Knotless Box Braids
Though currently taking the Black hair world by storm, knotless box braids first began to come into focus in 2014, making it the year of revamped protective hairstyles.
The style first started to gain popularity in urban cities like Atlanta and Los Angeles, and interest has steadily spread over time. A variation on traditional knotted box braids, knotless box braids arose out of the need for gentler protective styling options for black women.
African Pride Braid Sheen Extra Spray
Photo credit: @lcbeautysalonllc
What Are Knotless Box Braids?
While knotless box braids are a variation of regular box braids, they are very different from the former. For starters, there is no bulging knot sitting on the scalp at the base of each braid. Instead, the base of each braid is flat and appears to be coming straight out of the scalp.
A feed-in technique is also used. As such, the braiding hair is added to the client’s hair in smaller pieces, resulting in a flat-lying plait that is not as heavy on the scalp as regular box braids.
Knotless box braids are started by three-strand-braiding sections of the client’s own natural hair before small pieces of extension hair are added to the braid as the section is braided downward—“feeding in” the extensions slowly.
To successfully install knotless box braids, you will need a rat-tail comb, a brush, 4-5 packs of extension hair such as Kanekalon, X-Pressions hair, or human hair, a moisturizer and/or styling gel of your choosing, and edge control.
How to Care for Knotless Box Braids?
Seeing as knotless box braid hairstyles usually last for about 4 to 6 weeks, having a plan for maintaining this style is crucial to ensure its longevity. Luckily for you, maintaining this style can be done in 3 simple steps!
The first step to guaranteeing long-living knotless box braids is to keep the scalp hydrated throughout your installation of them. To do this, it is best to oil the scalp once or twice a week. Using hair oils like Wild Growth, which promote hair growth on top of providing much-needed moisture to your hair and scalp, is definitely the way to go.
There are additional measures you should take to assure that your hair stays hydrated under your knotless box braids. For one, using styling mousse around the hairline will not only show some moisturizing love to your edges but also help to preserve the overall neatness of your hairstyle.
You should also consider using a braid spray on your knotless box braids as needed. African Pride Braid Sheen Spray comes highly recommended for moisturizing your hair while wearing braided or twisted protective styles.
The next step to maintaining your knotless box braids involves creating a nighttime care routine—a vital yet easily neglected step when attempting to keep up your knotless box braids.
You should always wear a silk or satin scarf and/or bonnet, whether you are just taking a little cat nap or turning in for the night.
The smooth texture of satin and silk help to keep your braids looking fresh while also protecting your edges and not drying out your natural hair. Consider using a jumbo bonnet for longer hairstyles like knotless box braids.
The last step to maintaining the basic upkeep of your knotless box braids is to regularly redo your edges. After tugging at your edges with each new hairstyle you make out of your knotless box braids, the braids in the front may begin to look old and worn out.
A quick fix is to use a strong-hold edge control to lay down your edges, giving the illusion of fresh braids.
It is important to note that when using a product to either moisturize your natural hair or redo your edges, be sure not to use too much too frequently. Doing so will cause build-up to start to accumulate, making your knotless box braids look old and worn out.
Pros of Knotless Box Braids
Getting knotless box braids comes with many pros, including the fact that they are virtually painless. One of the biggest problems with getting traditional box braids is the constant tugging on your scalp when getting them done and the throbbing headache you are sure to get once they are finished.
- Since they do not use a knot to be attached to the natural hair, knotless box braids result in no painful tugging on the scalp. As such, this protective style is great for tender-headed individuals.
- Another benefit of getting knotless box braids is that they are not heavy. Given that they use a more subtle feed-in technique that requires hair to be fed into the braid going in a downward direction, knotless box braids tend to be less bulky compared to traditional box braids.
- This feed-in technique also makes your knotless box braids look effortlessly natural and seamless, guaranteeing compliments being thrown at you left and right!
- Like many other braided protective styles, knotless box braids are also very versatile. Be it in a high bun, and middle part, or braided crown, knotless box braids can be used to create several different hairstyles. Further, you can get them in just about any shape, size, and color!
- Lastly, knotless box braids also cause no major breakage, unlike other hairstyles. Besides preserving your edges, the knotless technique used warrants less tugging on your hair as well as less friction at your scalp, resulting in lower chances of breakage and less overall shedding.
Cons of Knotless Box Braids
Though they have several benefits, knotless box braids also come with a couple of cons as well—one being the installation time.
- Knotless box braids can take upwards of 6 hours, depending on the hairstylist of course. If you decide to get this style, be sure to pack a snack or two as you will most likely be in the shop all day.
- Knotless box braids can also be more expensive to get compared to other protective hairstyles. With an average price of about $150, knotless box braids take the cake when it comes to loaded price tags. However, given the additional time it takes to do this style, the price jump is justified.