56 Stylish Braids Hairstyles Ideas To Revamp Your Hair Journey

With so many methods out there, you’ll never run out of braids hairstyle ideas. Here are 56 stunning variations for you to try. Braids are one of the oldest hairstyles in human history. Originally used to enhance our beauty and protect our natural hair, they’ve grown into an everyday style staple. Throughout history, people have woven their hair together to symbolize creativity, beauty, wealth, social status and so much more.

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Today, they’re used to make a statement, elevate our hair, and help our natural tresses stay healthy and neat. What has changed, however, is the methodology and functionality of braids. From the groundbreaking box braid to the convenient french braid, we’ve come up with so many ways to wear this simple pattern, so let’s take a look at all of the different forms of expression you can take when crowning your head with braids. 

Browse through these beautiful braiding styles and find your favorite. We’ve got a mix of intricate, simple, and everything in between. 

1. Poetic Justice Braids Hairstyle

Credit: thenaturalslife

You will never go wrong with poetic justice braids. If they’re good enough for Janet Jackson, they’re good enough for you. These thick, 90s braids are a must-try for anyone who wants a simple yet impactful style statement. You can go the traditional route and opt for knotted box braids, but these guys are pretty heavy and you might feel some serious weight. 

For comfort, try a knotless version. That way you can immediately style them in a bun or ponytail without feeling the pinch of freshly installed braids. Go crazy with color or keep it classic like the picture above. Either way, poetic braids always slay.  

2. Cornrows & Cuffs Braids Hairstyle 

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Cornrows transcend nearly every other braiding pattern here because they are the blueprint for nearly every braiding style. The three-strand plaiting method has been remixed and reinvented severally throughout history, but sometimes you need to go back to basics. They’re also pretty DIY-friendly, so save some coins and go with cornrows. 

You can do this style with natural hair or try the feed-in method. Whichever you choose, add some life to it by embracing the golden cuff hair jewel. These accessories add a royal feeling and glistening shine. You can add a contemporary twist by swirling your baby hairs to perfection. 

RELATED: 20 Fantastic Blonde Box Braids That Are Sure To Turn Heads!

3. Super Scarf Braids Hairstyle

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Braids look good whether they’re on full display or hiding behind a silky scarf. This look is perfect for the week before you take your braids down because it allows you to hide the madness that’s going on underneath. You can conceal your distressed roots by tying a beautiful, soft scarf around your head to emulate a chic pirate look. 

If you really want to create a stir, let your baby hairs peek out of the scarf’s frame for a down-to-earth aesthetic. Be sure to use a silk or satin scarf that wonk tug at your hair and create fairy knots. 

4. Flowy Box Braids Hairstyle 

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The loose box braid that features thicker roots and human hair became a major trend after Zoe Kravitz started wearing them to red carpet premieres. These are a medium-thickness braid version of that look, and they’re just as cute. 

These braids have a slight gray tint that brings out the model’s eye color. To pull this off for yourself, choose extensions that have hints of your natural eye color within them. You can also create your own custom color by buying different tones and mixing them together. 

5. Feed-In Stitch Braids Hairstyle 

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Ah, yes, the stitch braid. This time-consuming style is achieved by sectioning small parts of hair as you feed in synthetic extensions to create a stitch formation. Stylists often use a comb or their nails to part these small stitch sections. As you’ve guessed, this style requires a lot of product. 

You can use hair gel to get these clean parts, but to secure flyaways, you’re going to need some mousse. After installing the braids, douse the entire scalp in a holding mouse and wrap it with some barber strips. This should smooth down any remaining flyaways and ensure the hair lasts as long as possible. Wrap the back ends in a bun for an “on the go” look. 

6. Infinity Sign Braids Hairstyle 

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Braids are forever, just like diamonds. Ensure their immortality with this infinity sign. It’s a great way to minimize styling in the morning, and the braids and loose hair resembles a modern Viking braiding pattern. It also creates a “shaved sides” illusion, which is perfect for anyone who wants to know how they’ll look with one. To add some detail, use the stitch braiding method and incorporate gold or silver cuffs. 

Since this style has a lot of loose hair, you’ll get to wash it regularly without worrying about damaging your braids. Just take extra care and be gentle when you reach the braided side. 

7. Color Squares Braids Hairstyle 

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Criss Cross braids have grown in popularity over the years as an easy way to create beautiful patterns on your head. It’s especially popular with those who haven’t mastered the art of cornrow or stitch braiding yet. The style involves pre-sectioning the front or back part of your hair in squared sections and securing them with rubber bands.

 After that, you can lay these secured pieces in any pattern you wish. Most people go for black or neutral-colored rubber bands, but you can step things up with multi-colored bands. It’s an easy way to add a pop of fun and color to your half up half down hairstyle. 

