Your hairstyle is a means of expressing your mood, personality, and culture. Black braid hairstyles got their roots from African culture, constantly being re-imagined with traditional and modern twists. The options are endless, and you can rock those pretty braids stylishly. If you’re looking for pretty black braid hairstyles that will set your next look, keep reading for our stylish picks.
Do you know that braids started in Africa are rooted in tradition? In fact, African hairstyles, particularly braided ones are their way of communication, giving them the facts on different tribes, religion, and even social ranking. That’s the reason why African people take pride in their hair whether caring for them or showing their artistic skills with them.
One of the most popular hairstyles in African fashion is box braids. Technically, the braids are created with three strand technique, varying in sizes and using your real hair to create long plaits with sleek square or triangle partings. The braid style is called as “box” simply because the method uses box shaped parting to create the hairstyle. Most of the time, the ends of the braid are secured by heating the fake hair.
If you’re heading to a summer getaway, then the hairstyle is perfect for you.
Ombre Box Braids
Donning your natural hair is great, but sometimes need some protective hairstyles that do double duty on protecting your hair and keeping you fashionable. Do you know that ombre box braids that use colored hair extensions will let you switch up your everyday look?
If you’re looking for a statement hairstyle, think of ombre box braids that will add some color to your looks. With this braid style, strips of colorful hair extensions are tied onto your natural hair, braiding them into a traditional three strand technique till the ends. This ombre box braid is in fact a protective hairstyle that can be re-imagined into different looks whether you have a straighter or a more wavy hair.
Rock those technicolor ombré hues that will add some life to your basic style.
Who says you can’t accessorize your hair? Nowadays, braid hairstyles are becoming more fashion-forward and creative with the use of embellishments, beads, ribbons, colorful yarns, threads, cuffs, along with artistic patterns that swoop and swirl around the crown.
If you’re looking for a hairstyle for a festival season, then simply accessorize your braids with a flower crown, feathery headbands, and even bejeweled hairclips. If you’re looking add some pop of color to your hairstyle without wearing colorful hair extensions, think of some yarn wraps that will give you that eccentric yet playful vibe.
If you have a bohemian style, then adding those festive accessories will jazz up your basic braid and cornrows, giving you a carefree statement. In fact, these ornaments will make your looks on-point for the beach, adding some playful and whimsy vibe to your style.
Braided Bob or Twisted Lob
If you think you cannot sport a long braid just because you’ve got a short hair, think again. Short box braid styles are on the rise—and you can make your bob or lob haircut more creative with them. If you’re still on doubt on getting a long braid with hair extensions, then try those bob braids and twisted lob that will deal with your natural hair.
In fact, having a braided hairstyle that hits just above your collarbone will save you some time—not to mention it’s a low-maintenance look, perfect for a girl on the go.
Partial Braid with Curls
If you find a braided bob or twisted lob too strong for your personality, then think of getting some partial braid with curls. A great thing, this hairstyle will work for women with straight, curly, or kinky hair. It’s up to you whether you want to get the traditional three strand braid, cornrow on the sides, or on the middles.
The thing that makes this hairstyle sophisticated is because the braids are mixed with curls, and you don’t have to braid your hair from tip to the ends. This hairstyle will look perfect from a date night to a streamlined look at the office.
If you have a straight hair, then start by braiding your hair on the middle part or side part, then get some curls on the unbraided strands. You could go for messy waves, beach waves, or carefree curls. If you’re a woman with a naturally curly or even kinky, Afro hair then, you’re lucky. All you have to do is to cornrow some of your hair then let your natural curls loose and carefree.
If you want to take your messy bun to the next level, then think of a braided bun. In fact, it’s a statement-making way to wear box braids, while keeping everything carefree, modern and trendy. All you have to do is to refresh your braids and pull it back, securing your hair into a high pony tail.
You may proceed with gathering your ponytail into a bun and securing them with bobby pins, but you can also get a whimsy vibe by going for a ribbon-style braided bun. Just simply form a loop just like the way you supposed to knot a ribbon, leaving enough room to knot your braid ends. To get an easier bun, simply split the loop into two parts, pulling your braided hair ends and wrapping them around your bun.
If you’re wondering why the hairstyle is called as crochet braid, it’s simply because the braiding method is done by using a crochet hook where the real hair is first braided into cornrows before attaching the synthetic hair or hair extension to the braid. Yes, it’s all about the crochet technique—the similar method your grandmother uses to weave your cozy sweater.
Crochet braid is one of the most favorite protective hairstyles as you can create different looks from it. As long as you know how to cornrow braid, it will be just easy for you to style your hair, getting that Afro, super long braids, and more. The key lies in the quality of your hair extension that will be tied into the cornrow braid, securing it with a knot till there’s no cornrow braid visible.
If you wish to get some statement with a curly hairstyle, you have to get some cornrow braids on your real hair first, then, they’ll be covered with your curly hair extensions until they’re completely hidden under the synthetic hair. You can have your pick from Afro, curly, twisted, braided, or even straight hair extensions that you can crochet into your hair with the braiding method. Yes, the outcome of your hairstyle will depend on the type of hair extension that you will use.
Do you know that crochet is easier to install into your hair than getting real box braids or twists with your natural hair? All you need is to buy the right hair extension of your taste whether it’s a straight, twisted or braided, then attach it to your hair. It will save your time and energy compared to sitting for long hours to do some box braids or twisted braid styles manually.
You can absolutely use the method with longer braid hairstyles like box braids and Havana twists by using pre-styled hair extensions—but short curly bobs and other shorter braids can be done too.
