Box braids will continue to be king in the braiding and hairstyle industry. It originated from Africa and has, in recent years, gained traction around the world, especially among African American women. It is not going out of fashion anytime soon.
But the process of installing box braids is painful, considering the knot at the scalp of the hair section before braiding.
And so, someone has come up with a painless process called knotless braids. In this article, I’ll take you through what knotless and box braids are, including the pros and cons.
Knotless braids vs. Box braids: What are the differences?
Knotless braids are a type of box braid that is painless and causes less tension on the scalp because they don’t have the knot that most box braids have. Rather than starting with a large lump of extension hair, add little amounts of hair to the braid as you go to obtain pain-free knotless braids.
Knotless braids will be ideal for you if your head is fragile or you simply despise anything that causes tension on your scalp.
Box braids, on the other hand, are unpleasant braids that begin with a knot of the extension hair and are installed closely on the scalp. Unlike knotless braids, box braids use a thick hair extension to produce a knot that binds your hair together.
Both knotless and box braids can be the same size and length, but knotless braids appear to grow out of the scalp, whereas box braids have a visible knot where the extension has been added.
Let’s take a look at each one individually now.
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Knotless braids have been around for a while now, although not as popular as they are now. it has gained popularity because of social media and celebrities like Beyonce and Zoe Kravitz promoting it.
Knotless is a word that refers to the knot used to begin traditional box braids. The braider would bind the braiding hair close to the scalp, making a knot, in traditional box braids.
How knotless braid is installed
The fundamental distinction between box braids and knotless braids is the method of application. Unlike traditional box braids, which begin by braiding your natural hair and then gradually layering in the synthetic braiding hair, knotless braids begin by braiding your natural hair and then gradually layering in the synthetic braiding hair.
This results in a style that is more flattering to the scalp and requires significantly less stress to maintain.
What is the cost of knotless braids?
Generally, knotless braids run a similar price to traditional box braids. Due to the technique used, including the time, for example, they are slightly more expensive.
Moreover, it is a popular style that rarer hairstylists are skilled at; that means those stylists who book these appointments are more in demand.
The cost of your knotless braids, like traditional braids, will be determined by their size and complexity, your location, and your stylist. The cost of medium-length braids is typically around $150, minus the cost of synthetic hair. So, using it as a starting point, you may estimate the cost for various sizes and lengths.
How long does it take to install knotless braids?
Installation can take anywhere from three to six hours, depending on their length and size. You should adjust that time up for smaller or longer braids and down for larger or shorter braids, exactly like you would with traditional braiding.
Again, the length of time it takes to put your knotless braids in will be determined by your stylist’s experience with the procedure. A stylist who is learning or new to knotless braids, for example, maybe less expensive to work with, but they will most likely be slower and may need to stop regularly to have their work checked by their supervisor.
How long can I keep my knotless braids?
Because of the installation technique, knotless braids last less than box braids. Any knotless braid should last roughly six weeks in general, depending on your natural hair texture. Conversely, with good care and maintenance, you may get the most wear out of this style.
Can I style my knotless braids flexibly?
Conceivably, knotless braids are flatter on the scalp due to the absence of knots like in box braids. This creates a more natural and painless style that can be styled just as easily as traditional box braids, depending on their size, of course.
So you can hold a ponytail, leave it loose on your shoulder, and style it facing upwards or however, you want. The styling is endless with knotless braids.
While box braid has been around for a long time, it has recently garnered appeal with black American ladies such as Janet Jackson, Gabriella Union, Rihanna, and a slew of Nollywood stars who have embraced the style with glamour.
How are box braids installed?
Your stylist will section your natural hair based on the braid size you choose once it has been washed.
Your hairdresser will next gather a segment of pre-stretched braided hair and loop it together in three equal parts. Your stylist will hold a part of your natural hair, pull it taut, and divide it into two sections during the installation process.
Your hairdresser will tie a knot at the root of your natural hair to hold the synthetic braiding hair in place and begin braiding to your chosen length in a fast sequence of loops.
What is the cost of box braids?
The cost of having box braids installed by a stylist depends, like knotless braids, on the duration of time, size of braid, environment and expertise of your stylist.
Typically, the smaller the braid, the more expensive it will be to have it installed. If you live in a large metropolitan area or choose a well-known stylist, you should also expect to pay more. With that said, box braids generally cost anywhere from $65 to $300.
How long does it take to install box braids?
When it comes to installing your braids, it will depend on the size. Once again, the smaller the braid, the longer it will take to install and style. Micro-braids will take about seven to nine hours.
Small braids take about six to eight hours to install, medium braids take about five to seven hours, large braids take about three to six hours, and jumbo braids can take anything from 45 minutes to three hours.
The length of time it takes to complete your installation may be determined by your stylist’s expertise as well as their braiding speed.
How long can I keep my box braids?
In terms of how long your box braids will last once completed, it will again depend on their size.
