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Knotless Box Braids vs Box Braids:How to, differences & styles

Preferred by many due to their pain free, light weight and tension-less nature, knotless box braids hairstyles are here to stay.

In this article, we’ll give you a detailed overview on knotless box braids and feature the all important questions such as; What are knotless box braids? Differences between box braids and knotless box braids, price, maintenance and how long it takes to get them done.

What are knotless braids?

Knotless braids are a variation of box braids that are pain free and cause less tension on the scalp, due to their lack of a knot commonly found in box braids.

Do knotless braids last longer?

Knotless braids can last for up to 6 weeks depending on how well you take care of them. With all braided hairstyles, things like your hair texture and maintenance go a long way in determining how long you’ll keep them in for.

Are knotless braids better?

If you are tender headed or simply hate anything that causes tension to your scalp, knotless braids will be better for you.

How long do knotless braids take?

Knotless braids can take about 5 to 6 hours depending on the size and length.

How much do knotless braids cost?

Medium waist length knotless braids cost $250. 6 to 7 packs of Xpression braiding hair or Kanekalon braiding hair are used.

What's the difference between knotless braids and box braids?

Knotless box braids are a pain free and tension-less variation of traditional box braids, where the braids are started using your own hair unlike in box braids where a knot is first formed.

How do you do neat Knotless braids?

The secret to doing extremely neat knotless braids is in the parting and the hair gel/jam used. Be as precise as you can when doing your parting. Always use a rattail comb and apply shine n jam to tame any flyaways at the roots in the process.

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Knotless Box braids vs Box braids

Knotless braids are simply knot free braids.

Unlike box braids where a knot is used to tightly secure the braid to your hair, in knotless braids, the stylist uses your own hair to start the braid and gradually feeds in the braiding hair as they move along.

The lack of a knot in knotless braids makes the braiding experience more pleasurable and pain free.

With that said, traditional box braids are not all that bad.

Advice your stylist to avoid braiding too tightly and you’ll also get to enjoy a beautiful protective hairstyle.

Knotless Box Braids Preparation

1) Before getting your knotless box braids, ensure that your hair is clean and your scalp is moisturized.

2) Depending on the size you’re going for, you’ll need 2 (3 pack bundles) of the Outer pre-stretched kanekalon xpression hair.

3) If you’re going for the boho knotless look, you’ll also need a pack or two of the freetress waterwave hair for the curly bits of hair you’ll add in.

4) Buy some mousse to seal and keep the hair looking shiny and edge control to lay your edges.

Knotless Box Braids Tutorial

Start by washing and conditioning your hair. Straighten or stretch your hair and ensure that it’s easy to part.

Use a rattail comb to section your hair into triangle or square parts. You can section your hair into big or small parts depending on the size you’re going for.

Use shine n jam to sleek the roots of your hair and to make your sectioned parts look neat.

Take the sectioned part and start braiding it like you would with normal hair.

After braiding your natural hair about 1 to two times, take your braiding hair and start feeding it into the already braided hair.

Ensure that you’re feeding in medium to small sized amounts of braiding hair in order to avoid making the braids look too bulky or have a knot like appearance.

The goal is to avoid creating a knot hence why the braid is only started using one’s own hair.

Apply shine n jam as you move along the length of the braid to ensure that there are no flyaways. 

Here are a couple of videos to give you a detailed visual of how knotless box braids are done.

YouTube video

Knotless Braids on short 4C Hair

YouTube video

How to do Knotless braids on yourself

If you’re one of the talented individuals who can easily braid their hair, doing knotless braids on your hair will be easy.

You’ll need a big mirror, the braiding hair we linked at the top and a lot of patience.

Here’s a step by step of how you can do knotless braids on yourself.

YouTube video

How to do Criss cross knotless braids

Criss cross knotless braids aka Kriss Kross knotless braids are trending on TikTok and Instagram and we’ve got an easy to follow step by step tutorial that shows you how to achieve the criss cross look at the front using rubber bands.

Like with all knotless braids variants, criss cross knotless braids are pain free and light weight.

YouTube video

criss cross knotless braids

criss cross knotless braids

criss cross knotless braids

How to do boho knotless braids

This version of knotless braids was popularised by the amazing Pearl of @pearlthestylist_.

While it may look similar to goddess braids which is typically characterized by curly strands braided into the hair, the boho method by Pearl is rather intricate.

pearlthestylist bob boho knotless braids

pearlthestylist long boho braids

To achieve this look, you’ll need 2 (3 pack bundle) packs of the outre pre-stretched kanekalon xpression hair and 2 packs of the freetress waterwave hair.

Start by sectioning clean stretched hair into your desired parts. It is advisable to pre-part the whole head before braiding. This makes sure you don’t end up with more hair in one section of the head.