If you’re looking for an edgier hairstyle, Ghana braids are perfect for you. Generally, this type of braid starts with cornrows, gathered into a ponytail or braided towards the nape of your neck. A great thing, Ghana braid hairstyle is extremely versatile—the braid patterns can showcase different styles depending on the size and shape of the braids.
To get that dramatic ponytail effect, think of going for a Ghana braid and gather your hair into a high ponytail. If you like, you may even add some colorful hair extensions that will give your style some revamp. Luckily, you can create different looks from Ghana braids—think of high braided buns, curved braids, low bun, curly updo, Ghana twists and such.
To create that high braided bun, simply think of the usual way you create a top knot hairstyle where you can simply loosen the knot, and let your hair hang down whenever you want. If you wish to get some curved braids, simply ask your hairstylist to part your hair with your desired shapes, creating an artistic base for your braid. For a classier, more sophisticated look, opt for a sleek low bun in Ghana braid.
Do you know that you can mix different braid styles with Ghana braid? You may even go for Ghana twists where your hairstylist will flat twist your strands instead of braiding your hair in cornrows. For a curly updo with Ghana braids, simply ask your hairstylist to leave the ends of your hair for curling so you can get the flirty look.
Do you know that Havana twist is one of the best protective hairstyles to protect your natural hair without sacrificing style? Havana Twist is actually similar to Senegalese and Marley twists. All of them are hairstyles that use hair extensions tied onto your natural hair and twisted, but they just differ in the texture and style of hair extension used.
Generally, Senegalese twists require a shiny, heavier weave with skinnier twists, while Havana twists require a kinkier and coarser weave with chubbier twists. The latter is also lighter, so you can get some bigger and fuller twists without being too heavy on your head. In fact, you can get that rope twists below your waist.
All you have to do is to prepare your hair and divide it into four parts, focusing on one part at a time. A fine tooth comb will be a great tool for precise twists. Divide that one part of your hair into half, then, apply the hair extension on top of your real hair, twisting them tightly until they form a thin rope. Just keep in mind that you need a kinkier hair extension when doing this hairstyle. According to experts, you have to do about five twists in one direction.
You have to twist the two parts individually and twirl them together after to form a thick rope. The key is to join the two parts until you reach the ends. This procedure can actually take up to six hours to complete, so be patient. To avoid unwinding of your twists, simply secure them with hot water or tie some hair rubber band on them.
If you have an afro hair, then you’ll fall in love with the Nubian twists. In fact, this hairstyle is great for transitioning back into your natural hair texture. This hairstyle actually uses kinky hair extensions, where the twists will result to a springy, shorter look. If you want to flaunt your natural kinky strands, then this protective hairstyle will give you the look you’re trying to achieve.
With Nubian twist, your natural hair is twisted with hair extensions in a coily pattern. A great thing, the hair extensions used in Nubian twist don’t have that obvious sheen you normally see on other extensions used in other hairstyles. However, the twists will usually end up being the shortest—not ideal if you’re wearing a longer hair. Also, this hairstyle isn’t meant to look sleek and perfect.
If you got your hair straightened, but it’s going back to its natural kinky state, a Nubian twist is actually a great hairstyle to camouflage the transition. It’s especially awkward where the rest of your hair is straight, but your roots are kinky. The Nubian twists look more natural than other hairstyles, so it’s perfect to hide your transitioning hair while protecting it since the extensions put less tension on your hairline.
If you want to create the Nubian twist, simply bend your hair extension into a “U” shape then braid it into the roots of your natural hair. You may start with the traditional braid, but opt for a two-strand twist by dividing your strand into two parts. Do the rope twist till the ends, and seal your twists with a hot water. The final look of your hairstyle should be curled with kinky ends, adding some flair to your personality.
Most commonly known as boxer braids or pigtail braids, Dutch braids use the same technique as cornrows, dividing your hair in the middle while creating a banana-like braid on the back. The only difference is that the sections of your braids are crossed under the middle, giving a raised cornrow while forming pigtails. This hairstyle is also called as “boxer braids,” since the hairstyle is edgy and it’s the usual choice of female athletes they wear in the ring.
Kim Kardashian might be known for making the boxer braids trendy, but there are actually countless African women who had worn the hairstyle for years.
A great thing, this hairstyle is actually very easy to create, especially if you’re looking for a bold statement when you break a sweat at the gym. All you need to prepare your hair for braiding and moisturize it. Hair experts recommend detangling and brushing your strands first to make the procedure seamless.
You may start by creating a middle part the same way you divide your hair when styling the traditional pigtail. Secure the other section, and begin the braids from the loose section downwards. Do you know that a Dutch braid is actually the opposite of a French braid? Yes, the sections on the sides of your hair are actually crossed under the braids, resulting to a banana-like braid sitting on the top of your head.
Just braid until the ends, securing your braid with a hair tie and repeating the steps on the other section of your hair. Finally, secure your overall braid with a hairspray intended for hold and frizz protection.
If you wish to create different braid hairstyles, then you must go back to the basics—the cornrow braids. It’s up to you whether you wish to wear the cornrow braids on your middle, on the crown, at the sides of your head, or behind your ears as long as they are uniformed and sleek.
One of the most popular cornrow styles is the helmet plait, where you’ll get a directional braid that snakes on your head, resembling a helmeted look. You may simply leave the ends loose or gather them into a ponytail.
This hairstyle is actually more daring than the other types of braids, and it’s perfect if you’re a fashion-forward woman. This hairstyle is perfect during Coachella where you can top your looks with a floral headband, but it’s also great during festive seasons, holidays and such.
Everyone can wear braids, but if you want something bold and different from the rest, opt for these kinds of braids. This way, you don’t have to spend too much time in the morning—you just need to set it and flaunt it.