Braids can be traced back 5000 years in African culture to 3500 BC and they were very popular among women. Alysa Pace of Bomane Salon tells BYRDIE “Braiding started in Africa with the Himba people of Namibia,”. In many African tribes, braided hairstyles were a unique way of identifying tribes. Braid patterns and hairstyles were a sign of a person’s age, age, marital status, wealth, power, and religion.
Braided hairstyle is one of the most versatile, running from incredibly intricate patterns to simple plaits. As a bonus the hairstyle helps protect your strands from damage and help you grow your hair longer. Read on to discover all the different braided hairstyles for women.
1. Braided Ponytail
Anyone can wear this style if you love braids. It’s versatile, and it should last you about a month’s time – depending on how you take care of it! The style is popular because it makes your face appear longer..
2. Box Braids
This type of hairstyle is best described as “protective style” and is “boxy”, consisting of square-shaped hair divisions. Box braids are very popular among black women. You can use your hair or have extensions braided in, which will give you head-turning long, full locks.
Box braids can can be any length or thickness but for naturally thin or fine hair opt for smaller box braids to lessen the tension on your scalp. Box braids generally lasts for weeks and generally require a very low-maintenance.
3. French Braid
A French braid otherwise known as French plait or Oklahoma braid, is a type of braided hairstyle. It involves three-strand gathered plait which includes three sections of hair that are braided together from the crown of the head to the nape of the neck.
Also a versatile hairstyle, French braids is fit for a casual brunch, the gym or the office.
4. Lemonade Braids
You are probably wondering why are lemonade braids called lemonade braids? Lemonade braids got their name thanks to Beyonce and herquintessentia 2016 visual album Lemonade. The hairstyle is what Bey wore is film which reviving a trend.
Lemonade braids is a versatile hairstyle – they can be of any size or thickness. You can also combine them with other cornrow styles like zig-zag, or add accessories like rings and beads.
5. Dutch Braid
Dutch braid are also called “reverse French braid. The difference between a Dutch braid and French braid is that you cross the strands under instead of over when doing Dutch braids. A basic Dutch braid works on most lengths of hair, but if you have very short hair, consider a double Dutch braid instead.
6. Crochet Braids
Crochet braids, also known as latch hook braids is one of the most gorgeous ways to rock a protective style. Crotchet braids use techniques for braiding hair that involve crocheting synthetic hair extensions to a person’s natural hair with a latch hook or crochet hook.
Very similar to a weave, crochet braids are done by braiding your hair into loose cornrows first. This cornrow pattern forms the foundation for your crochet braids – hair extensions are then threaded through and secured using a crochet hook next before being plaited into your braid style of choice. There are also ready made braids secured like box braids which reduces work time to put in your braids.
7. Goddess Braids
Goddess braids are literally thicker cornrows. They’re bigger in size, raised higher, and are also braided closely to your scalp. They are equally versatile for every occasion – from the gym, straight to work, then out to drinks, all while protecting your hair and looking superchic.
8. Fishtail Braid
It’s one of the simplest braids to create because it doesn’t involve a complicated pattern. It is important you separate your hair into small sections ( about half an inch) – and create uniform tension throughout the braid to avoid it falling apart.
9. Feed-in Braids
Feed-in braids use a technique that gives the illusion of natural, full braids by “feeding in” synthetic hair with your natural hair beyond the start of your hairline. The stylist will usually secure extensions to your natural hair with a knot then gradually ‘feed’ the extensions in – plaiting them together with your real locks for a seamless blend.
10. Tribal Braids
Tribal braids have roots traced to Africa and feature many different techniques and braid styles.
11. Fulani Braids
Fulani braids originated from the Fulani people of Africa. This braided hairstyle is a style that usually incorporates the following : a cornrow braided down the center of the head; one or a few cornrows braided in the opposite direction toward your face just near the temples; a braid wrapped around the hairline; and often times, accessories, such as beads.
12. Cornrow Braids
Cornrow braids never go out of style – one of the most well-known styles for Afro hair. Hair is braided close to the scalp using the underhand technique to create raised plaits. They’re braided so close to the scalp, that most times your skin is often exposed. Each one is formed in neat rows, hence the name.
13. Braided Buns
Braided bun hairstyles are easy to wear and super stylish. They are a festival favorite with ‘90s vibes.
14. Yarn Braid
Yarn Braid Hairstyle is a type of protective style that uses yarn instead of braiding hair. The yarn braids itself are a type of extensions made from acrylic – the non-wool fabric. Yarn braids have the same benefits as other protective hairstyles, for one they help protect your hair from the elements, allow you to grow your hair longer, and also versatility in styling. Yarns come in variety of colour: peach, pastel pink, and color-pop shades like deep green and red for bold styles.
