Hair Styles
Stylecraze

10 Amazing Black Braided Hairstyles

by
10 Amazing Black Braided Hairstyles May 24, 2018

Braids are used as a protective style to keep the hair clean and to help it grow faster than usual. African women take pride in how they braid their hair, which honestly they deserve to! In Europe women used to braid their hair to keep it clean and tied up. Aztec women braided their hair with colorful threads and ribbons. Needless to say, in Egypt as well, women used to braid their hair.

Now there seems to be a lot of confusion as to the styles of braiding. While researching this article, I was lost in what appeared to be a never-ending pile of braiding styles. But, I’ve realized that it’s not as complicated. Read on to find braiding clarity.

  • Cornrows are tight braids that stick to the scalp. They are three-part braids. Goddess braids and Ghana braids are, in fact, cornrows. Ghana braids use extensions. Goddess braids are generally braided spirally. Box braids are also cornrowed braids. For box braids, you section your hair into box parts.
  • In French braids, you cross the middle part under the side parts. In cornrows, you pass the middle part over the side parts.
  • The Dutch braid is the inverted French braid. In Dutch braids, you cross the middle part under, but the whole braid is at an angle, and a little loose. While Dutch braids seem similar to cornrows, there are differences. Cornrows are tight and flat.
  • Feed in braids are braids that are close to the scalp, and hair (natural, synthetic or both), is continuously fed into the braid, making it more prominent. Some hairstylists say that feed- in braids are like goddess braids (spirally splayed across the head) but with tiny cornrows in between the thick braids.
  • Tree braids, when done with hair extensions, is used to give your hair a fuller look. Whether you have short hair or thin hair, tree braids will provide you with long thick hair, if that is what you want.
  • When braiding with only your natural hair, tree braids have three inches at the max cornrowed while the rest of your hair is left open. So, from your hairline, count three inches of hair and then braid on that bit near the scalp, leaving the rest of your hair loose.
  • Twists follow the invisible root method. You twist your hair merged with the extensions to make the braid. Havana, Marley and Senegalese twists are the same except for the extension hair used. For Havana twists, use Havana hair extensions, for Marley twists use Marley hair extensions, and for Senegalese twists, you can use kanekalon hair extensions. Senegalese twists are thinner than the other two twists.

A Few Tips Before We Begin

Hair Extensions

  • Wash the extensions before you attach them to your hair. Wash your extensions in apple cider vinegar to take the Lye out of it. Take it out and rinse it with water. Let it air dry.
  • When you get your extensions, the ends are cut blunt. These blunt edges give the hair a fake look. So, if you want a natural look, feather your hair at the ends. Feathering is where you randomly pull at some strands of hair at the end, so that some appear longer than others, giving it a more natural look. Or, you can stretch your hair out.

Sectioning Hair Extensions

When wrapping the hair extensions on your hair, divide the hair extensions into two parts in such a way that one part has ⅔ rds of hair while the other has ⅓ rd of hair. Now loop the ⅓ rd part of hair around the other part at the centers, merging both the folds of the ⅓ rd hair together, making three parts.

Stitches

A stitch is one complete wrap of a braid. In a braid, you will have three section, the two sides, and one middle section. Take the left side of hair and switch it with the middle section placing it over (in some braids under) the middle section. Do the same with the right side hair. This is called one stitch. If you repeat this, you create another stitch in a braid.

Straight Hair Tips

For women with straight hair that would like to try some of these hairstyles, here are a few tips to help you out.

  • Opposed to what kinky, curly, and wavy haired women do, straight haired women will need to leave their hair unwashed for two to three days and then try these hairstyles. This will give the hair some grip.
  • If you feel your hair is too greasy and your fingers are slipping, spritz a little dry shampoo on your hair. This will give your hair some texture.

