Braids have been a favorite hairstyle for women since the beginning of time. However, one braid style has become more favored recently: boxer braids. Named after the way professional fighters choose to hold back their hair during fights.
Boxer braids are popular for 2023, especially for women. Selena Gomez, Kim Kardashian, and Rita Ora are just a few of the celebrities who joined the trend, rocking them at the beach, fashion shows, concerts, or even the red carpet.
Even bloggers and YouTubers – such as Thassia Naves and Chiara Feragni – decided to adopt the hairstyle to stand out on the screen or on social networks.
Boxer braids are versatile, convenient, and can be done on all types of hair for all kinds of occasions, from casual to formal.
What Are Boxer Braids?
Boxer braids are Dutch braids, usually worn in pairs, one on either side of the head.
Admit it: you even saw someone with a boxer braid and thought how cool it would look on your hair too, didn’t you? Well then! With that in mind, in today’s post, you’ll learn how to do a perfect boxer braid step by step, with tips to choose the hairdo style that best suits you without the need to go to a hair salon to look beautiful and cool.
That’s right! Even though the hairdo looks complicated, you can do a boxer braid by yourself and at home. After a little practice, you’ll see you’ll be able to learn how to do the boxer braid quickly! Let’s go!
How to Style Boxer Braids
Now that you know more about the boxer braid, it’s time to learn how to make one of its most frequently worn and classic styles: the French boxer braid, but its reverse version. In this case, we’ll teach you the double braid version, which is the traditional form of the hairstyle.
Step 1: With your hair clean and dry, apply serum or mousse to give texture to the strands.
Step 2: Then, split your hair in the middle, with a line going from the forehead to the nape of your neck.
Step 3: Tuck one of the sides in a bun and begin braiding the other.
Step 4: Start braiding, splitting three strands close to the forehead, and pulling them back, as shown in the image below.
Step 5: To obtain the bumpy look of the reverse braid, instead of crossing the strands over the middle one, cross them under instead, as in the image shown below.
Step 6: At this point, you can also choose the position of your boxer braid according to the final effect you wish to achieve. It looks more aggressive on the top of the head, for example. Close to the ears, as in the image below, in a half-moon shape, it can look more romantic. It’s your choice!
Step 7: When the strands reach the nape of your neck, begin tightly braiding the hair with a simple traditional braid until the end, so it’s very close to the head.
Step 8: Repeat the whole process on the other side of the hair.
Step 9: Hairstylists recommend that you always braid it very tight so it looks tidy. Only after you’re done, if you want the “messy” and more laid-back look, you can loosen the strands.
Step 10: Another tip is letting loose a few strands in the front to make it look more romantic. If you prefer a more polished braid, just keep them very tight with all strands secured.
Watch The Following Tutorial about How to Do Boxer Braid Very Simply
When to wear it?
As you can tell by this post, the boxer braid can be worn in several occasions, from daily, regular situations to formal ones. With all the options, you can wear the hairstyle to party with your friends, since it suits all kinds of looks, regardless if it’s day or night, in all seasons.
You can also wear a boxer braid to go to a wedding. For that, just add accessories like hair crystals to make it look more elegant. And if you’re thinking of wearing the hairdo to go to work or study during your daily routine, feel free just let loose a few strands or loosen up the braids to make it look more casual, as taught previously.
Fresh Boxer Braids Styles to Try
As we mentioned, boxer braids are versatile, suit all hair textures, and can be styled in many ways. Pick the version that best suits your personality and go for it!
1. Textured with Highlights
To make your braids stand out even more, rock some highlights (temporary or permanent) and play up texture by working in a little mousse or teasing hair before braiding.
2. Tucked In
Boxer braids are great for keeping hair stylishly off your face, but if you don’t want the braids hanging down, tuck them under and secure them with bobby pins for a neater style that won’t tickle your neck.
3. Braid Extensions
If you love playing with color and length in your hair, opt for braid extensions. These bright pink boxer braids make quite a statement with their long length and beaded ends.
4. Fishtail Boxer Braids
Whether your hair is thick or thin, you can give it a romantic and soft vibe by using the fishtail technique in your boxer braids. Just look at how thick and luscious these shoulder-length braids are!
5. Center Part
In many women’s braid styles, a center part is used to help create symmetry. While a center part is a classic, don’t be afraid to have fun with a zig-zag or wavy part.
6. Rainbow with Zig Zag Part
One of the best things you can do for your hair if you want to make a statement style gives it a pop of color and avoid a center part. The mix of rainbow colors and a zig-zag part seen above make these braids the epitome of stylish.
7. Half Boxer Braids
There’s no rule that says you have to put all your hair in for boxer braids. We love this half-braided hairstyle, featuring two braids that start thin up top and end thicker at the bottom.
8. Hairline Braids
Another cool way to rock this cool style is by braiding along the hairline. These cool side braids will provide beautiful face-framing.
9. One-sided boxer braid
Having muse Jennifer Lopez as one of the supporters of the style, the single boxer braid, which means a boxer braid on only one side of the head, suits all hair types and can be made by any woman, from the most discreet to the coolest ones, regardless of the occasion.
