Which Is Better Box Braids Or Knotless? ANSWERED!

Although a fantastic protective style, Box Braids can have their downfalls, which is why many women have opted for knotless braids in recent years. Whether knotless braids are better than box braids is still a topic for debate. That’s why I’ve decided to find you the answers you’re looking for. Take a look!

Knotless braids are definitely better than traditional box braids, even though the braiding process is much quicker (4-8 hrs) with traditional box braids than knotless braids (5-9 hrs). That being said, the perks of knotless braids outweigh the time it takes to do them, such as:

  1. Less pain
  2. Styling flexibility
  3. Last longer
  4. Keeps hair healthy

Keep reading to find more about what makes knotless braids better than traditional box braids. Plus, what your knotless braids will cost you compared to box braids! Trust me; this is something you cannot miss out on!

1. Less pain

With knotless braids, as opposed to traditional box braids, there is less tension at the roots. This is because knotless braids are a feed-in method whereby the braid starts with your natural hair and the extensions are added mid-shaft, whereas, with traditional box braids, a knot is formed at your roots to anchor the extensions to your natural hair.

When box braids are too tight, you get bumps and red spots on your scalp that can be itchy and painful, which inevitably leads to hair loss and scarring.

Knotless BraidsTraditional Box Braids
No tension/tugging on scalpTugs and pulls on scalp
Tight braids won’t cause scarringTight braids can cause hair loss & scarring
Table Showing Knotless Braids VS Traditional Box Braids

2. Styling flexibility

When it comes to styling your braids after getting them installed, we all know that you have to wait a day or two for the pain and tension to subside before even daring to style your hair. With knotless braids, you can style your hair immediately after getting them done. There is also less weight and strain on your hair, so styling is made easier!

Knotless BraidsTraditional Box Braids
More flexibility with stylingHave to wait for the pain to subside before styling
Braids feel light and airyBraids feel heavy
Table Showing The Styling Flexibility Of Knotless Braids VS Traditional Box Braids

3. Last longer

Although the general recommendation is that you should only be keeping your hair braided for 6 to 8 weeks at a time, we know that after 3 weeks, box braids begin to get frizzy and untidy, so you’re left with no choice but to take your braids out. 

With knotless braids, they can last up to 4 weeks, maybe even more with proper maintenance and care. That being said, don’t get too carried away and leave your hair braided for longer than 6 weeks at a time; this will cause hair damage and maybe even hair loss! 

With knotless braids, as your natural hair starts to grow out, the braids will feel heavier, especially the ones around the perimeter of your hair, so don’t get carried away and leave your knotless braids in for too long!

Knotless BraidsTraditional Box Braids
Roughly 3 weeksRoughly 4 weeks
Natural hair grows out and makes braids heavierNatural hair grows out at the roots, pushing the knots away from the roots thus making the braids fall out
Table Showing The Lifespan Of Knotless Braids VS Traditional Box Braids

4. Keeps hair healthy

Knotless braids are a lot better for your natural hair than traditional box braids, especially if you have a sensitive scalp. This is due to the fact that knotless braids do not have the bulky knot that is created at the root of your hair to secure the hair extensions. This means that the hair extensions aren’t touching your scalp.

Knotless BraidsTraditional Box Braids
No added weight on hairMore extensions used on hair so there is added weight
No bulky braid knotHas a bulky braid knot
Does not cause hair lossCan lead to traction alopecia
No damage to your edgesCan cause damage to edges
Table Showing Knotless Braids VS Traditional Box Braids

Hair extensions used to braid box braids are made using synthetic fibers and chemicals, one of which is an alkaline used to coat the hair extensions. This has been known to irritate sensitive scalps and cause inflammation or itching. With knotless braids, you won’t experience any of this!

Not to mention, with the tightness of traditional box braids pulling and tugging on your hair and scalp, it can lead to hair thinning around your front hairline and even permanent hair loss such as traction alopecia or follicle damage.

Now that we’ve had a look at why knotless braids are better and safer for your hair than traditional box braids are let’s take a look at some other basic facts about knotless rias. Keep reading to find out more!

How Much Do Knotless Braids Cost?

Knotless braids are generally more expensive than traditional box braids. This is because knotless braids require you to use the feed-in method, which takes longer as you need to apply products like gel or edge-control to each little section of hair to make sure it’s gathered and laid before braiding it.

That being said, you can expect to pay between $50 to $150+ more for knotless braids than you would for traditional box braids. Take a look at the table below to get an average cost of the price differences:

Knotless BraidsTraditional Box Braids
Shoulder Length$180$150
Waist Length$350$225
Table Showing The Average Cost Of Knotless Braids VS Traditional Box Braids

Although knotless braids are pricey, the extra cost is a small price to pay to keep your hair healthy whilst it is in its protective style!

I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather pay a little extra to get knotless braids and know that I’m preventing half of the causes of braid-related hair damage than to get traditional box braids and have a bad experience with pain and tugging on my roots.

Related Questions

How do you sleep with knotless braids?

You can sleep with knotless braids the same way that you would sleep with any braids or protective style by wrapping your hair in a silk or satin bonnet before bed to prevent and frizzing, shedding, ad friction caused by your pillowcase.

Can I wash my knotless braids?

You can definitely wash your knotless braids; in fact, you should be washing your braids at least once a week. I highly recommend using a gentle yet clarifying shampoo, such as the Neutrogena Anti-Residue Clarifying Shampoo. You can purchase it from Amazon for $8.78. Then follow this up with a hydrating and moisturizing deep-conditioner!

How do you keep knotless braids looking fresh?

The best way to keep your box braids looking fresh for longer is to keep your scalp moisturized to prevent your hair from becoming dry and frizzy. You can do this by applying leave-in conditioners such as the Cantu Shea Butter Hydrating Leave-in Conditioning Mist or hair oils like the Design Essentials Scalp Anti-itch & Tension Relief, Tea Tree & Aloe to your scalp at least twice a week whilst your hair is braided.


Hey, I’m Jodie, the gal behind CraftyHairHacks. I have a deep passion for hair extensions, hairstyles, and almost anything that has to do with hair, which leads me to the writing and research I do for this website daily. Our site is still small, however, we’re pushing to get the best hair hacks out to as many as people as possible. ENJOY!

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