Are you tired of styling your hair every day? One day, it looks perfect, but it is impossible to tame the next day. Imagine an ageless hairstyle like Poetic justice braids that requires little maintenance and stays perfect for almost three months. Does it sound too good to be true?
These braids are ideal for those with unruly, kinky hair. Keep reading to learn the details about this flawless hairstyle and how to create it yourself.
What Are Poetic Justice Braids?
Poetic justice braids are a hairstyle that is most popular among African populations. Also known as box braids, these hair knits received a new name after Justice, Janet Jackson’s character in the movie “Poetic Justice.” The film’s success brought a lot of attention to the braids.
The hair is divided into square-shaped sections that are braided individually. Usually, synthetic hair is used to complete the look. This hair covers your natural hair and serves as a protective layer.
You can choose from many different colors, lengths, and thickness levels to customize your braids.
How To Do Poetic Justice Braids
These braids require patience and a steady hand, but they can be done safely and beautifully at home as long as you follow the process correctly. Here’s everything you need to know to do poetic justice braids.
What You’ll Need
- Shampoo and Conditioner
- Rat-tail comb
- Braiding Hair
- Rubber bands
Step 1: Prepare the Natural Hair
Poetic justice braids are a protective style that reduces the risk of damage from everyday styling, heat, and friction, so you want to make sure your natural hair is as healthy as possible going into the process.
Begin by shampooing your hair, preferably with a sulfate-free shampoo. Sulfates, found in clarifying shampoos, strip the oils from your hair. That’s fine once in a while, but you want to hold on to moisture when braiding your hair.
After washing, condition thoroughly with a deep conditioner to boost moisture. Well-conditioned hair is smoother and shinier, so you’ll have less frizz and fewer flyaways when your hair is braided.
Pre-stretching your natural hair is optional but highly recommended, especially if you have very kinky or coily hair. Braiding hair is usually smoother than your natural hair, and pre-stretching will help the two textures blend. Stretch by wet-braiding, banding, or blow-drying, depending on your preference and how much time you have.
Step 2: Prepare the Braiding Hair
Braiding hair comes in packs of straight, neatly-aligned hair. Braiding straight from the pack often results in braids with blunt, unnatural-looking ends. You can avoid this by feathering your braiding hair before you start to work with it.
To feather braiding hair, hold one end of the bundle tightly in one hand with just the ends sticking out. With the other hand, remove the rubber band, then tug at the ends of the bundle, loosening them and pulling them out slightly until the ends look feathered.
Gently comb through the rest of the bundle to smooth it. After feathering, separate the braiding hair into braid-sized sections. Pre-sectioning your braiding hair will make the process go much faster once you start braiding.
Step 3: Pre-Part
Pre-parting the natural hair helps to ensure an even braiding pattern. Separate the hair into at least three large sections – the top of the head, a horseshoe-shaped section from the crown to the ears, and the back of the head to the nape of the neck.
Then, starting at the neck, use a rat tail comb to part the hair into smaller, braid-sized square or triangular sections. Secure each section with a loose rubber band. You may pre-part the entire scalp all at once or one large section at a time, braiding the pre-parted hair before moving on to the next section.
Step 4: Braid
Remove the band from one section of pre-parted hair, and apply oil to the base. Fold a section of braiding hair in half around the base of the natural hair section. You will now be holding three sections of hair – the two ends of braiding hair and one section of natural hair.
Braid these three strands together normally, redistributing the natural hair and braiding hair between the strands as you go to keep them even. Repeat this process on each section of parted hair until you’ve braided the whole head.
Watch the Following Tutorial to Learn How To Do Poetic Justice Braids
Step 5: Seal
Fill a cup with hot water from the tap or boiling water that has cooled. Dip the ends of each braid in hot water to seal and smooth them. Do not use scalding-hot water.
Poetic Justice Braids
Poetic justice braids can be fabulously styled using jumbo colored hair, head wraps, bandanas, or even beads. To create a full look, you will need 8-9 packs of hair. You can even opt for more than one shade.
In the color department, your options are vast. You can play with the thickness and go for really thin knits or a chunky voluminous hairstyle. You will fall in love with them in a heartbeat, and we will help you find more ways of styling them.
