Explore 31 Beautiful Braided Hairstyles for Black Women to Experiment With

Ngày 31/10/2023

The tradition of braiding hair dates back to 3500 B.C., and evidence suggests that cornrows, a type of braided hairstyle, have been worn since the Stone Age. In the early tribes of Africa, hair braiding held great significance as it could reflect a person’s status, age, or tribal affiliation. Over time, various braiding styles have emerged and transformed into the diverse range of looks we witness today.

For Black women, there is a wide variety of braids to explore, with each one offering the opportunity to enhance your individual style preferences. Whether you prefer the long-lasting resilience of micro braids or the gentle and sleek feel of Senegalese twists, there is a braid style that will undoubtedly cater to your taste.

In this guide, we will explore various trendy braids that are particularly popular among Black women. Additionally, we’ll provide suggestions on how you can effortlessly incorporate these captivating hairstyles into your everyday fashion.

1. Cornrow braids

This hairstyle is highly sought after and suits both short and long hair, as well as both Black women and men. The braids are usually thin and sit snugly against the scalp. Additionally, cornrows provide numerous pattern choices, as the braids are determined by your hair parting.

There are various hair braiding styles that you can try using cornrows as the base. Lemonade braids, soft locs, Ghana braids, faux locs, knotless braids, goddess braids, and crochet braids are just a few examples. Regardless of your preferred look, cornrow braids are a great choice to maintain the health of your hair and boost your confidence.

2. Box braids

Box braids are not just a convenient and protective hairstyle option, but they also hold significant importance in Black history. These braids can be traced back to as early as 3500 B.C. The name “box braids” originates from the unique box-shaped parting at the base of each three-strand braid.

There are various ways to wear box braids – you can let them hang long and loose, tie them up into a braided bun or ponytail, or style them as a half-up, half-down look. If you’re unsure about how thick each braid should be or thinking about adding extensions, consulting a braider for their expert advice can be helpful.

3. Triangle box braids

Achieve beautiful, flowing locks with this style while embracing a notable variation in how the hair is divided. This modified version of box braids introduces a subtle yet impactful change in parting, transitioning from box sections to triangular ones. This simple adjustment adds a touch of edginess to the timeless classic look.

Feel free to experiment with different braid thicknesses, side or center parts, and even hair colors to personalize this style and make it uniquely yours. Chalia Mangrum, a braider from Ohio, suggests that triangle box braids are a trendy option that works well with various hair textures. Just like regular box braids, you have the flexibility to get creative with the way you style the individual plaits. With the right maintenance, box braids can typically last anywhere from four to six weeks.

4. Senegalese twists

Senegalese twists offer a beautiful solution for giving your hair a much-needed break from daily styling and excessive use of hot tools, while also promoting healthy hair growth.

In order to achieve these braided hairstyles, either synthetic or human hair is added to the base of your own hair. The hair is then divided into two sections and wrapped tightly along each strand from top to bottom. The outcome? Smooth and polished twists that can be elegantly swept to one side or neatly pinned back. These braids provide a unique texture compared to the traditional three-strand braid.

5. Nubian twists

The Nubian twist is a hairstyle that can be dated back to ancient Egypt, just like the Senegalese twist. Although the installation process shares some similarities, the outcome differs significantly in terms of texture and length.

The most prominent visual distinction between these twist braids and the Senegalese alternative is the tight coils. Additionally, Nubian twists are often seen with shorter hairstyles, typically resting slightly above the shoulder.

For individuals seeking a style that is lightweight, versatile, and quicker to install than other types of braids, this look offers an appealing choice.

6. Micro braids

Among the various types of braids for Black women, micro braids stand out as a unique style that may not resemble the typical notion of a braid. Unlike cornrows and box braids, which vary in thickness, micro braids are meticulously crafted using tiny sections of hair. As a result, these plaits give the appearance and texture of a thick strand of hair, rather than tightly interwoven braids.

This particular style requires more time and effort compared to other braids, so it’s important to allocate a full day for your salon appointment. Additionally, it’s worth noting that the cost for this style may be slightly higher. However, the results are well worth the investment, as with proper maintenance, this look can last for up to eight weeks.

7. Fulani braids

Fulani braids have emerged as one of the prominent tribal African braid styles that have gained wider popularity. These braids typically feature a single straight-back braid combined with others that gracefully cascade in contrasting directions across the top of the head, often extending towards the ears or temples. The exquisite intricacy and captivating charm of this hairstyle have made it exceedingly sought-after among Black women, ranking it among the most favored braid styles.

Fulani braids offer an attractive combination of scalp-hugging cornrows on the top and voluminous box braids at the back. You can unleash your creativity with this style by incorporating curls, extensions, or vibrant beads for a pop of color.

8. Flat twist braids

If you want to make a bold impression at your upcoming formal event, schedule an appointment to have flat twist braids installed. Your braider will assist you in creating a unique and eye-catching style by parting each section with different widths and angles.