10 Amazing Black Braided DIY Hairstyles

1. French Braids

What You Need
  • Hairbrush
  • Elastic Band
Procedure
  • Detangle your hair completely.
  • Pull some hair back as you would in a half-ponytail.
  • Now in a braid, you will have three sections: the left, the middle, and the right.
  • Braid the hair, stopping after one stitch. The middle section always goes under the left and right sections.
  • Now, for your braid, add hair from the side to your side sections only.
  • Keeping adding hair to it until you reach the end and tie an elastic band to keep it from unraveling.
  • Adjust the braid as you like. If you want the braid a bit loose, pull on the braid carefully.

2.Cornrow Braids

Use the same method for box and Ghana braids.

What You Need
  • Hair cream, moisturizer or oil to soothe the edges.
  • A rat-tailed comb
  • A detangle brush
  • Sectioning clips
  • Elastic bands to tie the ends or hot water to seal the ends (depends on whether you have straight hair or curly hair)
Procedure
  • Make sure your hair is freshly washed and dried. Condition your hair with a cream or oil.
  • Take a middle parting, from your hairline to the nape of your neck, using a rat-tailed comb. Clip off one side of hair.
  • Using your rat-tailed comb, take another parting about 1 cm (the length depends on how big you want your cornrows to be) away from the middle parting. Run it from your hairline to the nape of your neck. This would be a little like a full head thin mohawk. Clip the rest of the hair with another clip.
  • Take a small part from the front of this section and start to braid your hair. As you braid your hair into a cornrow, make sure your braid is lined up with the scalp. Keep braiding the hair, and as you do, keep adding hair to it.
  • Don’t braid your hair up but braid it backward. Since your cornrows are tight, even if your hair is short, no hair should stick out.
  • If you have kinky hair, then braiding your hair until the very end should keep the cornrow in place. If you have straight hair, you’re going to have to use rubber bands or hairpins to keep your hair from unraveling.

3.Tree Braids

There are two ways to achieve tree braids – the tree weave method and the cornrow tree method. Here, you will learn the cornrow tree method.

What You Need

Now, for all these hairstyles, you’re going to need the same things.

  • Hair cream, moisturizer or oil
  • A rat-tailed comb
  • A detangle brush
  • Section clips
  • Elastic bands to tie the ends or hot water to seal them (depends on whether you have straight hair or curly hair)
Procedure
  • Make sure your hair is freshly washed and dried. Detangle your hair.
  • Before you start, take the hair extensions and split them into small sections.
  • Using a rat-tailed comb, part a small section of your hair on one side from the hairline to the nape of your neck. Clip the rest of the hair up.
  • Now, starting at the hairline, take very little hair in your hand.
  • Section your hair extensions as mentioned earlier. Place your hair extensions near your hair part.
  • Blend the middle section of the hair extensions with your hair and braid a few stitches (4-5 maximum) as you would for a cornrow.
  • This is a key step. From the lower section of your hair, keep very little hair aside. Make sure to not mix it up with the rest. This small section of hair should fall downwards. This section will fall free, so keep it clipped or pinned.
  • Repeat the same thing for that entire parting that you took in the very beginning. As you keep going, add extension hair and then set some free.
  • Stop braiding after you reach below the nape of your neck. You can tie the braid with an elastic band. To make the braid less visible, most women tie a knot around the braid with their hair.
  • After you finish this parting, take another parting, and do the same procedure again until you’ve done this for all your hair. The braids will be hidden underneath the extension hair.

4.Micro Braids

What Will You Need
  • Hair cream, moisturizer or oil
  • A Rat-tailed comb
  • A detangle brush
  • Sectioning clips
  • Elastic bands to tie the ends or hot water to seal the ends (depends on whether you have straight hair or curly hair)
Procedure
  • Make sure your hair is freshly washed and dried.
  • Section off a small part of your hair. Remember, these are micro braids, so the section has to be quite small. Clip off the rest of your hair.
  • Now, take a small part of your hair extension and fold it. Place this near the scalp and wrap it around your hair. Braid a few stitches (4-5 max).
  • Section your hair extensions as mentioned earlier. Place your hair extensions near your hair part. Merge your hair with the middle section of the hair extensions and braid a few stitches.
  • Continue to braid your hair until the very end. At some point, your natural hair stops but that won’t matter because you have interlaced the hair extensions with your hair.
  • Repeat the same for your entire hair.
  • Dip the ends of the braids in boiling water to seal it. This keeps it from unraveling.

