Can You Do Box Braids Without Extensions

Box braids get their name from how the hair is sectioned into boxes during braiding. They are a beautiful, lustrous, and convenient hairstyle that protects your hair while it grows. This style also gives you access to your scalp for maintenance during this period. People with long or thin hair often wonder if it is possible to do box braids on their natural hair without using extensions.

So, can you do box braids without extensions? Yes, you can make box braids using your natural hair. It’s actually encouraged to use natural hair for braiding if it is long and strong enough. The lack of extension eliminates threats of hair loss and breakage caused by the extra weight on your roots. 

Do you Need Extensions for Box Braids?

Can You Do Box Braids Without Extensions

The length of your natural hair should determine whether to make braids using an extension or not. If your hair is long enough, you can make box braids without using extensions. Extensions are needed if your hair is short or if the desired length cannot be achieved using natural hair only.

People suffering from hair loss or thin hair are encouraged to do box braids with their natural hair. Extensions can sometimes be too heavy for their hair roots to carry for a long time.

Can Anyone Do Box Braids?

Can Anyone Do Box Braids?

Nowadays, box braids are done by anyone with natural hair long enough for braiding. A variety of braiding hair textures is available in the market, inspiring people with different hair textures to braid.

Also, if you consult with your stylist or read hair blogs, you will get advice on the right braiding style and length for your kind of hair. Caucasian hair has a thin texture but can also be braided into box braids without breaking.

How To Start Box Braids With Extensions

How To Start Box Braids With Extensions

There are several ways to start box braids, as listed below:

  1. Two strands – In this method, a pre-stretched braid is folded and braided close to the scalp along the natural hair.
  2. Two strands wrap – in this method, the pre-stretched braid is folded, and natural hair is wrapped multiple times on one strand.
  3. Three Strands – The pre-stretched hair is looped together and then folded to create strands that are braided with your natural hair.
  4. Two strands split – In this method, natural, pre-stretched hair is split and then braided together with the remaining strand.

How Long Do Box Braids Without Extensions Last?

Your box braids will last anywhere between four to six weeks without an extension. However, the lifetime is majorly determined by how well the owner maintains it. Braids that are regularly hydrated can last for a period of four to six weeks.

The best thing about this style is that you can leave it to last even longer without the fear of breaking. You only need to massage your scalp and spritz it. Massaging the hairline will also go a long way in ensuring reasonable hair growth.

What Can I Put On The Ends Of My Box Braids?

What Can I Put On The Ends Of My Box Braids?

You can add various accessories at the ends of your box braids. Most common are hair beads, which come in different colors and sizes to give your hair a sparkling look. Make sure to seal the end completely by putting it in hot water or using the method recommended for your hair type. Also, avoid using heavy accessories, especially if you have thin hair or have a history of hair breakage.

Are Box Braids Just Regular Braids?

Regular braids are old-school braids where three-strand of hair are joined together to make a neat braid. Most stylists start by creating these braids in their early days before improving to box braids.

Box braids are created by neatly sectioning the hair into clear and even boxes and then braiding. The hair is then added to other synthetic braids through a feed-in technique or by creating a knot.

Can You Use An Edge Booster For Box Braids?

Can You Use An Edge Booster For Box Braids?

An edge booster is a hair product used to strengthen and moisturize your hair. It’s satisfactory for various hairstyles, including box braids, where they help control frizz and tame the edges.

Edge booster gel is available in multiple scents and colors to suit your requirements. Box braids are prone to frizz, and you can use an Edge booster for regular maintenance.

What To Do When Your Box Braids Get Loose?

What To Do When Your Box Braids Get Loose?

Most times, box braids will get loose after a short period. It depends on your stylist’s braiding method or whether you don’t like the braids too tight on your scalp. When the braids get loose, you can use the following methods to refresh them:

  • For knotless box braids, use a crochet to tighten the braid on the hair root. Put the crochet through your natural hair close to the roots and attach the end of the braid. Pull the attached braid through your hair to the other side and release it to create a knot.
    You can repeat this step from different sides of the braid to create more grip and tighten the braid.
  • If your natural hair is too short, it might be unable to hold on to braids. You can remove the loose braid and then refix it. After which, use styling gel products like Giovanni and castor oil gel to minimize the probability of loosening again.

Hair growth can cause your hair to loosen too. If your hair has been on your head for more than five weeks, it becomes loose and should be removed soon.


When it comes to hair matters, you can never hear enough. You should read this section for more insight. You will find the questions and detailed answers very helpful.

Can You Keep Box Braids For 2 Months?