There are a couple of ways you can style your hair. One option is to create a few thick twists starting from your hairline, part them to the side, and then sweep them down to create a low bun. Another option is to divide your hair into several sections of medium thickness, which can later be used to create an elegant updo.

Flat twist braids are reminiscent of cornrows in their ability to lie smoothly against the scalp. However, what sets them apart is the distinctive texture achieved through twisting, resulting in a graceful and sophisticated look.

9. Havana twist

If you desire a voluminous and stunning hairstyle, visit the salon and ask for Havana twists. Nubian twists are tightly coiled and typically kept at medium length. On the other hand, Havana twists are usually worn in long, thick strands, creating a beautifully full appearance. You can wear them down or style them into a bun, ponytail, or half-up hairstyle.

10. Braided ponytail

Although we acknowledge it may be viewed as a cheat, the braided ponytail serves as an excellent option to introduce some diversity into the aforementioned styles. Whether it’s box braids, Fulani braids, Ghana braids, or various other braid types, all can be elegantly styled in a high or low ponytail, providing a refreshing variation.

11. Braided bun

Just like the braided ponytail, another way to switch up your hairstyle is by opting for a braided bun. There are two options to play around with the look: gather all of your braids into a bun or solely utilize the top half, allowing the rest to gracefully cascade down your back.

Braided buns provide various advantages for your hair. They allow your hair to take a break from excessive use of products and styling, promoting growth and rejuvenation. Additionally, buns are a simple hairstyle that complements both casual and formal attire effortlessly.

12. Colorful braids

To revitalize any braid style, consider adding a touch of color. By introducing vibrant extensions or skillfully intertwining beads, you can effortlessly transform your appearance and infuse your braids with a delightful burst of vividness.

13. Crochet braids

The crochet braid, once a trend in the 1990s, is now making a resurgence. To achieve this style, start by braiding your own hair into cornrows. Then, use a crochet hook to weave the crochet hair into the cornrows. This versatile hairstyle offers numerous possibilities, such as curly options, available in different types of crochet braids.

14. Faux Locs

If you’re searching for a hairstyle that requires less commitment compared to locs, consider trying out faux locs. Unlike permanent locs, faux locs typically last for a period of four to six weeks. Achieving this style involves twisting or braiding your natural hair, and then wrapping additional hair around the twists or braids in order to provide protection.

15. Ghana braids

Curly-haired individuals looking for a stylish option will adore these beautiful braids. Known as Ghana braids, they offer a distinctive look by utilizing a unique braiding technique. In contrast to traditional cornrows, the extension hair is fed over the braid rather than beneath it. These braids are particularly suitable for those with thicker locks as they are often thicker in size compared to other styles. Some trendy variations include twisted Ghana braids, chevron Ghana braids, and horizontal Ghana braids.

16. Goddess braids

If you’re seeking a stylish option that offers a glamorous and trendy appearance without requiring a long-term commitment, consider trying out goddess braids. These voluminous braids are created by tightly braiding the hair near the scalp, resulting in a soft and versatile hairstyle that is ideal for those looking to grow out their hair while still looking fabulous and fresh.

17. Jumbo braids

If you are seeking a unique twist on the classic box braid, why not try the jumbo braid style? Rather than numerous small braids, this style incorporates between 10 and 15 larger braids. It’s particularly ideal for individuals with long hair, as the braids may be too weighty for those who prefer shorter hairstyles.

18. Knotless braids

Also known as feed-in braids, knotless braids are an alternative to styles that wrap the extension hair around a knot at the base of your hair. Instead, knotless braids rely on hair that’s fed in as you go. This puts less stress on your natural hair and creates less tension. Many people love knotless braids because they’re nearly painless to install and wear, there’s much less breakage involved in the braiding, they’re not heavy, and they work well with fine hair.

19. Stitch braids

Stitch braids use an alternating pattern of thick and thin braids to create a stunning look. Your hair is divided into five to seven sections. Between each of these thicker sections, you’ll leave a thin segment. Each part is then braided close to the head. The result resembles Ghana braids but with the variation of the thin braids in between the bigger ones.

20. Bantu knots

This particular appearance embodies a traditional style originating from the southern region of Africa. To achieve this look, begin by dividing your hair into sections for each knot. Next, twist and wrap each section to create the knots. Skilled braiders and stylists can elevate the traditional Bantu knot look by incorporating intricate styles, patterns, and partings.

21. Marley twists

Marley twists are comparable to the other twists discussed earlier. The distinguishing factor is the use of Marley hair in this particular style. The end result of this look will bear resemblance to locs, owing to the curly texture of the braiding hair.

22. Passion twists

Passion twists involve creating two-strand twists with curly extensions, resulting in a stunning blend of goddess locs and Senegalese twists. This versatile style allows you to customize it according to your preferences, with options for various lengths, thicknesses, and colors, making it truly unique to you.

