Knotless Braids vs Box Braids! Explore the ultimate guide to trendy protective hairstyles! Discover the differences between Knotless Braids and Box Braids in our in-depth article. We break down the styles, installation process, maintenance, and overall pros and cons of each, helping you make an informed decision for your hair.
When we talk about “protective hairstyles”, there are two top hairstyles that are commonly used – ‘Knotless Braids’ and ‘Box Braids’. But which one is better and more suitable for you? Should you get knotless braids or box braids for your hair?
Well, choosing between the two can be pretty hard. While knotless braids have a seamless approach and are gentle on the hair and scalp, box braids are more structured, bold and aesthetic.
Whether you wish to get knotless braids or box braids is of course, it is totally an individual choice, but in this article we hope to help you make that choice.
We will discuss the difference between knotless braids and box braids, which one could suit your hair better, the best knotless and box braid hairstyles, which of these hairstyles last longer and much more.
So, here you go with the details guys!
Top Differences between Knotless Braids Vs Box Braids
While both these hairstyles are forms of protective hairstyles and may look very similar to each other, it is essential to know that they are both different in their characteristic features. So, let us discuss what makes these hairstyles different.
Knotless braids are a modern hairstyling method as compared to box braids as this technique creates braids without the traditional knotting method.
This means that the hair is not tightly secured with an extension (knot) at the hair root. These braids look relatively more “natural” and do not apply too much pressure on the scalp and hair roots.
Knotless braids use a specialized technique called the “feed-in” technique to attach the synthetic hair extensions to one’s natural hair, somewhere in between and not near the hair roots.
While this doesn’t create any tension to the roots of the hair, it will not completely cover and protect your natural hair.
On the other hand, box braids are tied by making three sections of the hair and are sectioned off majorly from a square portion on the scalp.
Box braids are also a type of protective hairstyle, but these braids most often attach synthetic extensions to the hair by tying a knot at the base of the hair on the scalp. This often creates a tension at the hair roots, but it will completely cover and protect your natural hair.
Typical differences between knotless braids and box braids
|Characteristic Features||Knotless Braids||Box Braids|
|What is it||Braids that are created by attaching the hair extensions to the hair without knots at the roots.||Braids that are created by attaching the hair extensions to the hair with knots at the roots.|
|Protection of natural hair||Your natural hair is not fully protected.||Your natural hair is fully protected.|
|Technique of installation||Feed-in method of attaching the braids.||Knotting method of fixing the braids.|
|Braid appearance||More of a natural look, with less definition.||Uniformed and defined appearance.|
|Tension on the scalp||Doesn’t apply much tension on the scalp/hair roots.||Exerts tension on the scalp and hair roots.|
|Care and maintenance||Requires more maintenance.||Requires less maintenance.|
|Cost and pricing||Less expensive.||More expensive.|
|Suitability||Suits all types of hair, including sensitive scalps.||Suits all types of hair, but may not be suitable for sensitive scalps.|
Should I Get Knotless Braids or Box Braids?
This is a very common question first timers at hair braiding ask. Well, like I already mentioned earlier, it is a personal decision to make of course, but we can definitely assist!
So, we would like to assist you guys in making this decision by talking a little about the pros and cons of both these types of braids.
Pros and Cons of Knotless Braids:
To begin with, knotless braids can give you a more natural final look and the good part is that these braids hardly weigh much.
This is because the hair extensions are added to the middle of the hair and not near the roots, thus placing no tension on the scalp and roots, so you can even say they are pain free too.
But some of the disadvantages of getting knotless braids are that they do not last very long. So, maybe if you’re lucky you’d get 6 weeks (unlike box braids and I’ll get to it soon).
Getting knotless braids done is quite expensive and you really cannot really do it yourself unless you’re a pro, because it’s quite a hard task.
Pros and Cons of Box Braids:
Box braids, as compared to knotless braids, do last longer, even around 2 months or more (which is a couple of weeks more than knotless braids).
Another benefit of getting box braids is that none of your natural hair is exposed, so your natural hair is completely protected.
Lastly, this type of braids are DIY-friendly. This means that they are cost effective because if you can watch a simple tutorial, you can even just do it at home on your own!
But well, apart from the pros of these braids, box braids can be pretty tough on the roots of the hair as they exert pressure on the roots where the knots form and could hurt over time.
