It’s all about baby hairs, swirls, and side parts when it comes to ponytail lemonade braids. Take a look at 15 ways you can rock the look.
Braids come in all shapes and sizes, but when you combine efficiency, comfort, and style, you get this trendsetting look. Though this braiding style has its roots in West and Central African culture dating back to the 18th century and beyond, it’s still a relevant and stylish staple for anybody who wants to protect their natural locks while going for a timeless feel.
What’s different about this look is that it sits directly on your scalp, allowing your hair to breathe. It also gives you access to your roots. You’re able to apply your preferred hair care products, which is essential for anyone who wants to maintain their natural hair health.
Why Are They Called Lemonade Braids?
For the longest time, this hairstyle was considered a simple variation of traditional feed-in braids. Some referred to them as Ghana braids or side braids. When Beyonce dropped her culturally defining album titled “Lemonade”, her hairstyles, particularly her braids in the “Formation” video, were affectionately dubbed “lemonade braids”.
These braids are usually swept to one side and worn loose. Celebrities and everyday people have adapted this style to suit their preferences and quirks. Beyonce’s 2016 look has taken many turns, from short bobs to knee-length braids. With some innovation and a little maneuvering, you can make lemonade ponytail braids out of lemonade. Get it?
How Long Do Ponytail Lemonade Braids Last?
Lemonade braids might be cute, but there’s always that looming question. How long will they last? Depending on who installed your braids and your own hair texture, lemonade braids could last anywhere from 1 to 3 weeks.
If you have a looser, fine texture, you’re more prone to flyaways and frizz, so be sure to use more hair products like gel or edge control to keep things neat for as long as possible. Coarser hair might need a tighter grip while braiding, but make sure you’re not pulling your hair too hard. One edge that ponytail braids have over traditional ones is that they’re worn in a ponytail so the ends and shaft are protected from wear and tear.
If you keep your hair wrapped in a bun at night and cover it with a bonnet or satin scarf, ponytail lemonade braids can last up to 4 weeks, which is great for any feed in style.
Are Ponytail Lemonade Braids Comfortable?
As with most braided hairstyles, it depends. Your braid technician should be gentle when installing these braids and you shouldn’t feel pain during or after the process. If you do, it’s best to remove them because you could develop traction alopecia and lose a significant amount of hair.
When done right, these braids are some of the most comfortable ones out there. If you have a sensitive scalp, be sure to soak your braiding hair in Apple Cider Vinegar for a few hours to get rid of any residual chemicals on the synthetic hair that might cause irritation.
Check out these versatile lemonade looks. Experiment with different colors, braid patterns, and lengths to get your preferred version.
1. Classic Ponytail Lemonade Braids
Once a classic, always a classic. You can’t go wrong with medium size braids like these. They can be dressed up or dressed down depending on the occasion, and if you choose a neutral color like black or brown, you could wear this style in an office setting.
If you’re going to DIY the look, be sure to buy long braiding hair so that it can be long enough to wrap up in a bun or drape down your shoulders.
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2. Sweep The Floor Ponytail Lemonade Braids
We love a long, braided look no matter what the style, but a long ponytail adds an elegant touch to these already royal lemonade braids. Not only is it a great look for your summer poolside pictures, but it also works with an evening gown.
If you’re the type that gets tired of long hair tickling your neck and back, simply wrap the flowing locks into a bun. It’s best to go for thinner lines with long braids as these can get heavy sometimes.
3. Interlocked Ponytail Lemonade Braids
Who doesn’t want their braids to look like they’re head over heels in love? These interlocking lemonade braids work best when they’re in a ponytail. That way you can see the full artistic design. For extra flair, why not add some flamboyant baby hairs?
If you want to push the boundaries a little further, use two different hair colors. That way, one color can lock into the other to create a cool pattern.
4. Color Explosion Ponytail Lemonade Braids
There’s no way you’d go through this list without discovering a braided pop of color. It’s the easiest way to add life to any look, and a bright ponytail full of pinks, blues, and purples is sure to get some heads turning.
There really is no limit to the choice of colors you can incorporate into this style, just make sure it’s something you’re comfortable enough to be confident with. There’s no time to be shy about having a rainbow on your head, so own it.
5. Swirl & Wave Ponytail Lemonade Braids
This pattern looks a lot like the ocean’s waves and it already has us dreaming about a beachfront getaway. The twists and swirls are the main highlights but this style also comes with the benefit of having a low ponytail so your neck won’t feel any strain.
If you’re looking to DIY this look then you’ll need a whole lot of practice. Like, a lot. It’s pretty intricate and will require a lot of hand maneuvering. Crazily enough, it’s not the most elaborate style on this list, so keep scrolling!
