Can You Get Box Braids With Dreads

The neat and beautiful appearance of box braids can attract any woman. So if you have dreads and have recently seen an amazing lady with box braids, you may think can you get box braids with dreads?

Thankfully, it’s possible. But the benefits of both individual hairstyles will change. For example, wearing box braids with dreads will reduce the necessity of maintenance, but you have to take them off within 8 weeks.

But what’s the difference between dreads and box braids? What are the benefits? Are there any drawbacks? Read along to know more.

Are Box Braids The Same As Dreads?

Can You Get Box Braids With Dreads

The braiding technique is created by using hair extension, and it can last more than 8 weeks. You can also remove the braided style and redo it. Plus, the removal process is easy, just cut the seal and start unraveling from the ends to the scalp.

On the contrary, the dread hairstyle is a permanent or semi-permanent method. It means you can wear them for a few months, even for a year. Many people with dreads decide to cut their hair off as dreads are difficult to remove.

So the box braids and dreads aren’t the same hairstyles.

Dreads Vs Box Braids

Dreads Vs Box Braids

There are multiple differences between dreads and box braids. Such as:

a. Appearance

When you install dreads, it gives you a frizzy look. It can be installed in different shapes.

On the other hand, braiding methods are neater and coat the natural hair from the roots to the ends. No matter what braiding method you choose to install, it’ll have a zigzag shape.

b. Installation

You need to use hair extensions to create protective braids. Using extensions, you can add temporary length to your hair.

But you have multiple methods to start dreads, such as natural hair braids, interlocking, twists, or crocheting. Create the mentioned method and leave your hair alone for several months.

c. Versatility

Dreads are a more versatile option than braids. You can make your dreads in any style, like buns, ponytails, or braids. 

On the other hand, some braiding methods are more versatile compared to others. For example, box braids can be turned into any hairstyle, but cornrows can’t do that.

d. Longevity

Braiding hairstyles with hair extensions can last for 8 weeks. In contrast, dread can last for a year.

e. Duration Of Installation

Installing a braiding hairstyle can take between 5 to 15 hours, depending on your natural hair length and thickness.

But dreads take less time to install than braids; you can complete the installation method within 4 to 6 hours.

f. Maintenance

Dreads can be left without maintenance for a month. All you need to ensure is your scalp is clean and oiled. In contrast, braids must be maintained weekly to expand their longevity and neat appearance. 

Should I Get Dreads Or Box Braids?

Should I Get Dreads Or Box Braids?

It depends on your lifestyle and desire. If you don’t have enough time to take care of but still want a versatile hairstyle, you should go for dreads. However, dreads are more expensive to install than box braids.

On the other hand, box braids are also a very versatile protective hairstyle, but they require maintenance to last long.

Can You Get Box Braids Over Starter Locs?

Yes, you can get box braids over starter locs. If you want to make box braids over starter locs, you need to gather some elements first. Then start the box braids over starter locs on a fresh scalp. 

What Are The Benefits Of Getting Box Braids With Dreads?

Benefits Of Getting Box Braids With Dreads

Here are some benefits of getting box braids with dreads:

  • Box braids will protect your hair from sun, manipulation, and pollution.
  • Both box braids and dreads are versatile, so you won’t have much issue creating your desired hairstyle.
  • Wearing box braids with dreads mean less manipulation and letting your hair grow and thrive.
  • Dreads look frizzy and dirty even when they are not, so wearing box braids will hide them.

Are There Any Drawbacks To Getting Box Braids With Dreads?

Drawbacks To Getting Box Braids With Dreads
  • It may make you feel uncomfortable to sleep with dreads and box braids.
  • Dreads are long-lasting but wearing box braids will require you to take off the hairstyle much sooner than expected.
  • Box braids will make your dreads feel heavy.

why do my braids stick up

One of the most common complaints about box braids is that they can look frizzy and flyaway. This is usually caused by tension in the hair, which can be caused by a number of factors including tight braiding, not moisturizing enough, or sleeping with your hair up. There are a few things you can do to avoid or fix flyaways in your box braids:

  • Wear your hair down: Wearing any hairstyle up is going to cause more tension, so if your box braids are feeling stiff you should leave your hair down, rather than putting them in top knots, ponytails, or buns.
  • Be careful when brushing: Be careful when brushing or combing your hair, as too much force can cause the individual strands to become loose and frizzy. Instead, use a wide-toothed comb or your fingers to gently detangle your hair.
  • Moisturize regularly: Keeping your scalp and hair moisturized will help to reduce flyaways and keep your box braids looking sleek and shiny. Use a light oil or cream on your scalp and throughout your hair before styling it each day.