RELATED: 20 Trendy Red Box Braids Looks for The Summer

8. French Maiden Braids Hairstyle 

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Sweet, simple, and reminiscent of the middle ages, this style is a constant hit with braiders. It’s essentially one large dutch braid leading from the front of your scalp to the back. It’s a quick and effective way to secure your ends and keep your hair out of your face. 

It’s a great style for anyone with super long hair, but if your locks are on the shorter side, try two or three braids. That way, your ends won’t pop out and you won’t have to create extra tension with a tight braid. 

9. Twin Flames Braids Hairstyle 

Credit: fiuzatrancista

Big, bold, and bright, these twin braids are another super easy style if you live an active lifestyle, or just want something cute and comfortable. To get them to stick out like this, use the dutch braid method and add extra extensions towards the middle. You can turn these into stitch braids, which is great because they can tend to look a little glued-on otherwise. 

If you’re into the velcro braid trend and don’t want to pinch your roots, you can pre-braid the cornrows and then sew them into your natural hair. It sounds wild, but it’s a great way for beginners to try this. 

10. Sea Foam Box Braids Hairstyle 

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If The Little Mermaid’s Under The Sea anthem comes to mind while gazing at these braids, you’re not alone. The different aqua tones swim so well together. Blues, purples, and turquoise all form this perfect marriage of seafoam braids. You can achieve this look by purchasing different shades of blue colored braids and layering them throughout your hair. 

You could also do an ombre version of this look if you really want that “ocean waves” motif.  Whichever version you choose, wear it with pride. 

11. Curly Maiden Braids Hairstyle

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Yet another version of the maiden trend, this one wraps your braid halfway around your head. You Can do a half braid or incorporate a second braid on the other side or loop one braid all the way around to form a glamorous halo. Curly, flowy ringlets go hand in hand with french braids, so go wild at the bottom of your hair. 

The blonde highlights add a touch of movement, dimension, and gloss to your hair, so don’t be shy. Highlight away! Be sure to moisturize your bleached recess often, as dyed or bleached hair is weaker than natural hair. 

12. Goddess Bob Braids Hairstyle

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What’s better than one stylish trend? Four of course. This goddess bob combines three amazing methods into one fabulous, show-stopping style. You get to have an asymmetrical bob, float about with goddess curls, and lounge in box braids. What more could you want? To pull this off, you’ll need two different hair textures. One for the base braid and another water wave texture for the goddess braids

There are two ways to install the water wave hairpieces. You can install them as you braid, or you can finish the entire look and install them with a crochet hook. The first method will ensure that the wave pieces are secure. The second method will give you a chance to add or remove according to the bulk you want. 

13. Fulani Braids Hairstyle

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Fulani braids became one of the biggest braiding trends of 2016 after a series of prominent women of color began rocking them to high-end events and concerts. They’re the best of cornrows and box braids combined, with neat, thin lines at the front and loose braids at the back. 

Since then, stylists and braid enthusiasts have remixed this look to include their own brilliant ideas, but the original is still a great option. You can spice up your edges with baby hairs.  

RELATED: 20 Versatile Passion Twist Braids To Achieve Next Level Style & Comfort

14.  Straight & Criss Cross Braids Hairstyle

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Yet another version of the popular infinity sign braids, these criss-cross cornrows look even better when you pair them with straight backs. It looks difficult to achieve, but with a quick YouTube tutorial, you’ll be crisscrossing all over your head. This style works well with both extensions and natural hair. 

One great thing about this braiding pattern is that it’s the perfect cornrow base for a crochet look. If you ever get tired of it. You can simply wash them, let them dry, and then install your favorite crochet extensions. This will double their lasting power and give you versatility. 

15. Bangs & Braids Hairstyle

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Some things are so different and yet they go so well together. Bangs are usually associated with straight loose hair and box braids traditionally cover your entire head. But this style blends the two into an entirely new, funky creation. This braids & bangs style gained notoriety in one of the greatest fashion districts in the world, Harajuku, Japan. It’s unconventional, quirky and out of this world. 

If that fits your personality, chop some bangs and section them off. Keep the edgy aesthetic going by incorporating different hair colors throughout the braids. You can even add beads and hair jewelry like the picture above. If you want a bit of uniformity amongst the chaos, make sure the majority of your braids match the color of your bangs. 

16. Slim Fit Braids Hairstyle

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Feed-in braids are great, but sometimes they can stress your scalp out. If you have sensitive roots and don’t want to aggravate them any further, go for a slimmer option. This style requires a small number of extensions, so there isn’t much to tuck into your natural roots. To achieve this, portion out toothpick-sized extension bunches and only add one in after a few plaits. 

