How Long Does It Take to Get Knotless Braids

Knotless braids have become increasingly popular in recent years due to their natural-looking appearance and the significant reduction of tension on the scalp compared to traditional braids.

However, one common question that arises when considering knotless braids is, “How long does it take to get them done?” On average, the process can take anywhere from 4 to 8 hours or even longer.

Reasons to Try Knotless Braids

Reasons to Try Knotless Braids

Knotless braids have garnered significant attention for their numerous advantages over traditional braiding techniques.

If you’re contemplating a new hairstyle, here are compelling reasons to consider trying knotless braids.

1. Reduced Tension

One of the main advantages of knotless braids is that they put less tension on the scalp compared to traditional braiding methods.

This reduced tension can lead to less discomfort and potential hair damage, making knotless braids a great option for those with sensitive scalps.

2. Natural Look

Knotless braids create a seamless transition from the natural hair to the extensions. This results in a more natural appearance, as there are no visible knots or bumps at the base of the braids.

3. Versatility

Knotless braids offer a wide range of styling options. You can wear them up in a bun, down in a ponytail, or in various other styles without the worry of visible knots or extensions peeking through.

4. Longevity

When installed and maintained properly, knotless braids can last for several weeks. This is ideal for individuals looking for a low-maintenance protective hairstyle.

5. Less Damage

The absence of knots means there’s less friction between the extension hair and the natural hair, which can reduce the risk of hair breakage and damage.

6. Hair Growth Retention

Due to the reduced tension and minimized risk of breakage, knotless braids can contribute to healthier hair growth retention.

Your hair has the opportunity to thrive and grow without the stress that can come from tightly knotted braids.

7. Stylistic Freedom

Knotless braids allow you to experiment with different braid sizes and lengths without compromising on comfort or appearance.

You can achieve a range of looks, from fine and delicate braids to chunkier and more expressive styles.

8. Ideal for All Hair Types

Knotless braids can be adapted to suit various hair textures and lengths. Whether you have natural hair, relaxed hair, or textured hair, a skilled braider can customize the technique to complement your unique features.

9. Confidence Boost

A fresh hairstyle can boost your confidence and give you a renewed sense of self. Knotless braids not only offer a stylish look but also provide the reassurance that your hair is being cared for in a gentle and protective manner.

Time Required for Knotless Braids

Time Required for Knotless Braids

The time required to complete knotless braids can vary depending on several factors, including the size of the braids and the skill level of the stylist.

On average, the process can take anywhere from 4 to 8 hours. This time frame includes the individual sections of the hair, the braiding process, and any additional styling or finishing touches.


Knotless Box Braids When it comes to specific variations of knotless braids, such as knotless box braids, the time commitment can differ slightly.

Knotless box braids take longer to complete compared to regular knotless braids. Due to the intricate nature of box braids, the process can take up to 8-10 hours or even more, depending on the length and thickness of the hair.

The time required for these braids also depends on the stylist’s expertise and experience.

Estimated time durations for different sizes of knotless braids

Here’s a breakdown of the estimated time durations for different sizes of knotless braids:

  • Small Knotless Braids: 6-7 hours
    Small knotless braids are intricate and time-consuming due to the finer sections and increased number of braids. This size often requires a more meticulous approach, which contributes to the longer installation time.
  • Medium Knotless Braids: 4-5 hours Medium-sized knotless braids strike a balance between intricacy and speed. The installation time is relatively shorter compared to small braids but still allows for attention to detail.
  • Large Knotless Braids: 3 hours
    Large knotless braids involve fewer braids and larger sections, which can speed up the installation process. This size is often chosen by individuals looking for a quicker braiding session.
  • Jumbo Knotless Braids: 2-3 hours
    Jumbo knotless braids are the fastest to install due to their large size. With fewer braids and less intricate detailing, the installation time is typically shorter.

Consideration for Natural Hair

Consideration for Natural Hair

For those with natural hair, knotless braids can be an excellent styling option. However, it is crucial to understand that the time required for knotless braids on natural hair can be slightly longer compared to other hair types.

