Braids are an easy and so pleasant way to forget about hair styling for months, give your hair some rest and protect it from harsh environmental factors. Besides, with the awesome hairstyles listed below, you will attract attention, admiring glances and sincere smiles.
Braided hairstyles make space for creativity. There are many interesting braiding techniques to make every head unique. Besides, you can experiment with highlights, natural or curly texture, clips, patterns, shapes, etc.
Natural perm and hair thickness is your big plus and a unique bonus that you simply can’t leave unused. Your hair, that you might have been complaining of before, is created for braids. So why not use this idea to your advantage?
African hair braiding is very versatile: microbraids, cornrows, fishtail braids, blocky braids, black braided buns, twist braids, tree braids, hair bands, French braids and more are at your disposal. Once you pick a desired braiding style, thickness and have your hair braided, you may shape your braids into gorgeous hairstyles both for every day and special events.
Researchers say that braids were “in fashion” even 2000 years b.c. If they have survived till our time, there definitely must be something special in them, don’t you think? Every year world-famous designers experiment with braids at fashion shows, Youtube videos with braiding tricks get millions of views, and pictures with braids get more likes than photos with any other hairstyles! Need new inspiring ideas? We’ve rounded up some trends and picked the best images from the top hairstylists around the world. Read on!
Popular Trends in Black Braided Hairstyles
Fashion shows are always inspiring, yet when it comes to clothes, we need to wait at least till March to find out what to add to our lookbook. As for the hairstyles, things are much easier here. Luckily, popular Instagram influencers and celebrity hairstylists bring some new fresh ideas into life EVERY day. So, you may read our articles, get inspired and try on new images already now. Some braided hairstyles that always work:
– Tight and edgy cornrow styles, cornrowed buns. Cornrows have been always considered a rather casual hairstyle, but now when they are in Couture collections, it’s high time to rock them.
– Wrap-around braids and twists for black hair with feminine accessories. These are loose, messy and inspired by Boho chic.
– Very loose whimsical braids for long hair. The braid that starts from mid-shaft is not noticeable in the front and looks sloppy in the back.
– Low braided buns. Braided bun updos are always an extra charge of elegance to ennoble even the simplest outfit.
– Twisted rope braids. These dimensional braids are ideal for long thick hair. They look very interesting, unhackneyed and worth a try.
The Most Gorgeous Black Braided Hairstyles
Now it’s time to check out the cutest ideas of braided hairstyles and pin the best ones to show your hairstylist.
#1: Criss-Cross Goddess Braids
Chunky cornrow braids, referred to as goddess braids, are perfect for days when you want to give your hair a break or when you are going on a beach vacation and would rather not worry about styling your strands every morning. The great thing about the braids of this size is that they don’t take too long to do and are easy to take out.
#2: Dynamic Side-Swept Cornrows
Braided looks are so popular amongst African Americans because of how they protect the hair. Once the hair is in the braid, it is free of heat and manipulation for weeks on end. Plus, it’s really cute and there are endless designs to express yourself.
#3: Asymmetrical Goddess Braids
Mix plaits of different sizes into braid hairstyles to create texture and dimension. Combining chunky and thin braids is unexpected. It’s also a lot more exciting than regular plaits. The unique parts keep the hairdo fresh and fun. Add beads or gold cuffs for the final touch of personalization.
#4: Simple Braided Cornrow Bun with Hair Cuffs
A simple yet versatile hairstyle, cornrow ponytails are fun and functional. Whether you choose to wear your ponytail down or in an elegant bun such as the one above, the sleek cornrowed style is appropriate for all ages and occasions.
#5: Feed-In Braids
The benefit of the feed-in method is that it makes cornrow hairstyles look more natural and less bulky by creating a narrow and flat point at the hairline. This also creates less tension and protects the edges. This method of braiding can be done at any African hair braiding salon.
#6: Braided Ponytail
As wonderful as braids can be to create interesting protective styles, braiding hair can sometimes feel heavy when it comes to hairstyles with individual plaits. A cornrow ponytail is great for a casual updo that won’t pull on your edges.
