Knotless braids are a must-try protective hairstyle this year. Photo: Fashionista

Knotless Braids for Protective Hair Styles This Year

Knotless braids are everything you want in a hairstyle. Not only do they look effortlessly cool, but they are also versatile, flattering, and protective, doing less damage to your hair than traditional box braids, The Trend Spotter cites. A type of feed-in braid, knotless box braids don’t put tension on your scalp with an ‘anchor knot.’ Natural, beautiful, and feminine, knotless box braids are the perfect way to show off your free spirit and creativity.

"No pain, no gain"! Well, there are a lot of beauty treatments that require a little bit of pain before the final result. There's the ripping of eyebrow wax, the pinch of extractions, and the headache that comes with getting a fresh set of box braids. Some braiders tug tightly on the roots to get a flawless finish, and that ache can last days after your styling session, making things as simple as sleeping or putting your braids in a bun a literal pain.

Traditional box braids can make headache. Photo: StayGlam

That's why more people are asking for the knotless (also called feed-in) method at their hair appointments. It's also why the term "knotless braids" is up 150% in search on Pinterest this year, as cited by Refinery29. Unlike the traditional braiding technique that adds extensions right at the root, the knotless method starts with your natural hair and gradually adds pieces of hair to the braid as you go. This creates less tension on the scalp and minimizes the chance of breakage.

And here is how to make your own coolest knotless box braids in 9 steps.

Guide to Make Knotless Braids on Yourself: 9 Easy Steps

Step 1. Grab a rat-tail comb

With box braids, you need to part your hair into boxes (hence the name), and the long tail on the rat-tail comb will make sure your parts are sharp and sleek.

Step 2. Style your extensions

Take a folded section of the extensions you are going to use and pull gently on the ends.

This will separate them and make them slightly uneven, giving you a tapered effect that’s more natural.

Step 3. Start braiding

Braiding hair for box braids couldn’t be simpler. Place the folded extension over your hair tie and pull the strand apart so it lies on either side of your natural hair section. According to Jamaica Hairstyle, this will help keep the braid as close as possible to your scalp. Then, start a regular three-strand braid by weaving the outer extensions under the middle strand.

Step 4. Plait from root to tip

Braid the hair all the way down until you reach the point where your natural hair runs out.

Then, separate the remaining two sections of hair (the extensions) into three and continue weaving the hair until you reach the bottom.

Step 5. Repeat the process

Moving section by section, divide the hair equally and continue this braiding process.

It’s essential to use the same size and length extension for each braid so that the style looks seamless.

Step 6. Dip the ends in hot water

Once you’ve finished, dip the ends of your braids into hot water to seal the tips. Use a towel to remove any excess water

You can also press a hot towel all over your entire head to flatten any flyaway hairs so each braid looks perfectly polished.

Step 7. Style your edges

Now your braids are sealed, use scissors to trim the ends if necessary. The final step of this box braids tutorial? Styling your hairline.

Place a small amount of the VO5 Mega Hold Styling Gel onto a spare dry toothbrush and use it to seal any stray hairs around your hairline into place.

Step 8. Add in some gold threads and beads

Not only will it level up your look, but it’s also a cute way to switch things up without having to take out your braids.

Step 9. To get your braids to last

you’re going to need a good leave-in conditioner, like Shea Moisture Daily Hydration Leave-In Treatment. It’s formulated with coconut milk and oil to make sure your braids stay moisturized and ultra-smooth. Another good option? Carol’s Daughter Almond Milk Leave-In Conditioner, which hydrates your braids with almond milk, aloe butter, and shea oil.

Watch Video Tutorial here:

Top 5 Coolest Knotless Braids for Carefree Ladies in 2021

1. Bohemian Knotless Braids

Photo: Youtube

Keep it breezy and beautiful with bohemian knotless braids. There are no rules when it comes to this hairstyle – it’s all about being unique and unstructured. Try incorporating yarn, threads, or even earthy accessories like cowrie shells into your look. The simplest way to give your knotless braids a bohemian feel is to leave the ends loose. And rather than aiming for a uniform look, make each braid different.

2. Knotless Braids in a Bun

Photo: Byrdie

Because there’s less tension on your scalp, knotless braids are perfect for twisting into an updo. A braided bun is an elegant and chic hairstyle with timeless appeal and versatility. It is ideal for your next formal occasion, a dinner date, or even daytime to elevate your look. Once your braids are installed, it’s simple to twist them into a bun. Pull all your braids into a high ponytail with a smooth hairband, then wrap the ponytail around itself to form a bun. Tuck the ends underneath the bun for a clean finish.

3. Half Up Half Down Knotless Braids

Photo: Youtube

For a fresh and cute styling option, try half-up, half-down knotless braids. The hairstyle gives you the best of both worlds; you can still show off your beautiful long braids while adding the extra flair of an updo or high ponytail. According to The Trend Spotter, a half-up, half-down hairstyle is one of the most universally flattering options for all face shapes, particularly those with round and square faces. For best results, position the ‘up’ section of your hair at the crown, so it’s visible from the front.

4. Long Knotless Braids

Photo: Pinterest

Going knotless is an ideal option if you love the ultra-long, fine braids look. Because there are no knots, and the hair is braided in small sections, there is less tension on your scalp – meaning your stylist can add in more braiding hair for those extra inches. Long knotless braids have a cool ’90s vibe and have both a feminine and edgy look depending on how you style them. While these braids take longer to install, the extra effort is worth it.

5. Waist Length Knotless Braids

Photo: Pinterest

For the ultimate showstopping hairstyle, try waist-length knotless braids. You'll turn heads wherever you go with this look, which has a beautiful and feminine appeal. Waist-length braids are also versatile in that you can get creative with how you style them. While they look fantastic worn loose, you can also try a half-up, half-down style, add beads, rings, cowrie shells, or even ribbons to freshen up your braids day-to-day.

How do I care for Knotless Braids?

For maintenance, clean and moisturize your scalp from time to time. Use edge control to lay your edges and anti-frizz leave-in conditioner spray to lock in moisture, Jamaica Hairstyle cites. Keep your braids wrapped in a silk bonnet or a silk scarf at night to keep them looking great!

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