15. Waterfall Braids
A waterfall braid is a half French braid in which part of the hair is braided and the rest is left to cascade down, like a waterfall. The braid creates a ‘cascading’ effect, which means it looks perfect paired with a soft wave hairstyle. Waterfall braids are very popular with brides and bridesmaid.
16. Crown Braids
Crown braids are a type of French braid that wraps around the head, just above the forehead, in a half-moon shape (resembling a crown or tiara). They look a little bit difficult to do but if you already know hoe to do a basic French braid then you can master a crown braid too.
A simple way of making a crown braid is to plait your hair into a double Dutch or French braid, then lift each one and pin it to the opposite side to form the crown.
17. Jumbo Box Braids
Jumbo box braids are box braids but just bigger in size. An advantage of this type of hairstyle is that it takes lesser amount of time to put on and a good hair choice to make a bold statement. You can use bright hair color or accessories like rings, beads, and jewels for extra beautification. Jumbo box braids are great for women with naturally thick hair or you can also add extensions.
18. Triangle Box Braids
Like the name depicts, triangle box braids are braids with triangular hair sections. Triangle Box Braids are a fun way to shake it up if you want a fresh look.
19. Mohawk Braid
A typical Mohawk hairstyle has both sides of the head shaven, leaving a strip of noticeably longer hair in the center but a mohawk braid has both sides braided.
20. Butterfly Braid
This braided hairstyle is a beautiful and protective style. They are incredibly gorgeous and have become one of the hottest braided hairstyles to try because they require less maintenance and still look amazing.
Butterfly braids have ab oversized and slightly fluffy underhand braid, which should look not too done and natural. They almost require hair extensions often and you sometimes need to sew in one too. Keeping the sided smooth or in small cornrows helps draw more attention to the butterfly braid. For extra beautification add hair cuffs or jewelry.
21. Snake Braid
Snake braids are super easy – usually used to give a half-up, half-down look a fresh twist. If you know how to create a standard three-strand plait, your good to go – you can easily create this style effortlessly.
To create: start plaiting a small section of hair at your temple then braid it back until you run out of hair. Hold one of the three strands and push the other two back up. Next, gently pull the braid out again slightly, so the snake pattern is visible. Repeat the process on the other side, then tie the two snake braids together in a ponytail at the back of your head, using a section of hair to cover the join.
22. Senegalese Twist Braids
Senegalese twist braids are a protective hairstyle otherwise known as rope twists because of the thick, rope-like braids that form using this technique. Not only can this braided hairstyle last at most 4 months, its better to use synthetic hair rather than human hair extension for the styles signature ultra-smooth and silky finish
23. Ghana Braids
Ghana braids are a classic protective style for natural hair and curly hair. They are also a versatile and intricate hairstyle. Most often this braided hairstyle wide variety of different braiding patterns but the most classic is to braid front to back, but you can also wear a different style of choice.
24. Side Braids
Side braids begin at the hairline and move up towards the crown of the head instead of straight back creating a faux undercut. This hairstyle also takes a side-swept wavy hairstyle to the next level.
Adding extensions to the braids and leaving the rest of the hair free gives this braided hairstyle an an unusual and striking appearance. Side braids give a modern and chic look that’s attractive to most face shapes.
25. Halo Braid
Halo braids are like crown braids just slightly more advanced. Halo braid sits much higher on your head. To create: Weave two long Dutch braids around your head, and then pin them in place after to create a pretty halo effect.
26. Tree Braids
Tree braids also called invisible braids (because don’t see the braids in your hair, and only the ends of the extensions that have been installed into the braid are visible). The style involves creating mini cornrows braided back from your hairline or just braiding about an inch or two . The rest of your hair is left free, either loose or in a ponytail or updo.
27. Micro Braids
Micro braids are teeny-tiny braids, they usually take multiple hours and a few braiders to actually achieve the finished look. They aren’t suitable for those with dry or brittle hair and can cause hair loss if left in too long – but if properly maintained can last up to 8 weeks on average and are extremely versatile.
28. Ombre Braid
Ombre braids refer to braids with color fading from dark to light, or vice versa. Instead of the color starting from the roots, it gradually becomes lighter, or darker, towards the ends. Blonde-brunette is a common color transition but for a pop of color you can try green-blue transition.
29. Braided Updo
A braided updo has a vintage appeal. As a beginner create a double Dutch or French braid and twist the two plaits together to create a braided bun effect.
30. Half-Up Half-Down Braids
This braided hairstyle is very versatile and may consist of two or more combo depending on your choice. For example:
- Half Up Half Down Cornrow Braids
- Half Up Tribal Braids
- Half Up Half Down Fishtail Braid
- Half-up French Braids
- Half Box Braids Updo