11 Best Box Braids Hairstyles for Men in 2021
Box braids not only serve as a protective style for natural hair, but also a statement hairstyle.
They originated from various parts of Africa over 5000 years ago, but have resurfaced in popularity as a fashion trend during the 90s, particularly for black women. This is largely credited to Poetic Justice, a 1993 movie where Janet Jackson’s character sports this now iconic box braids style.
This hairstyle consists of dividing hair into multiple sections and braiding each section into single plaits, starting from the scalp. These braids are often parted into squared, box-like sections, which is what explains the name.
With its recent revival in the 2010s, both women and men can be seen wearing this hairstyle. Today, it has been an upcoming look in men’s hairstyles.
Read further to learn more about this awesome braided hairstyle and how you can achieve amazing box braids.
See more about - 100+ Best Men’s Haircuts & Hairstyles
1. Box Braids on Natural Hair
Since box braids have been traditionally a practice in African cultures, they are best suited for coily, tightly curled, natural hair textures.
These textures of hair tend to hold braided hairstyles better than looser textures of hair, since natural hair tends to coil and lock into itself. This is also beneficial if human or synthetic hair is added into the braid, in either classic or feed-in box braids.
Braided hairstyles like box braids are also beneficial for natural hair, as it allows hair to remain in a style for a longer period of time so that less tension is placed on it through brushing, casual tugging, and getting caught in the environment.
2. Box Braids on Curly Hair
Curly hair is slightly looser than natural hair, but still has some of the benefits with holding in braids. To make sure braids are secured, using styling gel can help control stray curly hairs to stay in place while braiding the hair.
Controlling the bulkier shape of curly hair can give the appearance of a much sleeker braided hairstyle, especially when artificial or natural human hair is added when braiding the hair. Curly hair on the hairline can be either shaved off or controlled with gel as well.
3. Box Braids on Straight to Wavy Hair
Smoother textures like straight and wavy hair may not be the most common hair type to wear box braids, but they are still achievable nonetheless. Both braiding the hair by itself or adding in hair as it’s braided are viable options.
Since these hair textures tend to be looser, it is crucial to take steps in securing the braided hairstyle so it can last longer. Aside from applying gel when braiding, using small hair elastics at the ends of each braid is a straightforward way of securing braids as well. There is also the option of braiding the hair as far down to the ends as possible.
Long hair that tapers off at the ends tends to last longer, since smaller, more intricate braids take longer to unravel. This can be finished off by thoroughly saturating the ends of the braids with hairspray to seal everything together.
4. Short Box Braids
One may be concerned that they cannot achieve box braids if they have short hair, but isn’t always true! If you have hair that is at least three to four inches long, depending on hair texture, it is possible to achieve this with the hair alone.
Anything that is under six inches after being braided is considered short. With extra short hair, smaller sections of box braids are easier to attain, as the hair is pulled across a narrower area of the scalp for the braid.
5. Long Box Braids
Length can add a more dramatic effect when wearing box braids. This is not only limited to those with long hair, but also achievable to those with short hair, where human or synthetic hair can be incorporated into the person’s hair and braided down in a way that stays attached, which is a common practice for those seeking to add more volume and create the illusion of long braids. In contrast, long hair presents both the possibilities of braiding the hair alone or adding hair extensions while braiding.
6. Box Braids With Hair Extensions
Hair extensions in box braids are not only an effective way to add length and bulk to your braids, but are also an opportunity to integrate different colors and materials into the hairstyle as well. This can be done by using both natural and artificial colors of hair extensions, or even combining colored yarn into the mix.
Rather than various damaging color processes, hair can easily be made to appear colored when braiding in colors different than your natural hair color, furthering the protectiveness of the hairstyle. This can be done by using an installment of hair starting at the beginning of the box braid, or feeding in hair at intervals earlier in the braiding process to make added hair look more blended with the person’s actual hair.
Feed-in box braids are also a healthier option, since classic box braids produce a knot where the braids start at the scalp, which aggravates tension and can result in hair loss.