5.Goddess Braids

What Will You Need
  • Hair cream, moisturizer or oil
  • A Rat-tailed comb
  • A detangle brush
  • Sectioning clips
  • Elastic bands to tie the ends or hot water to seal the ends (depends on whether you have straight hair or curly hair)
Procedure
  • Make sure your hair is freshly washed and dried. Moisturize your hair with a cream or oil.
  • Take a little parting using a rat-tailed comb. Clip off all the other hair.
  • Using your rat-tailed comb, take another parting about 1 cm away from the middle parting. Run it from your hairline to the nape of your neck. That would be a little like a full head thin mohawk. Clip the rest of the hair up with another clip.
  • Take about a cm from the front of this section and start to braid your hair. As you braid your hair into a cornrow, make sure your braid is lined up with the scalp. Keep braiding the hair, and as you do, keep adding hair to it like how you do in a French braid.
  • Don’t braid your hair up but braid it backward. Since the goddess braids are tight and fall backwards, even if your hair is short, no hair should stick out.

6.Dutch Braids

What You Need
  • A rat-tailed comb
  • A detangle brush
  • Elastic bands
Procedure
  • Detangle your hair completely.
  • You can determine the direction the braid will go and you need to braid your hair that way.
  • Pull some hair back as you would in a half-ponytail and start braiding it. Now, in a braid, you will have three sections: the left, the middle, and the right. In a Dutch braid, the middle section will go over the left and right sections.
  • As you keep doing this, your middle will keep changing as do the side pieces. Keep adding hair to the side pieces only.

7.Halo Braids

What Will You Need
  • A rat-tailed comb
  • A detangle brush
  • Hairpins
  • Elastic band
Procedure:
  • You need to know how you’d like your halo braid to be. One method is that you can take a middle parting and braid two side braids and twirl them around your head to form a halo.
  • Another is you braid your hair in side French or Dutch braid, slowly adding all your hair in the braid. As you keep braiding, direct your braid to form a halo around your head.
  • The third method uses hair extensions. Braid your hair in two cornrows on either side. Take your hair extensions and braid them. Using hairpins, place the extensions over the cornrows and pin them to form a halo around your head. Pin the hair extensions to the cornrows. The hair extension braids should cover up the cornrows.

8.Butterfly Braids

Butterfly braids are two big braids on your head. You can either use extensions or just your natural hair. You can sew in these braids or pin them up.

What Will You Need
  • A rat-tailed comb
  • A detangle brush
  • Hairpins
  • Elastic band
Procedure
  • Part your hair from the hairline to the nape of your hair in a diagonal parting. Clip one side up.
  • Braid all the hair on one side like you would for a cornrow. Repeat the same for the other side.
  • Take your hair extensions and braid them. Using hairpins or a needle and thread, attach the extension braids over the cornrows.
  • Make sure you don’t prick your scalp with the needle. Pass your needle or pin through the smaller braid.

9.Feed-in braids

What You Need
  • Hair cream, moisturizer or oil
  • A rat-tailed comb
  • A detangle brush
  • Section clips
  • Elastic bands to tie the ends or hot water to seal the ends (depends on whether you have straight hair or curly hair)
Procedure
  • Make sure your hair is freshly washed and dried. Detangle your hair with a brush.
  • Take a middle parting using a rat-tailed comb. Clip off one side.
  • Using your rat-tailed comb, take another parting about 1 cm away from the middle parting. Run it from your hairline to the nape of your neck. It would be a little like a full head thin mohawk. Clip the rest of the hair with another clip.
  • Take about a cm from the front of this section and start to braid your hair. As you braid your hair into a cornrow, make sure your braid is lined up with the scalp. Keep braiding the hair, and as you do, keep adding your hair as well as the extension hair to it.
  • Don’t braid your hair up but braid it backward.
  • Try two Dutch braids on the rest of your hair.

