How Much Do Box Braids Cost?

Last Updated on February 1, 2024
Written by CPA Alec Pow | Content Reviewed by Certified CFA CFA Alexander Popinker

Box braids are a timeless and beloved hairstyle, especially in Black culture. With their intricate braided design and versatility, it’s no wonder box braids remain a staple protective style. However, getting professional box braids installed can come at a cost. So how much do box braids cost?


  • Expect to spend $100 to $500 for professional box braids depending on the braid size, length, complexity, location, and braider.
  • Higher rates come with skilled, experienced braiders who install quality box braids that minimize damage.
  • Various factors like the amount and type of hair extensions impact the overall cost.
  • Properly caring for box braids helps the style last 4-8 weeks to make the investment worthwhile.
  • Leaving box braids to a professional, rather than DIY, typically delivers superior results.

How Much Do Box Braids Cost?

In general, you can expect to pay anywhere from $100 to $500 for box braids, depending on factors like your hair length and thickness, the braiding method, and your location.

A Reddit user, for example, mentioned that $175-$275 is the average going rate for medium-sized kinky twists, Senegalese twists, knotless box braids, and large box braids.

According to StyleSeat.com, the cost of box braids can range from about $75 for simple styles to $450 for more complex ones, like jumbo box braids for example, depending on the stylist, location, and size, as well as the intricacy of the braids. The price includes the cost of pre-stretched braiding hair, with an average of about eight packs required.

HairExpertHub.com notes that the cost of box braids is reported to range from $100 to $300, with prices varying depending on the location and the size of the braids. The price range is influenced by factors such as the type of braid, hair length, and thickness.

A LongHairCareForum.com user mentioned a cost of $50-$75 for medium box braids.

While box braids require a significant investment, properly caring for your new protective style can help extend its lifespan. Understanding the pricing and process of box braids will help you make the best choice for your hair goals and budget.

What Are Box Braids?

Before diving into the costs, let’s cover the basics. Box braids are a braided hairstyle where the natural hair is sectioned off into square or triangle boxes then braided down with extensions.

The box shape gives this protective style its name. Box braids involve braiding the natural hair beneath added hair extensions that create the long, rope-like plaits.

Compared to other braided styles like cornrows, box braids use a tighter three-strand braiding technique. The sections of hair are braided neat and firm against the scalp to create a smooth, continuous look.

Box braids can be worn short or long, with straight-across ends or free-flowing ends. This versatile protective style suits various face shapes and hair types when installed correctly.

Factors That Influence the Cost of Box Braids

Several factors determine the overall cost of box braids:

Braider Experience

Hiring an experienced, skilled braider is crucial for getting quality box braids that minimize damage to natural hair. Reputable braiders charge higher rates, often $200 and up per style. Their expertise results in better technique, tension, and finishing.

Braid Length and Size

Longer, thicker box braids take more time, effort, and hair to install. Standard braid lengths range from neck/shoulder length to waist length. For longer styles, expect to pay $300 to $500. Larger braids also cost more given the extra hair needed.

Type of Hair Extensions

Synthetic hair is cheaper than human hair extensions. However, human hair blends best and lasts longer than synthetic hair, which can matt and frizz. Quality human hair for box braids costs $150 to $300 for a whole head.

Complexity of Style

Elaborate box braid styles with intricate parts or decorative elements take more labor and expertise. These complex designs can range from $200 for goddess braids to $500 for knotless braids. Simple styles start around $100.

Also read our articles about the cost of cornrows, Balayage, and hair extensions.


Braiding costs vary by region. Major metropolitan areas like Los Angeles, New York City, Atlanta, and Miami have the highest box braid pricing, from $300 to $500. Prices tend to be lower in suburban and rural areas.

Salon vs. Independent Braider

Salons charge higher rates for box braids, around $250 to $600, partly due to operational costs. Independent braiders often provide box braids for $100 to $250 since they have lower overhead.

Additional Costs

Other potential costs include the initial consultation, hair wash/treatment, styling, and tip for the braider, which can add $50 or more to the total cost. Travel fees for home or mobile braiding services may also apply.

Choosing a Quality Type of Braid Service

Box BraidsFinding the right braiding service for your budget and needs takes some savvy shopping. Here are some tips:

  • Check reviews and ratings online to find reputable braiders known for their technique, professionalism, and pricing.
  • Look at the braider’s photos of past box braid work to assess their skill and style.
  • Schedule a consultation to meet the braider, discuss your hair goals, and get an accurate price quote.
  • Ask if the braider has experience with your specific hair type and length.
  • Inquire about the hair extensions used and if you can provide your own.
  • Negotiate costs if the initial quote is above your budget.
  • Confirm the total pricing including any additional costs like hair, products, travel fees, and tip.

What to Expect During the Box Braiding Process

Getting box braids installed is a lengthy process, often taking 6 to 10 hours, sometimes done over multiple days. Here’s an overview of the typical braiding session:

  • Hair analysis and consultation about style
  • Washing, conditioning, and detangling natural hair
  • Sectioning hair into squares or triangles
  • Adding hair extensions to each section
  • Three-strand braiding sections close to scalp
  • Dipping ends in hot water to seal (optional)
  • Styling braid ends straight across or in free-flowing pattern
  • Final shaping and inspection of completed style

Being prepared for the long braiding process and bringing entertainment can make the hours go by easier. The time and cost is well worth the stylish, low-maintenance look box braids offer.

Caring for Box Braids to Get Your Money’s Worth

Proper maintenance is key to extending the lifespan of box braids to justify the cost. Here are some hair care tips:

  • Use a satin bonnet or scarf at night to preserve braids.
  • Gently shampoo and condition braids 1-2 times a week, avoiding excessive water exposure.
  • Apply a light moisturizer or braid spray daily to condition hair and braids underneath.
  • Limit heat styling like curling or flat ironing box braid hair.
  • Tie hair up loosely for sleep and exercise.
  • Avoid over-manipulating or pulling at braids.
  • Get braids redone or removed after 6-8 weeks when hair begins growing out significantly.

Doing your part to care for your new box braids helps the style last 4 to 8 weeks, delivering ample bang for your buck.

Should You DIY or Go to a Professional Braider?

To save money, you may consider installing box braids at home. There are DIY box braid tutorials online and kits available. But be forewarned – doing box braids properly involves a major time investment and learning curve. Unless you’re already experienced in hair braiding, professional braiders deliver better looking, longer-lasting results.

The money paid for beautifully styled box braids is worthwhile when you want quality execution without wasting days struggling through a DIY job. Leave it to the experts and focus your efforts on maintaining your fresh braids.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long do box braids last?

With proper maintenance, box braids can last 4-8 weeks. Using quality hair extensions, minimizing manipulation, silk scarf wrapping at night, and regularly moisturizing braids extends the lifespan. Touch up edges and roots as needed.

Are box braids worth it?

Box braids are worth the cost and process for low-maintenance styling and protecting natural hair. The longevity of box braids for 4-8 weeks makes the expense and lengthy installation worthwhile.

Taking good care of box braids also makes them well worth the investment.

Can box braids get wet?

You can get box braids wet but exposure to moisture should be limited. Gently shampoo and condition braids 1-2 times per week max. Avoid prolonged soaking that can loosen braids.

Lightly mist braids with water or moisturizer versus wetting entirely. Use shower caps when bathing and swimming with braids.

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