The Difference Between Knotless Braids and Box Braids: Which Is Right For You?

Braids have been an integral part of hairstyling for centuries, and today they keep evolving with modern trends. Two popular braid styles that have gained a lot of interest in recent years are knotless braids and box braids. If you are confused about the difference between knotless braids and box braids, let’s be with Apohair to discover these two braiding techniques and understand their difference to choose the one that suits you.

Difference between Knotless Braids and Box Braids

What Are Knotless Braids Vs Box Braids?

To explore the difference between knotless braids and box braids, we should first learn what they are.

What Are Knotless Braids Vs Box Braids
Knotless braids vs box braids

First, knotless braids are a type of braided hairstyle that starts with your natural hair and gradually adds hair extensions to it without the use of visible knots at the base of each braid. This results in a hairstyle that is flatter to the scalp and needs less tension to keep it secure.

On the other hand, box braids are small to medium-sized square or rectangular sections of hair, typically braided with extensions and featuring knots at the base. These braids are known as one of the most popular braids for Black women.

Difference Between Knotless Braids And Box Braids

Now it’s time to go into the details of the differences of two braiding hairstyles! In this article, we will analyze 7 key factors that make knotless braids and box braids different.

1. The Root 

The most noticeable difference between knotless braids and box braids is their root. In traditional box braids, extensions are incorporated by tying knots at the roots. In contrast, knotless braids are crafted without knots, giving a braid that appears more natural and feels lighter on the scalp.

Difference between knotless braids and box braids
Box braids start with a knot at the base of the braid

2. Time To Install 

It can be said that a common disadvantage for many individuals considering braided hairstyles is that they have to spend long hours in the salon getting the hairstyle done.

Which is more time-consuming, regular box braids vs knotless? Of the two braiding styles, knotless braids typically require a longer installation time due to their intricate technique. The time needed to complete knotless braids can vary from four to eight hours, depending on the desired size.

In contrast, box braids are considerably quicker to install compared to knotless braids. The installation time for box braids typically ranges from one to three hours. This is a great choice for those who are seeking a quick solution.

Read more: How To Box Braid and Tips For Mastering

3. Scalp sensitivity 

This is one more difference between knotless braids and box braids. Box braids are much tighter and they can be particularly painful for people with sensitive scalps. It’s important to keep in mind that although braids can contribute to hair strength, the installation process of box braids has the potential to cause hair loss or breakage, especially in extreme cases.

Difference between knotless braids and box braids
Knotless braids is considered to be the gentler method

If you’ve encountered pain during previous hair appointments, it might be a wise choice to opt for knotless braids rather than the traditional box braids. Regardless of your choice, asking your hairstylist about any discomfort or pain you experience is essential.

4. Appearance

Of course, we can’t forget to mention the overall appearance as a main difference between knotless braids and box braids. Knotless braids are known to have a more seamless and natural appearance. These braids blend smoothly with your hair while box braids feature a knot at the base of each braid, which can easily be detectable.

Difference between knotless braids and box braids
Knotless braids offer a seamless and natural look

5. Cost 

One more difference between box braids and knotless braids is their cost.Because of their quicker installation process, box braids are typically less expensive than knotless braids. The cost of getting box braids typically ranges from $75 to $450, whereas knotless braids can cost between $99 and $250, along with additional expenses for any hair extension needed.

The total cost of installation for either box or knotless braids varies based on different factors such as the size and complexity of your chosen style, your location, and the expertise of the braider. Generally, smaller braids tend to be more expensive to install. If you’re working with a tight budget, opting for box braids might be your best choice. However, it’s important to keep in mind that box braids tend to have a shorter lifespan compared to knotless braids.

6. Longevity

Which last longer knotless vs box braids? The answer is: knotless braids, thanks to its installation method, can last as long as, if not longer than, box braids. The feed-in process of knotless braids allows fresh growth to gradually lengthen and lets you wear it for a quite long time. New growth, however, might add weight to your braids. Knotless braids should still be removed after four to six weeks to give your hair and scalp a break.

Difference between knotless braids and box braids
Knotless braids normally last longer, due to it installation technique

Smaller braids can last longer than larger ones in both braiding styles, with micro box braids lasting up to 12 weeks. The duration of your braids will also be determined by your stylist’s expertise and how well you care for them using procedures such as deep conditioning and thorough washing.

7. Maintaining

Knotless braids may experience frizz and loosening quicker compared to traditional box braids, depending on each individual’s hair and how it was initially braided. This difference can be attributed to the slightly more exposed hair at the scalp with knotless braids. However, during the first weeks, knotless braids offer greater flexibility, making them easier to clean and style.


Apohair has just been with you to find out the difference between knotless braids and box braids. Then which is better for you? Your choice between the two should depend on your personal preferences, lifestyle, and hair type. If you would love to get a natural look with gentler tension on your scalp and can invest extra time and money, knotless braids are absolutely for you. Or if you need a faster installation and don’t mind a slightly heavier feel, box braids will be a perfect choice. Remember, your hairstyle is a form of self-expression, so embrace the one that makes you feel most confident and comfortable.

And if you are looking for high-quality human hair extensions for your braids, just always remember that Apohair is a well-known hair brand you can trust. Apohair – the leading vietnam hair supplier, provides 100% Vietnamese human Remy hair extensions that come in various textures, colors, and lengths. Whether you’d like to choose box braids or knotless braids, Apohair’s hair extensions are sure to give you a natural and perfect braiding hairstyle.

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