7. Large/wide-sectioned Box Braids
Not only thickness, but sections of box braids can be broadened by drawing wider sections in the hair. This draws more attention to the scalp with a more dramatic approach to sectioning, providing more leeway to show off intricate and varying shapes with each hair section.
This also makes the braiding process go a lot faster as there are less braids to do when sections are larger. This is most compatible with long hair, since hair needs to be snatched from a larger area of the head.
A popular alternative to box-shaped sections are triangular-shaped sections for this braided hairstyle. As the name suggests, each braid is grasped from an area of the scalp in the shape of a triangle, creating a more dynamic effect. This is also helpful when sectioning hair on more angular parts of the scalp, such as hair between the temples and ears.
If one is going for a symmetrical braided hairstyle, it is important to plan out the sectioning first. A helpful tip is to first divide the hair with horizontal lines across the head before dividing these sections into smaller, alternating, triangular sections.
8. Box Braids with Fade Undercut
Fade haircuts also feature shaved sides and back, but are slightly more dramatic than taper cuts, as they fade directly into the skin and blur the hairlines. There are also varying types of fade undercuts to choose from, from low to high fades, temple fades, burst fades, and drop fades.
The shorter length of a fade also leaves more room for customized cut designs. Higher precision also means that they are higher maintenance, as the shortest hair of the fade begins to grow over the skin within a couple weeks.
9. Box Braid Ponytail
When it comes to styling your box braids, a ponytail is a simple choice that can get hair out of your face, but also still display your braids and undercut if you have one.
Shorter lengths of braids and higher ponytails allow for a more playful look with more bounce, while lower and longer ponytails look more laid back and relaxed. For tighter ponytails, using a classic hair elastic is best, but for giving your hair a break, spiral “phone cord” hair ties are the top recommendation, as they sit loosely on the hair and don’t leave strong dents that elastic ties do. Minimizing tension on the scalp is especially important when wearing tight braids.
10. Box Braids with Hair Jewelry
A popular way of spicing up box braids is by accessorizing them with hair jewelry. One of the most common forms of hair jewelry are beads. The clip-on versions of these are easiest to acquire and apply.
They are essentially a loop with a latched opening on its side that can be pulled open and clicked back together on the desired location of a braid. There is a lot of freedom with placements, where it can be kept minimal with just a few on the front box braids, worn on every other braid, placing several on a single braid, or other placements.
11. Box Braids with Color
Color is always a dimension to be considered when adding to a hairstyle. This can include more subtle styles, such as coloring the ends of your braids a few shades lighter than your natural hair color, or more dramatic, non-natural colors that may take over your whole head.
This can be achieved by coloring your hair before braiding it into box braids, or by using colorful hair extensions. These can be incorporated by starting right at the scalp, or in the form of feed-in braids, where it is styled by slowly adding pieces of colored hair while braiding, creating an ombre effect in your box braids.
As mentioned earlier in this article, other materials can also be braided into the hair. Colorful yarn is a popular choice when it comes to non-hair material that is integrated in box braids.
Box Braids vs. Dreadlocks and Cornrows
To someone who is not as familiar with box braids, they can often be confused with dreadlocks or cornrows.
Dreads use the method of teasing, tangling, and coiling the hair into locks that become more defined as they are worn. On the other hand, cornrows are created by braiding hair in rows or patterns tightly against the scalp, instead of single braids.
However, some hairstyles combine cornrows with box braids. The name should also not be confused with “boxer braids”, a term that became prevalent in the mid-2010s, when wearing two underhand braids became a trendy braid style and rebranded with this term, even though they are simply two cornrows, or Dutch braids.
Top 29 Best Watches Under $500 For Men
With cellphones so ubiquitous, your watch choice can be less about telling time and more about personal style. However, a watch is not ‘just’ a watch. For example, the vast majority are made for right-handed people, but a select few cater to the lefties among us. There is a wide range in functionality and size.