Natural hair tends to be thicker and may require more time for sectioning and braiding. On 4c hair, specifically, knotless braids can take approximately 6-8 hours depending on the size and length desired.

Impact of Braid Size

The size of the braids also affects the duration of the process. Medium-sized knotless braids may take around 4-6 hours, while smaller, more intricate braids can take up to 8 hours or more.

Discussing the desired size with your stylist during the consultation is vital to ensure the time frame aligns with your expectations.

Cost Considerations

In terms of cost, knotless braids typically come with varying price ranges depending on location and stylist experience.

The average price can range from $150 to $400, including both the hair braiding service and any additional styling elements such as beads or accessories.

Are Knotless Braids Hard to Install

Are Knotless Braids Hard to Install

While knotless braids may seem challenging initially, they are not inherently difficult to install.

Like any skill, braiders can improve their technique with practice and experience.

Novice braiders might find it helpful to start with larger braids and gradually work their way up to smaller ones as they become more comfortable with the process.

How to Install Knotless Braids

Installing knotless braids requires a careful and meticulous approach to achieve a natural and seamless look.

While the process might seem intricate, breaking it down into steps can help you navigate through the installation.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to install knotless braids:

Materials Needed:
  • Hair extensions (kanekalon, braiding hair, etc.)
  • Rat-tail comb
  • Hair clips
  • Hair ties
  • Edge control or gel (optional)
  • Hair sheen spray (optional)
  • Scissors
Step 1: Prepare the Hair:

Start with clean and detangled hair. Wash and condition your natural hair, and ensure it’s completely dry before beginning the braiding process.

Step 2: Section the Hair:

Use a rat-tail comb to part your hair into neat sections. The size of each section will determine the thickness of your braids.

Step 3: Start Braiding:
  1. Take a small section of extension hair and your natural hair from the first section.
  2. Divide the extension hair into two equal strands and place them alongside your natural hair.
  3. Begin braiding the extension hair into your natural hair using an underhand technique. This means crossing the extension hair strands under your natural hair section.
  4. As you continue braiding, gradually add in more extension hair to each strand. This creates the “feed-in” effect and prevents the need for knots.
Step 4: Maintain Consistency:

Throughout the braiding process, maintain an even and consistent feed-in of extension hair. This ensures a smooth transition from your natural hair to the extensions.

Step 5: Secure the Ends:

Continue braiding until you reach the desired length. Secure the ends with a hair tie or rubber band.

Step 6: Repeat the Process:

Move on to the next section and repeat the braiding process, gradually incorporating extension hair.

Step 7: Edge Control (Optional):

If desired, use edge control or gel to smooth down your edges and create a polished look.

Step 8: Trimming (Optional):

Once all the braids are installed, you can trim the ends for a neat and even appearance. Be cautious not to cut your natural hair.

Step 9: Enjoy Your Braids:

Congratulations! You’ve successfully installed your knotless braids. Enjoy your new hairstyle and the comfort it provides.

Lifespan of Knotless Braids

Lifespan of Knotless Braids

The lifespan of knotless braids is another consideration. While the exact duration can depend on various factors, including hair care routine and maintenance, it is generally recommended to keep knotless braids in for approximately 4-6 weeks.

This duration allows the hair to grow and avoids the risk of hair breakage or damage.

Extending Lifespan with Proper Care

The longevity of knotless braids can be extended with proper care.

Regular moisturizing of the scalp and the use of products that promote hair health can help maintain the braids for a longer period.

maintaining different sizes of knotless braids and their durability
maintaining different sizes of knotless braids and their durability
  1. Small Knotless Braids:
    • Cleaning: Small knotless braids can be kept clean by applying mousse or dry shampoo to the scalp.
    • Oil Removal: A Q-tip can be used to remove oil buildup.
    • Night Care: Wearing a satin bonnet at night is recommended.
    • Washing Frequency: Regular hair washing is important, but shampooing every day isn’t necessary.
  2. Medium Knotless Braids:
    • Versatility: Medium knotless braids strike a balance between large and small sizes, offering flexibility.
    • Styling Options: Various styles can be achieved with medium knotless braids, including wearing them down or up.
    • Duration: Medium braids can last around six weeks.
  3. Durability of Knotless Braids:
    • Longevity: Knotless braids generally last longer than large braids but are less durable than traditional hairstyles.
    • Duration Range: Medium braids can last around six weeks, while larger braids can last eight weeks or more.
    • Factors Affecting Lifespan: The hairstylist’s skill and braid type can influence how long small knotless braids last.
  4. Maintenance Reminder:
    • Washing Frequency: Small knotless braids need weekly washing to prevent dirt buildup.
tips to help you maintain your knotless braids and promote scalp health
1. Cleanse Regularly:

