Boxing as an upper-body/cardio workout is having a moment. Along for the ride is the versatile braided updo favoured by many female fighters: boxer braids. If you’re fed up with wearing your hair in a ponytail to work out (how many times can you get smacked in the face with a sweaty chunk of hair anyway?!) or you’re simply looking for a new way to coif your mane for dinner or drinks, this braids style checks all the boxes. Learn what boxer braids are and how to get the look, and then watch a step-by-step tutorial with Frouzan of @froartistry, a full-time makeup artist so you can try them at home for yourself.
Boxer braids: The look
The style goes by a few different names, but when we say “boxer braids,” we’re referring to double inverted French braids (also known as double Dutch braids). To achieve the look, you need a middle part and two inverted French braids that have been plaited close to the scalp. They run from the forehead, along the sides of the head and down to the nape of the neck and then end as two braided pigtails, one behind each ear.
Why braids are the best workout hairstyle
There’s a reason why double Dutch braid hairstyles are chosen by pro boxers. Though braiding in general is one of the greatest classic hairstyles for long hair, double Dutch braids in particular are great for getting sweaty in the boxing ring (or the gym) because they’re relatively easy to create on a variety of hair lengths—from just below the chin all the way to down to the backside. More than ponytails or buns, hair braiding keeps each strand close to the head and prevents flyaways that stick to your sweaty face or fall into your eyes.
Boxer braids 2.0: From work(out) to play
First of all, boxer braids look hot—whether you’re working out or going out—because they have an automatic cool factor due to their association with boxing. They’re also super-versatile because they look perfectly coiffed even after a big sweat. And if working out hasn’t been on the agenda lately (you’re busy, we get it!), boxer braids flatter all types of lifestyles and hair types—including manes that haven’t seen shampoo in a few days. In fact, slightly dirty, gritty strands can give your braids much-needed texture.
Tool kit: Everything you need to have on hand
1. A comb to make a clean part
Unfragranced hairspray: Your best friend
L’Oréal Paris Elnett Satin Unfragranced Hairspray has long been touted as a go-to for on-set and celebrity hairstylists because it has an ultra-fine mist, meaning it won’t cause hair to stick together or become hard. Plus, it’s easy to remove with the stroke of a brush. Perfect for hairstyles that need strong hold without looking stiff, Elnett Satin also dries quickly and offers mega-shine and humidity protection—so you’ll look smooth and sleek all day long, whether you’re at the gym, eating out or walking in the rain. The unfragranced version works best for sweaty situations and sensitive noses.
How to do a French braid that’s inverted: the basics
Wondering how to braid your own hair? It’s going to take some practice. Dutch braiding is the inverted form of French braiding, meaning you weave each piece under the next section, not over. In other words, the piece on the right goes under the middle and then the piece on the left goes under that. You repeat this pattern, slowly adding more hair as you travel from your forehead backwards along your scalp.
How to braid hair in a boxer style: A step-by-step guide
Step 1: Start with a one-inch section of hair from the front of your part.
Step 2: Split the section of hair into three even pieces.
Step 3: Starting with the outside strand, begin to Dutch braid.
Expert tip: Braid the hair as tight as you can.
Step 4: Dutch braid your hair picking up one-third sections of hair as you go down your head.
Expert tip: Always braid under the previous section of hair, not over.
Step 5: Once you reach the nape of your neck, braid the rest of your remaining hair into a regular braid.
Step 6: Spritz L’Oréal Paris Elnett Satin Unfragranced Hairspray on the strands at the end of your braids to keep the ends down. Secure with a hair elastic.
Step 7: Repeat all steps on the other side of your part.
Step 8: Spray all over with L’Oréal Paris Elnett Satin Unfragranced Hairspray to finish the look.
Boxer braids look complex, but they’re actually simple to create. And, because they aren’t as common as other braid hairstyles, they add a little extra wow factor that’s practical no matter your lifestyle. Test them out ASAP and you’ll see what we mean.