When it comes to protective styles — hairstyles that guard roots and ends from manipulation and environmental elements — box braids are some of the most popular. You can wear them long, short, in a variety of textures or colors. A great twist on the traditional box braid style is adding different colored hair in the ends for an ombré effect. Whether you choose green, silver, blue, orange, red, or blonde, ombré box braids allow you to experiment with color with minimal commitment. It's the vibrant, yet subtle look that will turn heads this season.
There are honey-blonde ombré box braids, mermaid-colored braids that incorporate green, purple, or blue, or extra-long ombré box braids (a perfect pairing for your nap dresses and a cottagecore aesthetic). Not to mention they can be styled up or down, with face-faming tendrils peaking out, a curl-cascading bun, or in ponytail braids for a double weaving that will emphasize the multitude of colors.
The possibilities really are endless. Ahead, we’ve curated 20 of the best ombré box braids from none other than the bottomless source of inspiration that is Instagram. We are even spilling some maintenance tips to keep your braids looking salon-fresh every single day. Hint: you're going to want to bring these to your next hair appointment.
Mermaid Box Braids
One, two, three, and more is never enough. Mix in all your favorite colors with this chunky box braid ombré effect.
Join the trend with rainbow ombré on the ends of your braids.
For the color chameleons out there, opt for pinks, blues, yellows and purple hues for a fun, festival-worthy look.
Face-framing braids will be the biggest Y2K tribute this year — so why not incorporate the trend with light purple box braids?
Go Big Or Go Home
Make the biggest statement this year with jumbo-sized ombré box braids.
Feed in colored braiding hair and hair accessories to elevate your summer look.
Mix in strawberry pink braids for a summery ombré effect.
This blue-to-lavender theme is so on trend with the unicorn rave.
No Monday Blues
Go bold with a beautiful blue and light blue ombré box braids.
Take a page out of the ash-blonde trend with this darker version. Remember: Since your root hair is still exposed, you will need to oil your scalp to make sure your natural hair stays healthy.
Why be subtle when you can sport all the colors in one hairstyle?
Try a minimalist effect with this brown to silver ombré. As a pro tip: it’s a good idea to sleep with a fitted scarf or bonnet to protect the braids from friction while you sleep.
Mix in lighter shades in your box braids for a subtle, yet dynamic look.
Match your hair to the sunset with golden highlights embedded into your darker brown braids.
Mix in a couple different blonde shades to achieve this summer-worthy look.
Separate from minimalist ombré box braids and go bold with blue and purple tones.
Classics Never Die
Keep it traditional with straight backs in a blonde ombré.
Channel all the water activities with these mermaid-inspired box braids.
Try sleeping in a satin scarf or bonnet to retain moisture and avoid flyaways — this will help extend the life of your braids.
Copper hair is the color of the season, so take your ombré braids to the next level with this style.