Differences between Box Braids and Crochet Braids

Differences Between Box Braids and Crochet Braids

Braids are a protective hairstyle that almost everyone wears, but little do you know that braids can even be subdivided into smaller categories. In this article, we’re looking at box braids and crochet braids, two popular and adorable hairstyles. What exactly are the differences between these two categories of braids?

While a crochet hairstyle requires you to crochet synthetic hair onto your natural hair, box braids have no such requirement. On the flip side, box braids involve separating the hair into square-like segments to make individual braids.

If you’re reading this, you probably want to learn a lot more than the basic differences that a single paragraph can offer. This article will explain what box braids and crochet braids mean, the differences, and why one is better or worse than the other.

box braids

What is Box Braids?

Both of these hairstyles are so similar that I’m unsure which one to describe first. However, it seems box braids will come first alphabetically, so it grammatically makes sense to take a look at that first. So, without further ado, what are box braids?

Box braids are a kind of braids that involve separating the hair into individual braids to form little square boxes across the surface of your head. You must have seen it, probably on someone or while scrolling some cute hairstyles on Instagram, they’re so distinctive and adorable.

An interesting fact about box braids is that they don’t even have to be boxed. A box braid can be in the form of small triangles, and it still qualifies; I mean, who wants to have their hairstyle called “triangle braids” all the time (on second thought, angle braids sound pretty cool)?

Box braids are to cornrows as two-strand twists are to flat twists. One thing to note about the hairstyle is that it’s hard to make perfectly, and it usually takes a lot of time to complete, but when you complete it, you’ll have a beautiful and easy-to-style hairstyle that’ll last for almost forever.

crochet braids

What are Crochet Braids?

Crochet braids are what happens when you have synthetic hair crocheted into your real hair. While it usually stands alone as an independent hairstyle, you can use crochet braids to create any other kind of hairstyle, including box braids if you’re skillful enough.

And when I mean any other kind of hairstyle, I’m not excluding twists or curls. It may sound weird, but when you crochet synthetic hair to your hair and use the combination to create two-strand twists, what you have isn’t a crochet twist, but crochet braids (there’s nothing like crochet twists anyway).

When you get the point properly, you’ll understand there’s no real competition between crochet braids and box braids. While it’s still possible to compare them, which I’ll do in this article, it’s somewhat unnecessary, as you can recreate box braids using crochet braids, which defeats the entire purpose.

Also, you shouldn’t get the wrong idea; there’s a significant difference between using your natural hair for box braids and crocheting synthetic hair to form crochet braids. The following section will show you the pros and cons of each to help highlight the differences.

Pros and Cons of Box Braids

The benefits and drawbacks of getting box braids, especially in this context, will eventually boil down to what kind of hair you’re using for the hairstyle. You’ll get dramatic differences when using synthetic hair compared to your natural hair.

And of course, there are real advantages and disadvantages of the hairstyle in and of itself. This section will take a look at the pros and cons of box braids, as opposed to crochet braids.

Benefits of Box Braids

1. It’s a low-maintenance hairstyle

Compared to most other styles in the protective category, box braids are pretty low maintenance. It’s one of those styles you can simply wear and forget about it, but the same can’t be said of crochet braids, especially when they’re used for a style like twists.

2. It’s easy to style

Box braids are just like two-strand twists, you can style them into anything you want after creating the individual braids. If you feel like packing your hair up in a bun, fine; if you feel like wearing a ponytail, you’re welcome. The ease of styling is probably one of the reasons why box braids are so common among ladies with Afro-textured hair.

3. Jewels!

While adding beads and other kinds of accessories to beautify the hair should naturally fall under the “easy to style” category, this is just so exciting that it deserves a category of its own. Have you ever tried box braids with beads at the end of each braid? If not, you should try it today.

Another reason why it’s just so cool is that you don’t even need to use beads. You can add anything to your braids to spice things up, and everything will still look interesting; you can look up some pictures of adorned braids to understand what I’m talking about.

Disadvantages of Box Braids

Most of the disadvantages associated with box braids aren’t problems with the hairstyle itself, they’re problems that you run into when you don’t get the best hairstylist for the job. As you may have already noticed, box braids is a complex hairstyle, and you shouldn’t try to attempt it yourself.

If your hairdresser makes the braids too tight, you’ll run into breakage pretty often, which will reduce the overall volume of your hair, and in some cases, cause alopecia. Also, making the hair too loose will only make it less likely to last long, which isn’t something you want either.

Box braids can also be expensive, especially when you compare the cost to something cheap like flat twists. While the style does last long, it’s still a pretty hefty amount to pay in one go for your hair, especially if you try to stay on a budget.

Pros and Cons of Crochet Braids

Now that you know the strengths and weaknesses of box braids, it also makes sense to learn about some of the pros and cons of its competitor, crochet braids. Again, there isn’t much to go around, but here are a few on both ends.

Benefits of Crochet Braids

1. They’re cheap

One of the biggest drawbacks of box braids is the price, so it makes sense to add that to the benefits of crochet braids. While the amount you’ll pay will depend on what you want to do with your hair, you generally shouldn’t be spending as much as you would on box braids, unless you’re getting box braids of course.

2. It’s easy and quick to install

If you’re not willing to sit for hours on end, installing a hairstyle that you’ll remove after a couple of days or weeks, crochet braids are your best bet. While they still take time and don’t last forever, installing the crochet braids hairstyle should generally take less time than box braids.

Drawbacks of Crochet Braids

Since crochet braids require adding a synthetic component to your hair, you should expect some pressure on your scalp. Of course, the pressure isn’t a positive thing since it can cause a whole lot of problems, with breakages and frizz being just a few.

You may also want to stay clear of crochet braids if what you hate the most is having your hair tangled up. Since you’re crocheting synthetic hair onto your natural hair, you should expect lots of tangles, which is something I don’t like dealing with; I doubt you do either.

 What are the differences between Box Braids and Crochet Braids?

There aren’t a ton of differences between the two. Apart from the fact that crochet braids require you to sew in synthetic hair while crochet braids don’t, there isn’t much to say about the differences between both.

However, the price also makes a difference in this case, as it’s already clear that getting box braids is a lot more expensive than crochet braids. You can always trust crochet braids if you also want a hairstyle that will be completed pretty quickly.

To look your best, however, it seems like box braids is the most adorable hairstyle in this comparison. While crochet braids can look good depending on the specific hairstyle, it’s genuinely hard to make your box braids hairstyle look bad.


While there aren’t so many differences between crochet braids and box braids, there are more than enough to create an extensive article on the topic. This article has highlighted the pros and cons of regular box braids and crochet braids to determine the differences between the two classic hairstyles and which of them is best for you.

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