6. Simple Side Part Ponytail Lemonade Braids
Before we get to the wild side of ponytail lemonade braids, let’s appreciate this demure version. The simple design is hassle-free and probably the easiest to DIY. The ponytail is low enough to where it wouldn’t stick out, but it’s not so low that it puts a strain on the nape of your neck.
If you think the look could use a little excitement but you don’t want to go overboard, then mix different neutral colors, like the warm tones featured above. If you’re more daring, go for an ombre look or straight-up bold colors like red, pink, or purple.
7. Jumbo Ponytail Lemonade Braids
Large and definitely in charge, these jumbo braids demand attention, and when paired with a bold color like icy blonde, they command the room. It’s definitely not a shy statement. Incorporate another trendy style element by adding two dangling Fulani inspired lines down the sides.
To keep your hairline intact, don’t braid the front too tight. Instead, create larger parts in the back and add smaller ones in the front without compromising the jumbo look.
8. Beaded Beauty Ponytail Lemonade Braids
Beads make everything better. They add flavor to any braided style and take this plain black ponytail to another level. You can use any kind of bead you want. With that said, wooden beads mixed with cowrie shells elevate the look, especially if you’re an adult.
The only downside to this specific look is that you’ll find it difficult to hold the braids up in a bun, because of the beads. On the upside, you’ll get to feel like a kid again, swishing these beads around as you walk.
9. Top Knot Ponytail Lemonade Braids
The bigger the bun, the bolder the look, so go as large as you can with this high bun style. This look works best as a top knot that won’t get in the way when you want to sleep on your back or recline on your couch. The hardest part about a top knot though is the installation method.
You’ll definitely need help with this one as it requires you braiding in an unusual upwards direction for the back part. Keep these braids thin so that the weight doesn’t overwhelm you.
10. Strawberry Swirl Ponytail Lemonade Braids
This look combines vibrant colors, intricate design, and swirly line art to create one unique ponytail. The look is enough of a statement on its own so it doesn’t need extra special baby hairs but that doesn’t mean you can’t add some. In fact, you can combine two trends by adding small crystals to your edges.
Red isn’t the only color choice, obviously, but sticking to a universal tone like the one above will flatter your features, no matter who you are and how you look.
11. Crazy Maze Ponytail Lemonade Braids
Now we’re entering the big leagues of braiding styles. This is as intricate as it comes and you’ll need a gifted stylist or your own set of extremely gifted hands to pull this off. The look requires a lot of planning, parting, and patience.
There’s a reason why it’s a top knot ponytail. From the front to the back, the zig-zag style doesn’t miss a beat and that’s something nobody would want to hide. The braids are small, so the style could take a long time to install, maybe 8-10 hours.
Since the look is so intricate, be careful not to add too much hair to each cornrow as it could overcrowd your scalp and you could lose definition.
12. Stitched Ponytail Lemonade Braids
Stitch braids have grown in popularity due to their clean and beautiful patterns. The style usually features a smaller braid between two thicker braids to highlight the defined stitch. It’s a time-consuming style because the one braiding has to ensure each stitch is defined.
To keep your parts clean, use a gel or tacky edge control and work on a clean scalp. It might be easier for beginners to use a comb while parting the stitch braids and securing the parts with small elastic rubber bands. You can prevent hair breakage by dipping the rubber bands in your favorite hair oil.
13. Half Up, Half Down Ponytail Lemonade Braids
If you want to be able to switch your style up, then a half-up and half-down ponytail is best. This style combines box braids at the back and cornrows at the sides and front. It’s one of the more versatile styles because you can wear it down and add your own accessories.
It’s also a great protective style because it doesn’t strain your scalp with heavy braids. If you want to add a bouncy touch, crochet in some loose curly hair for a goddess braid look.
14. Alternating Ponytail Lemonade Braids
If you can’t decide whether you want super thick lemonade braids or super thin ones, why not try both? This alternating style looks great because it adds symmetry to your ponytail while giving your scalp some relief from the larger braids. For even more variety, add two loose box braids at the front.
Baby hairs are always an option so save your edges from a tight cornrow by sectioning them off ahead of time.
15. Ultimate Layered Ponytail Lemonade Braids
If there was a braiding Olympics, then this ponytail lemonade combo would win gold. Braids on braids on braids, it’s like the inception of hair. It takes the iconic lemonade swoops to another level.
To add more details to the look, create a thin braid down the middle that can hold either gold or silver hair jewelry or shells. You would need a highly skilled braiding technician. The accuracy it takes to measure each cornrow, without adding too much or too little hair, is something only a professional or long-time home braider can pull off.
Ready To Try Any of These Ponytail Lemonade Braids?
They’re certainly worth it. Once you’ve installed these beauties, you’ll need to know how to maintain them. Check out this YouTube video to keep your braids in tip-top shape.