Box braids are a protective style classic. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t give a haircare staple a creative update. Box braids offer an opportunity to experiment with length and color without the permanent commitment. Specifically, we’re talking about about red box braids. Red hair has always been a favorite amongst the natural community, but red highlights are now one of the latest 2021 beauty trends.
Like other vibrant box braid combinations, red is also an option—and not just vibrant reds. Red isn’t limited to the color labeled red in a box of crayons; red can mean auburn, burgundy, fire engine, orange, wine, and copper. We know that trying out a new hair color can be intimidating, especially when you think of the color red. But we want you to know that depending on your skin tone and level of comfort, your options are plentiful.
Check out our list of 16 red box braids styles that vary in hue, length, and style, below.
Middle-Parted Deep Red
In our book, Rihanna can do no wrong. She’s not a stranger to rocking red hair. Remember, the 2010 Loud era? Unlike the fire red looks from that iconic time in Riri history, here, she opts for deep red box braids with a face-framing middle part.
Red hair with dark roots gives these large box braids new life while creating depth. If you’re not currently a redhead, you can ask your stylist to tuck your hair so that your ends don’t show through.
Fiery Red Ponytail
Red box braids with red brows are a dynamic duo. Here is another example of dark roots and length, giving a bright red look depth with smaller braids. Since these braids are on the thinner side, they can easily go up into a ponytail; just be mindful of your edges—wearing your hair up too often can cause tension.
It doesn’t take much to make box braids versatile. You can wear them half-up, half-down, and with a couple of face-framing pieces to switch things up. Adding a red makeup look might feel like a bit much, but take a page out of Carina Soares’s book and try a red accent on the eyes coupled with a matte red lip.
Rust Fulani Braids
If you want a more stylized version of box braids, merge two classics: Fulani braids and box braids. Try an orange-auburn color if you’re not quite ready to go for a true red.
Natural Redhead Ponytail
Joyjah is giving us Janet Jackson, Poetic Justice vibes, and we’re here for it. If you’re a natural redhead, finding the right match for your braids could present a challenge. But don’t worry, your braider will be able to guide you in finding your perfect match.
Wearing box braids short could feel boring, but that’s nothing a few packs of red braiding hair, jewels, and textured ends can’t fix. There is no ideal way to add braid jewelry—just go with what looks good to your unique eye.
Fire Red and Long
Opting for a fire engine red, bold box braid look is what makes beauty so fun. If you’re not quite ready for a root to tip look, this color braiding hair also comes in ombré for a more gradual dive into such a daring color.
This giant topknot sets these red box braids off. If it’s about time to take down your braids, this style can hide and stretch out new growth. Be sure to take this style down at night to prevent headaches and too much tension on the scalp.
We love an unexpected mix of color, and this blend of bright red and burgundy is an example of that. The combination of bright and muted reds are a great balance. Find a braider that is as creative as you, or if you feel like you can do it on your own, we say go for it.
Orange-Red and Shoulder-Length
Box braids aren’t synonymous with long lengths. You can wear them short, long, and anywhere in-between. Keep in mind that you don’t have to have perfect parts. Experiment with your parting to create a look that opens you up to something new.
Copper Red Space Buns
Copper tones mixed with darker hair can make for a natural, understated change. Small box braids are easy on the scalp (once they’re installed) and are easy to style in updos like space buns.
Deep Red Loose Bun
A loose bun is always a good idea, especially when you’re ready to get your braids off your neck. If it’s getting close to time to remove your braids, get creative with your baby hair. A toothbrush, edge control (layered with gel if you need), and a few extra minutes can give those edges new life.
Auburn-colored box braids are a happy red medium. Not too bright, not too subtle. This ponytail might seem a little complicated to recreate, but it’s simpler than you think. It may take you a few tries to find your signature technique, but start with flipping your head over to create your base. Once you have your hair gathered, wrap two to three braids around the base of your ponytail to secure it.
Wine-Hued with Gold Accents
These purple-burgundy wine box braids remind us that red is a spectrum. For deeper skin-toned beauties, this color complements the skin perfectly. Add gold embellishments to give your wine-hued braids a pop of extra color.
Bright Red Bob
Go back to the ’90s with a fiery red braided bob with burnt ends and gold jewels.