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What is the best size for knotless braids?

Knotless braids have become an increasingly popular protective style for natural hair. Unlike traditional box braids that have knots at the end, knotless braids have a smooth, seamless look from root to tip. Knotless braids come in a variety of sizes, from micro to jumbo. Choosing the right size knotless braids depends on factors like your hair length and thickness, lifestyle, and desired look.

The Benefits of Knotless Braids

There are many benefits to wearing knotless braids that make them a top choice for protective styling:

  • Allow you to take a break from manipulating your natural hair, preventing damage and breakage
  • Low maintenance, only needing to be redone every 4-8 weeks
  • Versatile; can be worn in many styles like updos, ponytails, etc.
  • Option to add hair jewelry, cuffs, or beads
  • Lightweight and comfortable for all-day wear

Factors to Consider When Choosing Knotless Braid Size

There are a few key factors to take into account when selecting the size for your knotless braids:

Hair Length and Thickness

The length and thickness of your natural hair will impact the size of braids best suited for you. Those with longer, thicker hair have more options for larger sized braids. Shorter or finer hair is best complemented with smaller braid sizes that won’t appear too bulky.

Lifestyle and Low Maintenance

Your day-to-day activities and preferences for convenience should be considered when choosing braid size. Smaller micro and medium knotless braids tend to be lower maintenance, requiring less frequent retightening as they last longer. Those with busy schedules may prefer smaller braids that don’t need styling or extra accessories.

Desired Look

The look you want to achieve with your braids will determine what size is ideal. Medium box braids can give a classic, understated appearance. Large jumbo braids make a bigger statement and have a glamorous, dramatic effect. Smaller braids work well for versatility in styling with updo’s or a simple braid-out.

Knotless Braid Size Chart

Here is an overview of common knotless braid sizes:

Braid Size Braid Diameter Amount of Hair Per Braid
Micro 1/8 inch 30 strands of hair or less
Medium 1/4 inch 50-60 strands of hair
Large 1/2 inch 80-100 strands of hair
Jumbo 3/4 inch or larger 150+ strands of hair

Micro Knotless Braids

Micro knotless braids are the smallest size, measuring about 1/8 inch in diameter. They contain 30 strands of hair or less per braid. Micro braids fall right at the jawline or hang slightly below it. They are one of the most versatile sizes, allowing for creative styling. Micro braids are a great protective style for retaining length over time. However, they do require more patience and time to install. Micro braids can take 10-15 hours to install but last up to 8 weeks with proper maintenance.

Pros of Micro Knotless Braids

  • Lightweight and comfortable
  • Take a long time to grow out
  • Easy to style into updos, pontytails, or braid-outs
  • Allow access to scalp for regular cleansing
  • Don’t require hair added for fullness

Cons of Micro Knotless Braids

  • Time consuming to install
  • Can cause tension on edges if braided too tight
  • Not as dramatic of a look
  • Require more frequent moisturizing

Medium Knotless Braids

Medium knotless braids are a middle size, measuring about 1/4 inch in diameter. They contain approximately 50-60 strands of hair per braid. Medium braids fall around collarbone length or slightly below it. This size is ideal for those who want a manageable braid size that isn’t too small or too large. They take less time to install than micro braids, averaging 6-8 hours. They last 4-6 weeks with proper care.

Pros of Medium Knotless Braids

  • Versatile length for styling
  • Long lasting
  • Less tension on hair than micro braids
  • Medium weight and volume

Cons of Medium Knotless Braids

  • Can be time consuming for longer or thicker hair
  • Require some added hair for fullness
  • Need occasional rebraiding at roots
  • Less convenient for scalp access

Large Knotless Braids

Large knotless braids have a diameter of about 1/2 inch and contain 80-100 strands of hair. This size falls around armpit length and offers a chic, modern look. Large braids serve as a protective style while making a statement. They take 4-6 hours to install and last approximately 4 weeks before needing to be redone. The weight requires occasional rebraiding at the roots.

Pros of Large Knotless Braids

  • Dramatic, trendy look
  • Faster to install
  • Less need for rebraiding
  • Stay neat looking as they grow out

Cons of Large Knotless Braids

  • Require added hair for fullness
  • Can be heavy
  • Not as convenient for styling
  • Harder to access scalp

Jumbo Knotless Braids

Jumbo knotless braids are the largest size, measuring 3/4 inches or bigger in diameter. They contain 150 strands of hair or more per braid. Jumbo braids hang around mid-back length with dramatic volume. The braids make a bold fashion statement perfect for a night out. Jumbo braids require only 2-3 hours for installation. However, they are the heaviest braid size and tend to only last 1-2 weeks before needing maintenance.

Pros of Jumbo Knotless Braids

  • Eye catching, glamorous look
  • Very quick and easy to install
  • Don’t require many braids for full head
  • Less tension on edges

Cons of Jumbo Knotless Braids

  • Require a lot of added hair
  • Very heavy and tend to slip down
  • Need rebraiding quickly as they grow out
  • Not ideal for many styles

Caring for Your Knotless Braids

Once you’ve selected the size of knotless braids best suited for you, it’s important to properly care for them to maximize longevity. Here are some tips:

  • Gently shampoo braids 1-2 times per week, focusing on scalp
  • Apply leave-in conditioner along the length after washing
  • Let air dry thoroughly after washing to prevent mildew
  • Lightly moisturize braids 2-3 times per week with braid spray
  • Sleep with a silk bonnet or pillowcase to minimize friction
  • Avoid pulling too tightly when styling into updos or ponytails

When to Take Down Knotless Braids

As your new growth comes in, you’ll need to have your knotless braids redone or removed. Here are some signs it’s time:

  • Braids begin to look unruly or fuzzy
  • New growth is over 1 inch or braids are lifting at roots
  • Braids start to feel heavy or are causing tension
  • You are bored with the style and ready for something new

Ideally, you should take down your knotless braids within 4-8 weeks depending on the size. Removing too late can risk damage to edges and ends. Take care not to cut your own hair when cutting off the extensions upon removal.


Knotless braids allow you to give your natural hair a break while serving up stylish, versatile looks. Micro braids are the smallest and most convenient for protective styling. Medium braids provide an evenly balanced size and volume. Large braids make a statement with their dramatic length and volume. Jumbo braids are the boldest look, perfect for a big night out. Consider your hair’s length and thickness along with your lifestyle and preferences when selecting the ideal knotless braid size. With proper installation and maintenance, you’ll be rocking your knotless braids beautifully!