The box braid hairstyle is definitely having a moment: women everywhere have been going 90s retro with heavy waist length braids. Celebrities such as Joy Bryant, Solange Knowles and Beyonce Knowles have been making blog headlines everywhere for embracing 90s hip and evocative braids.

Classic Box Braids

The super-long, rope-thick style of braids and twists we’re seeing right now is a direct throwback to the 90s, when Janet Jackson made the hairstyle iconic. To this day, box braid hairstyles haven’t changed much: women are still wearing their box braids in pretty much the same way, piled high atop the heads or down their backs with a sleek middle part.

Solange Box Braid Hairstyles Solange Long Box Braids

New Box Braid Styles

Ever since Solange Knowles started wearing her hair natural in 2009, she’s been locking it into long box braids. Her sister, Beyonce, followed the trend in 2012, swapping her wavy locks for blonde box braids. While black hair fiber is by far the most common color choice for box braids, Beyonce’s brighter alternative reminds us that synthetic hair offers endless color options and is free from the harmful effects of chemicals.

Beyonce Box Braids 2013 Beyonce Box Braids Updo 2012

Box Braid Styling Tips

Make sure that your braids are thick enough and braided loosely. You should also give your hair a few days to relax after getting it done before you start trying to pull it back and experimenting with the many different styles.

Premature box braids styling while your hair is still fairly tight can put major stress on your edges. Also, box braids that are too thin will be very difficult to take out. Remember, the longer you braids are, the better: waist length box braids offer a lot more styling options. For example, a sexy and sophisticated braided, low bun is an essential part of the box braid style!

Janet Jackson Box Braids Joy Bryant Box Braids

Box Braids Maintenance

The maintenance of your box braid is very important: stylists warn against using anything other than naturally derived oils to keep your own hair moisturized while it’s braided.

Go for natural oils like Dr. Hauschka Neem oil, Eva Nyc’s Hungry Hair treatment or Rodin by Recine Olio Lusso hair oil. These can work wonders if massaged into the head twice a week, restoring your hair’s natural sheen with their revitalizing natural extracts. However, don’t go crazy and apply to many products as they can make your braids look old and frizzy quickly.

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Photos: Getty Images, Mail Online