondes have more fun, we believe it! To snag this look, focus on medium-sized box braids and pick honey blonde extensions. Braid the total length for a neat and clean effect.
22. The Angled Box Braid Bob
Who said that box braids should always be long? Take a bold approach and opt for an angled bob set with large box braids. For more visual depth, have your stylist turn a few plaits into locks.
23. Create a Color Story
Create a unique look by strategically weaving color into your box braids. Have your stylist add in a few strands of contrasting color and keep it in the middle length of the braids.
24. Cinnamon, Spice & Everything Nice
Box braid hairstyles are such a playful way to switch up your look. Don’t be afraid to embrace color with a warm cinnamon brown hue, as shown here. Opt for bigger box braids for a sophisticated effect.
25. The Nubian Queen
Embrace your inner royalty with a classic yet updated version of box braids. To nail this look, keep braids medium to larger, pick natural hued braiding hair, and braid the complete length. Take your look to the next level by adding strategic charms throughout the length of your braids.
26. The Perfect Ombre
Ombres are always a yes in our book! A classic box braids style gets a modern twist thanks to a natural to a blonde gradient that’s achieved by using ombre hair extensions. For a neat and orderly look, braid the full length of the hair.
27. The Perfect Braid Combo
We can’t stress enough how versatile box braids can be. And we’re loving how in this look hair is cornrowed along the scalp and then is left free past the crown. This creates a beautiful pattern in the crown and still gives you plenty of play with the loose box braids.
28. Classic Box Braids
You can never go wrong with a classic box braid look. Traditional box braids give you parting versatility, as seen here where braids are side-swept to create a deep right part.
29. The Medium Width
We know that micros can be a serious time commitment, so might we suggest these medium-width box braids? While you’ll still need to sit in a chair for a bit, these box braids are still small enough to create the volume you want without requiring that you sit in a chair all day long.
30. A Color Story
Box braid hairstyles give you the freedom and versatility to be as playful as you want to be. If you’re not comfortable with a full head of bright colors, go for a few bright strands as this beauty did.
31. Cornrow Box Braids
One thing we love about these box braids is the beautiful pattern created in the crown through the Fulani braids created here. This classic style is getting a rebirth as more and more women embrace this unique way of telling a story through their hair.
32. Going Green
We can’t stress enough how much fun you can have with box braid hairstyles! This beauty decided to go green with a soft olive green hue that she used to achieve her small-width box braids.
33. Pastel Box Braids
If you thought that box braids were boring, this beauty is here to prove that they’re not. Her range of baby blue and baby pink hair is giving us unicorn vibes. To achieve this look, pick your favorite pastel hues and have your stylist braid the full length of the hair.
34. Go Gray in Style
You don’t need to fear going gray with this unique style, which combines a bold blonde with icy white hair for a unique combination. To achieve this look, you’ll need your stylist to combine braiding hair of different colors to create this strategically blended look.
35. A Rich Water Wave
Versatility is a big thing with this specific box braid look, as smaller box braids are left loose on the ends, so you have the freedom to curl and style the ends as you see fit. To achieve this look, ask your stylist to leave the ends loose and opt for water wave or deep wave textured braiding hair.
36. Box Braid Updo
Box braids give you so many options when it comes to style. Even though they’re already versatile, you can take it to the next level by creating additional cornrows in the crown, as shown here. This stunning effect is perfect for every day or special occasions.
37. Rich Chocolate Brown Plaits
Bigger box braids are always a bold move. But we love the one accent braid that features brightly colored thread woven throughout. And also, note the triangular sectioning at the roots for more visual excitement.
38. Bold Classic Blonde Box Braids
This beauty proves that blonde is a color that works for anyone as long as you find the hue that best complements your skin tones and undertones. A bolder, warmer brown sets off her skin beautifully. And the box braids are kept at a medium width to give her plenty of options between updos and volume.
39. Orange Box Braid Bob
If you normally shied away from color because you were concerned about damaging your hair, box braid hairstyles are the perfect solution. Here, this model takes a walk on the wild side with an uber-bright orange hair color. She keeps the look modern by opting for a shoulder-grazing bob length.
40. A Diverse Blonde
Even when you decide to pick a hair color, you aren’t limited to one shade. Here, blonde hair goes multidimensional with three hues combined in an ombre effect to create a truly unique look.
