Cortne Bonilla
Updated on February 23, 2021

What do box braids, cornrows, micro braids and every other braided variation have in common? Besides the fact that they require little attention and maintenance, they can all be adorned with our favorite braid accessory: beads.

Beads and braids are perfect summer styles that make bold and stylish statements. Braiding and cornrowing is a tradition in many African cultures, one that was spread around the world thanks to immigrant and African-descended people recreating and reimagining old traditions. Now that the natural hair movement is in full swing, women are relishing in braided hairstyles in order to try out a new look, protect their hair, and show pride in their heritage.

How to Wear Braided Hairstyles with Beads

These aren’t exactly the braids with beads you probably loved as a child — this summer’s braids with beads are regal, cool, and inspiring. Maybe you’re trying to protect your natural hair from the effects of the summer heat — humidity, rain, and chlorine from the swimming pool — or maybe you’re trying to grow back your hair after harsh chemical treatments. Maybe you just really love beautiful braids! Either way, there are plenty of braided beaded hairstyles to choose from. Scroll down to see some of the most gorgeous beaded and braided styles we found on Instagram for you.

1. Box-Braided Bun

A bun is always an elegant look, especially when it’s box-braided with beads with longer pieces hanging at the sides to frame the face and add an interesting and feminine element. The wooden bead adornments in this look will give you an air of royalty.

Box Braided Bun

Instagram / @juschardell

2. Halo Braid with Beads

The braided headband isn’t exclusive to Coachella and festivals. With just a few golden beads along the crown, this look is classic, elegant and perfect for city promenades and special occasions.

Halo Braid With Beads

Instagram / @grip_and_twist

3. Box Braid Bead Ponytail

There’s nothing better than a good ponytail! This one, adorned with multiple beads at the ends, is both youthful and regal. All you need to do is box-braid the hair up into a ponytail and leave 2 single braids with beads in front of the ears.  During the summer, having hair away from your face is a bonus.

4. All-Over Braided Hairstyle

If you’re looking to give your entire head that much-needed break, opt for the all-over braided hairstyle. Spotted through with just enough beads to make you notice them without being overwhelming, you can showcase your makeup skills with this understated yet beautiful look.

Long Braids With Centre Part

Instagram / @themercede.s

5. Bantu Knots and Beads

This hairstyle is stylish, trendy, and versatile. No matter what type of hair texture you have, you can easily style Bantu knots. Known as a great way to preserve and grow hair, the Bantu style with braids is double the protection. Wear it like the girl below, with two long pieces at the nape of the neck and beads mixed into the knots for the ultimate look.

Chunky Bantu Knots

Instagram / @kersti.pitre

6. Puka Shell Beaded Braids

An alternative to the average bead is the puka shell bead. They add a unique, bohemian vibe to an all-over braided look. Let these braids be loose and wild and add puka shells wherever you see fit.

Thick Marley Twists

Instagram / @samrawit.h

7. Goddess Braids with Beads

Here’s one another cute way to wear golden beads of different sizes for natural hair. Goddess braids will awaken your inner wild woman and add some ethnic chic to your outfit.

Goddess Braids With Beads

Instagram / @jlowedabraider

8. Fancy Under Braids

If you like wearing under braids, then you’ll definately adore decorating them with a couple of beads and golden strings. There’re no rules here — just get inspired and turn on your creativity!

9. Braided Topknot with Beads

We’re obsessed with topknots in general, but this protective hairstyle with braided topknot is simply perfection. With a few beads around the base of the bun and some hanging on the loose braids in the front, this style will keep you cool all summer long.

Braided Topknot With Beads

Instagram / @analabelle

10. Kanekalon Magic

This minimalistic hairstyle is made of kanekalon braids and a couple of golden beads. And yeah, you can use as many beads as you want, everything depends on your mood and occasion.

11. Mohawk Braid with Beads

This braided hairstyle is absolutely iconic. It’s for the bold and powerful woman who isn’t afraid to rock a different look. Since the braided mohawk speaks for itself, only a few beads are needed for decoration.

Mohawk Braid With Beads

Instagram / @venice_braids

12. Short, Beaded Bob

This look is one of our absolute favorites. A bob is always a chic cut, but imagine it braided — for growth and healthy hair. This braided bob just has a few beads to accentuate this gorgeous style.

Box Braided Bob

Instagram / @boujielady

13. Loose Braids and A Turban

The turban became more of a trend than a cultural necessity within the past few years. From bedtime protection to an out-of-house “look”, the turban is a fun accessory to play with — and use to protect natural hair. Play it up with colorful beads and a bit of threading for a great everyday look.

Loose Braids And A Turban

Instagram / @kersti.pitre

14. Beaded Bangs

Who says you can’t wear bangs when you have braids? This lady proves that it’s a look all its own. Have fun by varying bead sizes and placement. Now all you need is a pair of retro sunglasses to achieve this genius look!

Long Braids And Beaded Bangs

Instagram / @myhouseofawesome

15. Half-Up, Half-Down Braids

We already told you about the braided topknot — here is the half-up, half-down braided style. Pull half of hair in a knot at the top of your head, and let the rest of the braids hang down over your shoulders.

Chunky High Bun

Instagram / @crownedbyketa

16. Vintage Inspired Braided Updo

We love this look because it’s half your own natural hair and half braided — the best of both worlds. Add some beads at the ends of the braids and get creative with a beautiful crown.

Vintage Braided Hairdo

Instagram / @allthingsammamama

17. Beaded Pigtails

You’re never too old for pigtails in our opinion! Section braids into pigtails and let the beauty of the braids show. By the way, braided bangs is also a perfect match for your favorite beads!

Beaded Pigtails

Instagram / @simplyjade_101

18. Pulled Back Beaded Bun

This is perfect for rainy days when there’s a bit of humidity in the air, and you want a sleek look. Pull cornrowed hair back into a high bun and adorn with chic gold beading. Cornrows with beads make the simple bun look more intriguing.

Pulled Back Beaded Bun

Instagram / @beauty.from_arose

19. Flower Child Inspired

You don’t need a crown of flowers to feel like a ’70s hippie babe. Braids wrapped around the forehead gives the illusion of a braided crown. Complete the look with big, bright beads all over the hair.

Bohemian Hairstyle With Beads

Instagram / @_misspalmershair_

20. Box Braids and Beads

This style is absolutely perfect and very simple to achieve. Have hair braided and pulled to the side with some beads evenly throughout. This look is great both for daily life and special occasions.

Side Swept Box Braids

Instagram / @jlowedabraider

Any of these beaded and braided hairstyles will certainly get you compliments and admiration. Beads on braids make braids even more interesting and prettier. Don’t forget about the young ones! Try these looks on your daughters as well. The most popular braids for the littles are Mohawk braids with beads. If you’re looking to protect your hair, to have a bit of fun, or to try something different this season, the beaded braid is definitely one to try.

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