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Knotless Braids vs Knot Braids

Knotless Braids vs Knot Braids

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There are so many types of braid styles, so it can be confusing to understand the differences between them. Plus, how do you know which braid style will best suit you & your hair type? Box braids are in, & knotless braids & knot braids are the “it” girls right now. If you’re unsure about the difference between the two & which style you should get, we’re here to help. Learn more about the types of braiding styles & how they can protect your natural hair. 

What are knotless braids? 

If you’ve been sleeping on knotless braids, it’s not too late to wake up. A knotless braid is a box braid installed using a different technique to lessen scalp tension & create a more natural look. This braided hairstyle will begin at the root just like regular box braids but will start with your natural hair, then eventually feed in the hair extension as the braid continues. 

What are knot braids?

Braids with knots are traditional box braids that have a knot at the root of the scalp. The knot is used to secure the synthetic hair to your root before beginning the braid. 

What are the pros & cons of knotless braids? 

There are many benefits of braiding hair, but there are a few considerations to keep in mind if you’re thinking about getting this style. 


  • They are painless. Without any added hair extension at the root, there won’t be any friction, pulling, or tension placed on the scalp.
  • Knotless braids require fewer extensions than knot braids, so they will feel lighter & less bulky on your head.
  • Knotless braids can last longer than knot braids.
  • Because knotless braids don’t use synthetic hair throughout the entire braid, they have a sleeker, more natural look.
  • Since a knotless style has no extensions at the root, there’s more flexibility in styling. With less scalp tension, you can put your curls up without waiting for your roots to loosen. 

Things to Consider

  • You will have to pay around $200-$600 if you want knotless braids. Knotless braids are more expensive because you pay for a more intricate technique on top of the stylist’s time. There is also usually a price difference depending on size (i.e. small knotless braids vs large knotless braids).
  • Knotless braids will take longer to install than knot braids.
  • How long you want your knotless braids to last. The smaller the braid, the longer it will last. We recommend medium knotless braids for a longevity somewhere in the middle. 
  • Different styles for knotless braids. You can request curly ends, goddess braids, adding a fun hair color, a high ponytail, bohemian knotless braids & more. 

What are the pros & cons of knot braids?

Knot box braids have been one of the top protective styles around the world for forever. Here are a few pros & cons to think about when deciding what your new curly hair look will be.


  • Knot box braids are less expensive than knotless box braids. 
  • It will take less time to install this style than knotless. 

Things to Consider 

  • They are typically very tight on the scalp & can cause tension, pain, & breakage.
  • Your style will have a bulkier & less natural look since you will be using extensions from the root to the ends.
  • You should come prepared with your desired length. For example: waist length, mid back length, butt length, etc. 

Are knotless braids good for hair growth?

Knotless braids are one of the best protective hairstyle techniques to help promote hair growth. Reducing tension on the scalp creates a better environment for your hair to retain length & flourish.  

How long should I leave in knotless braids?

Even though knotless braids may last longer than knot braids, it doesn’t mean they can last forever. You should never keep in any protective style for more than 10 weeks. Keeping them in for too long can cause dryness, irritation, & damage to the scalp. This can negatively impact the overall health of your hair texture. 

What is the best hair to use for knotless braids?

Even though you will be using less synthetic hair for the knotless technique, you should always get more packs than you think you’ll need. Your stylist will most likely recommend using pre-stretched kanekalon. 

How do I take care of my braids?

To help keep your scalp healthy & maintain your braids, you will need to nurture them with hair products for braids. Here are a few tips & product recommendations. 

  • Moisturize your scalp using water & the PATTERN’S Scalp Serum, Hydrating Mist, or Argan Oil to prevent irritation & keep your hair shiny & healthy. 
  • Protect your hair at night by sleeping on a silk pillowcase & covering your braids with a scarf or satin cap to keep them hydrated & frizz-free. 
  • Cleanse your braids by washing & conditioning at least every two weeks to prevent buildup that can ultimately contribute to hair damage. 

Should I get knotless or knot braids?

Now, for the answer you really came here for. There is no right or wrong decision. It depends on your natural hair needs, how much time you want to spend getting your hair braided, which braid style you prefer, & your budget. If you have a sensitive scalp or your edges are more fragile, then we recommend getting the tension-less knotless braids. If you don’t have a lot of time or don’t want to spend too much money, knot braids will be your best bet. Some people prefer a sleeker look & lighter feel to their braids, while some like the classic knotted box braids. It’s all up to you, but we know you will look like magic whatever you decide. If you’re interested in taking the DIY route, check out this step-by-step tutorial on how to do box braids on yourself


  1. Florie Mwanza. "Are knotless braids the low-tension answer to box braids? Here’s everything you need to know". Aug 2021. https://www.stylist.co.uk/beauty/knotless-braids-how-to-low-tension-style/361536
  2. Madge Maril. "Everything You Need to Know About Knotless Braids". Bazaar. Dec 4, 2020. https://www.harpersbazaar.com/beauty/hair/a34741180/knotless-braids/
  3. "What Are Knotless Braids?". Carol's Daughter. https://www.carolsdaughter.com/blog/hair/braids/knotless-braids.html
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Reviewed by Ashley Ludgood

With over 12 years of experience in the beauty and fashion industry, Ashley Ludgood brings a wealth of expertise to her current role at PATTERN. Her insights have been featured in reputable publications like American Salon Magazine, American Spa Magazine, and Skin, Inc. Ashley has also shared her knowledge at conferences, including Face & Body, demonstrating her ongoing commitment to contributing to the industry. Having been an integral part of the team at PATTERN for nearly 4 years, Ashley continues to make significant contributions. Holding a degree in Journalism from Northwestern University, she remains passionate about her field. Among her favorite products, Ashley turns to the PATTERN Styling Cream, Moisture Milk, and the Cleansing Shampoo as her go-to essentials.

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