Shedding-resistant hair extensions/attachment methods

To minimize shedding in box braids, you can consider using specific hair extensions or attachment methods that are known to be less prone to shedding. Here are some options to consider:

1. Kanekalon Hair

Kanekalon is a synthetic hair commonly used for box braids that is known for its durability and low shedding. It is lightweight, tangle-resistant, and holds its shape well, making it a popular choice for long-lasting box braids.

2. Marley Hair

Marley hair is another type of synthetic hair that is commonly used for box braids. It has a kinky texture that closely resembles natural hair, making it a popular choice for a more natural-looking style. Marley hair is often tightly coiled, which can help reduce shedding.

3. Pre-Stretched Braiding Hair

Pre-stretched braiding hair is synthetic hair that has been pre-stretched, eliminating the need for stretching during the braiding process. This type of hair is less likely to tangle and shed compared to regular braiding hair, making it a good option for minimizing shedding in box braids.

4. Crochet or Interlocking Method

The crochet or interlocking method is an alternative attachment method for box braids that involves looping the hair extensions through your natural hair with a crochet needle. This method creates a secure and long-lasting installation as the extensions are looped through multiple times, reducing the chances of shedding.

To ensure a secure and long-lasting installation of box braids, follow these steps:

  1. Prepare Your Hair: Before braiding, make sure your hair is clean, well-moisturized, and detangled. This creates a smooth foundation for the braids and helps minimize breakage.
  2. Use a Good Foundation: Create small, neat sections when parting your hair for the braids. This ensures that each braid has an equal amount of hair and reduces tension on individual braids.
  3. Secure the Base: When starting each braid, make sure to secure the hair extension tightly at the base. This helps prevent the braid from unraveling and minimizes shedding.
  4. Maintain Tension: Maintain consistent tension while braiding to keep the braid secure without being too tight. Avoid pulling the hair too tightly, as this can cause stress and breakage.
  5. Seal the Ends: After braiding each section, seal the ends with hot water or heat to prevent them from unraveling. This helps maintain the integrity of the braids and minimizes shedding.
  6. Protect Your Hair at Night: Wear a satin or silk scarf or use a satin or silk pillowcase while sleeping to reduce friction and protect your braids from damage. This helps maintain the longevity of the installation.

Common cultural influences for interlocking box braids

Interlocking box braids provide an excellent canvas for incorporating various cultural influences and heritage elements. Here are some common cultural influences that you can consider when incorporating them into interlocking box braids:

1. African Cultural Influences

Box braids have strong roots in African culture, so incorporating African heritage elements can celebrate and honor this tradition. You can incorporate patterns inspired by African textiles, such as Kente or Ankara fabrics, into the interlocking box braids. These patterns often feature vibrant colors and geometric shapes that can be replicated through the braiding process.

2. Afrocentric Symbols

Consider adding Afrocentric symbols to your interlocking box braids. Adinkra symbols from Ghana, for example, hold deep cultural meanings. Some popular symbols include Sankofa (symbolizing the importance of learning from the past), Ankh (symbolizing life), or the Adinkra heart (symbolizing love and care). These symbols can be braided or added as charms or beads.

3. Tribal Influences

Tribal cultures across Africa have unique aesthetics that can be incorporated into your interlocking box braids. Research different tribal patterns and motifs, such as those found in the Maasai, Zulu, or Yoruba cultures, and incorporate them into the braids. This can include specific patterns, colors, or even the use of traditional beads and accessories.

4. Cultural Elements from the African Diaspora

Consider incorporating elements from the African diaspora into your interlocking box braids. For example, you can incorporate elements from Caribbean, Afro-Latin, or Afro-American cultures, such as specific color combinations, symbols, or patterns that are significant within these communities.

5. Cultural Significance of Colors

Colors often hold cultural significance in various African cultures. For instance, red can symbolize vitality and strength, while gold can represent wealth and prosperity. Consider incorporating colors that hold cultural significance for you or reflect the heritage you wish to celebrate.


Do faux locs last longer than box braids?

Faux locs are different from traditional locs. Therefore, you have to take down your faux locs after 6 to 8 weeks, like box braids.

How to turn box braids into dreads?

You can create box braids in your hair and leave them for at least 4 to 6 months to turn box braids into dreads eventually.

Do dreads grow faster than braids?

There is no scientific proof that dreads or braids help hair to grow faster. Your hair grows on its own; you just protect them from outside pollution by creating protective styles.

Are dreads thicker than braids?

Box braids contain thin strands of braided hair. Hence, dreads are relatively thicker than braids.

Do faux locs take longer than box braids?

Depending on the length of your desired length, the duration of the installation process may vary. Faux locs need 4 to 9 hours, while box braids take 6 to 15 hours to install.

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So you now know can you get box braids with dreads and what are the benefits and drawbacks of wearing box braids with dreads. However, wearing box braids with dreads will reduce the frequent need for maintenance.

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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