Use shine n jam on the sectioned parts and start by braiding your natural hair about once or twice before you add small bits of braiding hair. Braid the hair continuously to a mid sized length and add the freetress hair in. Braid the curly freetress hair in to about 1 to 2 cm of the braid. Ideally, you should add the freetress hair inclose to the end of your desired braid length.

When you get to your desired braid length, take a small section of the freetress curly hair and use it to create a small knot on the braid. Do the knot 2 to three times, apply some nail glue on the knot and keep wrapping it around until its held firmly in place.

At this point, you should have undone braiding hair at the bottom of the knot and your curly freetress hair. You’ll then proceed to cutting the undone braiding hair.

For a detailed visual, refer to the video below.

YouTube video

Knotless Box Braids: Pros

  1. Pain free. The lack of a knot makes knotless box braids pain free unlike in traditional box braids where tightly securing the knot to your hair can be painful.
  2. Tension-less. Knotless box braids cause no tension to the scalp unlike box braids.
  3. Neat. Knotless box braids are neater and have a more natural look.
  4. Arguably last longer than box braids.
  5. They’re not heavy. In knotless box braids, the hair flows naturally and isn’t bulky making them very lightweight.

Knotless Box Braids: Cons

  1. Look to ‘scalpy’.
  2. Take longer than box braids depending on the length.
  3. Some people found that their hair would grow out of the braid the longer they kept them in.
  4. They’re more expensive. Knotless box braids take longer than traditional box braids making them more expensive.

>>>How to refresh old knotless braids<<<

15 Knotless Box Braids Hairstyles

Now that you are armed with everything you need to know about knotless box braids, we did a round up of 15 knotless box braids hairstyles to inspire your next braided hairstyle.

1) Small Knotless Box Braids

The beauty of small Knotless braids lies in how good and natural they look even when they aren’t secured tightly on your hair.

small knotless box braids

2) Small Knotless Braids Updo

Throw your Knotless braids in an updo when you’re up and about and you don’t want all the hair getting in your way.

small knotless box braids

3) Knotless Braids with Purple Highlights

Black Knotless braids with purple highlights are a good go to for those who aren’t bold with their braiding color choices.

medium knotless box braids in a bun

4) Blonde Boho Knotless Box Braids

Go for blonde Knotless braids with curly ends to give it the perfect bohemian look and feel.

blonde small knotless box braids | knotless box braids color

5) Knotless Braids with Curly Ends

This Jumbo Knotless braids with curly ends version aka Coi Leray braids is currently trending.

Knotless braids with curly ends/coi leray braids

6) Waist Length Knotless Box Braids

The longer the Knotless braids the better they’ll be.

black knotless box braids

7) Knotless braids with colorful bands

Use different colored small rubber bands to style your Knotless braids.


8) Knotless Passion Braids

Knotless passion braids are the box braids version of passion twists and are equally as stunning.

jumbo knotless passion braids

9) Jumbo Knotless Braids

Go for Jumbo knotless braids if you prefer to have fewer braids on your head.

jumbo knotless braids

10) Blonde Bob Knotless Braids

If you’re not a fan of long braids, blonde bob knotless braids will be perfect for you.

blonde bob knotless braaids

11) Knotless Braids styled with colored bands

Other than beads, colored rubber bands can also be used to style your braids. After getting your braids, tie colored bands twice on your braids.


12) Medium Knotless Braids Updo

Style your Knotless braids by securing them at the top of your head and laying your edges.

medium knotless braids updo

13) Half Up Half Down Knotless Braids

Style your Knotless braids in a bun at the top and let them lay loose at the back.

Medium knotless braids half up half down hairstyle

14) Extra Small Knotless Braids

The smaller the Knotless braids, the better they’ll look.

Small knotless braids

15) Medium Knotless Braids

Medium Knotless braids are the perfect middle ground between getting large Knotless braids and small ones. They will take you a shorter duration of time to take down.

medium knotless braids

Twist Knotless braids

Knotless box braids can also be done using the twists method, if you’re a lover of twists, opt for this version.

twist knotless braids hairstyles

How do you make knotless braids last longer?

To make your Knotless braids last longer;

  1. Wrap your hair in a silk scarf or wear a silk bonnet at night. This is the standard procedure for maintaining all protective hairstyles.
  2. Moisturize and oil your scalp from time to time. Your natural hair care shouldn’t end at you getting braids.
  3. Use a dry shampoo to clean your scalp if you start getting product build up (you should ideally avoid using too much product when you have your braids in).
  4. Use an anti itch oil if your scalp starts getting itchy.
  5. Use edgecontrol to lay your edges and anti frizz leave in conditioner spray to lock in moisture.

Visit our Pinterest page for more knotless box braids hairstyles.

How to Refresh your Knotless Braids using 3 Methods

Monday 9th of November 2020

[…] >>We covered everything you should know before getting Knotless braids and featured the pros &… […]


Sunday 31st of May 2020

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Sunday 31st of May 2020

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