11 Ways to Style Your Box Braids, According to the Chicest People on Instagram

For anyone who relies on protective styles to keep their hair healthy and happy, spring and summer offer the perfect opportunity to invest in box braids for effortless and worry-free styling. Although box braids look beautiful as they are, it's always fun to switch things up and explore different ways to style them. If you've been on the hunt for new and trendy ways to wear your box braids, you're in the right place. We've scoured Instagram and pin-pointed the trending box braid styles we'll be seeing everywhere this season worn by seven of the app's most fashionable content creators. Ready to get inspired? Keep scrolling to see which ones we're trying once we make our next braiding appointment.

The Janet Jackson



This Janet Jackson–inspired look is straight from her 1993 movie Poetic Justice opposite Tupac Shakur. Here, content creator Aysha Sow wears her box braids pulled up into a high ponytail before wrapping a long white scarf around the nape of the neck and guiding it to meet the edges.

Milkmaid Braids



Lean into your coquette side by sporting sweet milkmaid braids as your next box braid hairstyle as worn here by model, dancer, and content creator Camri Hewie. Part your box braids in the middle and then braid them downwards in two separate braids. Next, cross along the nape of the neck and pin to keep them in place.

Sleek Pony

You can never go wrong by deciding to wear your box braids in a stylish high pony like Amaka Hamelijnck wears in this pic. To keep your braids protected and long lasting while up in the ponytail, opt for a silk scrunchie or hair tie with no metal or exposed rubber parts that can snag your gorgeous braids.

Gem-Embossed Edges



Lean into the glam Y2K-inspired aftereffects of HBO's Euphoria by adding sparkling details to swooped and swirled edges. After guiding your hairs into place with your favorite edge tool, opt for a few face and hair gems to bring on the glam as worn here by content creator and model Joyjah Estrada.

The Messy Half-Up, Half-Down

Here's another quick and easy style we've been loving lately. Spotted on New York–based model and fashion content creator Imani Randolph, all this style requires is a messy high bun and a few loose braids. To add a fun touch, opt for a unique part and an untucked strand in the bun.

Braided Braids



Loving the look and texture of your box braids? Don't stop there. Add more timeless elegance to this protective style by braiding a few of the braids that frame your face and, to keep them in place, adding a small hair elastic.

A Sky-High Bun

To achieve an ultra-chic hairstyle that can be worn literally everywhere, try sweeping your braided strands starting from the nape of your neck up into a large bun. This style is especially great for anyone rocking longer braids that tend to get sat on and/or in the way.

No Part, No Problem

Who said you have to part your hair at all? Wear your lovely box braids loose and long, like London-based Instagram fashion girl Natasha Ndlovu. If you're in need of some celeb inspiration for this effortless style, look no further than boho, street style queen Zoë Kravitz.

Face-Framing Strands

This style may be simple and easy to do on the go, but it has high impact. Here, Randolph wears her hair in a high bun with two braids left out at the temple for a playful touch that's as high-fashion as she is.

Classic Center Part



Gen Z may have claimed the center part as their own, but it's always been a timeless way to style hair. If you're indecisive about which way you'd like to part your braided hair, ask your braider to leave the part optional. That way, you can go from a middle to a side part depending on your vibe for the day.

Adding a Classic Headband

Adding a simple cotton headband to your box braids can completely transform the aesthetic of your look. We're obsessed with how Amaka Hamelijnck styled her box braids with a thick black headband (and how well it complements her sister Fia's minimalist braided style).

Must-Have Products for Styling Box Braids

Take it from someone who gets their hair braided on the regular: Your prep process before ever sitting in the salon chair can make a huge difference in the end result. With its powerful formula of vitamin C and E, As I Am's Jamaican Caster Oil Water can be used to coax out even the toughest knots and tangles.

A must-have for all hair types, this conditioning detangling spray is another product you'll want to add to your hair inventory for before, during, and after your box braids. It smoothes and strengthens dry, damaged hair while also majorly reducing breakage and providing heat protection.

If you haven't tried anything from Sunday II Sunday's line of revolutionary products, you've been majorly missing out. One of its best sellers, the Revive Me Daily Moisturizing Spray, has quickly become one of my favorites for keeping my box braids looking and feeling fresh weeks after they're first done.

Another must-have product braiders and their customers alike won't stop raving about is the Braid Balm by Beachwaver. Described by the brand as "the perfect pre-braid prep," the balm encourages frizz-free braids starting at the root.

Ideal for quick and elegant styling, this stainless steel hair pin by Deborah Pagni will do everything from keeping your small to medium braids in check to adding a laid-back luxurious touch to however you decide to style your braids.

Bobby pins are a no-brainer for any hairstyle, but they're particularly helpful when it comes to styling box braids of any size (especially if you're planning on guiding your braids up to a bun). Remember, the "bumpy" part of the bobby pin should touch the hair in order to offer a good grip so your braids won't slip and slide.

We're fans of Function of Beauty's personal haircare products offered on its website, but did you know it sells collections targeting different hair types at Target? Its Moisturizing Styling Gel, for example, is a holy grail for coily hair in our out of braided styles. With little to no effort, you'll have laid edges.

As long as I've been wearing braids (which is about 15 years off and on), Eco Styler's Olive Oil Styling Gel has remained my go-to. It's easy to use, keeps my 4c strands laid, and leaves no unsightly white sheen or flakes after the product dries. It also helps that its stayed at an affordable price.

Chunky hair ties are the way to go if you're looking for a quick and easy way to style your box braids. Planning on pulling your hair into a timeless sleek pony or a trendy half-up, half-down look like Instagram's braided girls? You'll want to grab these before they're gone.

Alternately, small hair elastics for more detailed box braid styles also make a great investment. These ones, by Heliums, are gentle on the hair and don't have any metal parts or exposed rubber that risks snagging or pulling your strands.

Soft boar-bristle brushes will always be a holy-grail product for those of us with thick, coily 4c hair. With them, Evolve's Perfect Edge Brushes help promote growth and retention through distributing natural oils throughout the hair. For anyone who likes styling their box braids with laid-down edges, this brush also keeps them looking smooth.

Pattern by Tracee Ellis Ross's Edge Tool also does an amazing job of keeping your edges looking fresh. It's a solid three-in-one edge tool crafted from strong vegan bristles to create endless swirls, shapes, and swoops to complement your stylish box braids.

If you know me, then you also know I take any opportunity to add some shine and shimmer to my everyday looks. Whenever my hair is in box braids, you can bet I'm back on the hunt for some chic additions to my styles. These hair and face gems come in a variety of sizes with the addition of easy to use tweezers.

Getting box braids gives you endless styling possibilities and sources of inspiration. Use an oversize silk scrunchie to protect your tresses while adding effortless style. Whether you wear your hair high or low in this scrunchie, you can count on receiving compliment after compliment.