Cleanse your scalp and braids using a diluted sulfate-free shampoo. Gently massage your scalp to remove dirt, oil, and product buildup.

2. Hydrate Your Scalp:

After cleansing, apply a lightweight leave-in conditioner to your scalp. Avoid heavy products that can lead to buildup.

3. Moisturize the Braids:

Use a water-based moisturizing spray to keep your braids hydrated. This helps prevent dryness and frizz while maintaining the health of your natural hair.

4. Oil Your Scalp (Optional):

Apply a light scalp oil to soothe and moisturize your scalp. Focus on the parts between your braids to avoid excessive buildup.

5. Avoid Excessive Pulling:

Refrain from pulling or tugging on your braids, as this can cause tension on your hair and scalp, potentially leading to breakage.

6. Sleep Protection:

Wrap your braids in a silk scarf or wear a silk bonnet while sleeping to prevent friction and preserve your style.

7. Avoid Moisture Retention:

Be cautious with excessive water exposure, as wet braids can lead to mildew or odor. When swimming or showering, consider using a waterproof swim cap.

8. Limit Styling:

Avoid excessive pulling, tying, or manipulating your braids, as this can weaken your natural hair and cause stress on your scalp.

9. Address Itching:

If you experience itching, refrain from scratching, as it can lead to irritation or hair breakage. Use a scalp-friendly itch relief spray or oil.

10. Monitor Scalp Health:

Regularly inspect your scalp for any signs of irritation, redness, or discomfort. If you notice any issues, consider removing the braids and addressing the problem.

11. Stay Hydrated and Balanced:

Drink plenty of water and maintain a balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals to support overall hair and scalp health.

12. Timing and Removal:

Avoid leaving your braids in for too long, as extended wear can lead to hair tangling and breakage. Typically, four to eight weeks is a reasonable duration for wearing knotless braids.


Do knotless braids fall out easier?

Knotless braids are generally less likely to fall out compared to traditional box braids. This is because the knotless technique secures the extensions to your natural hair more securely and evenly, reducing tension and stress on the scalp.

Can I keep knotless braids in for 3 months?

It’s generally not recommended to keep any type of braids, including knotless braids, in for more than 8-10 weeks. Leaving them in for three months could lead to tangling, matting, and potential damage to your natural hair.

Why are knotless braids more expensive?

Knotless braids are more expensive due to the intricate and time-consuming installation process. Unlike traditional box braids, knotless braids require the stylist to add extensions to your natural hair without using knots, which demands greater skill and attention to detail.

Why don’t knotless braids last long?

Knotless braids can last a reasonable amount of time when properly maintained, but they may not last as long as some other protective styles. The absence of knots means there’s less structural support at the base of the braids, which can make them more susceptible to unraveling if not handled with care.

How do I prepare my hair for knotless braids?

To prepare your hair for knotless braids, ensure it’s clean and well-moisturized before the appointment. Detangle your hair gently to minimize breakage during installation. If needed, trim split ends to prevent them from traveling up the hair shaft.

Is knotless or box braids quicker?

Box braids are generally quicker to install compared to knotless braids. The knotless technique involves a more intricate process of feeding extensions into your natural hair without knots, which can take more time.

Which color is best for knotless braids?

The best color for knotless braids depends on your personal preferences and style. You can choose a color that matches your natural hair, a color that complements your skin tone, or experiment with vibrant shades to make a bold statement.

Do knotless braids take longer?

Yes, knotless braids typically take longer to install compared to traditional box braids. The process of individually adding extensions without knots requires more time and precision.

Why do knotless braids not last?

