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If you haven't seen Janet Jackson’s Poetic Justice, or at the very least a picture of her in the iconic movie, it's time to get your life together. Jackson sports one of the ultimate '90s hairstyles: box braids. Box braids, originating from Africa, have been donned by all your favorites like Beyoncé to Zoe Kravitz to Chanel Iman. The protective style can be worn in a million ways, from space buns to knots. It can be installed the traditional way, meaning the braid begins with a small knot at the root of the scalp, or you can go the knotless box braids route. Knotless box braids are done by a feed-in method. The braiding hair is added in small pieces, creating less tension and pull on the root of your hair.
Below, 20 styles to sport with box braids. Ombre box braids, anyone?
Advertisement – Continue Reading Below 1 Half-Up With Pigtails
Upgrade your half-up, half-down 'do with flirty pigtails and face-framing strands.
2 Multi-Color Neon
Color block sections of hair with neon hues for an electrifying look.
3 Asymmetrically Beaded
Use clear rubber bands to secure rows of beads on random sections of braids for an unexpected style.
4 Side Swept
Form a deep side part and fasten your braids behind your ear to add a romantic accent to a half-up, half-down style.
5 Low Bun
Zoe Kravitz goes back and forth from braids to a short pixie, because if you’re Kravitz you can pull off every single look possible. We love her micro boxer braids pulled back into a low bun.
6 Half Shaven
A shaved side paired with bleach blonde box braids is the definition of edgy. Add extra length like actress Jada Pinkett Smith to take the daring 'do one step further.
The gorgeous Amandla Stenberg's box braids were knotted by celebrity hairstylist Vernon Francois, who created a beautiful rainbow design.
8 Side Pieces
Make a subtle statement with face-framing jumbo braids like actress Logan Browning.
9 Waist Length
Long braids, don’t care might not rhyme like the classic saying, but it still very much applies.
10 Mohawk Buns
Divide hair into three sections and secure them into buns to create a fun faux hawk.
11 Colorful High Pony
Pull your jumbo box braids up for a '90s high-pony throwback.
12 Top Knot
So knotty. This easy-to-achieve style pulls the front hair up and out of the way to show off your beautiful face.
13 Space Buns
Standout among the Earthlings. You can channel your inner Scary Spice with two buns or add three for an out-of-this-world look.
14 Middle Part
You can never go wrong with a strong middle part, especially when paired with extra long locks.
15 Braided Bun
A bun full of box braids sit nicely on any head and is a perfect way to beat the summer heat.
16 Big Braids
Need to keep your braids out of your face? Secure them into simple, three-strand styles like Euphoria actress Storm Reid.
17 Box Bob
No need for braids that hit the floor. The African style looks great short and bobbed just above your shoulders.
18 Boho Braids
Rainbow Brite IRL. The loose ends add a bohemian flair and are further amplified by the pink and blue strands. La Vie Bohème.
19 Bow Bun
Pull a few braids over your bun, wrap the remaining ends around its base, and secure with a few bobby pins to create an adorable updo like actress Skai Jackson.
20 Half-Up, Half-Down
Pull half of your hair up into a loose pony for an effortlessly chic vibe.
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