If you are on social media at all, then you have most likely seen the knotless braid trend, also known as knotless box braids. They are a unique spin on the well known box braids that have recently become the must have look for the year. So what is this unique hairstyle? What do they look like and why are they trending right now?
Don’t worry. Your many questions will all be answered soon. I’m going to discuss all of this and more in this article to ensure you are in the know like always. Let’s get started.
What the Difference Between Knotless Braids and Box Braids
While knotless braids are under the box braid category, they do have a few unique qualities that separate them. The way that knotless braids are installed is the biggest defining quality that stands out. Instead of creating tight knots at your scalp and feeding hair into the knot at the scalp, knotless braids feed into your natural hair as you get further down. This eliminates the painful knotting process altogether allowing for a more natural finish and easy installation.
They also have significantly less damage on the scalp and your hair than typical box braids. Because box braids do pull your hair into such tight knots, this can lead to breakage, pain, and hair loss over time. Knotless braids are gently, flatter on the head, and feel like a heavier version of your natural hair put into three strand braids.
While at a glance the two may look extremely similar, when you compare the two side by side, you will see the knot I am referring to in box braids and the illusion of naturally long braids for the knotless alternative.
Installing the knotless box braids does take some time and an investment of cash, but rightfully so! You are paying for higher quality braids that won’t harm your hair. All the while looking stylish and on trend. Dependending on the quality of braids and level of expertise, the installation can range from $100 to even $650. While this top number is definitely rare, the standard cost is around $250.
Although this is more expensive than standard box braids, you are paying for the installation, hair, and benefits of this method in one. When you add all of this up, there truly is no comparison.
As far as time and experience, the installation does take a lot of time, hours. The hair specialist will section your hair in small squares or triangles first, then begin braiding your natural hair and incorporating the braids as seamlessly as possible. This is where the expertise really comes in handy. Unlike standard box braids, a good specialist can make the knotless option look completely natural. It is also painless, other than carrying around heavy hair in comparison to your natural locks all day.
How Long Do Knotless Braids Last
Most specialists suggest keeping them in for 6 weeks as a rule of thumb. Depending on your level of upkeep, this number can range higher or lower. You can schedule an appointment for the hair stylist to clean your edges, moisturize your scalp, and help maintain the look about halfway through your 6 weeks to give the best results. But you will need to do some maintenance at home as well.
This means keeping your hair pulled back at night to reduce damage. You also should opt for a silk pillowcase or wrap your hair in a silk scarf each night. Lastly, be gentle with your hair and make sure your scalp gets the amount of moisture and love that it needs. Moisture can include oils, hair cream, leave-in spray, or other moisturizing hair care products that suit your hair type the best. Be sure to consult with your hair stylist to get some personalized tips for this area of maintenance.
Anytime you put your hair into this type of style, you should expect to give your scalp extra love as it is more vulnerable than normal and will need a bit of extra attention. However, when you do follow these small care tips, I guarantee your knotless box braids will be the star of the show without question.
Next time you are looking for a change in your hairstyle, consider the knotless braiding technique and the many benefits it can have to give you a fashionable look that can help your hair recover and grow naturally.