#7: Elegant Braided Bun Updo
Take your cornrow ponytail and turn it into next level elegance with a tiered bun. Its visually interesting to look at and is a fresh twist on the traditional bun. This bun is really the star of this show but throw in a creative part or two and you have a true showstopper of a hair style. We think this look is particularly suited to more formal events and will definitely get you lots of compliments.
#8: Curly Mohawk with Flat Twisted Sides
Instead of shaving your tresses for a mohawk, experiment with different braid styles. You get to keep your length, and still show off your edgy side. To refresh the curls in the AM, go to bed the night before with your ends in two-strand twists. When you take them out, your hair will fall into that luscious mane.
#9: Cornrows Going Back
Just because you want to braid your back, doesn’t mean you don’t want it to be cool and interesting. Alternating large cornrows with smaller ones is a popular technique for adding flair and making styles stand out. The curved parts at the front of the style is also a nice touch. Add in the ability to go from bun to ponytail and back again in seconds, and it’s easy to see why this hairstyle is a winner.
#10: Box Braids and Cornrows Mohawk
Make the mohawk yours with braids, braids and more braids. Braid the top of the style together so it creates a pompadour. Then, let the rest hang loose. You will get some major height out of this coif. This is a refined take on the classic punk-inspired hairstyle.
#11: Half-Updo with Long Freely-Hanging Braids
Long braided Ghana weaving hairstyles are a staple for African American women during the summer months. Keep your look fresh with a half-updo that features a nice height on top. This style can be completed in a time crunch for a sexy look that lasts throughout wherever the day may take you.
#12: Perfect Black Braided Ponytail
Natural hairstyle’s braids are a go-to if you’re looking to grow out your own tresses while still sporting back-skimming locks. Box braids are low-maintenance, and this updo will stay out of your face when you’re on-the-go.
#13: Snake Braids
Long and curvy braids are not your typical cornrows, but the idea is pretty much the same. Try the snake braids if you want a fresh take on the hair braided closely to the scalp. Add golden beads for extra bling!
#14: Chunky Mohawk Braids
Mohawk braids are an easy way to try the shaved style without committing to actually cutting your hair. Also the possibilities are endless when it comes to styling the long section of your hair — you can cornrow it as shown, wear individual African braids, twists, or more.
#15: Chunky Mohawk Braid with Cornrows
Chunky braids are a stylish pick for black hair. Thicker braids are also easier to undo once your hairstyle has run its course. But while you are rocking it, there are many ways to change up the mohawk. Wear it braided down the back or try styling it into a retro-inspired bouffant up top.
#16: Cornrow Hearts
This cornrow hairstyle with a heart at the center of it all is unique, interesting and inspiring. Is it just us, or does it make you image what other shapes you could create? So far, we’ve come up with a star and a diamond. Pulling the hair back into a low bun really helps the heart shape pop and makes the look even sleeker. It’s a vibe.
#17: Heart Cornrows into a High Bun
We just love that the hairstyle give off “serious in the front, party in the back” vibes. The high bun is all sophistication while the heart shape in the back is fun and whimsical. Is this hairstyle a metaphor for the duality of man? Maybe. Either way, it’s fun and we love it.
#18: Cornrows with High Twisted Bun
Updos are comfortable and cute. So why not opt for a classy black braided hairstyle like the one pictured? You will have an effortlessly chic look ready to go for work everyday. You also won’t have to worry about styling it every morning. It’s a great choice for women with busy lifestyles.
#19: Feed-In Bun with Ghana Braids
Wrap your Ghana braids into a bun to change things up. Ghana braids are beautifully thick, which will give you a full, statement-making bun. It is sleek and sophisticated; perfect for a night out and a day at the office, alike.
#20: Fancy Twisted Updo
Something about wearing your hair up lends itself to a refined look and feel. This flat-twisted style uses texture to make the updo more unique and unexpected. The style is good for women with natural hair that want something protective and polished.
#21: Long Braids and Beads
This waist-length hairstyle is absolutely perfect for the young and young at heart. Everything from the S-shaped cornrows at the side to the beads proclaims that girls just wanna have fun. A statement we can get behind!