This is like the knotless box braid. It will take 1-2 braiding packets so if you’re on a tight budget, it’s your best option. Just make sure you buy a high-quality extension. You might even want to try human hair if you feel like your scalp can’t handle synthetic fiber. 

17. Woven Tapestry Braids Hairstyle 

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When you look back at the craft of tapestry weaving, you can’t help but get inspired. That’s what must’ve happened to the person who invented this. The beautiful stitch braids dominate the crown of your head while smaller, delicate cornrows descend to the midsection. To add more pomp, weave in your favorite colored hair strings. Though it looks like the string is braided into the stitch, it’s not. 

All you have to do is connect the string at the beginning of the braid. Then after the stitch cornrow is formed, weave it in and out like a shoelace. Voila, you’ve got a piece of art on your head! 

18. Golden Twists Braids Hairstyle 

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This Senegalese twist variation is sleek, slim, and extremely versatile. You can hold it up in a bun or ponytail for those hot summer days or let it flow down your back when you’re ready to party. Senegalese twists are special because they create a ripe formation that’s strong, ensuring your ends aren’t exposed to the elements. 

The twisting motion required to form these braids can be hard to get used to, especially with the smooth hair extensions that are often used. To get the best out of this, you should go to a professional or practice on a mannequin so that you won’t get frustrated and give up. 

19. Bold & Blonde Braids Hairstyle 

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Cornrows are beautiful, and to add to that beauty, you can sport these big, bold chunk blonde ones. Be sure to section out your edges so that they don’t get swallowed by such large cornrows. Split your hair down the middle and create three cornrows on each side, matching each in size with the corresponding braid. 

To add some size diversity to this look, section out two small pieces of hair on each side and create smaller box braids. You can bedazzle these braids by adding beads or simply let them hang on their own. You could also wear the loose ends in a bun for double the volume. 

RELATED: 23 Stunning Highlight and Lowlight Color Inspirations for Light Brown Hair

20. Chunky Feed-In Braids Hairstyle

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Cross over into queen territory with these Beyonce-inspired feed-in ponytail braids. Not only are they her signature blonde, but they’re just as bold. You can let them loose or create a high bun, depending on how you feel. This style lasts long if you wear a headscarf at night and don’t mess with the edges too much. 

To ease the tightness at the back of your head, don’t use a scrunchie when tying your ponytail. Instead, use one of the braids as your scrunchie and tie it loosely. It creates a sassy braided scrunchie effect while relieving your scalp of any tugging or pulling. 

21. Mixed Gray Box Braids Hairstyle

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Of all the style icons to appear in comic books, X-Men’s rogue gets major cool points for popularizing the gray streak trend. Sure, the source of her streak was a little tragic, but you can still borrow her style with these box braids. Gray hair isn’t as scary anymore, and these braids show how much society has embraced the color associated with aging. 

To make the most of this trend, don’t add too many gray streaks. Subtlety is key. For every twenty black braids, add three gray ones. That creates a contrast that’s big enough to draw attention without turning this into a Cruella Deville tribute, which isn’t a bad thing either.

22. Woven Middle Part Braids Hairstyle

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When it comes to incorporating cornrows into your loose hair. You can part it any way you want. So why not go for this middle part woven braid that draws attention to an unorthodox part of your hair. Most patterns like this show up on the side, middle, or back of your head. This creates a strange yet satisfying imbalance. It would work just as well on short, bob-length hair.

When parting your hair, be sure to get as close to the middle as mathematically possible. To keep your parts clean, you can use a thick gel or edge control that will keep the roots in place. Part your hair with a rattail comb. Its teeth are thin, so the lines will be precise.  

23. Extra-Long Brown Braids Hairstyle

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Brown hair is often associated with softness, health, and strength. It also reminds people of nature. So get naturally beautiful with these long box braids. They’re elegant, shapely, and have that versatility that box braids are known for. This color looks especially good on people of caramel skin tones. It creates a cascading color variety that’s hard to beat. 

To add more to the look, you can curl or crimp your ends. All you need is some hot water and Flexi-rods. Pair the hair with some brown lipstick for a monochromatic aesthetic. 

24. Green Envy Braids Hairstyle

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What do you think of when you see the color green? Money, grass, that superfly villain Shego from Kim Possible? You know you were thinking about it. Well, everyone will be envious of your hair when they see these green box braids. These vibrant green tresses are quite the bold statement. You’re essentially living out your poison ivy dreams. 

There are different variations of green, so if this one is too bright for you, try a rich, emerald green. It’s muted and blends better with different outfits. If you could care less about subtlety, rock these braids in a half-up, half-down look or a topknot mega bun. Super cute. 

