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How Long Do Different Types of Box Braids Last? (Men and Women)

I know that there are lots of people, whether they have an afro, straight, wavy, or curly hair, who would like their hair to be… braided. Unfortunately, braided hair doesn’t grow braided. 

But isn’t it more beautiful that you can try so many braiding styles? When talking about box braids, I can imagine hundreds of different box braid styles and colors, and all of them can last for a pretty long time.

Let’s take a look at some of the most frequently asked questions about different box braids types and how long they last. I’m going to answer each of them.

What Is Box Braid? 

Box braids are a type of protective hairstyle that is popular among people with Afro-textured hair but can be done on all types of hair.

The style involves dividing the hair into square or rectangular sections and then braiding the hair down from each section.

The braids can be done with just the person’s natural hair, but often, synthetic braiding hair is added in for length, thickness, and color.

You can read our article on “How To Do Box Braid?” to learn more about naturally creating your boxer braid.

Box braids can be worn in many different ways, including up in a bun, down and loose, in a ponytail, or even half up and half down.

They also come in many different sizes, from thin micro braids to thicker jumbo braids. The size and length of the braids can change the look dramatically.

Boxer braids can also help your natural hair grow longer and healthier by reducing the amount of manipulation and breakage your hair experiences.

How Long Can I Expect My Box Braids to Last?

How Long Can You Expect Your Box Braids to Last
Model – Inashan, Photographer – Jeissi Fanchin

In general, Box braids can last forever if you unbraid them after 6-8 weeks, and do them again.

Depending on the size, hair type, and maintenance, different box braids need to be unbraided after a different period of time. Here is a table on box braid’s lifespans.

Type of Box BraidsDuration (Approximate)Key Notes
Standard Box BraidsUp to 2 monthsDuration same as standard box braids, with the right maintenance
Knotless Box BraidsUp to 2 monthsDuration same as standard box braids, with right maintenance
Jumbo Box Braids4 to 6 weeksDue to thickness, less lasting
Medium Box BraidsUp to 6 to 8 weeksDuration can vary depending on braid thickness and path size
Box Braids on Caucasian HairUp to 8 monthsWith proper maintenance and small braids
Bohemian Box BraidsUp to 8 weeksRequires special maintenance
Box Braids on Straight HairUp to 2 monthsHair growth may appear faster
Box Braids for MenUp to 4 to 8 weeksLess maintenance generally means shorter duration
Crochet Box BraidsUp to 6 to 8 weeksDepends on hair type and maintenance
Longevity of Box Braids

The durability of box braids also depends on how well you care for them. You need to wash and dry them properly.

Sleeping on satin or silk sheets, not wearing wool caps, and avoiding high-tension styles can all extend the lifespan of your braids.

Also, it’s crucial to give your natural hair a break between installations to prevent damage and breakage.

You can expect your box braids to last for up to 2 months if they are thin and well done. 

Also, don’t pull them too much with lots of tight stylings, remove the fallen hair (stuck into your braids) with a tweezer, and use products to calm down freezy hair.

And if your hair has grown and there’s nothing to do about it (instead of rebraiding the most visible braids), you can wear some accessories so you can mask it.

Don’t get used to this last advice, you still need to unbraid them after two months if you don’t want your natural hair to become dreadlocks.

How Long Do Knotless Box Braids Last?

How long do knotless box braids last
Knotless box braids (Photo from archive, ©Ina Shan ©HairdoHairstyle)

Knotless box braids can last the same as box braids(4 – 6 weeks). They’re a newer and more comfortable style since they don’t put as much tension on the scalp. if they’re thin and done right.

Some (on the internet) say they last two weeks less, but it doesn’t make sense to me.

The only reason behind this could be that, they knot it with high tension, That not only reduce the lifespan of the braid but also cause pain and hair breakage.

All these box braids would behave differently from one hair type to another, but you can get the best of them with some carrying.

How Long Do Jumbo(Large) Box Braids Last?

Jumbo or large box braids are much thicker and have larger parting sections, therefore, hair will get messy easier as well as it would be visible as paths are on display.

Washing them well would also be more difficult, as the hair strands are massive, and you don’t have much access to your scalp.

Also, when your hair grows, the roots would look worse. Because of all that, jumbo box braids would last less than small box braids, generally, four weeks or a maximum of six weeks, depending on hair type and maintenance.

How Long Do Medium Box Braids Last?

How Long Do Medium Box Braids Last
Medium Box Braids, (Photo from archive, ©Ina Shan ©HairdoHairstyle)

Medium box braids are a bit different from one hairstylist to another. They aren’t large nor micro, but if the sizes of the paths are not much larger than the small ones and the braids are thicker, then they can last up to 8 weeks too.

