The main difference between knotless braids and box braids is that knotless braids are made with the hair and they are then braided with a feed-in technique to achieve a natural seamless appearance. Box braids are made by forming a knot around the hair.

Other differences are that knotless braids require less tension to be applied, resulting in a more comfortable installation than box braids, where a lot of tension is applied and resulting in some discomfort.

This article is for you if you need help choosing between braided hairstyles. Below are a list of key factors that differentiate knotless braids from box braids.

Knotless Braids vs Box Braids: Know the Differences

Traditional box braids and knotless braids differ in their method of installation. 

Since knotless braids work by feeding the hair into the braid, they look natural and blend in with the hair. This technique involves braiding your hair first and then inserting the synthetic braids through the mid-shaft or mid-way point.

Alternatively, box braids are attached by creating an extension around your base of hair and then knotting it. The knot is what holds the synthetic braids in place.


Immediately following installation, box braids are usually very inflexible and difficult to style. The knot causes discomfort due to the tension it builds up while being styled.

The scalp will be less sore after a few days of waiting once the stitches have been loosen up. In contrast, knotless braids can be styled easily after installation. 

Their lightness, natural appearance and lack of strain on the hair make it seamless to style in any fashion you like.

How Long it takes to Install Box Braids and Knotless Braids

Getting braided hairstyles done in the salon takes a lot of time, which is notoriously a turnoff for many people.

Though both don’t take much time to install, knotless braids take longer because they are more technical to install. It can take anywhere from 4 to 8 hours to complete knotless braids, depending on the size.

Knotless braids take more time to weave than box braids, which is why box braids are a great option if you need a quick fix. Hair technicians usually spend between 1 hour to 3 hours installing box braids, depending on how big the braids are and how quickly they work.

Scalp Sensitivity: Does Box Braids Pain more than Knotless Braids?

Different styles will have different effects on the scalp, as the scalp is highly sensitive. 

Knotless braids are said to be more gentle to the skin, so when they are being installed, no pain is felt. As a result, they are gentle, as the braids do not touch the scalp, at least not directly.

Generally, synthetic braids tend to irritate the scalp and cause inflammation.

Due to the fact that the knot is closer to the scalp, box braids are more painful than knotless braids. There have been cases in which box braids cause itching and bumps on the scalp for some people. 

It is important to know how your scalp responds to the different styles when choosing between the two.

Does Box Braids cause more Hair Breakage than Knotless Braids?

Which type of hairstyle causes hair breakage box braids and knotless braids? Compared to knotless braids, traditional box braids may cause more breakage. You will experience less friction when your knotless braids are properly done, thus decreasing the chance of hair breakage. 

When not installed and maintained properly, box braids can result in traction alopecia and cause hair loss. During the knot-forming process, the hair is constantly tugged and pulled. 

Also, with knotless braids your edges remain intact, whereas with box braids your edges may be damaged.

How much does Knotless Braids & Box Braids Cost?

Due to their shorter installation time, box braids are usually less expensive than knotless braids. 

Knotless braids require 4 – 8 hours of installation and the technique is more time-consuming, consequently costing more. 

Furthermore, some products are applied to your hair like edge control and some gel to sections of your hair, increasing the cost.

Between knotless and box braids, the price difference generally ranges between $50-130; knotless braids being the most expensive.

You know what to do if you are on a strict budget, but the downside is that knotless braids won’t last as long as box braids.

Having healthier hair is well worth the small price difference between the two, in my opinion.

Read More – Low Porosity vs High vs Medium Porosity Hair: Products, Care, Treatments

Do Knotless Braids Look Natural Compared to Box Braids?

The look of knotless braids is seamless and natural. For box braids, there is a knot at the base, but for braids that blend in with the hair, there is no knot.

To get a better understanding of the difference between knotless braids and traditional box braids, let’s look at some pictures below. We would like to thank all the wonderful ladies listed here.

How can I do my own Knotless Braids?

Pro Tip: Pro tip: Loggins recommends that you pre-cleanse your braiding hair in water and vinegar before beginning the braiding process. This will ensure your scalp does not become irritated/itch.

Step 1: The first step is to wash, condition, and detangle your natural hair. 

Step 2: Brush out the extensions and stretch the ends.

Step 3: Form four sections with your hair. Clip off the other three sections to the side but leave the one open. 

Step 4: Start by dividing your hair into smaller box-shaped sections with your comb (the size can be adjusted to suit your preferences).

Step 5: Apply hair gel to the roots of the smaller boxed sections and divide into smaller parts.

Step 6: Braid the roots of each subsection a little below the surface.

Step 7: As you braid your natural hair with a section of hair that is the same size as the small boxed section, take a section of hair that is about the same size as your small section. To braid your hair, divide your real hair in half and add the extensions as the third piece. 

Step 8: Repeat steps 1-7 on each area of the head until all braids are complete.

Pro tip: To braid knotless, make sure that there are no bumps or bumpy lines at the roots, and that everything is flat. 

Step 9: As soon as the braids are completed, dip them in boiling hot water to soften the ends and seal them. This step will also help eliminate flyaways and fuzz. 

Step 10: Look in the mirror, smile, and flip your braids to make them look fun.

Products & Tools for Braids

Nairobi Wrapp-It Shine Foaming Lotion for Braids

decoding="async" border="0" src="//" alt="Knotless Braids Vs Box Braids: Know the Difference, Installation & it Cost" title="Knotless Braids Vs Box Braids: Know the Difference, Installation & it Cost">Knotless Braids Vs Box Braids: Know the Difference, Installation & it Cost

Lotta Body Wrap Me Foaming Mousse with Coconut & Shea Oil

Knotless Braids Vs Box Braids: Know the Difference, Installation & it CostKnotless Braids Vs Box Braids: Know the Difference, Installation & it Cost

SoftSheen-Carson Let’s Jam

Knotless Braids Vs Box Braids: Know the Difference, Installation & it CostKnotless Braids Vs Box Braids: Know the Difference, Installation & it Cost

Braid Extension for White Girl

Knotless Braids Vs Box Braids: Know the Difference, Installation & it CostKnotless Braids Vs Box Braids: Know the Difference, Installation & it Cost
Knotless Braids Vs Box Braids: Know the Difference, Installation & it CostKnotless Braids Vs Box Braids: Know the Difference, Installation & it Cost
Knotless Braids Vs Box Braids: Know the Difference, Installation & it CostKnotless Braids Vs Box Braids: Know the Difference, Installation & it Cost

Read More – Mousse for Braids: Best Styling Mousse & its Benefits

Different Types of Knotless & Box Braids

Beyoncé, Justine Skye, and Alissa Ashley are among the stars who swear by these new knotless braids favorites, which are also hailed for their better appearance and versatility, while maintaining the same look and feel of their predecessors. Would you like to try it yourself? 

Beyoncé in knotless braids
Knotless braids on celebrities Beyoncé

Jumbo Knotless Braids

Jumbo Knotless Braids

Long Medium Knotless Braids

Long Medium Knotless Braids

Box Braids Medium Size

Box Braids Medium Size

Jumbo Box Braids

Jumbo Box Braids


Having protective styles is beneficial for your hair since they give it a break from daily manipulation. They are also great if your schedule is busy and you don’t have the time to keep styling your hair. 

People look at a number of factors when looking for the right protective style. Knotless braids and box braids differ in the factors listed above, so keep this in mind when choosing between them. 

Box braids were very popular for a long time, but knotless braids have recently become more popular.

Although knotless braids have certain drawbacks, they definitely outweigh them. Installing knotless braids is definitely something you should give a try and see how good it makes you look.