15 Box Braid Hairstyle Ideas to Switch Up Your Look

15 Box Braid Hairstyle Ideas to Switch Up Your Look

A woman with box braids pulled off her face in a half-up, half-down style

@samira.bem / Instagram

Box braids are the ultimate get-up-and-go hairstyle. The initial time investment can be frustrating, but when you leap up from that chair you can get dozens of styles for the price of one. Adding beads, a bun, clips, or a twist to your box braids can transform your look in minutes. Play with the length or sweep your new growth into an updo to stretch the time until your next maintenance appointment. 

There are so many ways to style box braids, and you'll feel like you have a fresh install every time you try a new one. Scroll on for 15 of our favorites.

01 of 15

Slick Side Part

A woman with long knotless box braids

@freshlengths / Instagram

Pull all of your braids to one side for a fresh perspective. Gather them with a clip that complements your outfit to take things up a notch, or tuck half of them behind your ears for a lower-maintenance look.

02 of 15

Magnificent In the Middle

Actor Tessa Thompson with long box braids parted down the middle

Neil Mockford / FilmMagic / Getty Images

Or let your braids flow with a middle part. You can never go wrong with this style. Top off the look with cute hair clips or rock it without accessories for an almost '70s vibe.

03 of 15

Put a Pin In It

Box braids with safety pin and cuff accessories

@aimeeamazing / Instagram

Instead of (or in tandem with) the go-to cuffs, cover your braids in dainty gold safety pins. Slip in beads and charms to make the look even more whimsical. Customize a few with your initials or a fun abbreviation.

04 of 15

Partially Pulled Back

A woman with braids pulled off her face

@samira.bem / Instagram

A half-up, half-down style with the ponytail gathered at the crown keeps your braids out of your face in a soft, elegant way. Stay on trend by clipping in an oversized bow.

05 of 15

Two-Strand Pony

Woman with a braided high ponytail

@therealbraidvixen / Instagram

Two face-framing strands immediately elevate any style. Pull your braids up in a high ponytail and leave two out in the front for a youthful '90s vibe. 

06 of 15

Butterfly Dreams

Woman with butterflies in her box braids

@aureefabienne / Instagram

Festoon your braids with butterfly clips for a fantastical look. Not ready to go full fairy tale? Restrict the clips to just a few braids toward the front.

07 of 15

Lob City

A woman with red boho box braids cut into a lob

@rahelbrhane_ / Instagram

Before taking your braids out, consider cutting them down for a shorter look. Opt for a super short braided bob to give Jada Pinkett in Set It Off energy, or go longer to test out what you would look like with a lob. 

08 of 15

Fanned Half-Up, Half-Down

A woman with box braids half up, half down

@imanogundeko / Instagram

Fan out your top knot to add playfulness to your half-up, half-down bun style. Let the ends hang freely or pin them beneath for more structure. It’s a fun twist on a classic look. 

09 of 15

Braided Wrap

Knotless braids in a twisted high ponytail

@therealbraidvixen / Instagram

A wrap is a great way to extend the life of your braids. Smooth down flyaways and new growth with styling mousse before nestling them into the wrap of your choice. Push it back and use your favorite edge control to slick down the front of the wrap.

10 of 15

Crimson Swoop

Red box braids in a half up ponytail, some braids pulled to the side to mimic bangs

@therealbraidvixen / Instagram

Faking an Aaliyah-esque bang with braids is always fun. Pin a group of your front braids to one side and pull the rest to the back. Use extra pins to keep things in place.

11 of 15

Oversized Top Knot

Woman drinking coffee, her hair in a box braids top knot

@lavishlybritt / Instagram

An oversized top knot is a great choice for formal occasions. It's an elegant and low-maintenance option. A bonus? It keeps hair out of your eyes and away from your neck.

12 of 15

Space Buns

A woman with blonde box braids in space buns

@yathegod / Instagram

Space buns have always been fun, but they’re definitely having a moment right now. Ease into the look with two on either side or go maximalist with five or six buns towards the hairline.

13 of 15

Knee-Length Bust Down

Woman with long boho box braids to her knees

@tylalauren / Instagram

Going extra long with your braids gives you more room to play. You can create fuller buns, fasten them into a super-sized top knot, or let them hang freely for a Lady Godiva moment.

14 of 15

Floating Rapunzel Braid

A woman with box braids, half plaited, half down

@therealbraidvixen / Instagram

Add a large oversized plait to the back or side of your hair to create some texture. Get fancy by opting for a fishtail-style style.

15 of 15

Curled Ends

Zaya Wade with long braids curled at the ends

@zayawade / Instagram

Add a French curl to the end of your braids for a romantic effect. Use the dip method, hard rollers, and some water to create raw ends, or start with human hair curls embedded into your style from the get-go. 


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