#22: Curvy Cornrows
This style is all about the parts. The cornrows are still going front to back but the parts all curve in the same direction while all being almost exactly the same size. The entire style comes together in a look that’s totally balanced.
#23: Side-Swept Cornrows
Love the side swept look? Then you should definitely try these side swept cornrow braids. It’s fun and fresh and with a style like this, every side is your best side.
#24: Box Braided Bob
The letter of the day is B for box braids and bobs. The classic bob hairstyle is given an edgy makeover with chunky shoulder length box braids that are bold and beautiful. B might be the letter of the day but we definitely give this style an A.
#25: Thick and Thin Asymmetrical Feed-In Braids
Black hair braids are known for their high cool-factor. Alternating thick and thin asymmetrical Ghana braids will only make your hairstyle even cooler. This trend is eye-catching and keeps the thicker braids from being too overpowering. The thinner plaits bring balance to the style.
#26: Upside Down Braids to Bun
For something super sleek and bold, go with upright braids. Have the cornrows lead into either a ponytail or a bun. You can wear the ends down for a casual look or up in a bun when you need something a little dressier.
#27: Braided Hairstyle with Jumbo French Braid
A French braid goes from being sweet to sassy the larger it gets — and this style brings a heavy dose of the latter. Try a jumbo braid for an upcoming weekend out; this is a surefire conversation starter!
#28: Cornrows in Pigtails
This side part cornrow style is simply stunning. We love how the part follows the curve of the ear instead of being a straight line. Creating pigtails with the braided hair as opposed to ponytail holders is also a stylistic decision that allows the style to maintain its elegance and maturity. Who says pigtails are for kids?
#29: Triangle Box Braids
African-American braided hairstyles are a chance to be creative. Parts don’t have to be routine squares. Take this geometric, triangular design for instance. It’s unexpected, cool and gives the classic box braid a totally fresh feel.
#30: Half Cornrows Half Box Braids
The half cornrows half braid is a hugely popular style among braid wearers everywhere and for good reason. The combination of box braids and cornrows offers a wide range of styling options. And as this style shows, the color of the braiding hair you choose can be just as important as the style itself. If you’ve always chosen colors closer to you natural hair color, why not change things up a bit next time?
#31: Braided Bun
For a long time, large braided updos were reserved for older women on the go. But everything old is new again, and now younger women are embracing the style with flair. The micro braids accent the jumbo cornrows for a fun twist on the classic.
#32: Feed-In Cornrow Bun
Feed-in cornrows. Check. Cool design. Check. Braids pulled into a bun. Check. This style ticks all our boxes and we firmly believe it could be the one that also checks all of yours.
#33: Medium-Sized Cornrow Braids
The size of these medium sized cornrows and braids are perfect for those of us who want to have our hair done but aren’t prepared to sacrifice all day to it. Large enough to be quick but still small enough to last for quite some time. As for the color – we are in love.
#34: Wavy Straight-Back Braids
One of the most classic cornrow styles is the straight – back look. It’s typically the first hairdo that new braiders master because the pattern is simple and it does not take a lot of time to complete. To add a softer twist, ask for curvy parts to create a wavy appearance.
#35: Braided Updo Hairstyle with Curls for Short Hair
No need to rock a fully braided style to get the effect. Braid the back, leaving room in the front for bouncy spiral curls. This style works well with short to medium hair length, as it does not require much length to complete.
#36: Jumbo Side Cornrows with Curly Bun
Why hide a gorgeous jumbo bun at the nape of your neck when you can pull it to side so that it’s visible from both the front and back? This style is elevated by keeping the ends of the cornrows loose in order to give the bun its beautiful curly texture. This style works for all age and definitely has the wow factor.
#37: Jumbo Double-Twisted Updo
Here is a simple updo for black women with natural hair that can work for a dressy event or just when one craves a more glamorous moment in day to day life. The best part is that this look can be completed in less than five minutes for a quick and easy black braided hairstyle.
#38: Long Jumbo Box Braids
Timeless. Classic. Simple. Beautiful. Long jumbo box braids make a real statement. They can also be heavy so prepare for your neck muscles to get a workout.