25. Voluminous Stitch Braids Hairstyle 

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Big stitch braids are the best way to add some drama to a classic look while creating texture, dimension, and pattern at the same time. If you want both your roots and ends to stick out, go for this voluminous version. You can achieve it by adding thick strands of extensions as you go along. Just make sure you start small at the front, or your edges will be angry with you.  

The great thing about cornrows like this is that they’re big enough to tuck away any flyaways. As your hair gets older, use a rattail comb to push the loose strands underneath the cornrow.

26. Knotless Red Curls Braids Hairstyle 

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Ruby red braids are both sultry and stunning. They’re a great way to add some life to your hair without going over the top. This muted red is also a great option if you’ve got some sort of office job. It mimics natural red hair. To add luster to your ends, leave them unbraided and curl them into tight ringlets. 

You can install them using the knotless method so that you don’t have to compromise on length. As time goes on, the curls at the ends will drop. To keep things fresh, attach Flexi rods at the bottom and re-dip them in hot water. You can also dip the braided section for additional texture. 

RELATED: 25 Amazing Poetic-Justice Braids Styles To Inspire Your Next Look

27. Straight Back Beaded Braids Hairstyle

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These straight backs are special because they’re so tightly woven together that they almost look like one unit. It’s a great way to protect your roots. It also limits access, so you won’t get as many flyaways. To add some pizazz to the style, install beads at the ends. Clear beads are cute but minimal. You can keep your scalp oiled by using a bottle that has a small spout. 

One little-known hack that prevents tension at the back of your skull is to leave out the hair at the nape of your neck and install knotless box braids. Nobody will notice, and you’ll add a little volume.

28. Goldilocks Knotless Braids Hairstyle

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These knotless braids hit the sweet spot. They’re just curly enough, and their size means you’ll practically be floating on clouds as you go about your business. The dark caramel color adds richness and frames your face beautifully. Curled ends create movement, and the clean parts at the top ensure that your style lasts longer than a few weeks. 

29. Mohawk Flat Twist Braids Hairstyle 

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Here’s a style that needs no introduction, and no extensions. Flat twists are one of the best ways to protectively style your hair. They’re easy to install, and they look beautiful when undone. You can do as many intricate designs as you want, but this mohawk is structured and stylish. 

The mohawk might take a while because you have to part in small sections, but the texture of your natural hair will make it easier to twist the hair. For the sides, you’ll have to be careful not to tangle the ends, so apply moisturizer as you go along. With some maintenance, you can wear this style for 3 weeks without straining your scalp with any extensions. After that, you can wash it while it’s in its braided state, then undo the hair for a gorgeous twist out. Two styles in one!

30. Feed-In Waves Braids Hairstyle 

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This braided ponytail uses both thick and thin cornrows to create an alternating mountain and valley formation that’s pleasing to the eye. They’re a form of the beloved Ghana braids that have roots in West African culture. To pull this style into the 21st century, water wave extensions are added to the ponytail. Depending on how thick you want your ponytail to be, you can add more wefts. You can also switch up the texture. 

To keep the ends from tangling, use human hair and moisturize as you would your own hair. You could also use synthetic hair and keep a steady supply of mousse around.

31. Twist Box Braids Hairstyle

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Medium size twists are a flattering way to soften your looks. Mimicking a winding waterfall, these braids are the go-to look for anyone who wants the bulk of a traditional three-strand braid with the smooth texture of loose hair. It’s a slightly thicker variation of the slim Senegalese rope twist. 

To avoid the stress of sealing blunt ends, purchase a braiding option that has pre-tapered ends and keep twisting until you reach the end of the braid. 

32. Passion Twist Braids Hairstyle 

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Following in the footsteps of the boho braid trend, passion twists are a fun and flirty way to keep your locks secured and light. The style uses water wave and lulu wave hair in place of traditional straight extensions. You can install them as individual braids or use the crochet method for a quick fix. 

To get the most out of passion twists, wait until they’ve aged a bit. They’re like wine, they only get better after time. Most people opt for long passion twists, but you can lay around with length and color.

RELATED: 25 Chic Bubble Braids You Need To Try Right Now

33. Fishtail & Waves Braids Hairstyle

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This beautiful, bridal style is more than your typical fish braid. You get layers of curls, brown highlights, dark shadows, and a watery flow. The top half is a twisted braid that lays across the hair, creating horizontal dimensions. Once you reach the bottom, you have a segmented fishtail braid that captures the bottom half of your hair. 

 While testing this style, don’t be too heavy-handed on hair products like holding spray. You could get the opposite effect and end up with something crunchy and stiff. Instead, rely on your developing braiding skills. Keep a light hand and take your time.   