If the sections are bigger than 2 cm, mostly on the top and at the hairline, they might be more likely to last up to 6 weeks.

How Long Do Box Braids Last in Caucasian Hair?

Caucasian hair, whether it is straight, wavy, or curly, whether it is women’s or men’s hair, can last in box braids for up to 8 months if done right and small, as long as it is well maintained, cleaned, and looked after.

How Long Do Bohemian Box Braids Last?

Bohemian box braids, if done with good crochet braids hair and small braids, can last up to eight weeks, but the hair needs special maintenance.

It will change its aspect anyway, but it can still look fine if you take care of it (wrap it into a satin scarf while sleeping, gently untangle it, use oils, etc.). 

How Long Do Box Braids Last on Straight Hair?

How long do box braids last on straight hair
Straight Hair Box Braids After 8 Weeks, Model – Inashan, Photographer – Jeissi Fanchin

As mentioned before, when not referring to a specific type of hair, box braids can last up to 2 months on average. 

When box-braided, the difference between afro hairs and straight hairs would be that straight hair may seem to grow faster as the root grows pretty straight down.

Baby hair also looks longer, and depending on the haircut, the end of the natural hair can get out from braids.

You can manage these problems that can appear in time by using a dedicated crochet braids hook to put the hairs that got out and the baby hairs back in the braids. You can also cut the ends if you don’t mind. 

Moreover, straight hair is silkier, so you better not use conditioner when washing your braids, as they can get loose. You can still moisturize your scalp with natural oils, and wash it with shampoo. Other maintenance processes are the same. 

How Long Do Box Braids Last for Guys?

How Long Do Box Braids Last for Guys
Men’s Box Braids (Photo from archive, ©Ina Shan ©HairdoHairstyle)

Guys don’t do the maintenance, so their box braids can last up to four weeks. If there are small box braids and well cared for, they can last up to 8 weeks for men as well. 

How Long Do Crochet Box Braids Last?

crochet braids
Crochet braids, Model – Inashan, Photographer – Baciu Foto

On one hand, when talking about crochet braids, we talk about a cornrows pattern that would be totally hidden by the hair added. If done right, we will not see knots and empty spaces, and the new hair will look natural.

In this case, afro-haired people will take advantage of their properties to remain closer to the scalp in time, while straight-haired people would notice when the braids seem to be floating between the scalp and the synthetic hair if too much time has passed.

Assuming this, afro-haired people can maintain their crochet braids for up to 8 weeks, while straight-haired people can keep them for up to 6 weeks.

On the other hand, what is also very important besides the pattern, are the hair extensions used and the aftercare.

Washing your braided hair under all these extensions might be much more difficult, as the cornrows are unmovable and tied up on your scalp, and you don’t have much access. 

Taking everything into account, it’s complicated to keep crochet braids for up to two months, so I would say that they last up to six weeks

These are only a few of the protective afro hairstyles, but if you want to try all of the possible braiding styles, you’ll need to live very long.

I hope that you can do that! Six new box braids per year isn’t a lot, but you might be braided for the whole year if you do that. Anyway, I’d suggest you take some breaks between. 

How to Maximize the Life of Your Box Braids?

Maximizing the life of your box braids involves regular and careful maintenance. Start by ensuring that your hair stays hydrated. Despite being in braids, your hair still requires moisture. Spritz your hair with water using a spray bottle, then follow up with a light oil to seal the moisture in.

Keeping your scalp clean is equally crucial. The frequency of cleaning your scalp may vary depending on your hair type and the products you use.

However, you might need to do so as often as once a week. Consider using a mild shampoo or a specially formulated scalp cleanser.

Also, protecting your hair while you sleep can make a significant difference. Satin or silk pillowcases or a night-time head wrap can protect your hair from friction and dryness caused by cotton fabrics.

Avoid over-styling. While one of the benefits of box braids is their versatility, over-styling can cause tension on your roots and lead to breakage. Opt for looser styles and give your hair a break between them.

Finally, practice good daily maintenance. Regular light maintenance is better than trying to fix problems like dryness or build-up after they’ve occurred.

This could include gentle detangling and applying a hydrating leave-in conditioner or oil regularly.

Take care of your hair, and enjoy new box braids!

Photo of author

Claudia Riordan

Claudia, a hairstylist and senior editor at hairdohairstyle.com, has been featured in Elle and Vogue. With years in hairstyling and color, she's your go-to for hair advice and trends.