#39: Feed-In Cornrows with Temple Heart Design
Even if you aren’t one to wear your heart on your sleeve, you can still be that person who rocks a heart in their hair. The heart design adds flair to traditional braids going from the front to the back and will certainly make a statement.
#40: Burgundy Feed-In Braids
If you needed proof that a protective style doesn’t need to be dull and boring then look no further. This style combines many of our favorite elements. Beads, color and and a cool design. We love the whimsical nature of this style.
#41: Intricate Boxer Braids
A signature hairstyle is one show-stopping way to showcase your personality as well as your personal taste. Braided ‘dos are both protective and, clearly, gorgeous. Look for intricate braided hairstyles that both protect your natural hair and show it off to its best effect.
#42: Long Curvy Braids
One of the reasons black women turn to braids is because they’re so versatile. In addition to forming the basis for many protective styles, braids work as stunning hairstyles with natural hair and weaves or extensions. For this fresh asymmetrical style, try curvy plaits with curvy partings – and don’t forget to keep those baby hairs slick and tamed.
#43: Black Braided Bun Updo
Swirls, loops, and swoops; thick plaits, thin snaking cornrows, and perfectly curled baby hairs – there are several hair braiding patterns on display here, and all of them reveal just why the braid can be a work of art!
#44: Long Braided Faux Hawk
This Empire-inspired faux hawk takes braided hair to the next level in its execution, intricacy, and literal height. It features several braiding styles, with natural braided hair along the sides and back. The twisted roll that forms the faux hawk and the cascade of braids spilling out of it are adaptable depending on personal preference — thick, thin, long, short, or medium length, just pick a style and type of hair you want to use for extensions.
#45: Cornrows with a Twist
Cornrow hairstyles are not just signature styles for black hair, they’re deeply cultural hairstyles for black women and men. The rows are cute in geometric patterns, which highlight the skill and artistry that go into crafting these hairstyles. The thickly woven braiding on top can be achieved with natural hair or extensions.
#46: Long, Braided, and Flowing
Long, braided hair is a signature look for black girls and women. There are several types of braids, ranging from twists and locs to free-flowing box braids. Color, size, and design all come in a dazzling variety, and don’t forget accessories for individual braids!
#47: Black Braided Bun
Braided updos are elegant and sophisticated but still fun, and they’re versatile and full of flavor, so every woman can choose her own style. This look begins with cornrows that lead to a thick, braided bun. High top knots such as this one are classy and compatible with any outfit.
#48: Chic Braided Bob
Braided bobs are simple but so chic. This is a run-out-the-door hairstyle that never fails – the wearer always looks pretty, polished, and put-together. The best part is that this ‘do is a winner with thin, thick, or medium braids.
#49: Reverse Flat Twists
Traditional cornrows go from forehead to nape, but if you have shorter hair and/or want to have some volume on the top of your head, reverse them. The highlighted bunch of curls looks very sweet – girly and playful.
#50: Cornrow on Cornrow Crown Braids
A great twist on the crown braid, this creative hairstyle is a sure to last for weeks at a time. Its longevity more than makes up for the time investment required to get it installed. It’s the perfect summer break hair style.
#51: Gorgeous Pocahontas Braids
This show-stopping double-plait is updated by color and complemented with side cornrow braids for a look you’ll be proud to wear casually or for an up-coming event.
#52: Cute Jumbo Twist Braids
Call them jumbo twists or crochet braids, the result is equally impressive. The style is unfailingly edgy, elegant, and eye-catching. Add some scattered golden beads to break the gorgeous mass of hair you’ve got.
#53: Flat Twists into Twist Out Curls
Today’s twist braid styles often use flat twists with freely hanging ends you can style in curls or braids for a more sophisticated look. These flat twists are done on shorter hair with extensions, yet the style is very natural-looking. Love it!
#54: Black Crown Braid
The crown braid updo is simple but very chic and time tested. You can lift your braid closer to the crown of your head or let it run along the hairline – choose the variety that flatters your face shape and facial features the most.
