Every naturalista knows that getting box braids is a great way to give your hair a break and protect it from all the pulling, twisting and combing you’d otherwise have to do to keep it nice and tangle-free. And while your box braids require some extra time at the salon to start, once they settle, it’s easy to become uninspired with the styling because they last for so long—which is why we compiled a list of ideas for how to style box braids ahead. From casual brunch with the girls to fancy weddings, take a look at these 25 easy ways to style box braids for any and every occasion.

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how to style box braids half up half down
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1. Half up, half down

This seamless style can be done in a matter of minutes and will quickly accentuate your facial features.

how to style box braids low ponytail
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2. Low ponytail

Perfect for when you’re running late for a team meeting over Zoom—simply slick your braids back into a low ponytail and put on some lip gloss to instantly look like the consummate professional. (And not at all like you were binge-watching Virgin River with a bag of Cheetos just minutes ago.)

how to style box braids high bun
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3. High bun

Ideal for brunch, happy hour or whenever you want to elevate a laidback outfit.

how to style box braids flared bun
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4. Flared high bun

When the regular high bun just doesn’t cut it, go for a high bun with some flare to add a little bit of personality. Just use your fingers to gently tease apart the bun.

how to style box braids middle part
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5. Middle part

When your choice of dress is on the flashier side, keep your hair simple with an effortless middle part.

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6. Side part

Similar idea, but with a little something extra, a side part is ideal for when you don’t want to keep things too simple. Tip: The deeper the side part, the more of a statement it makes.

how to style box braids side swoop
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7. Side swoop

A foolproof choice for showcasing your “good side” on a first date (or a photo opp).

how to style box braids blunt bob
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8. Braided bob

Always wondered what you’d look like with a blunt bob but don’t want to actually cut your hair after spending years growing it? Opt for a braided bob instead. Just remember: Because the ends on this style of braids are burned, they tend to snag on fabric so consider steering clear of your fave sweater or chiffon blouse.

how to style box braids frayed ends
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9. Flared bob

Give your look some edge like Danai Gurira here by simply cutting the ends of your braids and securing them with a rubber band

how to style box braids beaded braids
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10. Beaded braids

The ‘90s are calling, and beaded braids are back in. You can add a few here and there a la Gabrielle Union above or go all out and bead each strand.

how to style box braids jeweled bun
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11. Jeweled braids

Attending a wedding and need to add some razzle dazzle to your look? Place a few sparkly pins throughout.

how to style box braids colorful braids
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12. Colorful braids

Stand out at that Halloween bash by rocking some colorful braids to go with your costume…or just rock bright braids for the heck of it.

how to style box braids french braid
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13. French braided braids

Because who doesn’t love a meta hairdo? Plus, the added plaits give your hair more volume.

how to style box braids braided middle part
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14. Braided middle part

Pair it with a flowy maxi dress and strut like a goddess.

how to style box braids wavy
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15. Wavy braids

Another ‘90s hair trend that’s here to stay: box braids with wavy ends. Moesha would be so proud.

how to style box braids buzzed sides
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16. Buzzed side braids

Like a top fade, but much cooler.

how to style box braids bow
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17. Bow and braids

Great for kids and adults alike, this fun take on styling box braids is sure to have people raving. Watch the tutorial here.

how to style box braids bohemian
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18. Bohemian braids

Perfect for when you finally go on that island vacation. Just imagine snapping photos with this killer hairstyle in a breezy tunic, standing in front of crystal blue waters, while sipping on an ice-cold mojito. Ah, paradise.

how to style box braids faux hawk
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19. Faux Hawk

Protect your natural tresses like a rockstar.

how to style box braids crown braid
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20. Make a crown

Because you’re a queen, duh. Incorporate some hair string into the braid for a little added sparkle.

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21. Cornrows and braids

Aka, “Lemonade” braids. Hey, if Beyonce rocks it, who are we to question it?

how to style box braids chunky braids
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22. Chunky braids

Because who wants to spend hours at the salon—or carry the heavy weight of a full head of braids? P.S. If you have moderate braiding skills, you can even do this style yourself.

how to style box braids elaborate side braid
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23. Elaborate side braid

Who needs a fascinator when your ‘do is this diverse?

how to style box braids space buns
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24. Space bun braids

Fun, spunky and a great ‘do to have in your arsenal when attending a festival.

how to style box braids bang
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25. Bang and braids

Like Rick James but make it fashion. (Plethora of beads optional.)

RELATED: 37 Natural Hairstyles for Black Women, from Casual to *Very* Special Occasion

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