34. Golden Lace Braids Hairstyle

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Yet another light and airy style, this golden lace braid looks like whipped butter. The soft layering and range of low and highlights create a laid-back yet sophisticated aesthetic that would be any cottage core enthusiast’s dream. It looks fancy, but in essence, it’s a dutch braid. To get this look, you will need hair that’s shoulder-length or longer, so it is limited. 

Seal the ends with a delicate scrunchie or scarf. This creates more length at the bottom, adding to the dreamy motif. 

35. Criss-Cross Knotless Braids Hairstyle

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These silky smooth box braids are the perfect summer style. Butter blonde and criss-cross formations, this style takes after Chloe’s Bailey’s blond locs in the “Have Mercy” music video. The swirly baby hairs make it that   

If you want to get this exact look, you’ll need to dye your natural hair blonde, so take that into consideration. To combat the strain of going blonde, plait your hair using the criss-cross method. It won’t strain your strands because it’s low manipulation. 

36. Interconnected Pigtail Braids Hairstyle 

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Pigtails are a timeless classic when it comes to hairstyles, so you can only imagine how great an incorporated braid pattern would look. Well, you don’t have to go far, because it’s right here. These bouncy pigtails have the unique distinction of linking up with two colored box braids at the front. This creates a ladder effect and brings a rebel edge to a style known for its childlike playfulness. 

You can add detail and variation with color streaks like the ones above, and you can use human hair extensions if you want a bigger pigtail puff. 

37. Ghana Braid Pigtails Braids Hairstyle

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Call these braids space travelers because they’re defying gravity. It’s no easy feat to braid upwards, to the back of this ghana braid should be the shining star. Several alternating cornrows expertly stitched and parted make this a work of art. 

The great thing about Ghana braids is that you can take them in any direction and they’ll look stunning. This style is usually done with one ponytail, but you can split the hair into pigtails and get double the fun. 

Pigtails can easily transform into space buns when you want some variety. You don’t even need additional hair tools. Simply wrap the long braids around in a circle and secure the ends by tucking them underneath the bun.

38. Lemonade Mohawk and Curls Braids Hairstyle

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Lemonade braids were made famous by Beyonce’s iconic album, but there’s one variation Queen Bey hasn’t tried. The braided lemonade mohawk. To get the volume depicted here, make sure your cornrows are slim. That way when they meet in the middle, there will be a large number. Slim and structured cornrows will also create a strong mohawk shape. 

At the crown, add individual three-strand braids and curl the ends for a full and layered look. You can accentuate this horse mane with neutral earth tones like brown and black, but don’t worry about hair jewels. The pattern makes a strong enough statement. 

RELATED: 25 Ways To Stylishly Wear Layer Braids

39. Stitch & Swirl Beads Braids Hairstyle

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This one right here is pure hair sorcery. To pull off a winding stitch braid with such precision is magical. Since the style is so intricate, you don’t want to overload your scalp by feeding in too much hair. Keep it light. That way, you can see the design. Keep the hair in a small topknot bun that doesn’t hide the style from any angle. 

This style also incorporates some Fulani elements with the forward-facing braids on the side. To weigh these front braids down and ensure they don’t face the opposite side, install beads. 

40. Golden Halo Crown Braids Hairstyle

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Feeling angelic? There’s no better way to embody that than with your own halo crown. This gold accent braid is one of the easiest styles to do at home. All you need is the synthetic braiding hair of your choice. Simply pre-braid the hair and wrap it around your edges. Secure it to your natural hair with bobby pins and you’re done!

To add a level of intricacy, you can create the smaller feed in braids at the center of your head. These cornrows don’t need any hair extensions as that will make them bulky, so skip that step. Use your natural hair. 

41. Knotless Mini Braids Hairstyle

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Knotless braids are clearly here to stay. They put much-needed convenience and comfort into the braiding community. Since these knotless braids are so small, you should choose a color that really shines, like this brown and blonde combo. 

These braids stand the greatest chance of lasting past the four-month mark specifically because of their thin size and the knotless factor. If you want to go for it, leave your edges out. That way you can style them when you want, and you don’t have to worry about them being tugged out over time. 

42. Silver Sleek Braids Hairstyle

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This ode to silver is a fresh take on the curly box braid trend that looks like a wave of melted metal as you move down the hair shaft. Medium-small size braids work best as they’re light enough to pull into any hairstyle, yet big enough to showcase the beautiful color. 

Gray and silver braids come in all shapes and shade variations but if you want to lock down this look, go for silver with touches of iridescence. This will create the molten metal look at the bottom, and attract light. 

43. High Ponytail With Flowers Braids Hairstyle

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This look displays how flexible knotless braids can be. No matter how long, thin or thick they are, they’re ready to go the moment you’re done with installation. No tight roots or free facelift. You can pull them into a high ponytail. To add a tropical touch, use an embellished scrunchie like this flower one. 