41. Side-Swept Cinnamon Braids
It’s easy to think that matching your skin tone might not be the move. But this beauty proves that you can wear a hair color that complements your skin tone without issue. Her warm skin tone is mirrored in the bold cinnamon box braids that are swept to the side.
42. Box Braided Half Updo
Medium-width box braids are the perfect option if you want braids but want them to be a tad smaller without taking all day to have done. These ash blonde braids are perfect and give you the versatility you crave to easily wear them down or in stylish updos.
43. Classic Box Braid Semi-Updo
For the most versatility, opt for medium or smaller-width box braids. Here you see how you can expertly rock the mini bun trend by gathering box braids in the crown and leaving the remainder loose.
44. Spicy Fulani Box Braids
Fulani braids (flat braids on the crown) will never go out of style. And we’re loving these spicy themed braids that remind us of pumpkin spice. For added interest, place charms strategically at the roots and throughout your box braid length.
45. Classic Square Box Braids
Never underestimate how important it is to properly section your hair as you braid! In addition to creating nice, even box braids, you can also create interest with the patterns your braider creates at the roots.
46. Box Braided Ponytail
We’re loving the versatility with styles you can achieve with box braids. For a relaxed day, you’ll love being able to gather your braids up into a relaxed high ponytail to create a playful effect.
47. A Beauty in Blonde
We can’t get enough of blonde box braids. These medium-width braids are perfect for summer and create a sleek effect.
48. Box Braided Top Knot
Top knots are getting a resurgence these days, and we love these half top knots, as seen here. Large-width box braids create visual interest by using varying hues to create a unique color story. For a neat effect, have your stylist braid the entire length of hair.
49. Cleopatra Box Braids
Take a page from the past to channel a classic style that will always turn heads. Jumbo box braids are kept short, and hair is sectioned in pentagon style to create visual play at the roots. For a regal effect, add charms throughout the length of your braids.
50. A Bold Blonde ‘Do
We’re always here for bold color play. These bright and playful blonde box braids create visual interest towards the roots because of the contrast with her naturally dark hair. Meanwhile, the smaller width is perfect for any type of updo.
51. Bold with Chocolate
We can’t get enough of jumbo box braids. There’s no shortage of styles you can rock with them, and it’s all about picking the color that works best for you. We’re in love with the rich chocolate brown hue shown here, and of course, charms help to create the perfect accent.
52. Side-Shaved Box Braids
There’s something interesting about seeing luxurious box braids contrasted against closely cropped sides. We love the very precise designs created in this beauty’s hair.
53. Contrasting Fulani Braids
Clearly, Fulani braids are a very popular option. But we love how here the braids closest to the ears are braided in the opposite direction.
54. Side-Swept Jumbos
Jumbo box braids are the perfect casual way to switch up your look for a few weeks. We love the side-swept rich chocolate braids, as seen here.
55. Side-Swept Fulani Box Braids
If you thought that Fulani braids were only for the crown, this beautiful look will make you rethink that impression. We’re loving how the stylist created a side-swept look thanks to how the braids are laid throughout the crown and sides.
56. Side-Parted Box Braid Hairstyle
While not required, some people love to create a very defined part with their box braids. Here, large box braids are strategically placed to create a defined side part on her left side.
57. Blue Box Braids
We can’t get enough of box braids paired with fantasy hair colors. Here, a black into a rich royal blue gradient is used to create an ombre effect that will have heads turning.
58. Patterned Crown Box Braids
There’s no limit to how you can style box braids, especially when they’re longer. We’re loving the low pinned-back look created here that gives the effect of turning her braids into a beautiful crown.
59. Fulani Braids on Micros
If you have the patience, micro box braids can be a gorgeous way to express your style. We’re especially in love with the Fulani style created through the crown before falling into individual braids.
60. Curly Box Braids
We’re obsessed with box braid hairstyles that play with texture and color. Here medium width plaits get the full effect treatment with a bold ombre color gradient that shifts from a medium brown into a rich cinnamon hue. And for more impact, the ends are left loose and curled to build on the texture.
61. Box Braided Angled Lob
If you’ve been obsessed with the angled lob but were feeling a bit bored with so many of them, try it with box braids! We’re in love with this very long angled bob that’s kept short in the back and long in the front to create drama.
Photos via Instagram