1. Half Braided
To play with texture in your hair, only braid each section halfway. This style features straightened ends, but you can also curl them to dress up the look.
2. Curly Red Braids
A medium shade of red is bold but not bright, perfect for women who appreciate a fierce hair color but don’t want anything on their face. These half curly braids have been styled into a fun half bun/half ponytail hairdo.
3. Long and Thin
A lot of thin Poetic Justice braids create a much different look than chunky braids. These are softer, accentuate length, and look very boho with a colorful flowered headband.
4. Short Bob
Seeking a hairstyle that’s simple but classy? Opt for a short braided bob. Cap a few ends with white or clear beads, or play with a brighter color like pink or blue.
5. Ponytail with Side Bangs
By pulling out several wavy braids near the hairline, you can create a ‘side bang’ to pair with a high ponytail.
6. Blonde with Loose Ends
Platinum or a very light blonde is a beautiful shade on women with a dark skin tone. We love the way the color looks on extra long braids with loose wavy ends.
7. High Half Pony
In just minutes you can create this effortlessly stylish high half ponytail with your Poetic Justice braids. The height is helped with a few braids that wrap around the base, giving the look lots of attitude.
8. Black and Red
Electric red and black work together on these long braids to make one edgy hairstyle. Create a braid crown with half your hair for a soft look. You can also add a little bling with gold hair cuffs.
9. Jumbo Bun
From the jumbo bun shape at the front of the head seen above to the mix of light brown and dark purple, these Poetic Justice braids are packed with detail. This look would be perfect for formal occasions, especially if you tuck in a few shiny hair clips.
10. Ombre Braids
To get the length you’re coveting in a braid hairstyle, opt for extensions. Choose them in a feminine ombre like purple and pink for a flirty vibe, leaving ends curly.
11. Blonde Highlights
A low ponytail might be a traditional look, but it’s the blonde highlights on black braids that separate the look from others. To give the look more texture, leave half the hair unbraided.
12. Yellow and White
If you’re the type of lady who loves bright, unusual colors, you’ll appreciate these sunshine yellow and white braids. Try a half updo to really show off the colors.
13. Brown Balayage
When it comes to adding color to your braids, look for them in an ombre or balayage. The light and dark brown seen above blend naturally with a black base.
14. Rainbow Poetic Justice Braids
Another gorgeous option for women who love playing with hair color are these long layered rainbow-colored braids. A cute half ponytail takes only minutes to style, which is all you need when you have the color doing the work!
15. Thin Braids with Scarf
No matter your age, it’s clear a colorful head scarf can add beautiful detail to any hairstyle. These long thin braids are gathered into a ponytail and topped with a thick scarf wrapped in a bow.
16. Red & Black Side Bun
It’s all drama and glam for this lop-sided bun, featuring edgy dark red and black Poetic Justice braids. Frame your face with two tendrils for softness.
17. Tri-Tone Half Updo
Blonde, blue, and grey work together on top of black to make an edgy, moody hairstyle. Take your look one step further by choosing different shades of each color and flaunting them in a low half updo.
18. Thin Braids with Beads
The clear beads on the ends of the thin braids seen here are what everyone will notice if you choose this look. Stick with clear or have a little fun with bright colors or a rainbow pattern.
19. Half Dark, Half Light
Why choose a light hairstyle or dark hairstyle when you can have both? These long thin box braids display edgy half dark and flirty half light colors.
20. Twists and Braids
Teal and blonde combine to make a fun, cool hairstyle perfect for when the weather is warming up and you want beach babe vibes. Definitely add gold or silver hair cuffs for shine.
21. Thin Red and Blonde
To make a thicker-looking hairstyle, opt for lots of thin Poetic Justice braids. The bright red highlights in these long blonde/brown braids add a nice pop of color.
22. Knotless and Curly
Knotless braids make for a smoother look. For this style, part hair off center and leave the ends curly to flaunt soft texture.
23. One Highlight
Curious about hair color but don’t want to commit to too much? One blonde highlighted braid at the side of your head is certainly enough to make you feel special.