How much baby hair you leave out is up to you, but make sure it’s enough to keep your edges stress-free and ready to style. Another great thing about baby hairs is that they’re washable. This instantly revamps your hair and gives you another week of clean, fresh-looking braids. 

RELATED: 26 Beautiful and Amazing Ombre Box Braids Style 

44. Mermaid Locs Braids Hairstyle

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Faux locs are an answered prayer for anyone who has ever wanted to try locs but couldn’t commit to permanently locking their hair, or didn’t have natural hair that was long enough. This mermaid version gives you the feel of messy, organic locs, and the softness of passion twists. The hair used creates those small bumps that naturally spring back. This is what gives them the “mermaid” effect. 

Faux locs can be installed multiple ways, but most involve installing a thin box braid first and then wrapping that with a curly wave. This adds some weight, so watch how many braids you add and which length you choose because it could turn into a bulky style pretty quick.  

45. Medium Feed-In Braids Hairstyle

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The great thing about braids is that they can take influence from different elements to create a completely new look. That’s what’s happening here. This style combines ponytail, ghana braids, and the swirly signature shape from lemonade braids. It’s also great if you sleep on your back, as there’s no bun at the back obstructing you. 

You can go with a base color like black, and go wild with hair jewels or split the spotlight between color and accessories by choosing a vibrant shade.

46. Icy Blue Fulani Braids Hairstyle

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You might look as cold as ice, but these blue Fulani braids are as hot as lava! The blue shouts at you from across the room, asking to be marveled at. Is it a little loud? Yes. Should that be a problem? Absolutely not. It gives Fulani braids a new, lively face. 

Now is the time to be as extra as humanly possible. We’re talking over-the-top baby hairs, bedazzled edges, and of course, forward-facing braids. 

47. Clean Stitch & Bun Braids Hairstyle 

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After a wild, icy style, you can tone things down with a traditional, clean stitch braid. Simple yet mesmerizing when done right this hairstyle truly works for each and every occasion under the sun. Red carpet event? Clean stitch braids. Summer yacht party? Clean stitch braids. There’s no place you can’t respectfully rock these.

Now just because it’s simple, doesn’t mean it’s easy. This kind of precision requires practice, so be patient, even if you’re not going to DIY it.

48. Ridge Braids Hairstyle 

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Yet another look from the simple braiding archive, this pulled-back ridge braid works great for impatient kids who don’t care to spend hours in a salon chair. All you need to do is slick the majority of your hair in a ponytail and leave the front part out. Then you braid a tight fishtail ponytail, creating this ridge effect. 

You can go with a simple ponytail, but if you want this look to last longer than a few days, try a tight bun or braided ponytail at the back. 

49. Blue & Purple Ponytail Braids Hairstyle

Credit: hair.by.missmay

This cornrow ponytail looks like a cheerleader or gymnast dream come true. The colorful, playful streaks mixed in with thick braids create a strong texture variation. You can hold this hair up in a bun or let the half-up ponytail shine on its own. 

This works well for a pep rally or a sporting event where you want to represent your team’s colors.

RELATED: 27 Pink And Purple Hair Color Ideas For Inspiration

50. Black Widow Purple Knotted Braids Hairstyle 

Credit: stitchedcreationzz

Now we’re entering the big leagues of braiding. Just look at the skill level here. The shape resembles a black widow, which is spot on because this stylist has got some deadly skills. Since you want the most focus on the design, stick to plain colors. You can go for a color bomb when you reach the buns at the top. 

Instead of a monochromatic look, try complementary colors like purple, brown, and orange. It’s the perfect blend for a Halloween or Autumn look. 

51. Slim Layered Braids Hairstyle

Credit: plush_naturalhairtz

Yet another entry into the Olympics of braiding is this slim, multi-layered curly lemonade bob. Phew, that was a mouthful, and this style is an eye-popping extravaganza. You know what’s coming up next. Go to a professional. This style is so beautiful, you deserve to enjoy it. Trying to pull it off at home as a DIY braider will only lead to frustration. 

The color blend is magnificent. A marriage between black and brown looks like our hair’s natural color progression. Luckily enough, you can pre-buy that kind of blending. 

52. Patterned Parting Braids Hairstyle

Credit: ks_signature

Anybody wanna buy a heart? This style has become pretty popular in the braiding community, mostly because love is always on everybody’s mind. Now you can have it in your hair. The heart-shaped parting, the triangles in the center, and the free braids weaved into the cornrow, are all about the details. Styles like this really make you appreciate hair as a medium of artistic expression. 

Keep your baby hairs laid with some gel, and secure this style with a lot of product and some precise parting.  

