Goddess Braids vs Box Braids

Braided hairstyles have become so dynamic that everyone is just spoiled for options. But having a practical goal is important to achieve a great appearance. Goddess braids and box braids are highly contested hairstyles. 

It is important for you to understand all their small aspects. Box braids can be done without any extensions. But in terms of goddess braids, most people prefer to install extensions instead of doing them on their natural hair. 

Since some people want to keep their own hair intact they prefer to use extensions. And in a general manner, goddess braids are more versatile which makes so many people opt for them. 

What are the differences between goddess and box braids?

1. What are goddess and Box Braids

goddess braids

Goddess braids are created by taking a generous amount of hair and making cornrows over it. They are usually thick and can be maneuvered into many other styles. They look great and make your hair look very healthy.

Box braids are thin but tight braids that are done on small sections of hair throughout the head. It is a braided hairstyle that suits well with short hair as well. If done on long hair, it can be transformed into other looks as well. 

2. Origin

Goddess braids are a style of braiding that has been around for centuries. They originated in Africa and were often worn by women as a symbol of artwork, creativity, precision, and a new dimension of style.

Box braids have been around for a very long time and can be traced back 5000 years in African culture to 3500 BC. They are often seen as a symbol of strength and power within the African American community.

3. Best fit for the both the braids

explore any of braid styles

There is no specific restriction on who can wear these braids and who cannot. Anyone can explore any of these styles. The only pre-requisite is to prepare your hair before undergoing the intensive styling.

4. Length of hair required

box braids

The length of your hair should be within the range of four to six inches at least for goddess braids. But in the case of box braids, you can work with as small of a length as two to three inches. 

5. Type of hair that should be used

kanekalon hair

Your hair should not be dry or weak, only then you can sustain the pressure of styles like box or goddess braids. In the case of extensions, you should go for the ones made of a hundred percent kanekalon hair. 

6. The process to install

Goddess braids start directly from the roots, that is from the scalp. But with box braids, there is a small gap between the scalp and the beginning of the braids. In terms of installation of extensions, then they can either be sewed in or taped. 

7. Number of packs of extensions needed

Number of packs of extensions

For both of these braided hairstyles, you will need to have access to about five to ten packs of extensions. You do not want to be falling short of packs while installing them. 

8. Level of pain to get them done or installed

Goddess braids are more painful to be created on natural hair as it covers the whole length of the hair. But in installing extensions, both box and goddess braids give a similar level of stress. 

9. Length of time needed for installation

Each of them may take anything around two to three hours to be completed. The time frame needed will totally depend on the expertise of the stylist or the person doing it. An expert may easily get it done in a smaller amount of time.

10. Ideal for carrying everyday

Goddess braids are more suitable to be worn or carried every day everywhere. Box braids are a bit more problematic. 

Goddess braids are more suitable to be worn

11. Level of weight or pressure on your scalp

Goddess braids are tighter and put more stress on your scalp, but they are lighter overall. Box braids are quite heavy, and it is a major problem in choosing this style. 

12. Better style for special occasions

Although goddess braids can be adapted to many styles, box braids are more classic in terms of styling. It is a more reserved style as opposed to goddess braids that are worn almost every day. Box braids are good for special occasions. 

13. The style that is easier to take care of

Both these braided hairstyles are tremendously easy to maintain. Other types of braids are much more difficult to keep in control, but not these two. 

14. Easier to swim with

Yes, you can swim with goddess braids or box braids on. But you should take the right steps to protect them from the vulnerabilities like fungal growth or too much chemical on the hair. These can ruin your braids. But goddess braids are easier to swim with, box braids unravel easily. 

15. Protection standards during sleep

Sleeping straight on the braids will cause severe hair breakage. Covering them before lying down is advisable, but not with any fabric. It should be a silk or satin fabric to cover the head. 

16. Versatility/ Flexibility

Goddess braids are eternally versatile. Neither box braids nor any other braided hairstyle comes close to it. You can shape your goddess braids to almost any style you can imagine.

17. Level of comfort

Goddess braids are more uncomfortable as they start right from the root of the shaft over the scalp. Box braids start after a small distance, so they are more comfortable to hold.

Goddess braids are more uncomfortable

18. Extent of damage 

Goddess braids hit you with more damage as they are tighter, so the stretch on your hair is higher leading to hair fall and breakage. Box braids are damaging as well but not as much.

19. Durability

Both of these hairstyles can last for eight weeks at max if done correctly. With regards to extensions, it is not wise to wear them for more than two months. But natural goddess braids last a bit longer.

20. Cost of each hairstyle

Goddess braids cost $150 to $200 to get installed, and box braids cost $200 to $300. The cost may vary depending on the market rates and charges of stylists.

Reasons you should try goddess braids over box braids

  • Lighter compared to other braids. So, problems like neck pain or headache will not be arising. Not much risk of traction alopecia.
  • Easy to wear in every place. Gym, office, any event, no place can be a problem to wear this style, very convenient.
  • Convenient maintenance is a major factor in its favor. No other style is as easy to maintain as goddess braids.
  • Flexibility in terms of styling. A lot of unique looks can be created with goddess braids. Most braids are static as a style, this one is not. 

Reasons you should try box braids over goddess braids

Reasons you should try box braids over goddess braids
  • Does not put direct pressure on the scalp. Therefore the risk of hair loss or breakage is much less. 
  • Can be done on short hair as well. Many braids need you to have long hair. But it is not the case with box braids.
  • Easy to maintain. Does not require heavy maintenance or care regimes. This makes it budget-friendly and convenient.


Every style has its pros and cons. But no con is bad enough to stop you from trying a different style. Given that your hair is healthy and strong, you can explore any style you want. 

After all, hairstyles are a form of art. No person on earth can get it 100% right. The key to looking great is to try everything out and observe which one suits you the best.

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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