24. Heart Shaped Side
How classy and beautiful is the heart shape on the side of this long black and burgundy hairstyle? Special shapes like this truly separate any braided hairstyle apart.
25. Jungle/Butterfly Braids
Super curly ends mix with butterfly shaped braids to make a one-of-a-kind hairstyle. This stunning look would be perfect for special occasions like weddings or dates.
26. Electric Color Pop
The extra long and thin Poetic Justice braids seen here are mostly black, but an electric green shines through underneath for an edgy touch.
27. Colorful Low Ponytails
You might think low ponytails (or pigtails) are childish, but after seeing how colorful braids with beaded ends give you room for experimenting, you’ll want to try the style right away.
28. Colored Poetic Justice Braids
Opt for multi-colored poetic justice braids, and head wrapped bandanas or scarfs if you want to look jaw-dropping. Pin the knits in a high ponytail and keep the ends unsecured.
29. Thin Poetic Justice Braids
Poetic justice braids can look so flattering in thin, long knits. Use red jumbo hair to give your braids a colorful vibe. To secure them, all you have to do is dip the ends in hot water.
30. Blonde Ombre Poetic Justice
Blonde poetic justice braids can also work on natural black hair, so you don’t have to worry about dying your roots. You will obtain a gorgeous ombre that will perfectly suit you.
31. Long Box Braids
Poetic justice braids, aka box braids, represent a good alternative for black girls who want a mesmerizing low maintenance hairstyle. You can style them in bigger French braids or create buns on top of your head.
32. Dark Teal Poetic Justice Braids
Ombre teal Jumbo hair looks fantastic when used to create poetic justice braids. Go for dark roots that beautifully transform in a dark ocean shade. Part the twists in two sections and create two loose space buns.
33. Red and Yellow Poetic Justice Braids
Box braids can look eye-popping, and if you choose to use two colors when braiding the Jumbo hair, you will obtain a stunning mix of yellow and red twists. Also, use cuffed beads and golden threads to decorate some of the knits.
34. Poetic Justice Braids with a Bun
Most women love to wear their long poetic justice braids on their back but that doesn’t mean you can’t use them to create fabulous updos. Create a bun on top of your head and wrap two braids around tour head, on the forehead.
35. Poetic Justice Braids + Updo
This is a cute updo that is perfect for summers because it keeps your twisted tresses away from your face. The entire top of the poetic justice braids is tucked away in a woven bun high on the head. The bun is held firmly with pins and may be covered with a headscarf in the hot sun.
36. Poetic Justice Braided Crown
This poetic justice braid crown is a perfect wear for the princess that you are. This is a clever box braid hairstyle with a twist that sits like a crown on your head.
37. Cool Bow Updo
This is an adorable poetic justice braid hairstyle with a cute bow on the top. This is a lovable style which channels your inner diva, but the style itself is very simple. It only needs a little practice, but then it’s only a couple of tugs away.
Throw your poetic justice braids into a ponytail but pull it only halfway. Now separate the section of hair in two and pull the remaining box braids through it.
38. Jumbo Poetic Justice Braids
A similar poetic justice braid hairstyle was donned by Keri Hilson recently. This is a long and simple hairstyle in which the braids are parted in two sections and tied in place at the sides to clear them off of the face. This is a simple and effective way to wear your jumbo box-style braids.
39. Poetic Justice With Shaved Sides
This hot Poetic Justice braid hairstyle was worn by Jada Pinkett Smith in 2010 BET Awards. This is a rather edgy hairstyle with box braids in the middle and shaved sides.
The top half of the braids are twisted and turned in Faux Mohawk. If this look is too rocky for you, you can choose not to shave the sides.
40. Big Braids With Beads
These big poetic justice braids were worn by Christina Milan during a holiday trip. She adorned her braided tresses with super fabulous colored beads to don the vacation look.
This is a great advantage of poetic justice braid hairstyles that you can add hair jewelry, cuffs and beads to them. In this particular hairstyle, cuffs are used in these big Poetic Justice braid designs. Choose your own look and be versatile.
41. Simple Half Updo
This is yet another poetic justice braid hairstyle with half the braids at the top of your head pulled back while the rest of the braids fall down to sides and back. Now that’s not all. This simple half updo allows for various variations. You can tie the top hair into a bun, twist them or catch them in a ponytail.