The wristwatch is also one of the few socially acceptable accessories for men, so why not have a small selection? If you’re not cashing a CEO’s paycheck just yet, here are the top 28 most handsome watches for men that retail for under $500.
Got a bigger budget? Then check out our guide to the best men’s watches under $1000 instead.
Top 29 Best Watches Under $500 For Men
1. Tommy Hilfiger Stainless Steel Men’s Watch
If you like the feel of a pliable, non-metal band but aren’t comfortable with genuine leather, this watch comes equipped with a handsome synthetic band. At 46mm in diameter, this watch is perfect for men of smaller stature, as it will not overpower your hand or make it look like you’re wearing your father’s watch. With bold Arabic numerals, a stainless steel case, and classic styling, this watch is an outstanding choice for an everyday watch and the man on a budget.
2. Nordgreen Pioneer – Black Dial
Get 15% off using the discount code NEXTL at checkout
Not everyone has an endless amount of cash to drop on a luxury timepiece. If you’re money-conscious but want something high-end, then why not consider the Nordgreen Pioneer.
An inspired take on a classic Chronograph, Nordgreen celebrates the Danish with what they call a timepiece “that captures the sustainable future.” Available in various dial colors from blue, black, and white. There’s even the choice of three case colors – gunmetal, silver, and rose gold. A perfect addition to the collection of any watch enthusiast.
3. Fossil Grant Brown Leather WatchCheck Price
This lovely offering by Fossil features slim Roman numeral hour markers and delicate cut-out hands. The casing is stainless steel and is water-resistant to 165 feet, making it a great dive watch. The band is made of supple, soft calfskin leather and uses a buckle closure.
Of course, this timepiece also comes with the generous 11-year warranty and it’s own fun tin. This watch oozes class and is great for nearly every occasion in your life.
4. Citizen Sport Stainless Steel Men’s Watch With Brown Leather Band
If you don’t want to deal with changing out a battery in a digital watch, this watch is powered by either natural or indoor lighting. The mineral crystal face and stainless steel case make this watch water-resistant to 330 feet, making it a great choice for swimmers and snorkelers.
Handsome and utilitarian, this is a great watch for everyday wear. It’s one of the best watches for men who are always on the go.
5. Fossil Men’s Machine Chronograph Silicone Watch
This watch was designed with the active man in mind. The knurled silicone band stands up to sweat and oils without issue, and the timepiece itself is water-resistant to 165 feet.
The patterned bezel and quality craftsmanship of the black dial is excellent, as is to be expected from a Fossil watch. It even comes in the iconic and collectible tin!
6. Citizen Men’s Eco-Drive Watch
This men’s watch features Japanese quartz movement that charges itself indoors or out when exposed to light, making it a great choice for those who don’t want to change out the battery too often. The stitched canvas strap is soft against your skin and will wick away moisture, while the mineral crystal face stands up to the rigors of your everyday life.
Water-resistant to 330 feet, this dive watch is a classic and simple design you’ll be proud of for years to come.
7. Invicta Pro Diver Chronograph Men’s Watch
Another gorgeous offering by Invicta, this watch features a bold design with a slightly nautical feel to it. It will look at home whether you’re wearing a business suit or are going for a dive of less than 660 feet. This piece is also covered by a one-year warranty as a matter of course. The luminosity feature and magnified date window make it a great choice if you work or play in low light.
If you want something that looks like a Tag Heuer but without the luxury watch brand price tag, this is a good option!
8. Casio Edifice Multi-Function Men’s Watch
This watch has three sub-dials for 12 hour, 60 minute and 60-second displays, in addition to the standard time. It also features a fold-over, push-down clasp on the stainless strap, keeping it secure throughout your activities. If you’re looking for a classy timepiece that shrieks sophistication, this is a great choice.