However, according to current hairstylists, this model suits even better women with long hair, since the longer the braid is, the better it looks.
10. French boxer braid (traditional)
This is the most common and classic type of boxer braid: the French braid. You can do several different versions of the hairdo with it, from the single braid, as shown above, to double braids (the most traditional ones), three or even four braids.
In practice, hair is braided from the roots, braiding the strands little by little and securing the entire hair.
11. Reverse Boxer Braid
The reverse version of the braid, which means braiding by crossing the strands under the middle one, is also one that celebrities use the most. As well as inverting the original hairdo, you can choose to loosen up the strands, giving it a more relaxed look and making your locks seem fuller.
Throughout this article, you’ll learn how to do the double French reverse braid, which is the most classic one.
12. Boxer braid ponytail
Perfect for women with medium to long hair, the boxer braid with a ponytail is a stylish and relaxed do that really suits girls who like to play around with possibilities or have thin hair. You can go for one or more braids and even wear the ponytail straight or “messier” to give the strands a bit more thickness.
13. Boxer braids with a bun
In the same train of thought as the previous style, the boxer braid with a bun is also perfect for women with thin hair who don’t want the ends too small. Just as in the ponytail, you can loosen up the strands to finish off the hairdo to make it look fuller, as well as secure the bun higher or lower on the head.
14. Boxer braids with buns on top of the head
Worn and adapted by the gorgeous socialite Kim Kardashian, the boxer braid with small buns on top of the head is a favorite among women. In addition to making it look beautiful, it’s a modern and bold hairdo, perfect for those who like to leave tradition behind. However, according to specialists, the style suits better women who like getting attention and preferably have a full, long hair to obtain a neat effect.
15. Connected boxer braids
If you’re skilled with your hands, you can go for the connected boxer braid to obtain a beautiful and laid-back look. Both braids are connected on the back of the head on this hairdo, so you have to do both at the same time.
Wonder if you can do it? Of course, you can! Remember that it may be difficult at first, but with practice, you can master it and become faster and faster at doing this braid.
Some Boxer Braids Hairstyles You Can Also Try
16. Four Boxer Braids
Boxer braids are so popular that they’ve been worn by everyone, from Kim Kardashian to her sisters, JLo, and they are a great hairstyle for dirty hair. To create this hairstyle, you need to section the hair in four pieces, one on each side and two on the top, and do the Dutch braids.
17. Side Boxer Braids
Instead of starting your braid from the top, for this boxer hairstyle, you need to start knitting from the center of the forehead and direct the braids slightly on sides.
18. Boxer Braids for Thick Hair
Perfectly brush your hair and prep it with some oil. It helps to separate the hair with braiding. Create a straight part and make sure that when you are working on one side you clip away the other so that no hair will interfere with the one you are working on.
19. Khloe Kardashian’s Boxer Braids
We weren’t kidding when we said that most stars love this hairstyle. Khloe Kardashian went for this look and if you have blonde highlights on a brown base just like hers, you’ll end up with a great color mixed braid.
20. Boxer Braid for Split Ends
Boxer braids work fabulously for hair with damaged ends. Apply some styling gel in the split ends area to make sure all the threads stick together once your braids reach the tips.
Boxer Braids Vs. Box Braids: The Differences
Despite the similarity in the names, which makes many people mix up the hairdos, these types of braids are totally different. Box braid, which you already read about here in the blog, consists of afro-style braids, and are done on the locks with synthetic hair. So, it’s a type of hair extension, only with braids.
Boxer braid, on the other hand, refers to the style used by boxers or MMA fighters to tie the hair up during combat. So, from now on, you won’t mix them up anymore, ok?
To help you out, here’s a list of some of the most common questions to get you started.
No, having boxer braids is not necessarily cultural appropriation. Cultural appropriation means taking an element of a culture other than your own and exploiting it or using it stereotypically. One way to combat this is to educate yourself.
Borrowing from other cultures can be a way to honor different cultural elements, but it’s a fine line to walk. These braids originated in South Africa centuries ago, so they’re a borrowed technique if you aren’t of that culture. However, learning more about the background of this style allows you to celebrate its rich history while rocking this awesome hairdo.
Somewhat. The French braid is quite similar to a boxer braid. While French braids occur by crossing hair strands over the top, boxer’s ones generally cross the strands underneath the sections.
Fun fact: French braids didn’t originate in France. Ancient Greeks and Africans were braiding their hair in this style way before it was cool.
Yes. Dutch braids are a type of boxer braid. While other types strive to stay close to the scalp (like cornrows), with Dutch braids, it’s all about building height.
Boxer braids and cornrows are both created by crossing under sections. While cornrows are generally tighter and flatter than their Dutch counterparts.
Pulling hair is an illegal move in boxing. Boxer braids ensure female fighters keep their hair strictly out of the other’s grabbing reach. If you’ve seen Hilary Swank in Million Dollar Baby, you’ll understand the need for it.
There’s no secret to spicing up your look with boxer braids – all styles are gorgeous. Have you worn boxer braids before? Tell us in the comments!