42. Cute And Girly Style
This is a modern and spunky spin to the 90s poetic justice braids hairstyles. Spice up the old hairdos with this poetic justice braids design for a cute girly look from the 90s.
43. Small Bob Braids
This is a beautiful short poetic justice braid hairstyle with bob style. Make sure to discuss with your stylist so that you get proper maintenance procedures.
The braids are worn in the form of classic bob style in short length, but the length can be varied depending upon your choice.
44. Bob Poetic Justice Braids With Half Updo
This is a short poetic justice braid with half updo. It’s a tacky twist to your simple short bob braids. This poetic justice braid hairstyle is cute and pretty in these smaller braids with a rather demure look.
45. Medium Poetic Justice Braids With Beads
This is essentially the same bob style of poetic justice beads with medium-sized braids. Adorn them with beads of your choice, and you can make a statement of your own.
Jewelry, beads, and cuffs can be braided into the hair. The cuffs added in the braids below give this poetic justice braid a beautiful hint.
46. Big Poetic Justice Braids With Colors
This is yet another short poetic justice braid hairstyle but with big braids and a hint of color. The silver big poetic braid has given this plain poetic justice braid hairstyle a glamorous twist.
However, do talk to your stylist about the tension in braids while going for these huge poetic justice braids.
47. Poetic Justice Braids With Bangs
In this long bob style of poetic justice braids, wear your braids in a bang to give your face a definition. These braided tresses will highlight your cheeks and lips. Add a hat to complete the look.
48. Burgundy Poetic Justice Braids
Look at the gorgeous burgundy braids in the picture below. The hair on fire look is as true as the color of passion and fire in Red and shades of red.
Make a bold statement with the burgundy poetic justice beads or go for muted tones if you aim greater hair impact. While choosing poetic justice braids with color, you need to experiment and think out of the box.
49. Long, Pink Ombre Braids
If what you desire is a modern feminine look with an edge, go for this style with your long poetic justice braids with pink shades at the tips. I
f you want you can choose just any color instead of pink or even mix and match with rainbow colors for more fun.
50. The Purple Poetic Justice Braids
Purple is a luxurious color giving off a brilliant and beautiful look hinting on luxury and elegance. Mix it with poetic justice braids to make a bold statement.
Summer is a perfect time to flaunt your majestic purple braided tresses and make heads turn.
51. Black and White Poetic Justice Braids
If you’re going to get yourself poetic justice braids, you better gear up your artistic skills. If you have an eye for style and color, you can get your braids in complicated and intricate designs effortlessly.
52. Silver Grey Braids
Silver in Poetic Justice Braids first made its appearance in 2015, but then it stayed firm in 2023 and seemed to rock 2019 as well. Choose from gunmetal gray, brighter silvery gray or go for a lighter shade.
53. Triangle Poetic Justice Braids
This pop of gray box braid has gray braids in the top high bun only. Very easy to apply as all you need is to tuck in the braid neatly within the bun.
54. Another Cool Blonde Style
This is a cool style, but you need to lighten your hair with many sessions of lightning with peroxide bleach on your hair.Use the blonde hair extensions.
55. Pinkish Red Braids
This is another interesting atypical shade that can rock your braided style. This pinkish red color is bright yet also natural.
56. Blue Ombre Braids
Another clever mix of color for your poetic justice braided look. Multi-tones added in the tips can get you this mermaid tone.
57. Grey Poetic Justice Braids into a Braided Updo
This is a poetic justice style for the chic updo when you want to amaze everyone with as little effort as possible.
58. Thick Braids with A Side Part
Side part on a long-braided hairstyle looks fabulous. It adds some extra volume and dimension to the hair.
If you have upper long hair, this poetic justice braid hairstyle should be your style statement. Pair up these braids with your sexy outfit, bold lipstick, and slay!
59. Thin Braids with A Side Part
This is the simplest and most casual poetic braid hairstyle. Introducing innovations to the side part, these long and sleek braids swept to one side give a very fine and gorgeous look. This hairstyle is perfect for casual jamming sessions and club parties.
