31 Stunning And Trendy Fulani Braids Hairstyles

Fun and unique ways to rock this protective hairstyle and stand out in the crowd

Reviewed by Jessica Noonan, Hairstylist Jessica Noonan Jessica NoonanHairstylist linkedin_iconinsta_icon
Written by , BTech Anjali Sayee BTech linkedin_icon Experience: 7 years
Edited by , MA (English) Subhrojyoti Mukherjee MA (English) linkedin_icon Experience: 4 years
Fact-checked by , BA Anu Pallavi BA linkedin_icon
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Fulani braids styles are all the rage right now. However, they have been around since ages. They made a comeback with a bang when songtress Alicia Keys sported them in her song ‘Falling.’ Not sure what Fulani braids are? Do you want to ditch the same old braids and try out this new trending style?

Keep reading to learn everything about Fulani African braids and how they differ from other braiding styles.

protip_icon Before You Get Started
  • Avoid getting Fulani braids on relaxed hair. Relaxing treatments expose the hair to stress, and braiding them may further cause damage.
  • Fulani braids may hurt initially but be assured that the pain will subside in 2-3 days.
  • Wrap your head with a silk bonnet before bed. This prevents moisture loss, friction, and frizziness.
  • Wear the braids for 4-6 weeks. Leaving them any longer may damage the hair.

Everything You Need To Know About Fulani Braids

Fulani braids come from an African tribe called the Fula, who are spread out in the western and eastern parts of Africa. Fulani braids are thin to medium-sized braids that follow a specific pattern, are weaved close to the scalp, and fall into long hair extensions. They are also known as ‘Bo braids,’ thanks to Bo Derek, who sported them. You’ll see these braids almost always paired with beads that give them a cool tribal look.

What else sets these braids apart?

  1. This braided hairstyle consists of a cornrow braid that runs down the center of your head, weaved from the front all the way to the back.
  2. Each side of your head will also have one or two cornrows each, which taper into long hair extensions.
  3. A braid also follows the circumference of your head.
  4. Colorful or tribal beads are placed over the braids.

Flora, a Nigerian YouTuber, shares her experience of getting Fulani braids. She was unsuccessful in getting her desired hairstyle at the first salon she visited and then chose to visit her usual hairstylist, who was successful in giving her the desired Fulani braid hairstyle. She added, “I so much love how this hair came out, even though I feel like it doesn’t suit my face, like making my face look fat. But I am happy because I wanted something simple, and it is hot, and we are trying to survive the heat (i).”

protip_icon Trivia
While Fulani braids date back thousands of years, they are still considered a symbol of social status, womanhood, marital status, and wealth.

How Long Do Fulani Braids Last?

Fulani braids are a protective hairstyle. With the right care, these braids can last up to five weeks. Since these braids are woven tightly, keeping them in for any longer is not advised.

What Extensions Should You Use For Fulani Braids?

You can use any type of hair extensions for Fulani braids. In fact, you don’t need to use hair extensions at all. Many women weave their natural hair in the Fulani style.

If you are using extensions, you have two main choices: natural or synthetic hair extensions. If you want a more natural and coarse look, opt for natural virgin hair. Synthetic hair looks smoother and finer.

There are many different types of hair extensions you can choose from, like Kanekalon hair and Marley hair. Check which suits your hair type the best.

Washing Hair Extensions For Fulani Braids

When you get the pack of hair extensions to do Fulani braids, soak them in a mixture of apple cider vinegar and water. This will remove the lye from the extensions, thus preventing itching on your scalp. Allow them to air-dry before weaving them into your hair.

Now that you are all up to speed with everything about Fulani braids, here are 17 styles that you can try out!

31 Stunning Fulani Braids Hairstyles

1. Mid-Length Braids With Clear Beads

Mid-Length Braids With Clear Beads
Image: IStock

Traditional Fulani braids always have beads of some sort, so let your medium-length hair rock some clear beads at the ends that would cascade down your shoulders. It will give you a laid-back yet chic look.

2. Caramel Colored Mid-Length Braids

Caramel Colored Mid-Length Braids
Image: Photo by Kaone Makoko on Pexels

Let the braids speak for themselves and make a statement. If you want to make a bold style statement, caramel-colored braids are the perfect way to do it! The warm caramel extensions enhance any braid style and look stunning against any skin color.

