Are you confused about what hairstyle to flaunt next – straight blow-dry, twist-outs, or a new haircut? Try braids! Braids are low-maintenance, easily adaptable, super stylish, and give you enough room to be creative. For Black girls with naturally Afro-textured hair, a braided hairstyle is considered one of the oldest ways to style the hair.
Braids protect your hair from environmental damage caused by the sun. But most importantly, they are super stylish. Braids are a perfect solution when you want to change your look but are not ready to try something drastic and permanent like a new haircut. When trying a new braided hairstyle, the options are endless. You can try a new pattern, trendy accessories, or hip hair streaks/colors.
While there is no shortage of inspiration for braids for Black women on Instagram and other social media platforms, it can be extremely daunting to choose one of them and know exactly if it will work. From braided crowns, cascading braids, goddess braids to symmetric braids, these stylish hairdos are often donned by celebrities and supermodels. However, we will help you choose the absolute best option.
1. Braided Crown with Curls
If you want to try a braided hairstyle but would still love to flaunt your loose natural curls, try this winner of a hairstyle. Braid the hair on the crown with an asymmetrical parting and leave the messy curls to flow at the end of the braids to get the best of both worlds. This is a unique hairstyle and works best for medium-length hair.
2. Cascade of Braids
This is an easy and versatile way to wear your braids. This hairdo works best for those who love to keep their braids neat. To try this out, start with cornrow braiding in the front and then allow them to cascade down. For a cascading look, pin a few braids at the back of your head or let all of them flow freely. The good part is that this look is very low maintenance. You could even pull all your braids back into a high or a regular ponytail.
3. Braided Mohawk
Mohawk braids give you a very cool, casual, and edgy look. First, tie your hair in sleek, tight braids on the side of the head to get that shaved look of a traditional mohawk. Now, you could try two things for the hair on the crown area. First, you can leave them in natural curls to add drama, which is perfectly complemented by the artistic braids on the sides. The second option is to braid the hair on the crown and then twist or pile them up for that edgy look. This look accentuates your jawline and neck nicely and adds a few inches to your height.
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4. Cornrows Updo
The hair is braided very close to the scalp to form raised rows that give the appearance of cornrows. You can do these in straight lines or get creative and experiment with zig-zag partitions to get a snazzy result. Next, braid your hair to the tips, and then roll the braids at the top of the head in the form of a bun. The braids of the updo, which lie perpendicular to the cornrows, make for a striking hairstyle. Pin them in place using bobby pins, and you are all set to go!
5. Glamorous Parallel Braids
Braid broader sections of your hair in parallel so that you have about half a dozen braids on your crown. Start the first braid from the forehead and continue till the hair ends. Gather all the braids at the back into a single braid, or you can twist them up into an updo. Accessorize the braids on the crown with beads or stones to get a jazzy look.
6. Braided Bob
Braided bob gives you a chic and sophisticated look. This is a super trendy hairdo to sport during summer. You can get super creative with short braids and style them in many ways. Make your braids jumbo or superfine, braid them till the end or leave some hair out, put colored hairbands or beads on them – the list is long. They also benefit from causing minimal damage to the hair as they aren’t heavy and don’t pull your hair heavily.
7. Two-Braided Buns
The first image that comes to mind when we hear the word two-braided buns is of Mel B from Spice Girls fame. It was a super cool trend in the 90s, and it is back again, just like anything else from that period. It is simple, elegant, and makes a cool statement.
8. High Pigtail Braids
This is probably the most effortless hairstyle on our list that you can do independently. But that in no way means that it lacks the style quotient. On the contrary, it looks super cute and edgy. This is not a style that is limited for youngsters. All you need is a little bit of style to pull it through. Add some beads at the end of the braids and style them in a high pigtail to get that perfect look. Or, tie them up in a French braid.
9. Braided Ponytail
A braided ponytail is classic and super easy to follow. This is a very straightforward style to follow. Just braid your hair in varying sizes and pull them into a ponytail. You can go for a high ponytail or a low one. Both look great and have their share of drama. Don’t forget to take care of those baby hair with some gel. This style can have endless variations – zig-zag ponytail, stitch-braid ponytail, super long ponytail, wavy hair ponytail, and many more.
10. Wrap them up in a Headwrap
If comfort ranks high on your list while trying a new hairstyle, try wearing your braids up in a stretchy headband or a headwrap. This will give you a very boho look. You can even wear a scarf. Just take a silky colorful scarf and roll it up to make a headband. Then, tie it over your hair like you tie a bandana and let your braids do the talking.
11. Cool Accessories
This is not a new hairstyle but just a way to take your existing one to a whole new level. So get your hands on some quirky accessories like beads, colorful rubber bands, faux flowers, butterflies, or metallic cuff and transform your simple hairdo into a unique one.
12. Goddess Braids
Just like cornrows, this is a classic way to braid your hair. These are thicker braids than cornrows but give a traditional and understated look. In addition, they have a strong fan following as they take lesser time to install compared to other braids.
For Black girls with naturally Afro-textured hair, a braided hairstyle is considered one of the oldest ways to style your hair. Braids are low-maintenance, easily adaptable, super stylish, and give you enough room to be creative. In fact, braids are a perfect solution when you want to change your look but are not ready to try something drastic and permanent like a new haircut. There is no shortage of inspiration with pictures and videos of celebrities flooding Instagram with the latest trendy hairdos. But it can get a little overwhelming. From braided crowns, cascading braids to pigtail braids – these hairstyles should be on your list to try next.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can braids damage your hair?
No, they don’t. But you can damage your hair because of improper installation and maintenance of braids. Always choose a well-trained professional for braiding and ensure that the braids aren’t too tight to avoid hair damage.
Should I still go for braiding if I’m already experiencing hair breakage?
Braiding isn’t recommended for damaged and weak hair as it can worsen the situation. If you’re experiencing hair breakage, work on its solution first. Deep condition and oil your hair to improve its texture, and then only go for braiding.
What type of hair should be used for braiding?
It is recommended that you use good-quality braiding hair. Cheaper variants may look very exciting for their low price but can damage your hair. However, don’t go overboard also. There are enough options in the market that are averagely priced but give extremely good results.