Microbraids are small braids that allow you to have braided hair with lots of styling versatility and movement. Although most people think of micro box braids first, microbraids can be done in all sorts of different braiding styles.

When you’re looking for some microbraid hair inspiration, braiders on StyleSeat can help you make your hair dreams a reality. In the meantime, let’s take a look at some of the most popular microbraid styles to help you decide what you’d like next time you’re in the salon chair.

What are microbraids?

Microbraids are a popular braid style with very small individual braids — much smaller than other braid styles. For some, this style might give the illusion that their hair isn’t braided at all because the braids blend seamlessly together.

Microbraids take longer than other styles to install (up to 12 hours) but they allow your braided hair to have more movement. In many salons, multiple stylists will work on your micr braids at the same time to make the process go quicker. Microbraids are installed similarly to other types of braids — your stylist will just take smaller sections of your hair, creating more braids overall.


  • Long-lasting
  • Can be washed more frequently than other styles
  • More versatile than other braid sizes for putting hair up


  • Takes longer than other styles
  • Can be more expensive 

Microbraids vs. box braids

The difference between microbraids and box braids is that microbraids refer to a braid size while box braids are a specific style of braids.

  • Microbraids: can be in any style and is the smallest size of braid available, using the least amount of hair per braid
  • Box braids: a specific type of braid where your natural hair is parted in even squares or “boxes” on your scalp

You can have both microbraids and box braids at the same time if you request box braids in the smallest braid size. However, not all stylists offer microbraids because they can be so time-consuming, but it often depends on the style and your hair type.

1. Short microbraids

Woman with short knotless microbraids just above shoulder length.
Stacy Hutchinson

Short microbraids are a fun and fresh way to show off your hair. Microbraids can lack volume, so a shorter style can give your hair the freedom to move without being weighed down. This style is a good option for people who want to try microbraids but aren’t sure they’re ready for the time commitment.

2. Micro box braids

Woman with micro box braids.
Jazmin Jackson

Micro box braids are a fun twist on one of the most popular protective styles. This style is super sleek and low maintenance, so your hair is ready to go for any occasion. Give micro box braids a try next time you’re looking to shake up your style.

3. Micro twists

Woman with shoulder length micro twists.
Jazmin Jackson

Micro twists are an excellent alternative to regular twists because they offer the same look while cutting down on frizz. Microbraids are more frizz-resistant, and some people find that twists don’t last as long without getting frizzy. See if micro twists work for you to extend the life of your twists next time you get your hair done.

4. Wavy microbraids

Woman with shoulder length microbraids where half the braids are left unbraided and wavy.
Zalibah Akua

Wavy microbraids, also known as goddess microbraids, can be customized in many ways. Goddess braids are typically box braids, where sections of braiding hair are left out of the braid so that you have pieces of wavy hair integrated with your braided strands. 

You can also choose not to braid the entire length of your braid and leave the ends wavy. These styles are good for people who want to preserve some volume with their microbraids.

5. Ultra-long microbraids

Woman with super long microbraids that are long enough to reach her legs.
Kayonna Dickson

Ultra-long microbraids are the go-to style for anyone who wants to create some length. Microbraids are perfect for super long styles because they allow for a bit more manipulation than other braid sizes, so it’ll be easier to tie your hair back when you want it out of your way.

7. Blonde microbraids

Woman with microbraids that have blonde and light brown braids integrated for highlights.
Storm Johnson

Microbraids are perfect for anyone who wants to go blonde because their size makes it easy to achieve a highlighted effect. Mix in some lighter browns and caramel colors to add dimension, or go all-in on tucked microbraids for a platinum effect.

8. Crochet microbraids

Woman with shoulder length crocheted microbraids.
Kierra Sturgis

For the ultimate protective microbraid style, try crocheted microbraids next time you’re heading to the salon. Crochet braid extensions are quicker to install than other extension types, so they’re perfect if you want to test out microbraids but don’t have time to book a full day at the salon.

9. Microbraid bob

Woman with microbraids cut into a bob style.
Nakia’s Blessing Braids & Beauty

Microbraided bobs are a chic, low-maintenance braid style. This style stays off your shoulders and out of the way when you’re on the go, all while staying bouncy and fun.

10. Knotless microbraids

Woman with long knotless microbraids.
LaDerrica Lawrence

If you love the look of micro box braids but have a sensitive scalp, give knotless microbraids a try next time you want to switch up your style. These braids are very similar to box braids, but extension hair is gradually added in instead of secured at the root. If tight braids give you headaches, knotless braids tend to be more gentle.

11. Fulani microbraids

Woman with angled micro cornrow braids and strands that go from the back of her head towards her ears, which are two characteristics of Fulani braids.
Designer Yannii

Fulani braids are a type of braid created by the Fula people in West Africa, but there are many modern variations of this style. Traditionally, Fulani braids would have:

  • Braids that wrap around your hairline from ear to ear
  • A single cornrow down the middle of your head
  • Angled cornrows coming off the middle braid
  • Decorative beads at the ends of your hair

If you chose just a couple of characteristics of Fulani braids for your style, your braider might call them tribal braids.

13. Microbraid ponytail

Woman with light brown microbraids swept up into a ponytail.
Hardcopy Perfection

If you prefer an updo, microbraids are perfect for sweeping up into a ponytail. If you know you’d like to put your hair up, talk to your stylist ahead of your appointment so they can part your braids accordingly. For that bouncy ponytail effect, leave the ends of your hair unbraided.

Microbraid FAQs

Are microbraids good for your hair?

Yes. When installed properly, microbraids are a good protective hairstyle that eliminates the need for heat styling, which also saves you time.

How long does it take to do microbraids?

Microbraids typically take three to 12 hours to install, depending on your style and hair type. If your hair is thicker, your braids are longer, or you want ultra-micro braids, your style will take longer to do.

How long do microbraids last?

Microbraids last four to six weeks depending on the style and how well you take care of them. To make your braids last longer, you can sleep in a silk scarf or bonnet, style them gently, and redo your edges as needed. Microbraids typically last longer than larger braid sizes.

How much does it cost to get microbraids done?

The average microbraid appointment cost on StyleSeat is $264, but the price will vary based on your location, your stylist’s experience, how thick your hair is, and your desired style.

When you’re ready to switch things up and give microbraids a try, StyleSeat connects you to talented braiders in your area to make it happen. Give this stylish protective braid size a try to switch up your look.