This could also lead to a certain amount of hair breakage because of the tension. Also, the knots do not look quite aesthetic.
Which one should you get?
So if you still cannot decide between these two types of braids, then here are some tips that can help you:
· If you already have fragile hair, then choose knotless braids as they do not tug on the roots of the hair.
· If you wish to have complete coverage of your natural hair and want to have the braids on for longer, then choose box braids.
· If you want more of the “natural” look, go in for knotless braids.
· If you wish to have a more reasonable option, go in for box braids as you could even just try to do it yourself at home.
· If you have shorter hair lengths, then go in for box braids.
· If you have a sensitive scalp, then choose to get knotless braids.
Caution: Here’s a word of caution to you guys. So, if you have fragile hair which is already damaged or prone to damage, then you should consider avoiding getting any types of braids at all!
It would be recommended that you work on hair repair, get hair repair treatments done (even if it is at home with deep conditioning masks and moisturizing products), nurse your hair back to life and then go in for braids once your hair is healthy. This way you can avoid further damage to your natural hair.
Top 6 Knotless Braids Styles
1. Traditional Knotless Braids
These types of braids are one of the most common types of knotless braids. They can be styled in different ways, be it updos, half-up half-down style etc.
2. Tribal Knotless Braids
These braids are often those decorated with beads and other types of hair accessories.
3. Fulani Knotless Braids
Fulani type of knotless braids consists of a central braid, with smaller braids on the sides of it.
4. Knotless Goddess Braids
Goddess braids are those which are larger in size and more intricately created. They can be styled in different ways, be it updos, ponytails etc.
5. Knotless Braids with a Bob
Knotless bob braids are for those who like their hair kept short, above the shoulders. It’s a low-maintenance hairstyle and looks very stylish.
6. Knotless Braids with Triangle Part
Triangle parted knotless braids are a very unique type of parting used in knotless braids, to add some creativity into the hairstyle.
Top 6 Box Braids Styles
1. Traditional Box Braids
Traditional or classic box braids are those which are one of the most commonly used box braid hairstyles and they can vary in size and thickness depending on the individual’s preference.
2. Box Braids with a Bob
Box braids with a bob have become very common as this is a very trendy hairstyle and it is relatively low-maintenance.
3. Half-up Half-down Box Braids
Most often the half-up half-down box braided hairstyle entails a parting in the middle, but horizontally, separating the top half of the braids and the bottom half, giving you a chance to have two hairstyles in one.
4. Box Braids with a Barrel Knot
Box braids with barrel knots are done with a technique wherein the barrel knots are used as part of a decorative element of the hairstyle.
5. Box Braids with Triangle Part
Triangle parted box braids is a unique type of parting used in box braids, similar to knotless braids and it gives the hairstyle uniqueness and creativity.
6. Box Braids with Colored Extensions
This hairstyle is a simple box braid hairstyle, but uses colored extensions to add some color into the hairdo.
Do Knotless Braids Last Longer Than Box Braids?
Well, no, knotless braids do not typically last longer than box braids and this is because of the way these braids are installed into the hair.
Knotless braids use the feed-in technique to install the extensions into the hair and do not have any knots. Therefore, the braids can unravel over time and become loose, thus requiring you to get them redone.
Box braids could last a couple of weeks longer than knotless braids. So if box braids would last you around two months, knotless braids would last you around 6 weeks.
The Final Takeaway
I hope this article has been able to give you guys a clarity on this topic, which was good enough to help you all choose between which types of braids is better for you – knotless braids or box braids.
Both these protective hairstyles are commonly used, but they do have their fair share of benefits to the hair and disadvantages as well.
So, to conclude, considering your individual hair type and your personal hair requirements, you can decide between which type of braids you want to get for yourself.
Why You Should Trust Haireveryday?
The author of this article, Leah Marie Priest has a degree in Cosmetology with years of experience in dealing with hair care, scalp care, and hairstyling. As someone who extensively deals with all kinds of hair textures, products, styling methods and more, hair Leah Marie knows what kind of products and procedures suit each hair type and person. We have also tested these hair products and processes ourselves to provide you an unbiased review about every product. Each of our articles are also reviewed by a team of medical professionals so that you get the most accurate and expert-reviewed information.