Ombré Highlights Are The Perfect Way To Spice Up Classic Box Braids

Endless inspo ahead.


Box braids are already one of the most versatile protective styles out there — but add in an eye-popping ombré color gradient or highlights and you have instant main character energy. Here, TZR rounds up the best ombré box braid ideas to kickstart the creativity. Hint: The possibilities are endless.

Tia Mowry’s face at the end of her behind-the-scenes braiding transformation Reel says it all: these honey blonde ombré box braids are gorgeous on her. The new hip-length braids look especially summery paired with her whimsical, cottagecore-chic nap dresses.@tiamowry
The mesmerizing slow fade from deep blues mid-lengths into ghost-grey tips makes this blue ombré braid look more than just a pretty hairstyle — it’s a full-on work of art using an ocean’s worth of blue tones.@june_ndereba
Ombré braids are so alluring because of how well the colors pop against the woven texture. Really show off the blend by pulling part of your hair up in an ultra-trendy, Y2K-inspired half-pony, complete with two stylish face-framing strands.@waceke.b
Alicia Keys’ love of box braids is well-documented but these long, pigtail plaits from a recent vacation take it to an entirely new level. They’re braids in braids, and the double-weaving just amplifies the bright gold tones in her ombré color.@aliciakeys
There are few hairstyles so glamorous as a casually elegant updo, and this curl-cascading bun — secured by a matching silk scrunchie — just proves it. The piled-high style lets the warm red tones, braid charms, and loose curls take the spotlight.@cecenatural
Simone Biles’ vacation style is always in a league of its own. The idea to curl the ends of her box braids for a romantic beach dinner with her fiancé is brilliant — the water-like waves and bends (plus her sea-green eyeshadow) are pure mermaid.@simonebiles
Braid charms of all sorts are having a serious moment, and Storm Reid’s elegantly upswept braided bun creates an ideal canvas to show them off. Here, Reid places wooded beads and gleaming rhinestones through the front and sides of her ombré blonde braids.@stormreid
Created by hairstyling icon Lacy Redway, these spellbinding blue ombré box braids cement Amandla Stenberg’s status as Gen Z’s ultimate beauty chameleon. Not only do the individual braids feature a gradient, but each one is totally different for an eye-popping 3-D effect.@lacyredway
There’s no hair color Issa Rae can’t make look good, but her blonde ombré braids from summer 2019 will always hold a place in fans’ hearts. Rae pulled most of it back to keep her face free and to allow even more focus on the shimmery copper wire wrapping around a few individual braids.Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic/Getty Images
Tessa Thompson incorporated more than a few of-the-moment trends into her boxy robin’s egg blue blazer look: ombré hair color, face-framing braids, and artfully undone styling among them. Thompson’s box braid topknot is 2022’s ultimate go-to.@lacyredway
To really amp up the drama opt for two completely different shades with different undertones within the same color family for an eye-catching contrast. This icy blonde that cascades into a warm golden-hue is a perfect blueprint. @slayedinbraids

Thanks for reading,
head home for more!