53. Viking Ribbon Waterfall Braids Hairstyle

Credit: rada_meraki

It’s like Christmas dived into this hair and went for broke. It’s more than a holiday look. It’s more than art. This wavy waterfall is pure hair perfection, and you have no choice but to agree. You can’t walk into any salon and ask for the Santa Clause ladder hair special. This is on another level. Still, you can take inspiration from it. To mimic the cascading braids look, section off hair from the front and create loose french braids. 

The hair ribbons tie into a woven basket effect, and the beaded berries make us wish Christmas would last all year. The dark roots peeking through create this shadowy maze that makes you want to jump in. 

54. Curly Q Updo Braids Hairstyle

Credit: @coconutandconcrete

Bubbly, bouncy curls for days, this is how you do a modern ponytail. It’s also an easy way to look cute. All you need is a curly premade ponytail or crochet hair. Braid your natural hair into cornrows and attach the ponytail or crochet hair to whatever’s left. If you use a premade hairpiece, you can refresh your braids weekly as your hair grows. 

Just like the picture, the hair color doesn’t have to match yours. As long as there are hints of brown and other neutral colors, you can pull it off. 

55. Twist & Loc Braids Hairstyle

Credit: @ashleyhenry

Here’s a complex variation of the half-braided trend we all love. These interlocking cornrows create a fresh pattern that you can pull off with extensions or natural hair. The braids look like a winding river or two hands holding one another. If you want to unlock the secret to this style, create a zig-zagged line at whichever point you’d want, then create normal parts as you would with any cornrows. 

That’s it! The twists at the back can be achieved with natural or fluffy kinky hair extensions. They’re rougher in texture, mimicking natural afro hair, so they’ll have the same bounce and thickness. 

RELATED: 30 Protective Box Braids Styles

56. Twin Clover Braids Hairstyle

Credit: @sandrasbraids

Yet another chapter from the “braiding genius” handbook, this four-leaf clover braiding pattern is all the luck you’ll ever need. Though the twin braids are simple, the middle section more than makes up for it. This is one of those looks that you should try at least once. You want these braids to last as long as possible, simply because they’re so breathtaking. 

What makes it difficult is the fact that both sides need to mirror one another perfectly. It’s nearly impossible to do this yourself unless you’ve got eyes on the back of your head, so a professional braid tech would be needed. If you know a stylist that can pull this off, tip them because they’re brilliant!

While considering braids, it’s important to know the ins and outs of what it will take to keep your hair fresh and in fashion. So let’s get into it. 

What Is The Best Hairstyle For Braids?

Hair, much like fashion or art, is subjective. It’s an individual form of expression that requires personal preference, creativity, and input from the wearer. That’s why it’s hard to decide which hairstyle works best when it comes to braids. Up-do, high ponytail, buns, twists, box braids and so much more. We’ve got so many options to choose from nowadays, that we’re often left swimming in a sea of beautiful possibilities. It can be overwhelming, so let’s narrow down which braid hairstyle you should choose, depending on what you’re looking for. 

If you want to turn heads, go for vibrant colors and extra-long braids. Even better, combine the two for a truly electrifying look. The louder the color, the better. Bright red, baby blue, and hot pink are striking ways to start your colored braids journey. Remember though, if you’re going to go wild on color and length, go easy on design. Don’t try to do intricate patterns or gravity-defying braids. You might catch someone’s eye but it might be for the wrong reasons. Anything too bold may translate into clownish. So moderate and adjust. If you love braids but don’t want to cause a traffic jam with color, try plain black, but add a little volume and layer with a goddess look. Neutral colors work best with the goddess look because they allow the curls and braids combo to shine without taking the spotlight. 

Just getting started with braids? Then go for the low-maintenance, low-cost french braid. Start simple and ease into braiding culture with some straight-back cornrows or knotless box braids. Only you know what works best for you, so experiment and you’ll find it.

What Braids Are In Style? 

Trends come and go, but what remains in fashion is the swag behind any look. As the years go by, we find ourselves repeating looks from the 80s, 70s, and even 50s. That’s precisely why you’ll get inspired by any age of fashion and style. When it comes to braids, we’ve gotten hype over trends like the goddess, spring twist, and jumbo cornrow patterns. Right now, long human hair knotless braids with curled ends and wispy boho braids are on-trend, but you can add your own twist, or pull a style from the braiding archive. For now, it’s best to go with whichever braiding pattern you want, regardless of what’s “on-trend”. Who knows, you might even revive a trend by simply being yourself and rocking your preferred style with pride and confidence. 

