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The Pros and Cons of Knotless Braids

Knotless box braids are still trending these times, and they might be standing inside your head, asking if they can come up outside of it, or not. So if you’re here looking for reasons to get or not to get knotless braids, you’re right in the right place.

Probably you’ve already heard something about knotless braids, but things are still not clear enough for you. And I agree.

There are so many different braiders, many different hair types, so many variations of box braiding styles and so many bloggers that everything can become totally confusing.

So let’s get aware of what is good and what can go bad about knotless braids.

Pros of Knotless Braids

Fewer Risks of Damaging Your Hair and Scalp

Pros of Knotless Braids - Less Damaging
Model – Inashan, Photographer – Baciu Foto

Most people are looking for this alternative because of this reason. Knotless box braids are usually less tightened than traditional box braids, so they can really be a protective no-damaging hairstyle. 

Still, they can be too tense too, if the braider doesn’t have a good feeling about how much to tighten them.

The braid must start exactly where the hairs from a box naturally get together without being loose and without being pulled and without being extra tightened by wrapping a piece of synthetic hair around the braid root, aka without making a knot.

They Are Pain-Free

Knotless box braids should not hurt when installing or after. They could only feel a bit heavier (how much depends on the amount and length of extensions added), but they aren’t heavier than regular box braids. They are also more flexible than knotted ones at the beginning of the journey.

You Can Immediately Style Your Braids

Pros of Knotless Braids - Easy Styling
Model – Inashan, Photographer – Lasc Media

Since knotless braids are more flexible right after being installed, you can wear them the way you want. You can also enjoy doing sports activities and have a comfortable sleep. There is no need to wait until they get loose.

If you don’t like that they didn’t come bundled with face-lifting, you can tie some of your side braids up, or wear ponytails. But don’t damage your hair by yourself by wearing extra tensed styles.

They Look More Natural

Without a knot at the root, braids would look more natural. Many people have asked me if there is only my natural hair there when having knotless braids, even with colorful extensions. Not professional hairstylists, of course.

I think there are enough good things here, so let’s talk about the drawbacks of knotless braids.

Drawbacks of Knotless Braids

Higher Price

Cons of Knotless Braids - High Price
Knotless Braids of Inashan

Unfortunately, knotless braids are usually more expensive than regular box braids. Anyway, even so, it is less costly to prevent damaging your hair and scalp than to treat it after. In some cases, there are no treatments at all.

There are also people who had no problems wearing regular box braids, it depends on the sensibility of each head and on the hands working on it, but I know many stories of people who got excessively tightened box braids (and paid for them) and took them off after several days because of the pain and reactions on the scalp.

So they basically lost all the investment. Plus, these aren’t the worst stories, it would have been way worse if they were keeping them for longer, and some did, and their hair got off by itself and didn’t come back to that scalp ever again.

The reason for some braiders charging more for knotless braids is that the working time is also longer, as they use to add the synthetic hair gradually, so they feed in.

Although it is not mandatory to do so, if the hair isn’t very thick and short (so blending it like this makes it better to feed in) or too thin (and can’t support the synthetic hair added together). So it’s also possible for the price to be the same as for knotted ones.

More Time-Work

Cons of Knotless Braids - Takes More Time
Model – Inashan, Photographer – Baciu Foto

When the synthetic hair is gradually added, it will take more time. So if you have a hard time sitting on the chair, you will have more of it.

The speed is also influenced by other factors, so, from my point of view, it is worth waiting if you get what you want, as it is going to last long enough and you can have a lot of joy after.

Plus, there are so many things you can do on a chair while being braided. You can watch movies, read, talk, play games on your phone, watch (or create) TikToks, make your manicure, do online courses, meditate, sleep a bit, eat, drink, and maybe even smoke, work online, have phone calls, make a painting, and so on. Just be prepared and choose what to do because there is no time for all that.

Some Braiders Make Them Look Scalpy

If there is no synthetic hair added on the root or it is just a very tiny piece of it, and the natural hair isn’t extremely thick, knotless braids would look more scalpy.

Personally, I don’t like that look, so if you also dislike that, you need to have good communication with your braider or check their portfolio and make sure you don’t get an unwanted style.

Knotless braids can look really full, and they can also be done by blending all the synthetic hair with the natural one from the beginning of the braid.

You Have to Take Them Off

Cons of Knotless Braids - Taking Out
Model – Inashan, Photographer – Baciu Foto

I know you don’t want it but someday, you’ll need to take your braids off. As with all protective hairstyles, keeping them for too long isn’t healthy.

Your hair is growing and it is going to form dreadlocks if you keep your knotless braids for more than 2 months. It also needs to breathe and have its time alone from time to time.

Overall, there are no cons if you make it to have your best options about each aspect when dealing with knotless braids. Just be aware of them.

Hope you’ll manage to have the best ones possible!