Looking for a protective style that’s low maintenance and low tension? Enter: knotless braids, a variation of box braids that, like the name suggests, are knot-free. For everything you ever wanted to know about knotless braids, we spoke with celebrity hairstylist Sabrina Porsche — an expert in cutting, styling, braids, wigs and extensions — who counts Beyoncé, Jennifer Lopez, Desi Perkins, and Shay Mitchell as clients (to name a few). Read on for Sabrina’s tips and tricks for getting, caring for and maintaining knotless braids.
Knotless braids are box braids where you start off by braiding your natural hair first and then add small sections of braiding hair after to meet your desired size. Knotless braids are different from classic box braids because of how you start them. With class box braids, you would start off with the braiding hair first by making a knot at the root. You wouldn’t have to add any additional braiding hair unless you wanted extra length.
What hair types do knotless braids work best on?
Knotless braids are more suitable for coarse or thicker hair because of how heavy the braiding hair can be. But realistically any hair type can get knotless braids.
From a scale of 1-10 (1 = low and 10 = high), how much maintenance do knotless braids require?
Just like classic box braids, not much maintenance needs to be done. As long as you put a scarf or bonnet on when going to bed, you will see longevity. Knotless braids usually last about three weeks.
How should you prep your hair and scalp before getting knotless braids?
The best way to prep your hair is to make sure it’s very clean, using any OUAI Shampoos or Conditioners for your hair type. Secondly, making sure your hair is completely dry and if you have shrinkage, stretch it out with your blow dryer.
What are your tips for styling knotless braids at home?
One of the best parts of having knotless braids is that you don’t have to use products. If you are one to leave out hair to style your edges (baby hair), I would recommend using an edge control of your choice.
If after a few days you feel your scalp is dry, I would recommend using OUAI’s Hair Oil on the scalp and on the braid through to the ends of your natural hair.
How should you care for your hair and scalp during and/or after knotless braids?The products you can use to maintain your braids are OUAI’s Hair Oil, to keep your hair moisturized. If for any reason you feel the need to wash your braids (it depends on whether your style is neat or messy, although I wouldn’t recommend washing too much), I would use a moisturizing and/or hydrating shampoo and conditioner. After you take down your braids, I would recommend using OUAI's Detox Shampoo and OUAI's Conditioner for your hair type to make sure your hair is as clean as you can get it to remove all the gel that is used prior to installing knotless braids.
Do you have any tips for sleeping with knotless braids?
Always use a bonnet and one that can hold all the braids in.
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