Goddess braids are a staple of beautiful black hairstyling, but you don’t need to be a person of color to master the technique and wow everyone with a gorgeous new style.
Goddess braids are so practical as they ensure wayward hair is kept under tight control, but you still get to enjoy the benefits of having long hair.
You can put them up with no fuss or wear them long down your back. However, you choose to arrange them, you can always trust that they’ll always look neat, tidy, and feminine.
Goddess braids have actually been around for quite some time, and no wonder because they are pretty yet sensible for every activity. Gone are the days when girls could sit around with delicate hairstyles that couldn’t take a soft gust of wind without messing it all up.
Girls these days need hairstyles that are ready for anything and keep irritating wisps of hair out of your eyes, so you can focus on being your amazing self every day. We’re strong and beautiful, and our hair needs to stay on-brand with that because nothing is going to get in our way.
Goddess braids are super popular right now, so we’re going to show you how to do them step by step and help you master the technique with our top tips. Let’s get braiding.
What You’ll Need
Before you start, you’ll need the following things to make beautiful Goddess braids.
- Shampoo that is free from sulfates
- Moisturizing conditioner
- Styling gel
- Edge control
- A comb with a pointed end (such as a rat tail comb)
- A wide-toothed comb
- Hair clips and bands
- A Brush
- Hair glue
- Waving hair
- Braiding hair
Human hair will make your Goddess braids look way better than synthetic, but it’s still possible to get a good texture and pattern with synthetic braiding hair. Human hair is obviously more expensive than synthetic, so choose braiding hair that’s in your price range because you’re going to need quite a bit of it.
You’ll be needing to get between 5-7 packs of braiding hair depending on the size of your head the size of the braids that you want and the length of your hair. In terms of waving hair, you will only need one pack or two for the ends.
Goddess Braids can last from four to six weeks, so you need to prepare your natural hair carefully before you begin your braids. To create perfect braids of any kind, the first step is always to wash your hair.
Do not use a shampoo that is harsh on your hair. Instead, select one that is free of parabens and sulfates. You don’t want to damage your hair before you start.
Clean your hair length as well as your scalp because you won’t be able to clean your scalp for as long as your braids are in.
Conditioning comes next. Use one that moisturizes but is otherwise appropriate for your hair type. Comb your conditioner through with a wide-toothed comb to aid detangling and then rinse with warm water.
If you want to use a leave-in nourishing conditioner or hair product, this is the time to apply it. You may find that a leave-in product will help your hair retain shine and lock in moisture while your hair is protected inside the braids.
Now you have everything you need and your hair is in a good condition, you can start braiding.
There are various methods of creating Goddess braids, but for each of them, you should start by sectioning off your hair into easier-to-handle sections. If you are a newbie to braiding, try bigger ones for your first time. The smaller they are, the longer it takes to do the whole head and the more fiddly they are to make, too.
Method 1 – Box Goddess Braids
The Box in “box braids” refers to the neat box shape you see on the scalp as you section the hair into neat squares of box shapes. Using a thin, pointed-end comb will help you get the right angles clean.
Once you have the section of hair, you should start to braid. Add braiding hair as you go to make the texture neat and the braid consistently thick.
Braid in the waving hair partway down and once it is securely braided in, clip the wavy hair out of the way to leave it out of the braid. This creates the neat but-carefree look that you’re going for.
Some people like to use several pieces of waving hair per braid by adding it in several places down the braid, but the place you want the wavy hair most is right at the bottom because it will look like it’s your natural hair at the bottom of the braid.
Method 2 – Goddess braids for medium, short hair
This method involves braiding your own hair with two strands of wavy hair and then wrapping the braids in braiding hair. The result is very stylish and looks a little dreadlock-like with some stunning waving ends for about five inches after your own hair ends.
This is a great way of extending your own hair length by a little to add a lot of sassy style.
