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Knotless Braids Vs Box Braids- Here Is Everything You Need To Know

Knotless Braids Vs Box Braids- Here Is Everything You Need To Know


When it comes to protective styles for natural hair, braids are the undisputed queen of the bunch. They are super trendy and keep your curls safe from over-manipulation and breakage. However, braids are not one size fits all. They come in a slew of different styles and thanks to the ever-creative stylists in the black community they can now come in two very distinct looks, AKA knotless braids and box braids. Both of these braid styles have become a favourite with many in the natural hair community, but it can sometimes be a little confusing to tell the difference between the two since they can sometimes look so similar. 

But fear not friends, we are here to break things down. In this article, we'll be discussing all there is to know about knotless braids and box braids. Which one is better? Which one should you choose? Read ahead to get all the details. 

What Are Knotless Braids?

Knotless braids are a protective style made with hair extensions using a feed-in technique. With this style, the braider will begin the braids with your natural hair first and then gradually add in small pieces of braiding hair extensions. This braiding technique allows knotless braids to lay flat on the scalp. 

What Are Box Braids?

Box braids are a very popular braid style that requires the braider to use braiding hair extensions to create a knot at the root of each braid. This is meant to help secure the hair extensions to your natural hair, but the signature knot also gives box braids their iconic lookBox braids are also generally done in neatly sectioned squared/box-shaped parts on the hair. 


What Is The Difference Between Knotless Braids And Box Braids?

The main difference between knotless braids and box braids is the knot at the root of the hair where the hair extensions are added. With box braids, the signature knot is present to help give the hair a slight lift and help create the illusion of volume. On the other hand, knotless braids lay flat on the scalp with no knot and as such, they are more flexible and gentle on the scalp. You can easily restyle your knotless braids without feeling too much heaviness and tension on your scalp.

Knotless braids also take longer to install since they require a more intricate braiding technique, and they are generally more expensive. However, they do not last as long as box braidsWhile your box braids will remain neat after several weeks, knotless braids will develop frizz very easily unless you consistently tame your flyaways with a mousse like Sofnfree's Flaxseed Oil  & Rosewater Curling Mousse. 

Styling: 5 Styles That Can Be Made In Box Braids Or Knotless Braids

Both knotless braids and box braids are great protective styles because they are super stylish and low maintenance. However, as you can see, the choice of which is better will ultimately depend on your personal preference. If you want less scalp tension and better manageability, go for knotless braids. But if volume and longevity are at the top of your needs, then box braids are the better choice for you.   

Whichever look you go for, the great thing is both hairstyles is that they can be styled in very similar ways. In case you need some inspiration, we've got a few hairstyles that will look amazing in box braids or knotless braids. 

Goddess braids 


Want your braids to have more volume and texture? Curl the ends and weave in some loose curly hair extensions to rock the super popular goddess braids hairstyle. This look works well with both box braids and knotless braids but you'll need to consistently moisturise the braids with our Everyday Curl Refresh Spray to maintain the style. 

Jumbo Braids



Jumbo braids are perfect for when you are looking to reduce the amount of time spent in the braiding chair. They have a super chic and chunky look that increases the volume of your braids. 

Fulani braids


Fulani braids are a timeless protective style that has been very popular among African women for generations. The style includes a combination of intricate cornrows and plaits, and it is the perfect look to wear on special occasions as it accentuates any face shape. 

Heart-shaped braids


Heart-shaped braids are a fairly new trend that have become increasingly popular among fans of both knotless and box braids. With this hairstyle, you can incorporate as many braided hearts as you want into your look, but you'll need to use some of our Flaxseed Oil & Rosewater Curling Gel to smooth down your hair before braiding to keep the final look as neat as possible. 

Medium Braids


There is nothing more classic than some well-done medium braids flowing down your backWhether you have fine or highly dense hair, this is one look you can never go wrong with. It takes a little longer to install because of the size but this hairstyle lasts several weeks. You can also restyle it as many ways as you want. Pull it into a bun, ponytail, top knot, half-up half-down, or double bun–there's almost nothing you can't do with medium braids. 

Essential Rules Of Healthy Braids 

  • Always Prep Your Natural Hair Beforehand  

Before you get braids of any kind, you must first start with clean hair that has been freshly shampooed and deep conditioned with our Hydration Shampoo and Manuka Honey & Avocado Deep Conditioning Hair Mask. Since the hair is going to be tucked away for several weeks, it is essential to give it some much-needed hydration and nourishment. After cleansing the hair, be sure to follow up with our Manuka Honey leave-in Conditioner to provide an extra boost of moisture and help soften your curls for the braiding process. 

  • Do Not Neglect Your Scalp 

While your curls are tucked away into your braid, your scalp also needs a little love and care. Keep your scalp nourished with Sofnfree's Strengthening Oil to prevent itchiness and promote a healthy hair and scalp environment. 

  • Be Gentle During And After The Braiding Process 

The key to maintaining healthy hair when you have braids is to make sure your braider is not pulling and tugging too hard on the hair. The same rule applies when it is time to take down your braids; be extremely gentle to avoid ripping out your delicate hair strands. Doing this will make sure there is no unnecessary tension on your scalp and your curls remain intact throughout the entire process. 

  • Protect The Hair Before Going To Bed 

It is super important to cover your braids with a satin or silk bonnet before you go to bed. This will not only minimise friction and help your braids last longer, but it will also protect your natural hair strands from breakage. If bonnets aren't your thing, feel free to grab a silk scarf but just make sure it is securely tied around your head. 

  • Moisture Your Braids 

It can be very easy to forget about moisturising your hair when you have braids since you can't actually see your real hair. But, your curls still need moisture. You can use Sofnfree's Everyday Curl Refresh Spray to replenish your hair with moisture and use a few drops of our Scalp & Hair Oil to seal that moisture in and make your braids a little shinier. 

Box braids and knotless braids have become a staple protective hairstyle for many people with natural hair, and given how gorgeous they both look, it is not hard to see why. Both hairstyles have unique features that make them stand out, so don't hesitate to try either of them and see which one you prefer. Whichever look you choose, just make sure you maintain a consistent routine of moisturising and caring for your hair as that is the only way to actually get the benefits of protective styling and maintain healthy curls. 

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