25 Ways to Style Box Braids for Any and Every Occasion

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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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.)

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3. High Bun

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

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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.

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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.

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7. Side Swoop

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

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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14. Braided Middle Part

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

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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.

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16. Buzzed Side Braids

Like a top fade, but much cooler.

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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.

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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.

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19. Faux Hawk

Protect your natural tresses like a rockstar.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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25. Bang And Braids

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

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Steph is a native of Zimbabwe who is both enamored and genuinely baffled by the concept of silent letters. From 2020 to 2022, she served as Associate Editor at PureWow covering...