9. Fossil Machine Three Hand Stainless Steel Men’s Watch
This quality watch is a chameleon piece. It looks at home as a dress watch riding below the cuff of your best suit, and it also looks great paired with jeans and a t-shirt. Backed by Fossil’s 11-year warranty as a matter of course and beautifully crafted, this smoke-colored piece is guaranteed to become the go-to accessory for nearly every occasion.
10. MVMT Watches Black Face Men’s Watch
If you like the look of a simple watch, this minimalist offering from MVMT is right up your alley. With just a plain black face, tick marks to denote the hours and a single date window, there is nothing overdone or extravagant about this design. The is understated and suited to the simple design. It’s definitely a classy, low-key piece for the budget-conscious.
11. Timex Weekender Watch
If you’re looking for a fun watch to pair with casual outfits, this is a great option. The band is blue and yellow woven nylon, and the face features both civilian and military timekeeping. An Indiglo night light is also included. This watch is water-resistant to 99 feet, meaning it can withstand splashes of water or exposure to rain but you won’t want to submerge it.
12. PUMA Ultrasize Black Sport Men’s Watch
Boasting a 50mm diameter, this piece is perfect for the large-framed man or one who likes to wear his accessories oversized. A true fashion statement, this sports watch comes in eight different colors schemes to match your favorite hues.
Do be aware, however, that the dial knob is configure for left-handed men!
13. Timex Easy Reader Men’s Watch
Another dress watch designed with the older gentleman in mind, this watch features a white dial with generously sized numerals that do not appear comical to the casual observer.
It’s also an excellent choice if you take your contacts out at night and still want to be able to check the time. With classic lines and a simple white face, the watch would not be out of place at any casual gathering. It comes with Timex’s one-year warranty at no additional charge.
14. Fossil Nate Men’s Chronograph Watch
For men who like a more gritty, industrial feel to their accessories, this Fossil watch is right on point. The bezel is gear-edged and the face is utilitarian black and gray. Water-resistant to 165 feet, this watch is a great choice if you like your adornments to be understated yet add visual interest.
It’s definitely a stand-out piece, for those who would take notice!
15. Timex Expedition Field Chronograph Men’s Watch
Featuring an indigo night light, tachymeter, a date window and a buckle closure, this watch is perfect for men who like to work or play outdoors. It is also water-resistant to 330 feet, making it a great choice for snorkeling or swimming.
You won’t want to wear it for diving, however. With classic, black styling and a genuine crystal face, this is a timepiece that will stand the test of time in both form and function.
16. Seiko 5 Automatic Stainless Steel Men’s Watch
This Seiko automatic watch has all the bells and whistles you need, but presents it all in a plain and strikingly attractive manner. It features a date window in either English or Spanish, sword-shaped hands, a sweeping second hand and a mineral dial window. This is a great option for the man on the go. The canvas strap can be removed and hand-washed if sweat or other odors become an issue.
This watch is not water-resistant, so you’ll only want to wear it when you won’t be popping by the pool for a swim!
17. Invicta Pro Diver Collection Silver-Tone Men’s Watch
For those who prefer an all-metal timepiece, the stainless steel Invicta fits the bill nicely. It has a similar aesthetic to a Tag Heuer watch, but at a more affordable price. Equipped with a unilateral bezel and removable links, the band can be customized to fit your wrist perfectly. The face is flame fusion crystal and features a magnifier to highlight the date window.
It’s also water-resistant to 660 feet. If you’re looking for a gorgeous watch that stands up to an active lifestyle, this is an excellent choice.
18. Seiko Men’s Adventure-Solar Classic Casual Watch
This Seiko watch derives its power from either natural or indoor light and can withstand water depths of up to 330 feet. The supple brown leather strap and timeless brushed steel give this piece an attractive look, and the alarm chronograph is easy to set.
If you’re looking for a watch that can serve as a backup for your wake-up call while traveling, stand up to the elements and look awesome, this casual wrist watch is a winner.
