box braids hairstyles

24 Chic Box Braid Hairstyles

Box braids have been in every magazine, every blog, and on every runway. While they’re far from new, this braided style has recently resurfaced and is soaring in popularity. A great protective style, box braids are versatile in terms of length and color, and something that everyone should experience at some point in her life. We’ve gathered 24 box braided styles that can help you decide on your first box braid look, or give you ideas on new ways to style your braids each day. Whether you’re taking vintage inspiration from Janet Jackson in Poetic Justice or current hair icons like Beyonce and Solange, you’ll look fabulous and trendy while protecting your natural hair.

1Half Up Bun

This half-up style is a great way to showcase long box braids while keeping some hair up and out of your face. With half of your braids in a spiral bun, more emphasis lands on your face, and big bold earrings won’t be hidden amongst your hair.

2Short and chunky

Although they might look like twists from far away, this is actually a very chunky box braided style. If you like to change your hair up frequently, these braids are easy to install and quick to take out. This shorter braid length adds a vintage feel to the look, and reminds us of Lauryn Hill’s ’90s style.

3Pulled Back Braids

Keri Hilson wears her box braids pulled back at the sides for a more sophisticated and mature half up style that’s softly framed with baby hair. To keep things interesting, secure hair in the back with a jewelled clip, or form a larger braid out of your many smaller box braids.

4Twisted Double Buns

When executed with box braids, the trendy double bun style takes on a high volume cone shape. This twisted style is great for showing off braids in contrasting colors, or browsing thrift stores for ’90s streetwear that’s dying to be worn again.

5Chunky Front Braid

If you love braids that are made up of more braids, try this chunky side braid that’s right up against the face instead of the usual back braided style. While this style may look like it would feel heavy to wear, it’s actually lighter than bun styles where braids are all piled on top of the head.

6Simple Bun

Perhaps the most simple and sophisticated box braided updo, this versatile jumbo bun is great for work functions, attending weddings, or nights on the town with your girlfriends.

7Flipped Over Braids

Known for wearing her box braids incredibly long, Solange’s look here has braids flipped across one side of her head, showing off her impeccable bone structure and jaw line. Perfect for women with oval faces, this braided look can also be dressed down for everyday wear when jeans and a t-shirt replace designer dresses and heels.

8The Color Purple

Of all the vibrant hair colors we’ve been seeing lately, purple is probably the most popular, and is a perfect match for women with deeper skin tones. These purple box braids are in a bright violet hue, but anything from pale lavender to deep burgundy will have your box braids looking trendy and unique.

9Pinned Box Braid Updo

If you love your waist length braids, but need to keep hair understated and appropriate for work, try pinning them up in this classy corporate style. Tucked and rolled at the front to create a pompadour shape, this look is still unique enough to show off elements of your personal style. You may even end up styling your hair this way outside of work.

10High Ponytail

Another long braided look from Solange, this high ponytail is draped to one side in a sassy, sophisticated way. Using hair to wrap around the base of the ponytail covers up unattractive hair elastics, and if you’re able to wrap braids tight enough, you may be able to skip using an elastic altogether.

11Box Braid Bob

We seem to only see box braids in long styles and bob haircuts with unbraided hair, which makes this braided bob a fairly unique sight. A great style option for protecting hair during the fall and winter months, this look requires very little maintenance, and looks chic alongside layered scarves and wine colored lips.

12Braided Heart Style

One of many bold styles worn by Willow Smith, this heart shaped updo may not be an everyday style, but it’s a great themed look for younger women who want their hair to stand out.

13Grey Braids

Another ultra trendy color, grey hair is everywhere right now, including in your box braids. Perfect for women who aren’t interested in chasing a permanent grey style that requires lightening hair’s natural color, it’s also fun to mix grey with light pastel tones. If you’ve got lighter colored eyes, hair color this pale will make them stand out, especially when paired with neutral clothes.

14Shaved Side

The undercut is another bold, trendy style that can be mixed into your box braided look. Shave both sides to create a mohawk shape, or just one for a shaved style that you can choose to show off or hide, depending on your mood. More styling options include shaving hair at the nape of your neck, and dying shorter hair in vibrant colors once the shaved area starts growing in.

15Beach Blonde Braids

Natural dark hair acts as a contrasting ombre root to these show-stopping blonde braids. Remember that not all blondes are created equal, and if possible you should hold various shades up to your face to see whether an ashy, golden, or nearly white platinum blonde is the best compliment to your skin tone.

16A-Line Bob Braids

Just like the super flattering A-Line bob, this braided style is shaped so that hair is longer in the front, in a mid length cut that’s flattering on most face shapes. Because this style is on the shorter side, it comes across as more work appropriate than some of the waist-length styles.

17Braids And Bangs Bob

One of the most unusual braided styles, this is a style women who just can’t live without the face framing properties of a blunt bang. Be prepared to turn heads, as this style is on the edge of hair fashion, and you probably won’t come across anyone wearing a similar style.

18Color Pop

Looking like a unicorn has never been so attractive! These insanely bright braids are bringing new meaning to the phrase “multi tonal color”, and they look surprisingly high fashion when paired with a monochromatic outfit as pictured. Color possibilities are endless: go for a peacock style in electric blues and teals, or pastel pink and orange for a glowing sunset effect.

19Cornrow Box Braids

Alicia Keys’ breakout look featured an interesting style that was cornrowed at the top of her head. Combined with the beaded ends, this look is pure boho chic, and given that she wore this style fifteen years ago, it’s about due to come back into trend!

20Faux Box Braids

Anything is possible with a wig! If you don’t have the time, money or ability to have your hair done in box braids, this faux style is the perfect temporary solution. High quality pieces even come with realistic edges and baby hair, making them difficult to spot for anyone who isn’t a hair expert.

21Box Braids With Headscarf

Whether you’re looking to add another accessory to your outfit, or trying to extend the life of your braids, a headscarf is a sophisticated and trendy addition to any outfit.

22Messy Half Up Style

Although it’s hard to get box braids to look truly messy, this half up style looks more tousled and unpolished than a perfectly twisted bun, making it popular among younger women who are into casual, bohemian styles.

23Embellished Braids

These embellished box braids are full of little rings that make your hair look like it works at a piercing shop. This edgy, industrial style is a temporary way to try something bold and unusual, just make sure you don’t have to go through any metal detectors while you’re wearing it!

24Soft Braided Style

For a softer braided style, this look features prominent baby hair and looser hair at the roots. By embracing messier, more worn-in looks, we can help women feel less concerned with meeting impossible beauty standards.

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