23. Yarn braids

Yarn braids are a fantastic alternative to traditional hair braiding, as they utilize yarn instead of actual hair to create stunning and protective styles for your natural locks. One of the major advantages of yarn is the ability to experiment with a wide range of vibrant colors that may not be readily available in traditional braiding hair. Additionally, yarn is a cost-effective and easily accessible option compared to traditional braiding hair. Many individuals highly recommend using acrylic yarn, which can be conveniently found at craft stores.

24. Tree braids

If you prefer to have a hairstyle that doesn’t involve fully braiding your hair, tree braids are an excellent choice. With this style, you will cornrow your braiding hair at the top of your head while leaving the rest of the hair loose and flowing, once it is securely attached to your own hair.

25. Braided faux hawk

Faux hawks offer an enjoyable way to incorporate braids into your hairstyle. What makes them particularly exciting is the ability to modify your appearance using various braid sizes and designs. You can request your braider to craft an elaborate pattern on the side while fashioning a faux hawk with a larger braid in the middle. Alternatively, for a bold and voluminous faux hawk, you can leave your hair untouched in the center.

26. Lemonade braids

This fabulous hairstyle incorporates various braiding techniques to achieve a stunning look. On one side, you’ll expertly cornrow your hair, while allowing the rest to elegantly cascade over the opposite side. Experiment with intricate wheel patterns, have your braids gracefully encircle your head, and play with different braid sizes to craft a truly mesmerizing design.

27. Poetic Justice braids

Poetic Justice braids gained popularity in the 90s when Janet Jackson sported this stylish look in the film Poetic Justice. Throughout the movie, she showcased thick and long box braids in various stunning styles. The terms “box braids” and “Poetic Justice braids” are often used interchangeably. To capture Janet’s iconic vibe, you can either tuck these braids neatly under a newsboy cap or tie them up into a high ponytail, adorned with a white headscarf, allowing the ends to hang freely in a straight fashion.

28. Braided bob

Braided bobs, unlike Poetic Justice braids which are longer in length, usually reach the shoulder level. Opting for shorter braids not only reduces the burden of weight but also offers a multitude of styling options. You can choose braids with stylishly fanned ends, loose curls, or even experiment with creative partings.

29. Braided braids

Elevate your style by merging your braids into a single, grand braid. The beauty of small braids lies in their versatility, allowing you to shape them into various captivating looks. Experiment with crafting two substantial plaits using your braids, then artfully intertwine them to fashion an impressive and voluminous twist.

30. French braids

French braids offer a delightful way to combine various braiding styles. For instance, you may choose to have most of your hair styled in French braids while incorporating micro braids in certain sections. You can also experiment by asking your stylist weave the French braids around your head or create different sizes to add some variety to your look.

31. Kinky twists

To achieve kinky twists, start by braiding the extensions into your natural hair for added security. Next, twist the remaining hair to form the desired plait. It’s worth noting that these twists typically have a slimmer appearance compared to other twist styles.

Before choosing a braid style, there are a few things to take into consideration.

Before selecting the appropriate braids for your hair, there are several key factors to take into account:

– The measurement of your hair’s length.

– The natural texture of your hair.

– For how long do you wish to maintain your braids?

These factors will all have an influence on the most suitable style for you. Therefore, let’s examine each of these aspects more closely.

Hair length

For short braided styles, it is recommended that your hair is at least two inches long. However, if you prefer lengthier versions, your hair should be at least four to five inches long. This is because short hair may not be able to handle long extensions without potentially damaging your own hair. If your hair exceeds four inches in length, it should be strong enough to support longer extensions.

Hair texture

The natural texture of your hair plays a crucial role in achieving the perfect braided style. If you have very fine hair, opting for smaller braids would work better for you. On the other hand, if your hair is thick, it can handle thicker braids more effectively.

In conclusion, when it comes to styling braids, textured hair proves to be more convenient as it provides a better grip, ensuring that the braids stay in place, unlike straight and smooth hair.


Installing braids is a time-consuming endeavor that can be quite costly. Given that they are considered an investment, it is crucial to properly care for your braids. To ensure a prolonged and stunning braided style, it is essential to incorporate natural hair care best practices into your routine and diligently maintain them.

By properly caring for and maintaining your braids, they generally stay intact for a duration of four to six weeks. However, certain styles and diligent upkeep may extend their lifespan up to eight weeks. Keep in mind that thicker braids or twists are more prone to frizzing sooner, while smaller and tightly done braids or twists tend to have a longer-lasting effect.

Black women have an array of stunning braids to explore. However, it’s important not to simply choose a style based solely on its popularity. The key to achieving a fantastic look lies in understanding the unique characteristics of your hair and how it will interact with different braid styles.

When you’re feeling prepared to refresh your appearance or give your hair a respite from daily styling, it’s essential to reach out to a braiding specialist. They will collaborate with you to ensure you attain the desired outcome. Moreover, they will invest time in understanding your hair history, goals, and lifestyle, allowing them to create a customized look that suits you perfectly.