How to Do Box Twists on Natural Hair

SOURCE: Cara Palmer

What are box twists? 

Box twists, also known as square twists are a type of twist created by parting the hair into box-like sections and twisting.

What are the benefits of box twists?

They’re a popular hairstyle in the natural hair community because, for one, they are suitable for all hair types, lengths, and textures. You can also make them in different sizes — big, medium, or small. Furthermore, there is versatility when it comes to styling them. Lastly, they are a low-maintenance low-manipulation hairstyle that can be kept in for weeks and still look as beautiful.

If you’ve been wanting to try box twists but can’t seem to part out a clean box section, then let this article be your guide.

Step-by-step instructions on how to do box twists

What you should know before you begin:

Start on clean hair as this makes the parted lines on the hair come out neat. Another thing is if you’ve never done any type of twists by yourself before, it is advisable you start with bigger sections. These consume less time and energy. Smaller sections may take your time and leave you with cramped aching arms, making it frustrating for you to finish the entire twists.

Have these tools and products ready:

    • Rattail comb

    • Hair clips

    • Spritz bottle containing water

    • Moisturizing curl cream

    • Natural hair oil

    • Wide-tooth comb

    • Elastic bands (optional)

    • Hairbrush

    • Edge control

Step 1. Split your hair into sections

Use the tail of your rattail comb to split your natural hair into four large sections: two in the front and two at the back. In this step, the parted lines do not have to be neat, as you’re simply splitting them in preparation for the moisturizing step. After doing this, use the hair clips to hold each section in place.

Step 2. Moisturize

In this step, you can moisturize using the liquid, cream, and oil (LCO) method. Take a section of hair and spritz it with water from your spray bottle until it is damp, not soaking wet. This is because soaking wet hair, just like dry hair, is hair at its weakest and if styled in that state is susceptible to breakage. Then there is the case of having water from wet hair drip on your neck, face, and shoulders. After spritzing, the next thing to do is apply your moisturizing curl cream and work it into your hair from roots to tips. Finally, rub some oil in each section of the hair to help lock in the moisture from the cream. It is important to mention that not all moisturizing curl creams may need the addition of oil as some were formulated to lock in moisture on their own. However, if you have dry or porous hair, adding a natural oil as a sealant can help your hair stay hydrated for a longer period.

Step 3. Get rid of knots and tangles

Here’s where your wide-tooth comb comes in. Use it to detangle your moisturized hair gently from roots to tips until all the knots and tangles are taken out and you’re left with smooth hair. The wide-tooth comb also helps to further distribute the moisture from the LOC evenly on your natural hair. When you’re done with this, put the section in a loose twist, wrap the hair around itself and secure it with a clip.

Then repeat steps 1 – 3 for each of the other three sections.

Step 4. Create a box section

Take down the clips and the two loose twist sections at the back and comb them together with your fingers. Then use the tail of your rattail comb to create a row two to three inches up from the nape of the neck (this size is for medium box twists). Make sure you part out in a neat horizontal line. Then divide the row by a vertical line into two to create a column. This will form the perfect box section.

Step 5. Smooth the section

Pick up one of the box sections and smooth down with some edge control at the base and then brush with your hair brush. This will help add a sleek look to your hair. Pick up an elastic band and coat in a small amount of oil to prevent friction on your hair as this can cause breakage.

Step 6. Twist or braid the section

Next, wrap the elastic band firmly not tightly around the hair to secure the twists at the roots. If the band is too tight, it can pull at the roots of your hair and leave some bumps on your scalp. When you’re done, divide the hair into two equal strands and begin to twist from the roots all the way to the ends.

Now, the rubber band part is completely optional. If you’re not doing that, after applying the edge control and brushing your hair, separate the box section into three equal strands and begin to braid at the roots. Here, instead of the rubber bands, the braids will help secure your twists at the roots.

Braid about 1 – 1½ inches of hair, merge, and then split the three strands of hair to become two equal strands instead. Take these strands and begin to wrap them around each other.

As you’re getting to the roots, you’ll notice that the hair becomes thinner, making it difficult to continue twisting. Simply twirl the thin ends with your fingers to keep them from unraveling.


Repeat the steps of sectioning into rows and columns and twisting to create the remaining box twists all over your hair.

For a visual guide on how to create box twists by yourself, watch this YouTube video tutorial by Jeanette J Beauty:

Product recommendations for box twists

How to Do Box Twists on Natural Hair

Creme of Nature Moisture Whip Twisting Cream

Product promise: Defines & elongates Curls. Provides crunch-free, soft & shiny curls. Long-lasting hold. Non-flaking, non-sticky, non-greasy.

Amazon customer rating: This product has a 4.5 star out of 5 stars global rating by 2634 users

How to Do Box Twists on Natural Hair

Marc Anthony Curl Defining & Enhancing Lotion

Product promise: Defines and softens curls. Repels humidity. Adds shine. Controls frizz.

Amazon customer rating: This product has a 4.4 star out of 5 stars global rating by 8,867 users

How to Do Box Twists on Natural Hair

Argan Magic Defining Curl Cream

Product promise: A lightweight, moisturizing curl defining cream for maximum frizz prevention. Ideal for wavy or curly hair, medium to coarse, this ultimate curl potion will spotlight every ringlet, smooth waves and eliminate frizz without feeling stiff or sticky.

Amazon customer rating: This product has a 4.3 star out of 5 stars global rating by 3012 users

How to Do Box Twists on Natural Hair

Twist by Ouidad TWIST Weather Up Weightless Curl Defining Gel

Product promise: Keeps curls moisturized. Soft, touchable hold with no crunchy residue.

Amazon customer rating: This product has a 4.3 star out of 5 stars global rating by 1818 users

How to Do Box Twists on Natural Hair

Avlon Keracare Natural Textures Twist and Define Cream

Product promise: Avlon Keracare Natural Textures Twist and Define Cream gives smooth shiny, soft twists and twist-outs.

Amazon customer rating: This product has a 4.3 star out of 5 stars global rating by 564 users

Read next: How to Care for Your Scalp While Wearing Braids & Twists

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