35 Different Types of African Braids
One of the oldest hairstyles around, braids originated in Africa thousands of years ago. Braids offer a tremendous amount of styling versatility; in fact, your styling options are almost limitless. From cornrows to box braids to feed-in braids, it’s easy to create a unique braided style that suits your personal style. You can create many braided styles using just your natural hair or by add braiding hair for a protective element. Using braiding hair helps extend the longevity of your styles; it’s also a great way to try out a new hair color without permanently altering your natural hair. Keep reading to take a look at 35 different types of braids.
Box braids are easily one of the most popular braided styles today. They’re one of those looks that never seem to go out of style, and it’s not hard to see why: they’re as effortlessly gorgeous as they are practical.
This gorgeous braided updo is created with an intricate braid pattern that combines small and medium-sized cornrows. The ends of the braids are tucked away towards the top of the head to create a truly unique final look.
Here’s a beautiful example of simple, classic straight-back cornrows. This look is truly timeless and it looks great on everyone. You can easily create this style with or without added braiding hair.
Fulani braids take their name from the Fulani people of West Africa. This is another timeless look that never truly goes out of style, though it does experience an extra surge of popularity every so often.
5Triangle Box Braids
Classic box braids take their name from the box-shaped parts used to divide the hair into sections. But this style can also be created with triangle-shaped parts, which give the braids a different aesthetic that most people find equally as pleasing.
This is a gorgeous variation of straight-back cornrows. The hair is braided into alternating sized cornrows; the micro cornrows in between chunky cornrows creates a striking contrast.
7Cornrowed Double Buns
These gorgeous Fulani braids are styled into cute double buns (also known as space buns). Hair jewelry is added for extra embellishment. Adding hair accessories to your braided styles is a fun, easy way to create a unique, customized look.
8Cornrows with Curls
This pretty style combines cornrows and curls, resulting in a beautiful updo. You can create the curls using your natural hair, or add in some curly weave or crochet hair to make this a truly protective style and keep all your hair tucked away.
9Straight-back Chunky Cornrows
If you prefer the look of chunkier braids, then these chunky straight-back cornrows are a great option. Add braiding hair for a sleek, long-lasting finish. Another benefit of chunky braids is that they take less time to install, which is a plus for those who want a protective style that doesn’t take hours to install.
10Zig Zag Cornrows
For this look, the hair is carefully parted into a zig zag design, which creates a really stunning final look. To get that sleek, shiny look, consider using Kanekalon braiding hair to recreate this style.
11Jumbo Box Braids With Cornrows
For this style, two small cornrows are used to part the hair straight down the middle. The rest of the hair is styled into jumbo box braids. Some of the braids are adorned with gold cord and rings for an extra touch of embellishment. Finally, blonde braiding hair is used for a few of the braids, for a pop of color.
12Multi-Sized Cornrows with Curved Parts
For this style, the hair is divided into sections using slightly curved parts. The hair is then braided into alternating sized cornrows for a striking final look.
This beautiful updo is created by braiding the hair towards the crown of the head and carefully pinning the ends of the braids into a French roll. This style is perfect for special occasions, vacations, and as an every day look.
These hip-length Fulani braids (also sometimes known as tribal braids) are absolutely stunning. Silver beads and hair jewelry help complete the look.
15Jumbo Triangle Box Braids
These jumbo box braids are a great option for your next protective style. Besides being pretty, jumbo box braids also tend to put less tension on your roots, which is especially important when it comes to preventing damage and breakage. As a bonus, they also take less time to install and take down than their smaller counterparts.
16Cornrows and Two-Toned Curls
Here’s a beautiful style that’s perfect for natural hair. The back of the hair is braided into alternating sized cornrows and the hair on top is styled into curls. You can use perm rods or do a straw set to achieve these curls.
Fishbone braids get their name from their intricate braid pattern, which resemble fish bones. These feed-in braids are created with a complex overlapping braid pattern that is sure to turn heads wherever you go.
18Fulani Braids Updo
These gorgeous Fulani braids are styled into a pretty braided updo, giving this style a fresh, regal look. This a great way to change up your look and make the most of your current protective style.
19Curved Straight Back Cornrows
For this style, the hair is parted at a slight angle to create a different variation of straight back cornrows. This is a great example of how one small change can create a completely different look.
20Beaded Fulani Braids
Wooden beads give these Fulani braids a classic, regal look. In addition to the look, you’ll also enjoy the gentle jangle the beads make when you walk.
21Halo Braid With Cornrowed Design
This stunning style features an intricate cornrowed design accompanied by one chunky halo braid that circles the head. Use two-toned braiding hair for the halo braid for a pop of color.
22Red Side-Swept Cornrows
These gorgeous side-swept cornrows feature a vibrant red color: a hue that compliments all skin tones. Add a few gold beads and some gold cord to really help the color pop.
23Chunky Cornrowed High Bun
This beautiful style is created by braiding the hair up into chunky cornrows. The ends of the braids are arranged into a chic high bun and accessorized with a few gold beads. This style is great for both special occasions and daily wear.
24Fulani Braids With Wooden Beads
These breathtaking, two-toned Fulani braids are adorned with pretty wooden beads on the ends. Teardrop-shaped hair jewelry is also added at the hairline, giving this style an elegant finish.
25Chunky Box Braids
These chunky box braids are just right for any age, but they’ll definitely give you a fun, carefree, youthful look that you’ll absolutely love.
26Sleek Halo Braid
This elegant style features a single, sleek halo braid and a gorgeous web-like cornrowed design. Halo braids are another timeless style that never gets old.
The term “lemonade braids” was coined to refer to a number of braided styles featured on Beyonce’s visual album, Lemonade. The term may be fairly new, but it mainly refers to Fulani braids, like the ones pictured here, which are adorned with beads and hair rings.
28Intricate Cornrowed Updo
This unique braided updo is sure to turn heads and really shows off the stylist’s braiding skills. This look is elegant and fit for a queen.
29Braided Low Bun
This pretty style is created with double chunky cornrows on each side of the head. The ends of the braids are then arranged into a chic low bun at the nape of the neck.
30Cornrowed Space Buns
These pretty cornrowed space buns are adorned with gold beads and hair jewelry for a final look that’s both fun and sophisticated.
This pretty braided frohawk can be achieved by cornrowing the hair towards the center of the head and using perm rods or flexi rods to curl the ends.
32Black and Blue Feed In Braids
These black and blue ombre feed in braids are styled using triangular and diamond-shaped parts. Wrap some gold or silver cord around a few of the braids to help accessorize this look.
These gorgeous chunky cornrows are braided into a chic side-swept style. Their long length gives them lots of styling versatility. You can easily style these braids into a single, chunky side braid or side bun, for example.
34Jumbo Box Braids Half Up Half Down
These jumbo box braids are styled into a simple half up high bun. The half up, half down style is a popular look that can be created on pretty much any hair type, braids and weaves included. These braids also look great styled into a single high bun.
35Feed-In Stitch Braids
Feed-in stitch braids have become more and more popular over the last several years. These feed-in braids are arranged into a side-swept style with the help of some precision parting.This style really shows off the stylist’s immaculate braiding abilities.