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


(Image credit: @amaka.hamelijnck)

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


(Image credit: @aysha.sow)

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


(Image credit: @camrihewie)

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


(Image credit: @amaka.hamelijnck)

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


(Image credit: @joyjah)

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


(Image credit: @champagnemani)

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


(Image credit: @camrihewie)

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


(Image credit: @amaka.hamelijnck)

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


(Image credit: @natashandlovu)

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


(Image credit: @champagnemani)

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


(Image credit: @claire_most)

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


(Image credit: @fiahamelijnck)

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).

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Maya Thomas
Assistant Beauty Editor
Maya Thomas is Who What Wear's assistant beauty editor based just outside of Seattle, Washington. Her strong love for all things beauty and fashion stems from a strong childhood interest in the fine arts. During a gap year spent in Paris studying the history of French fashion, she shifted her focus to English literature and journalism as a student at Loyola Marymount University with the goal of one day pursuing a career in fashion. After graduating in May 2021, Maya began freelancing for Parade.com as a contributing commerce writer while also building a following on her lifestyle blog, Itsmayalala.com. When she's not writing, Maya spends her free time catching up on reading, perusing art galleries, and enjoying a night out at the ballet every now and then.