60. Black Braids + Half Bun
Top half bun has always been fun. It is easy to make and manage. Moreover, for the perfect summer season look, this poetic justice braiding is a must-to-have. No extra efforts are required! Tie the upper half roughly into an oversized bun!
61. Lusciously Long Caramel Justice Braids
Caramel highlights can really spice up your fashion life. Lociousy long caramel hair made into poetic braids give a very dramatic yet sexy look. Create a center part and leave you braids loose. Add the pomp to your look!
62. Purple Side Bangs with A Knot
If you want to spice up your hairdo, add colors to it. Purple justice braids look very funky. Leave you braids long and loose.
Take the front section of braids and tie them into a side bang and a loose knot for an added effect. This sophisticated hairstyle will make you stand out in the crowd.
63. Black and White Ombre Braids
You can look funky in black and white too! Here we are referring to the bold black and white ombre hair color which surpasses every other funky hair dye.
If you have thick and long hair, poetic braids with a side part will do true justice to your look.
64. Black Braids with A Purple Streak
Thick and long black braids with a side part look very sleek and bold. However, you can add some extra buzz to your look with a funky purple streak peeking through the braids. Accentuated with golden metal beads, this hairstyle looks super cool.
65. The Insane Blue and Black Buns
This insane yet playful braid hairstyle looks very dramatic. It’s a game of four buns on the front. The blue and purple streaks add hype to the style. This super funky poetic braid hairstyle is the perfect summer avatar one must try!
66. Light and Dark Caramel Braids
For a super gorgeous braid hairstyle, contrasting shades give a real kick. Light and dark caramel highlights on a natural black base, twisted into poetic braids all over the head and then left loose give a very dramatic look. This dying technique adds dimensions to your hair.
67. Orange Front Highlights
One should keep playing with funky hair colors for a new look every time. Thick poetic justice braids with a tint of orange highlights on the front made into a side bang look very gorgeous. This hairstyle will draw all eyes on you!
In the race to look cool, this hairstyle will take you miles ahead. Subtle caramel braids on one side with a contrasting and sexy shaved side part on the other make a very dramatic hairdo.
You might procrastinate a lot before getting this style, but it will be worth it!
69. Black and Blonde Thick Braids
Subtle blonde hair dye on a natural black base creates a very dramatic hairstyle when tied into braids. This hairstyle not only holds your hair in place but the playful colors add oomph to it. Kick start your day with this sexy hairdo.
70. Mini Bun with Side Braids
Mini Bun with poetic braids is a style on the roll! Girls who want to make their own hairstyle statement with a ‘wow’ factor in it should try this hairstyle.
A mini bun on the top with thick poetic braids on the sides is something you don’t see regularly. This style will pomp up your look!
71. Justice Braided Hat
Add some twist to the mainstream braided hairstyle and bun. Tie your braids onto an oversized top bun. Take out 2 braids, one on each side, just like loose hair strands. This style resembles a hat with its two belts on the sides. It makes quite a creative hairstyle!
72. The Mohawk Bun
A mohawk top braided bun looks dramatic just the way it sounds. A mohawk has all the sides shaved except the top locks which are kept super long.
For this amazingly intriguing style, you have to tie your top locks into a tight top bun. This a perfect summer look!
73. Green Ombre Hair
Putting another funky color in the list, ombre green is a hair color you must try. Summers is all about bright colors and getting one for your hair will oomph up your look.
Parrot green ombre on natural black base hair tied into poetic braids and left loose make a lively summer hairdo.
74. Rainbow Justice Braids
Moving ahead of single color dies and getting your hair rainbow colored is a new buzz. What about getting just a section of your hair done? Rainbow hair color on braids gives a coll beaded appearance and will hype up your hairstyle game.
75. A Shirt and Low Ponytail
Simple is sexy and gorgeous too. If you want an amazingly stunning and low-maintenance braided hairstyle, this one is the right option for you. Tie your hair into braids with a center part.
Tie all the braids into a sleek, low-lying and loose ponytail. Pair up this hairstyle with sophisticated jewelry and dress and you are ready to slay at the ball!
76. Tight and Long Ponytail
Strong women wear tight and long! Well, that’s true about hairstyles too. Tir your poetic braids on the bask into a long and tight ponytail for a bold and professional look.