#55: Black Braided Mohawk
There’s no end to a variety of designs one can try with braiding. This mohawk with braids blends curvy cornrows with one point burst rows for a jazzy Mohawk to suit a woman who shies away from wearing boring hair.
#56: Two Cornrow Boxer Braids
Two braids can sometimes be better than numerous individual braids. These absolutely look like your own hair, especially if you choose braiding hair that matches in hue. Braid hairstyles for black women give you freedom to try a new exciting style each time you need a change.
#57: Crossed Twists and Afro Puff Pony
Sometimes a few simple elements combined in one ‘do make a gorgeous hairstyle – here is an example! Who doesn’t like an afro puff when your hair is of the right length? Add a fun detail in the front and flaunt your customized afro puff. Nothing is better than updated classics!
#58: Mohawk with Criss-Crossed Braids
The way the braids criss-cross is nothing less than jaw-dropping. The curls on top add some fun, volume, and bounce to the overall look. If you like to blend styles, this is a great new updo to try!
#59: Braid and Side Bang
If you have a long bob or a medium tapered cut, you can still rock braids as shown here. Use the longest portion of your cut in the middle to create a braid or add hair to the section where you will be able to get the most grip. With a sleek bang in the front—this look gives new meaning to the phrase “business in the front, party in the back”.
#60: Half-Up and Braided
Wearing black braids half-up, half-down is an effortless way to look on-point every day. This ‘do can look professional, it’s sporty, sexy and it’s casual enough to wear it daily.
#61: Double Braids Updo
Black braided hairstyles aren’t just beautiful, they are creative and practical. Two braids updos ride new wave of popularity, so don’t miss the trend and get something quite simple yet classy braided for your trip somewhere or just for a change to brighten up your casual life.
#62: Mixed Braid Updo for Black Hair
Looking for a fun style to wear at a formal event? Mixing in a few braids of different sizes will result in a fashion forward updo for black women. To help the look last for a couple of days, make sure to sleep with a silk scarf at night.
#63: The Most Sophisticated Braided Updo Ever!
Unbelievable… look at that! Those elegant spirals, skillfully rolled into the most sophisticated updo, are worth to grace your head for a once-in-a-lifetime occasion, like wedding, to say the least.
#64: Criss-Crossed Braids with Feed-In Cornrows
Today nobody is impressed by just plain braids. To upgrade your braided hairstyle, criss-cross braids, vary their thickness, try new angles, experiment with different variations of parts, and you’ll invent something unique, something that’s worth a double take.
#65: Dutch Braid Crown for Black Hair
If you have long natural hair, or want to add length to your strands with extensions, braiding hairstyles can promise you a fabulous new look. This is perfect for nights when you want to go out and don’t feel like straightening your hair or twisting it out.
#66: Revamped Braided Ponytail
Take a ponytail to the next level with braids. Because the style is not very versatile, you want to introduce something quirky or fun into the look so that it doesn’t feel boring after a couple of days. Incorporating smaller braids, or wrapping hair around your ponytail holder are those simple touches that will keep it exciting.
#67: Braids and Waves for Any Occasion
Braids, ending in waves, will provide you with good options for a choice of hairstyles. Wear them loose, cascading your shoulders for every day or pile everything up for a superlative updo that is never out of fashion.
#68: Bulky Braided Crown Bun
One of the fastest and most pulled together protective styles is a braided bun. This style can be achieved by most textures and lengths. Unless your locks are extremely long and full, it is easy to add hair to create a bulky crown-like bun.
#69: Curly Hairstyle with Crochet Braids
Crochet braids are handy when you don’t want to commit to a weave. You can wear the hair down or up in a ponytail. You really have as many styling options as the imagination allows. Mix highlights into your crochet braids with colored kanekalon hair for a bleach-free splash of color.
#70: Twist from Box Braids
Keri Hilson also occasionally adopts the box braids trend, and she wears her braids in a modern way – without “baby hair” in front. Well, hers is sleeked cutely into a couple of tiny tendrils.
As you see, there are tons of exciting ideas of how to change your image with different types of braids. Take advantage of your naturally thick wavy hair and show the world just how breathtaking you can be!