3. Traditional Beaded Braid In Ponytail

Traditional Beaded Braid In Ponytail
Image: Photo by Martin Kirigua on Pexels

An easy way to look stylish and timeless is to create a classic Fulani style complete with beads or shell accessories! Contrast color beads in the center and braids pulled into a ponytail will bring out your face while keeping your look up-to-date. Whether you’re heading out for a night on the town or a casual day around town, those beads will make you stand out!

4. Classic Fulani With A Twist

Classic Fulani With A Twist
Image: Photo by El gringo on Pexels

If you’re looking for a unique and chic way to style your hair, try braiding this unique, jet-black Fulani braid hairstyle. The braids branch out from the center and the sides, creating intricate patterns on the scalp. This is a great way to let your natural beauty take center stage and make a bold, confident statement.

5. Half-Up, Half-Down Curly Braids

Half-Up,-Half-Down-Curly-Braids
Image: Photo by Frank Chamba on Pexels

Switch up your traditional Fulani braids with zig-zag patterned braids that wrap around your head. Pull a few of the braids to a half-up pony and, in the process, show off the curly ends.

6. Hair-Wrapped Loose Low Pony

Hair-Wrapped Loose Low Pony
Image: Photo by HILLARY DISANTOS on Pexels

Level up the traditional Fulani braids with a hint of copper at the ends. Go for glossy, metallic extensions to make it extra fashionable. Gather the braids at the side and tie them into a ponytail to make a truly unique look. It’s the perfect way to make an impact with minimal effort on a day out – it’s fashionable and elegant!

7. Green Hair-Wrapped High Ponytail

Green Hair-Wrapped High Ponytail
Image: Shutterstock

It’s impossible to take your eyes off these gorgeous green Fulani braids! And if you want to add a twist to the style, gather your braids into a high ponytail with a few braids wrapped around its base and show off your long tresses.

8. Side-Braided Short Bob

Side-Braided Short Bob
Image: Photo by Martin Kirigua on Pexels

Flaunt your natural coils while rocking Fulani braids in this trendy short bob hairstyle. Accessorize with a pretty flower for a vacay-vibe. There’s no other way to look trendy on your own terms.

9. Modern Half-Braided Style

Modern-Half-Braided-Style
Image: Photo by Musa Artfulo on Pexels

This Fulani-meets-Afro look is for those who feel extra adventurous and want to take the ultra-modern route to style Fulani braids. Set the contrast of Fulani braid patterns against the naturally curly hair, and you’ll leave the fashion police impressed with your creativity!

10. Huge Braided Bun

Huge Braided Bun
Image: Shutterstock

If you’re feeling adventurous and want to rock a bold style, why not glam up your braids with bright, vibrant colors, say cobalt blue? An effortlessly stylish look, the huge braided bun will have heads turning. Light up a room and show off your daring side; you won’t regret it.

11. Asymmetric Short Bob

Asymmetric Short Bob
Image: Photo by Antony Trivet on Pexels

Braids are perfect for any occasion–from formal to casual, practical to sexy. And while at it, why not add a little color for a unique ‘oomph’ factor? This asymmetric short bob is the perfect way to add a modern twist to a classic Fulani braid. The curling ends enhance the braided style, giving it a unique look. It’s also a perfect way to prove that any hairstyle can rock the traditional Fulani style. So don’t be afraid to mix it up and try something new this season!

12. Simple Top-Knot

Simple Top-Knot
Image: Photo by Antony Trivet on Pexels

Do you want an easy, stylish look? Pull up all those pretty braids into a simple top-knot. This super simple style couldn’t be more chic or effortless – perfect for those days when you need something quick but still want to look great.

13. Fulani Pony With Curly Ends

Short Pony With Curly Ends
Image: Photo by Antony Trivet on Pexels

Long or short – it doesn’t matter! Fulani braids are unique because they can work for any hair length. So, whether you have long locks or a super short ‘do, braids can help you make a stylish statement without needing extra accessories or coloring. This simple pulled-back short hair with curly ends redefines chic simplicity.

14. Braids With Beads

Fulani braids with beads
Image: Shutterstock

This is one of the other names for Fulani braids. Most people call them “braids with beads” without really knowing its origin or actual name. Fulani braids are one of the most stylish types of braids of all time. And, the best part is that they tell a story of African heritage.

