Knotless vs box braids: Which is better?

In this article, you will know about all important details of knotless vs box braids such as the pros and cons of each, as well as the differences between the two. Let’s explore!

If you find yourself uncertain about the choice between knotless vs box braids, and you’re curious about which braid style might suit you best, this article has got you covered. Knotless braids offer a more comfortable and tension free experience compared to box braids, even when they can be the same size and length. Let Jen Hair explain further for you to make the right decision. 

What are knotless vs box braids

Box braids are a classic hairstyle created by intertwining sections of your natural hair with extension hair. While they can be customized to various lengths and shapes, they are typically long. Each box braid is characterized by a visible knot at its base. The size of this knot corresponds to the braid’s thickness, with larger braids sporting more substantial knots anchored at the roots. 

Knotless braids are a type of protective hairstyle that involves braiding hair without the use of knots at the base. Unlike traditional box braids, where a knot is tied at the root of each braid, knotless braids start with your natural hair and gradually transition into the braid extension. This technique reduces tension on the scalp and minimizes the risk of hair breakage and discomfort often associated with tightly knotted braids.

Knotless braids offer a more natural appearance at the roots, making them a popular choice for those seeking a seamless and comfortable braiding style. These braids can be customized in terms of size, length, and color, allowing for versatility in styling options. 

Knotless vs box braids
Knotless vs box braids (Source: Lovingkinkycurl)

Knotless braids vs box braids pros and cons

Pros and Cons of Knotless Braids

Pros of Knotless Braids:

  • Gentle on the Scalp: Knotless braids are installed with less tension at the roots, reducing the risk of scalp discomfort and hair breakage.
  • Natural Appearance: They offer a more natural look at the base since they start with your natural hair and gradually transition into the braid extensions.
  • Versatility: Knotless braids are lighter and more flexible, allowing for comfortable wear and a wider range of styling options.
  • Low Maintenance: Once installed, they are relatively low-maintenance and require less frequent touch-ups.
  • Scalp Access: The open base of knotless braids provides better access to the scalp, making it easier to maintain a clean and healthy scalp.

Cons of Knotless Braids:

  • Installation Time: The process of installing knotless braids can be time-consuming, especially for smaller braids or intricate styles.
  • Skill Required: Proper installation of knotless braids may require a skilled stylist to achieve a neat and consistent look.
  • Duration: Knotless braids may not last as long as some other braiding styles such as box braids, and they may need to be redone sooner for a fresh appearance.
Knotless vs box braids
Knotless in blonde looks chic and young (Source: @lonaewigs, IG)

Knotless braids have gained popularity for their protective properties and comfort, making them a preferred choice for individuals looking to maintain the health of their natural hair while enjoying a stylish and low-maintenance look.

Pros and Cons of Box Braids

Pros of Box Braids:

  • Protective Style: Box braids are an excellent protective hairstyle that shields your natural hair from environmental factors and reduces daily manipulation, helping to retain length.
  • Versatile Styling: They offer versatility in styling, allowing you to experiment with various looks, lengths, and colors.
  • Long-Lasting: When properly cared for, box braids can last for several weeks, reducing the need for frequent hairstyle changes.
  • Low Maintenance: Once installed, box braids require minimal daily maintenance, making them suitable for those with busy lifestyles.
  • Scalp Health: Box braids promote access to the scalp, making it easier to maintain a clean and healthy scalp.


Cons of Box Braids:

  • Tension: Box braids can be installed with significant tension at the roots, which may lead to hair breakage and scalp discomfort if not done carefully.
  • Installation Time: The installation process for box braids can be time consuming, especially for smaller and longer braids.
  • Weight: Longer or thicker box braids can be heavy and may cause strain on your natural hair and scalp.
  • Removal Process: Taking down box braids requires time and patience, and if not done carefully, it can result in hair breakage.
Knotless vs box braids
Medium Box Braids (Source: Styleseat)

Difference between knotless vs box braids

Here are several difference between knotless braids vs box braids you should be aware of:


Knotless braids take more time to install than traditional box braids. The smaller the braid, the longer it takes to install for both styles. Knotless braids need more technique and more intricate. This is the main difference between knotless vs box braids. 

The look

Knotless braids have a more natural appearance as they typically lie flat against the scalp. In contrast, regular box braids tend to appear more voluminous at the root. Both knotless vs box braids can suit various looks and styles such as casual for everyday wear, beachy vibes or vacation look, glamorous with accessories, bohemian and festival with colorful extensions,…

Knotless vs box braids
Knotless braids appear thinner at the root compared to box braids (Source: Hairstylecamp)

Hair breakage

Without knots at the base, knotless braids may be more prone to frizz or unraveling if not properly maintained. While box braids are generally low-maintenance, they can still require routine care to prevent frizz and maintain their appearance. 

The longevity of knotless braids, as compared to traditional box braids, can vary depending on individual hair type and the braiding technique used. Knotless braids may tend to become frizzy and loosen sooner in some cases because the hair near the scalp is somewhat more exposed.

How about costs

Knotless braids may be more expensive than traditional braiding styles due to the added time and effort required for installation. However, the price usually depends on the number of braids, the size, the length, thickness and the hairstylist’s experience. 

The choice between knotless vs box braids represents a significant decision in the world of protective hairstyles, each offering distinct advantages and considerations. 


Which is better between box braids and knotless?

Knotless braids are less tense and more comfortable than box braids at the root. However, neither style is definitively better than the other. It’s about what aligns with your preferences and hair needs, how much time you want to spend to get your hair braided and your budget. 

Some people prefer the durability of box braids, while others love the comfort and natural look of knotless braids. You can consult with a professional hairstylist to help you make an informed decision based on your specific hair type and style goals. 

Which last longer knotless vs box braids?

Knotless braids can be a suitable choice for maintaining hair growth if they are installed and cared for properly. However, knotless can get frizzy con loose quicker than box braids depending on how it has been braided and each individual’s hair. It’s essential to have both of them done by a skilled stylist and follow a hair care routine. Both styles can last up to two months. 

Should I get Knotless or box braids?

If you still don’t know which braids to choose, you can check some tips below:

  • Choose knotless if you have experienced pain with traditional box braids before. Moreover, choose knotless if you want braids to look like they were done with your natural hair. 
  • Choose box braids if your priority is style longevity. In most cases, box braids can last a few weeks longer than knotless. 
Knotless vs box braids
You can choose between knotless vs box braids (Source: styleseat)


It’s very difficult to choose between knotless vs box braids. This article, Jen Hair provides you some detailed information about the difference between them, the pros and cons of each to let you decide what suits you the best. 

All the decisions are up to you, but we know that whatever you choose, you will look magical and beautiful. Good luck!