This is one of the easiest and low-maintenance braided hairstyles. You can carry this versatile look anywhere you want.
77. Half Up Caramel Splash
A sun-kissed caramel splash braided hairstyle can take you to long heights. A caramel balayage on natural black base twisted into poetic justice braids gives a wonderful beaded appearance.
Tie your braids into a half top bun and get ready for the ultimate summer look.
78. Purple Braids with A Creative Cut
If you want to hype up your hairstyle game, a funky purple hair dye will do it. For added pomp, get a creative hair design on the neck and tie your braids into a high ponytail or a bun. This style will be a new buzz look this summer season.
79. Braided Side Pouf
You can create a glamorous look with a braided side pouf. Make a side part in your braids and tie the high-volume braids on one side into a pouf. This will give a textured look to your hairstyle.
Tie the remaining front hair on the back. Leave the long hair hanging on the back. Tonight, you’ll be in the limelight!
80. The Tight Top Bun
A volumized and tight braided bun makes a perfect summer hairstyle for the ladies who dread the heat. This is a comfortable yet very gorgeous hairstyle.
81. Purple Ombre
For a long and neat, braided hair look, a purple ombre hair on a black base is an excellent choice. This color looks funky yet gorgeous. Try this striking color combination with justice braids and side pouf for a sleek look this summer.
82. Thick Box Braids with A Side Pouf
A college look demands simplicity and low-maintenance. However, sty;e should never be compromised on. For this, try this box braid hairstyle with a side part and pouf. This hairstyle will hold your hair in place and give you an elegance too.
83. Simple Thin and Long Braids
Simple takes the most effort! However, just a smile can make things worth it. If you want to look gorgeous, putting excessive efforts to your hair is not the price. Make thin and fine poetic braids, create a mid-part and leave your hair loose.
84. Purple Punch
Wnt to go bolder than a purple ombre or balayage? Dye your hair all purple. This will look bold, funky and very cool.
85. Green and Loose
Go bold and dye your poetic justice braids all green. If your hair is super long, that’s a bonus! Tie the braids into a loose and busy mid-bun. This hairstyle is a perfect blend of style and class.
Pros and Cons
The advantages to poetic justice braids are:
- Your real hair is covered. The sun and environmental elements cannot damage it.
- You will not need to style your hair. This not only saves you time but it keeps harmful products out of your hair.
- You can choose the color, length, and thickness of your braids.
- Poetic justice braids can last up to three months with very minimal maintenance.
The disadvantages to poetic justice braids are:
- The look is difficult to create. Even a hairstylist will likely spend five to eight hours crafting these braids.
- The braiding process may hurt your scalp.
- A hairstylist will usually charge about $200 for these braids.
Do you want to know more about poetic justice braids? Check out these frequently asked questions.
Most hairstylists will spend five to eight hours on poetic justice braids. If you do them at home, you will probably need to spend more time.
Most people will need seven to nine jumbo packs of braiding hair for poetic justice braids. If you’d like your braids to be extra full, you will need ten to twelve.
X-Pression hair usually includes more braiding hair in each box, so you will need only five to six packs.
Hairstylists charge between $150 and $300. The average price is about $200.
Crafting these braids at home can be much less expensive. Packs of Kanekalon hair cost about $3 to $5 each. You will also need the supplies, but you may have those items at home already.
You can keep poetic justice braids in for up to three months. You will need to protect the braids overnight and wash them occasionally if you plan to keep them for this long.
Both are the same. This look was referred to as box braids up until the 1993 movie “Poetic Justice” was released. Janet Jackson sported box braids, and their popularity skyrocketed following the movie. Since then, many people have adopted the term ‘poetic justice braids.’
Since 1993, poetic justice braids have been idolized in the United States. Although the process can be difficult and tedious, you can create the look at home.
Many people love the long-lasting and low-maintenance beauty of these braids. They enjoy allowing their natural hair to heal, free of gels and environmental elements for months. Others, however, do not have the time to create the hairstyle.
If you are ready for a challenge that will heal your hair and eliminate the need to style it daily, you should definitely try this hairstyle.