10.Twists

Twists Pinit

Youtube 1,2

What Will You Need
  • Hair edge control cream, moisturizer or oil
  • A rat-tailed comb
  • A detangle brush
  • Sectioning clips
  • Elastic bands to tie the ends or hot water to seal the ends (depends on whether you have straight hair or curly hair)
Procedure
  • Make sure your hair is washed before you start.
  • Tie up all your hair in a bun except for a small part nearest to your neck. The amount of hair is ultimately left up to you.
  • Split the part into two equal sections. Apply the edge protection creme to your hair near the scalp.
  • Hold both the parts of hair with one hand. With your other hair, hold the extensions near the scalp. Take the center of the entire extension and place that near the scalp. So, now you have four parts of hair, two natural and two synthetic. Pair one synthetic with one natural and twist it together. Do the same with the other pair. Now you have two twists.
  • If you’re looking for a more straightforward way to start the twist, then just braid it at the beginning and then slowly merge the natural hair with the two tuffs of synthetic hair to start the twists.
  • Keep twisting them both in the same direction and simultaneously overlap them in the opposite direction to form one big twist.
  • It’s essential to keep the same amount of pressure and tension throughout the procedure.
  • Keep doing this until the very end of your hair. Tapers at the end so keep twisting till the very end as it reinforces the strength of the braid. If it unravels at the end once it’s done, then you’ve done it wrong. Repeat for all the braids.
  • After all your hair is twisted completely, take the ends of your hair and dip them in hot water to seal the ends. Use a towel to pat dry your hair before allowing it to air dry. Do not wipe it roughly with a towel as the twists might come off since the hair is still wet.
  • Using a small brush or a toothbrush, adjust the baby hair near your forehead the way you want.

Hair Maintenance For Braids

  • Protect your hair at night. Cover your hair with a silk or satin bonnet or pillowcase. This avoids frizz and the increases the lifespan of braids.
  • Wash your scalp with shampoo. Repeat the same with conditioner. This keeps your hair clean and stops it from unraveling.
  • Traction Alopecia. You need to be very careful when you braid your hair. Make sure it’s not braided too tightly as this can lead to traction alopecia. This hair loss condition is caused due to tension or pressure on your roots.
  • When using hair extensions, soak your hair in a mixture of ⅔ rd of water and 1/3rd apple cider vinegar. After that, rinse the extensions off completely. This removes LYE from your extensions, which is what causes the itchiness. If you’ve already added in the extensions, just spritz some of the water-apple cider vinegar combos on your hair. This will help reduce the itchiness.
  • Spray water on your scalp from time to time. This will help moisturize it.
  • Apply cream, butter or oil that helps moisturize your hair as well and seals the moisture in your roots. It can be shea butter, castor oil, moisture hair gel, edge control cream or mousse.
  • Use natural oils over mineral oils as these soothe the scalp. For non-greasy moisturization, use a natural leave-in conditioner.
  • Wash your hair once a week. This will stop it from unraveling. You can also use a damp cloth with a little shampoo and apply it just on your scalp to clean it.
  • As time passes, your hair will grow. Rather than getting new braids altogether, try re-braiding those new hair growths.
  • Keep your braids for a maximum of 3 months. This depends on what your stylist says or on the care you give your hair.
  • Know your hair texture before you get braids. Women with fine, thin hair might experience hair fall.
  • Choose natural hair over synthetic hair.
  • When using a towel, pat dry your hair rather than wiping it roughly.
  • Conditioning your hair might lead to loosening of the braids. So, spritz oil on the hair.
  • Deep condition your scalp with oil.
  • Try witch hazel with olive oil and water to help moisturize your hair. Go for 8 oz of water, three tablespoons of conditioner, and two teaspoons of olive oil. Instead of conditioner, you can also add a natural oil.

So, there you have it. It is so beautiful how hairstyles can be a part of traditions that have been carried on for decades and decades. Africa is the land of heritage, beautiful people, Wakanda, and fabulous hairstyles. Try out these hairstyles and let me know which ones you loved!

Feedback

The following two tabs change content below.

Latest posts by Anjali Sayee (see all)

Anjali Sayee