In general, you can expect smaller braids to last longer than larger ones. More specifically, micro braids should last about 10 to 12 weeks, small and medium ones approximately eight to 10 weeks, large braids about six to eight weeks, and jumbo braids won’t last longer than about six weeks.
However, these are just estimates, and the duration of your box braids will also depend on your stylist, their technique, and how well you care for the braids.
Can I style box braids flexibly?
Box braids can be painful to style, especially when the braids are new. Also, due to the knot, there are limited styles for the hairdo.
However, micro, small, and medium braids can be styled in a variety of ways; large and jumbo braids are a statement-maker all on their own.
So which braid is best for the health of my scalp?
As emphasized, the key peculiarity is how the extension hair is added to both braids. One of the main reasons why box braids can be harmful to the health of your scalp is because the tightness of the knot tends to pull on the hair, causing excessive hair shedding, and may result in traction alopecia, especially around the hairline, which is prone to thin.
Conversely, gradually adding hair to the braid means knotless braids are an overall safer option because the method creates less tension and pulls on the roots, so there’s less chance of traction alopecia and follicle damage.
Moreover, one of the advantages of knotless braids is that they keep the extension hair from touching the scalp too closely. This is a significant plus for knotless braids because the alkaline coating manufacturers use on synthetic braiding hair (link) has been known to cause scalp sensitivities such as itching and inflammation.
How to prepare your hair for knotless braids
The preparation process is the same as getting box braids. Wash your hair thoroughly. As you will want to keep the braids longer and avoid itching your scalp,
You would also want to keep it for a few weeks to two months, for its beauty and elegance. As such, it requires that you keep your natural hair clean and moisturised before you braid it. To do this please;
- Moisturise your hair.
It is recommended you opt for a hydrating oil that will quickly absorb into the hair and deliver a burst of moisture.
How to do knotless braids on yourself
As a talented individual who braids their hair easily, knotless braids will be easy for you.
You’ll need a mirror, the braided hair linked at the top, and patience.
I’ll show you how to make knotless braids in this YouTube video.
Knotless Braids; Pros
- Arguably last longer.
- They’re not heavy.
Knotless Braids, Cons
Installing time takes longer than box braids, depending on the length.
- short life span.
- They are more expensive.
- The styling options are unlimited.
Box Braids, Cons
- They last longer.
- They protect your hair from environmental damage.
- Help with hair growth
- They are neat.
Box Braids, Cons
- The install time is longer.
- The process is painful.
- It can not be styled on the same day due to pain.
- Styling options are limited.
How do you take care of knotless and box braids?
1. Wrap them up at night with a silk or satin bonnet or scarf
For maximum protection, use a hair net on your braids after scarfing. This helps to minimize frizz and extend the life of the style. Going to bed without scarfing your braids makes it dull after a few weeks.
2. Moisturize your scalp with oil
If you plan on wearing your box braids for longer than a month or so, you may notice that your scalp gets dry or itchy. Use a light oil to hydrate your scalp whenever necessary. Olive oil, sweet almond oil, or lavender oil are excellent for braids.
3. Avoid Swimming pool
If you can not stay away from swimming for the time being while having box braids, make
Make sure to dry your hair after with a hand dryer. Leaving it to dry naturally takes longer and may smell.
Frequently Asked Question (FAQs)
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.
Are knotless braids better?
If you are tender-headed or simply hate anything that causes tension on your scalp, knotless braids will be better.
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 braiding starts with using your hair, unlike in box braids where a knot is first formed.
Which is better: knotless or box braids?
Gradually adding hair to the braid means knotless braids are an overall safer option because the method creates less tension and pulls on the roots, so there’s less chance of traction alopecia and follicle damage.
Do knotless braids break your hair?
No Hair Loss and Breakage;
Your hair follicles will love your transition to knotless box braids. Unlike standard box braids, which place extra tension on your natural hair, knotless box braids offer you this popular style without the worry of hair damage.
Are knotless braids good for hair growth?
Knotless braids are a hairstyle that seemingly offers everything. The pros of knotless braids include hair growth and styling flexibility, and they are weightless and pain-free.
What kind of braids last the longest?
Thin braids can last up to three months, which, out of all the braid sizes, is the longest time without having to go back to the salon; a gift in and of itself.
When braids get loose, is hair growing?
The answer is yes. When your braided hair gets loose, it signifies growth and length-retention. There’s a caveat, though; when braids are installed and taken care of properly, loosening braids after three weeks or more often means hair growth.
Now it’s your turn.
Knotless braids and box braids are almost similar. The only difference is the knot at the base of your hair concerning how box braids are braided.
While both styles protect natural hair, they also aid hair growth. You are better off with either if you aim to grow hair.
However, if your scalp is sensitive, you may want to opt for knotless braids because of their pain-free technique and flexibility in styling.
Now that you know what braid style to go for, you can book an appointment with your stylist or DIY if you’re talented too. Don’t forget to buy your synthetic hair extensions at (link).
Rock hair braids in elegance!
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