With that said, some classics will never go out of style. Simple cornrows, whether they’re braided into the lemonade pattern, or plaited in the Fulani style, will always be a braiding staple. Braided buns are another trend that has been around for decades, probably centuries. You can never go wrong with one. You can also try the classic or knotless box braid, which only gets better as the years go by. The classic french or dutch maiden braid is another trend that’s cemented in hair history. It’s not going anywhere. The colors, curl patterns and installation methods might change, but these looks remain a staple in the braiding community. 

Will Braids Protect or Ruin My Hair? 

This is a question that can be debated from all angles. As braids have grown in popularity, different people with different installation methods and braiding practices have saturated the market with what they feel is the quickest, cheapest, and easiest way to get the braids you want. This makes it tricky to regulate how braids should be maintained, treated, installed, and removed for optimal hair health. The basic gist is this, any hairstyle can be protective or damaging, depending on a few things. Yes, braids can wreak havoc on your edges and scalp if you install them wrong, or keep them in too long. They can also cause uncomfortable reactions if you don’t do your prep work carefully or pay attention to ingredients that you might be allergic to. 

With that said, braids are one of the best ways to protect your hair, so no, they won’t ruin it. But there’s a catch. You have to take the right steps before, during, and after your braid experience. Before you install any braids that require some tension or extensions, be sure to do a hair strengthening treatment, like a protein mask. That will lessen the chance of breakage. While braiding, don’t tug on your roots, no matter how slick you want them to be. You’ll get a splitting headache and weaken your follicles over time. Make sure you clarify your scalp frequently and when you take your braids out, be gentle and detangle your hair thoroughly.

How Long Should You Keep Your Hair In Braids?

Braids are quite the investment, from the time and effort they take to the money they can cost. That’s why it’s hard to part with them, even when they’re old and need replacing. Each braiding style has a different time frame when it comes to how long they can last, but generally, you shouldn’t keep any braids in after 4 months. You lose the protective element. Straight-back cornrows, regardless of the designs or parting method, can last up to 3 weeks. After that, it’s time to say goodbye. You’ll start to compromise your hair health if you don’t let it breathe. 

Box braids typically last up to two months so you’ll want to take them out after that. You can extend it to three or four months if you install it with the knotless method and do proper maintenance. Braiding styles that involve only natural hair like french braids, dutch braids, twists, Bantu knots or Viking braids will last around 2 weeks because they don’t have any synthetic fiber weighing them down. You should take them out after a few weeks so that your natural hair doesn’t get tangled or matted. 

How Do You Take Care Of Braids? 

Braid care is essential for anyone who wants to enjoy their braided experience. Three stages of braid care will define how these protective styles will work for you. First, you’ve got the pre-braid prep. This includes cleansing and clarifying your hair and scalp, as well as moisturizing it. You don’t want to install braids on dry hair, so add your favorite moisturizing product and let your hair dry. Installation is the next big step. Make sure your parts are neat and defined, and tuck your ends firmly within the braid. If you’re using synthetic extensions, make sure you soak them in Apple Cider Vinegar to remove any excess chemicals that are used during packaging. They can cause excessive itching. Once you’ve completed installation, you can move to step two, which is oiling your scalp. This will ensure you don’t get dry flakes or early dandruff. 

You can wash your scalp once every two weeks to avoid dirt buildup which can clog your hair follicles and slow down growth. Make sure your braids completely dry on wash days before you hold them up in a bun or tuck them away. You don’t want any dampness to cause inflammation or irritation over time. To keep your braids looking clean, apply a tacky gel or edge control to the roots after wash day to secure any flyaways, and tuck them underneath the closest braid. This should stretch your style to maximum capacity. 

How Long Should You Rest Your Hair After Braids? 

Okay, so you’ve followed all of the steps and you’ve got the best out of your braids, but it’s time to take them out. After taking them down, you see this amazing new braid pattern that you have to try. What do you do? Give it time. The truth is, braids are protective, but they’re still a lot for your scalp to handle. The same goes for hair dye, bleaching, or any hairstyling method that places unusual movement on your hair follicles. Braid styles that don’t require extensions are the easiest when it comes to scalp recovery. If you’ve just taken down your twist out or braid out, then you don’t have to wait long to reinstall the same style. Take one or two days to wear your hair loose then go at it again.

If you’ve used extensions, then your scalp and hair both require a break before you try another style. Give it a week. It sounds hard, especially when you’re used to wearing braids or you’re trying to get out of that “awkward length” phase, but you’ll be better for it. Nobody wants their hair to weaken or break off. So let your scalp build strength and rest. One or two weeks later, you can healthily install a new braided look and stay fabulous.  

Make Your Brilliant Braids Last! 

Now that you’ve got the options and the information, it’s time to learn how to take care of your braids. Here’s an in-depth maintenance tutorial that will work well with whichever style you choose. 

Miranda Cole

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