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Bianca is a contributing writer specializing in natural hair and skin care. You can find her work at xoNecole, The Everygirl, POPSUGAR, Travel Noire and more.
Simple Braided Hairstyles For Natural Hair
Growing up, he was not allowed to braid his hair. My mother wanted to make sure that my sister and I were not separated when we went out into the world. Although some may say that her feelings about braids are wrong, if we look at how society has seen black hair in the workplace, in the media and beyond – her opinion in the 90s is not too far off.
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Thanks to women like Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley, Serena Williams, Beyoncé and Bozoma Saint John, black women like me now unapologetically wear braided (and twisted) styles in spaces where they’ve often been labeled “unprofessional” or “ghetto.” The wave of black women embracing hair texture and historical styles allows us to express ourselves in new ways, even as the white gaze, thanks to social media, approaches our culture daily.
Whether we spend more than ten hours in our stylist’s chair to get box braids as a protective style or flipping our hair in the bathroom at home, there are many styles that we can try when we want to change it. Here are 20 braided hairstyles to consider the next time you’re ready to try a new ‘do.
When we talk about braided styles for black women, we usually think of options that require a longer trip to your favorite braider. This style on Ebonee Davis shows that you can switch out your puffs with a smaller set of braids at the roots, allowing plenty of your curls to do their thing.
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Classic box braids are always a good idea. Here, Zendaya rocks a trend in a subtle chocolate ombre, proving that the sky’s the limit for creativity with this protective style.
Kelly Rowland’s braided jumbo ponytails are on my list of styles to try. These braids work on all hair types. Just take a little gel and a bundle of kanekalon hair.
Danai Gurira is the queen of versatility. Her braided lob is a low-maintenance style that requires little time in the stylist’s chair.
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An updo like Tia Mowry’s won’t weigh you down like traditional box braids and will pair well with professional work attire or high neck tops.
Yara Shahidi shows us that even traditional hairstyles like Fulani braids have a lot of room for creativity. From the pearls to the finishing afro puff, everything about this style feels fresh and absolutely stunning.
Lupita Nyong’o is a constant natural hair inspiration, with countless red carpet looks that could be just the thing to try on a daily basis. Her braided bun is a great style to wear to a summer wedding or to your next job interview.
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Take a cue from actress, entrepreneur and hair icon Tracee Ellis Ross and add length to your cornrows. The more, the better.
Chloe and Halle Bailey always showcase the versatility of locks. Here, a pair of mini braids and a satin headband help Halle’s beehive style shine.
Okay, so these are twists, but we added the cropped side swept do because this look can also be achieved with braids.
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If you’re ready to spice up your natural hair with pastels, use Amandla Stenberg’s colorful shoulder-length box braids as your guide.
If you missed Tessa Thompson’s whip braid at the Met Gala, head to Google for a glimpse. A whip braid may not work in certain areas of the real world, but this braided crown works for any occasion.
A simple set of cornrows is always a good look, and Zoe Kravitz’s sleek braids will look great with any beauty look you pair it with. My personal favorite is a bright red lip and dewy skin.
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Hair era was remarkable (and made me even more of a stunner). One of my favorite looks was her center parted Fulani braids with textured ends.
We love braided looks that can be done in the comfort of our own homes, and Skye Jackson’s braided updo is one of them. You may need the help of a pair of mirrors angled in the right direction or a best friend who is patient and good with parts.
Crown braids are achievable on all hair textures, but Ciara’s goddess braid is ideal for those with days-old silk print, relaxed hair or sew-in. Don’t be afraid to frame your face with loose pieces of hair to add texture.
Braided Hairstyles For Black Girls & Women
Ever since Serena Williams set foot on the world stage, she has been rocking brides with pride. You can wear her crown with the back of her hair pulled up or down.
If you want to keep things sleek, it doesn’t get any easier than braiding your hair all the way back and securing it in a low bun. We love how this look can go from day to night with a simple outfit change. Experimenting with your natural hair is always a fun time, whether you’re still transitioning your hair or you’ve been embracing texture for as long as you can remember. While we love more intricate hairstyles like designer cornrows, Fulani braids and knotless box braids, sometimes you just need an arsenal of simple natural hairstyles that don’t require any professional expertise. Aside from just being a general self-confidence seeker, having cute natural hairstyles when you can’t decide what look to do next is less expensive and frees up time for other things.
However, we recognize that depending on your hair type or texture, the quest to find quick natural hairstyles can be a little daunting. Natural curly hairstyles can look different on type three versus type four hair, what you thought was a simple braided hairstyle can be much more difficult due to the length of your hair, and hairstyles for short natural hair can feel impossible to recreate. We get it – not all hairstyles for natural hair are created equal.
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What we can say is that during our quest to find easy natural hairstyles, we want to protect our hair in the process, and one of the easiest ways we’ve found to do this is to incorporate braids into our preferred styles. So we went ahead and rounded up some of the cutest natural hairstyles you can achieve at home.
These braids are simple yet sophisticated. Pin the ends for an easy natural updo that can last a few days.
Natural updos are perfect for work, happy hour and even vacation. This braided crown would even look great at a wedding.
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One of the easiest hairstyles for natural hair should be a ponytail braid. All hair textures can pull off this super easy look.
This hairstyle combines double cornrows with a designer cornrow flair. This style is perfect for a fun, special occasion like a graduation.
If you want a natural updo with some edge, try this braided fauxhawk. It will also work perfectly as a hairstyle for short natural hair.
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Pigtails are a hairstyle that will stay with us forever, so why not jazz them up with some cute braids to take the look up a notch?
Fishtail braids are another easy hairstyle for natural hair – and they look like you put in a lot more work than you really did.
Looking for a naturally curly hairstyle? Half Dutch braids leave the ends of the braid loose for a cute, carefree style that will look great at home or on vacation.
Black Braided Hairstyles
Low ponytails are a staple, but half braids add a special touch that just screams “take me to the beach.”
Pop Smoke popularized this braid style, but make the look your own by combining them with another classic style: Bantu knots.
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