There are two types of women: Those who love to play in their hair, and those who just want to be done with it already. Somehow, box braids work for both. If you're in the first group, you can try different hair colors, part designs, and beaded accessories in your braids for an element of experimentation. And if your hair is a daily, time-consuming burden, you can sit in a salon for four hours and be done with styling for a full month.
No matter your reason for getting them, box braids are low-maintenance and give your hair a break from regular blowouts or twist-outs. But it's not totally hands-free. You should still take a few minutes each week to tend to your scalp with a cleansing treatment that removes product residue and conditioning treatments to keep your hair hydrated. But all in all, it's a lot less work than the hours typically spent in the salon or twisting. And since we're still trying to stay committed to our 2019 goals (like getting to work on time and hitting the gym), it's a good time to eliminate hair from your long to-do list.
After scrolling though loads of photos on the #boxbraids hashtag on Instagram, we pulled out some badass styles to inspire your next look, from rainbow-dipped braids to a throwback bob cut. Prepare to screenshot and save your faves, ahead.
Remember in kindergarten when your mom would accessorize your cornrows with rainbow beads? Well, that look never went out of style. You can add shells, rings, and gold cuffs to your box braids for an added wow factor.
Box braids get their name from the symmetrical, box-shaped parts, but an alternative is triangle parts
. It's a modern take on the classic protective style.
This ombré look has a slight wave, which you can easily create by wrapping a few plaits around flexirods and dipping them in boiling hot water.
Sometimes you just have to get all that hair off your neck. Luckily, there is no style you can't achieve with box braids. You can do a half up, half down hairstyle, a top knot, or two big space buns to switch it up.
Trying out the pastel color trend
can be completely temporary. You can easily copy Candice Marie's box braid style with bubblegum hair or yarn, and it's easy to take it all out if you realize pink hair is best left to Nicki Minaj.
Can’t decide on just one color? Get a taste of the rainbow with this multi-colored look.
This style from @bethdefinesbeauty incorporates spider braids, which are small plaits along the scalp that lead to each individual box braid.
Super-long box braids, ending somewhere between hips and knees, are a celebrity favorite (see Keri Hilson here). But if you go the floor-grazing route, make sure not to sit on them, which can cause extra tension around your precious edges.
is back from the '90s. If you're not into heavy, long hair cascading down your back, this box braid bob is a great alternative. Or, you can cut your extra-long plaits short after a few weeks for a completely new look.
Box braids come in all lengths and sizes, this jumbo version from @hairbysuzy incorporates triangle parts and frayed ends.
If you're really feeling bold, fashion multi-colored braiding hair into a '90s-inspired blunt bob for a protective style sure to turn heads.