19. Nautica Men’s Stainless Steel Watch with Blue Resin Band
Featuring a plethora of options and a smart, snappy style, this a great casual watch with a eye-catching blue dial. The hardy resin band is adjustable, and the face is protected by a mineral window. Whether for work or play, this bold blue design is handsome and substantial on the wrist. It comes with Nautica’s five-year warranty at no additional charge.
20. Citizen Sport Men’s Stainless Steel Watch with Black Leather Band
The black, red and white face of this piece eschews the traditional two-tone color scheme so often employed in other watches, and the contrasting stitching on the band adds creative flair. It comes backed by Citizen’s five-year warranty and will compliment any casual outfit.
21. Alessi Tic15 Analog Display Analog Quartz Black Men’s Watch
Another not-quite-round offering on our list, the curved square casing of this piece gives it instant visual appeal. Sleek and clean, this unfussy design will be a compliment to almost any occasion. It has quartz movement and is water-resistant to 99 feet, making it a great choice for everyday wear.
22. Invicta 1517 I Force Collection Watch
Another on our list designed for left-handed men, this watch is something special. Water-resistant to 330 feet and featuring oversize stenciled numbers and a sub dial, this watch is great for any casual outfit. The cloth band is extremely durable and stands up to dirt, sweat and grime.
If you lead an active lifestyle, this watch will be right at home in your collection.
23. TRIWA Blue Steel Nevil Canvas Watch
This watch comes in a whopping 14 color variations, all of them beautiful. You may decide to add more than one to your collection!
Designed in Sweden, this watch features Japanese quartz movement, a stainless steel casing and a strap made from Tärnsjö organic leather. TRIWA, which stands for Transforming the Industry of Watches, believes in the artistry of fine jewelry and it shows in their product.
24. Victorinox Swiss Army Alliance Watch
Another fine dress watch from the makers of the Swiss Army knife, this watch is emblazoned with the internally recognized cross and shield emblem. It has no sub-dials, tachymeter or other add-ons to detract from its simple and appealing style.
This watch will be at home with all but the most formal of outfits and carries a two-year warranty.
25. Ingersoll Automatic Stainless Steel Bull Run Watch
Again, Ingersoll remakes the classics and brings them into the present day. With a highly polished stainless steel casing, two sub-dials, a date aperture and arrow-shaped hands, this quartz watch is beautiful.
The band features contrasting stitching on the fine-grain leather, adding depth and detail to the workmanship. This watch will compliment any casual occasion and can be relied upon for years to come.
26. Tissot Quickster Chronograph Black Leather Men’s Watch
Made with scratch-resistant sapphire crystal and Swiss automatic movement, this watch is a smart and utilitarian choice. If you’re looking for a solid Swiss watch that isn’t flashy, this is an excellent option. It’s also guaranteed for two years.
27. Seiko Sport Solar Men’s Beige Watch
Are you getting tired of squinting down at your watch or holding it closer and closer to your face? Don’t worry, we all get a bit nearsighted with age, especially over the age of 40.
If you’re not quite ready for reading glasses or a comically huge watch, this is a great choice from Seiko. The numerals, indices and luminous hands stand out in stark white against a black background, and the numerals are generous in size. It’s a perfect casual watch for the older gentleman.
28. Seiko Men’s 5 Watch Blue Canvas Band
This simple and affordable watch has a clean, crisp aesthetic to it and doesn’t bog down its design with a ton of bells and whistles. It’s time and date, end of.
If you want a watch for casual wear, this Seiko is a shoo-in. The band is forgiving and comfortable against your wrist, and it’s blue color will likely compliment your existing wardrobe. The price is also extremely affordable.
29. Tommy Hilfiger Men’s Stainless Steel Watch With Brown Leather Band
Featuring the Hilfiger logo at the three o’clock position, this wrist watch is a statement piece. It is a bright, shiny stainless steel work of art that you’ll be proud to wear at all but the most stuffy of workplaces. The calfskin leather band uses a buckle closure and the date window is beside the logo at three o’clock.
If you’re a fan of Tommy clothing, cologne or luggage, you can complete your look with this stunning accessory.