Method 3 – Beginner-friendly Home Made Goddess Locs
Tommi shows us how to do goddess locs on short, ultra curly hair. She has purposely gone for rougher textured braiding hair to add a tribal texture to them. She combines different kinds of braiding hair to add bulk and texture.
This result is a full head of volumized, thick braids with just the right hint of mess. She added some serious length to her own hair length but it does look really natural with a primal African flare.
Definitely, one to pair with some tribal metal hair jewelry to totally change your appearance while protecting your natural hair.
So many girls of color choose the silkiest, straightest braiding hair they can find, but Tommi stays true to her roots (in more ways than one) by purposely adding frizz and rough textures to her long braids.
By the time she’s done, she looks like a warrior queen with killer cheekbones and it’s such a wonder how she has managed to use so much extension hair and yet managed to create braids that look completely natural.
She also has some great tips and ideas about how to style and wear your Goddess braids when you’re done.
Choose Your Braiding Hair Wisely
The appearance and texture of your braids are going to be pretty consistent for the next few weeks, so get it right. It’s almost sad that so many women of color choose silky extension hair over more natural textures that emulate their own hair.
Your hair is beautiful. Yes, yours. Your hair is beautiful and you are too, so don’t be afraid (or even ashamed) to choose hair that looks like your natural hair. The best Goddess braids in our opinion are ones that look really natural and give an old-world charm that’s both feminine and strong.
If you want silkier neat braids, that’s OK, we’re just advising that you think twice rather than automatically reaching for the hair that looks most like Jennifer Anniston’s.
Go Big Or Go Home
If it’s your first time doing Goddess Locs then make them bigger than the ones you have seen in the videos. Why? Because while you’re still learning, it’s going to take you a really long time to get them done perfectly.
If they’re bigger, then you’ve got bigger sections to work between your fingers, so your fingers won’t get tired as quickly and you can feel what you’re doing better. Don’t be hard on yourself by making your job harder, just go big.
Glue The Ends
To finish each braid, you should take the wispy end of your real hair, or braiding hair, depending on how much longer you’ve gone than your natural length, and make a loop as if you’re going to knot it.
Before you do, add your hair glue or super glue so when you pull it tight, it’s going to stay there. These braids take forever so you really don’t want them coming undone and unraveling your hard work.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Goddess Braids A New Thing?
Absolutely not. Goddess braids may be “in” now but they’ve been a sign of creativity in certain cultures since ancient times. They’ve been traced back to Africa from around 500 BC. Braids are traceable back even further to 3500 BC in Namibia to the Himba people.
What Are Goddess Braids?
Essentially they use the same principle as cornrows but are thicker. Because they are bigger in size than cornrows they add more volume to the hair and can create the illusion of more prominent cheekbones by using long lines around the face.
Goddess braids are done close to the scalp and involve leaving some wavy hair loose to give a more carefree and controlled-mess hairstyle. It’s neat, but not restrictive.
You can style them in many different ways and adorn them with traditional metal jewelry for an added salute to tribal roots.
How Long Can Goddess Locs Last For?
Your Goddess braids can last for 4-6 weeks depending on how you care for them.
You can get your braids wet, but it will affect the neatness of the style.
If you want to keep the wavy hair, wavy but intend on getting in the pool with them, you will want to opt for 100% human hair for the waves so you can restyle it again if the waves come out due to exposure to water.
If you use synthetic hair and the braids get wet, you can probably kiss goodbye to your carefree curls and say hello to nappy, tangled wisps of hair everywhere you look.
That’s one of the reasons why you should wash your hair and scalp thoroughly before braiding so that it’s totally clean before you start.
If you are determined to try Goddess Braids at home on yourself, then make sure you have everything you need before you start and go slow.
Be prepared for a long process but a worthwhile one. If you can get your Goddess Locs done by a professional, you should, but either way, you’ll be totally blown away with the results.
Goddess Braids are here to stay in style and we can totally see why. They look good on just about anyone with any length or texture of hair which is no small thing. We just love the bohemian look of these braids which look cool, yet neat at the same time. It’s magical.