Knotless braids may not last as long if not properly cared for. The absence of knots means the braids rely more on the natural friction between the hair and the extension to stay in place. If subjected to excessive manipulation, friction, or moisture, they can unravel faster.

How long do large knotless braids take to do?

The time it takes to install large knotless braids can vary depending on factors like the stylist’s speed and your hair’s thickness. On average, installing large knotless braids may take anywhere from 6 to 10 hours or more.

Why are box braids so expensive?

Box braids can be expensive due to the labor-intensive process of installing them. Creating neat and uniform sections, knotting the extensions to your natural hair, and achieving consistent braids all require skill and time, contributing to the cost.

How do you feed in knotless braids?

Feeding in knotless braids involves picking up a small section of your natural hair and adding extension hair to it by wrapping the extension hair around your natural hair. The stylist then braids the combined section downward, creating a seamless and knotless appearance.

How long does it usually take to get box braids?

The time it takes to get box braids depends on factors like the size of the braids, your hair’s thickness, and the stylist’s speed. On average, installing box braids can take anywhere from 4 to 8 hours or more.

Do box braids hurt for the first time?

Box braids might cause some discomfort during installation, particularly around the hairline and scalp. However, if you experience severe pain, it’s important to communicate with your stylist and make adjustments to ensure a comfortable experience.

How many months do box braids last?

Box braids can typically last for 6 to 8 weeks. However, with proper maintenance and care, you may be able to extend their lifespan to 10 weeks or more.

How many rows for medium knotless braids?

The number of rows for medium knotless braids can vary based on your desired style and the thickness of your natural hair. On average, you might have around 6 to 8 rows of knotless braids for a medium-sized look.

Should I get a haircut before braids?

It’s not necessary to get a haircut before getting braids, but it’s a good idea to trim any split ends. Trimming your hair before braiding can help prevent further damage and promote healthier hair.

What to do before getting box braids?

Before getting box braids, make sure your hair is clean, detangled, and well-moisturized. Consider trimming split ends if needed. Also, communicate with your stylist about your desired braid size, length, and style.

How long does it take to braid a black woman’s hair?

The time it takes to braid a Black woman’s hair can vary widely based on factors like hair length, thickness, desired braid size, and the stylist’s speed. Depending on these factors, the process can take anywhere from 3 to 10 hours or more.

How long does it take to get enough hair for braids?

The time it takes to grow enough hair for braids varies from person to person. Generally, you need a minimum of 3 to 4 inches of hair length for braiding, which can take a few months to achieve depending on your hair’s growth rate.

What is the difference between knotless and traditional box braids?

The main difference between knotless and traditional box braids lies in the installation technique. Knotless braids involve adding hair extensions to your natural hair without using knots, resulting in a smoother and more natural look at the base of the braids. Traditional box braids use knots to secure the extensions to your hair.


In conclusion, if you are considering getting knotless braids, it is important to allocate enough time for the process.

On average, knotless braids can take between 4 to 8 hours, depending on the size, length, and expertise of the stylist. Knotless box braids, specifically, may require more time due to their intricate nature.

It is recommended to keep knotless braids in for 4-6 weeks and properly care for the hair to maintain their longevity. Remember to consult with a professional stylist for more accurate timing estimates and a satisfactory end result.

By Koketso Wendy Ramogkopa

Wendy Ramogkopa, a passionate advocate for the beauty and significance of black hairstyles, is an emerging voice in the world of literature and culture. With a deep appreciation for the artistry and history of black hair, Koketso combines meticulous research with a touch of creativity to shed light on this vital aspect of African heritage. As a devoted wordsmith and cultural enthusiast, Koketso endeavors to unveil the rich tapestry of black hairstyles, weaving together stories of identity, empowerment, and self-expression. Through her writings, she aims to ignite curiosity and foster meaningful conversations that celebrate the diversity and resilience of black hair traditions. Stay tuned for a fresh perspective on the intricate world of black hairstyles, as Koketso Wendy Ramogkopa invites you to explore the beauty, significance, and cultural significance of these hairstyles, one captivating article at a time. Join her on this enlightening journey of self-expression and cultural celebration.

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