Well-maintained box braids can serve you for up to two months. Regular maintenance is key to achieving this period while limiting the chances of your hair getting damaged. After two months, you should remove the braids to give the newly grown hair some chance to breathe and grow strong.

Can You Do Box Braids With 4 Packs Of Hair?

Small size box braids use fewer braids than jumbo sizes. If you are going for small or medium-sized boxes, four packs should be enough. However, head size and hairstyle length matter too, and for some styles, you will have to use more.

How Many Packs Of Hair For Box Braids?

Medium-sized box braids can use 5 – 7 packs of pre-stretched braiding hair. These packs can accommodate regular lengths, and you might use them more for longer styles. Jumbo-sized box braids can use six and more pre-stretched braiding hair depending on your desired length.

Why does my head hurt after getting braids?

There are a few potential reasons why your head might hurt after getting braids. The most common one is that the hair was not placed correctly, and it pulled on your scalp too tightly. This can cause discomfort and pain. Additionally, if you have coarse or thick hair, it may be difficult to form the correct bonds between the strands while braiding them together. This can also lead to pain and inflammation in your scalp.

How Long Can You Have Box Braids In?

Most box braids serve you for about six weeks. After this period, it is best to remove it to take care of the newly growing hair. This time can increase if you use better qualities of synthetic hair and products. Box braids without extensions require regular cleaning and hydrating to keep your natural hair healthy during this period.

What Size Box Braids Should I Get?

You should decide the size of box braids you use based on several factors. These factors include your hair texture, hair health, and the style you like. Hair with fine texture or a history of hair loss cannot support the weight of jumbo box sizes, and you should use medium-sized. If your hair is healthy and long enough, feel free to do any size of box braids that you like.

How Do You Take Box Braids Out?

Taking off the braids is challenging and risky for short-growing hair and can cause damage during these operations. Whether you use extensions or your natural hair, it’s best to dampen your hair before disentangling it. Use the right tools for this process, and don’t pull hair that is entwined or jammed.

You should perceive a method or an edge to pull the braids free without damaging the edges. After removing the box braids, use clarifying shampoo and conditioners to wash and hydrate your hair.

 What Is The Difference Between Box Braids And Regular Braids?

While creating box braids, braids are made by making a knot around your natural hair. Box braids are done using braids, but you can use your natural hair too. For regular braid, braiding starts at the scalp, and then the braided hair is fed in to give an even intuitive look.

What to do if your box braids are too heavy?

Box braids become heavy if too much extension hair is added on top of your natural hair. The quickest solution to reducing tension on your scalp is wearing your braids in a high bun. For most cases, it is best to remove the style entirely and use smaller sizes of box braid.

can bohemian box braids get wet

Bohemian box braids can get wet, but it is important to take care of them to avoid damaging the braids. When washing them, use a mild shampoo and conditioner and be sure to rinse thoroughly. Gently pat them dry with a towel and avoid rubbing or scrubbing the braids. Allow them to air dry or use a low heat setting on a blow dryer. When styling, use a boar bristle brush and avoid using heat tools.

are box braids good for swimming

Box braids are a great option for swimming because they are low maintenance and can be easily styled after getting out of the water. Here are some tips for keeping your box braids looking fresh:

  • Use a leave-in conditioner to keep your hair hydrated
  • Avoid products with alcohol as they can dry out your hair
  • Seal your ends with an oil or cream to prevent split ends
  • Wear a swim cap or scarf to protect your hair from the sun and chlorine

Related Articles

  • Where Did Box Braids Originate
  • Who Invented Box Braids


In modern days, box braids are done using various braiding extension hairs and in many styles. Most times, extension hairs are large and can cause hair loss because of the tension they have on your scalp. Can you do box braids without extensions? Without a doubt, your question is well answered, and you can decide how to rock your box braids confidently.

Box braids are a dazzling hairstyle that can be done using natural hair. Proper maintenance before and after wearing this hairstyle helps to perpetuate your natural hair and keep it healthy. Some synthetic hairs expose you to acrylonitrile, a compound that may cause headaches, cyanosis, and nausea. If you can, go right ahead and use your natural hair.

By Cindy Mahlangu

Hey there! I'm Cindy Mahlangu, a pro hairstylist with a serious passion for natural hair care. My mission? To inspire and educate others on the beauty and benefits of protective hairstyles. Through my creative writing, aim to empower individuals to embrace their unique hair texture and confidently care for their locks. So, whether you're rocking locs, braids, or twists, join me on this hair journey and let's achieve healthy, fabulous tresses together!

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