15. Long Fulani Braids

Long fulani braids
Image: Shutterstock

You can use extensions to weave your Fulani braids and increase the length of your hair instantly. You can have all the fun you want with these braids by using bright colored extensions and going all out with funky beads to accessorize them.

protip_icon Quick Tip
You can also color your Fulani braids platinum blonde or Fulani bangs to take your hairstyle to the next level.

16. Crown Braid

Crown fulani braids
Image: Shutterstock

Fulani braids look stunning when tied up in a crown updo. The center cornrow makes this style look more like a crown. Top it off with some beads and hair rings, and you’ve got yourself a stunner!

17. Top Knot

Top knot fulani braids
Image: Shutterstock

The top knot is one of the trendiest hairstyles of all time. Try it with Fulani braids to really grab the attention. I’m sure all eyes will be on you. The best thing about it is that it is super easy to style and perfect for work.

18. Modern Tribal Fulani

Modern tribal fulani braids
Image: Shutterstock

Instead of the top braids being aligned to the scalp, you can see that the two braids closest to the side cornrow have been left hanging.

19. Big Fulani Braided Bun

Big fulani braided bun
Image: Shutterstock

Another way you can add style to your already chic Fulani braids is by wrapping them in a big bun. It is a quick and easy way to style your locks and the perfect hairstyle for work.

20. Space Buns

Space buns fulani braids
Image: Shutterstock

Space buns are huge on Instagram right now, and we can see why. They are great conversation starters! All you need to do is wrap your Fulani braids in a bun on each side of your head.

21. Half Top Knot

Half top knot fulani braids
Image: Shutterstock

Don’t underestimate the power of a half top knot. It is one of the trendiest looks that has been flooding my Instagram and Pinterest feeds. It looks very stylish and cool. If you are on the hunt for the perfect summer look, your search ends here.

22. Simple Tribal Fulani Braids

Simple tribal fulani braids
Image: Shutterstock

This hairstyle is brilliant! Cornrow your hair from one side to the other, from midway until the nape of your neck. Let a couple of braids fall in front of your ears. This hairstyle is super cool. You will need a professional’s help to do it, but it’s totally worth it!

23. Head Wrap Fulani Braids

Head wrap fulani braids
Image: IStock

Some African hairstyles use headwraps. This is a fun way to add a head wrap to your Fulani braids style. It doesn’t cover the braids or the pattern but still manages to look super cute.

24. Big Double Knots

Big double knots fulani braids
Image: IStock

Whoever said braids are tedious did not see this hairstyle! Bantu knots are usually small, but they can be done up big as well. Leaving a couple of braids hanging on the side gives the hairstyle a slightly more traditional look. Pretty stunning on the whole!

25. Half Ponytail Fulani Braids

Half ponytail fulani braids
Image: IStock

The half ponytail is a lovely and laid-back hairstyle. So, why not do it with your Fulani braids? It will make for a great look. It is a great hairstyle for any event or occasion. Love this look!

26. Side Sweep

Side sweep fulani braids
Image: IStock

This hairstyle is graceful and very easy to mimic. Simply sweep all your Fulani braids to one side. You can use bobby pins to keep them in place. Wrap colorful threads around your braids to add to the look. Very stunning!

27. Double Ponytail Fulani Braid

Double ponytail fulani braids
Image: IStock

If you are in college or school, you probably want a more playful hairstyle. Try this double ponytail look. It is really easy to achieve and looks very stylish. You can leave some of your hair down or just tie all of it in two ponytails.

28. Low Fulani Bun

Low bun fulani braids
Image: Shutterstock

Fulani braids look graceful all by themselves. You can make them look even more elegant by tying them up in a low bun. It makes for a great formal hairstyle that you can sport to a gala, a formal office party, or a wedding.

29. Low Ponytail

Low ponytail fulani braids
Image: IStock

This hairstyle is wonderfully playful. It is a blend of Fulani braids, cornrows, and twists woven together in a low ponytail. It looks understated but chic.

30. Mid-Level Ponytail

Mid-level ponytail fulani braids
Image: IStock

This hairstyle is a blast! Simply gather all your Fulani braids at the back. Secure the ponytail with an elastic band. It looks really stunning. It also works for any occasion, whether it’s for work, a party, or a formal shindig.

protip_icon Fun Fact
Singer and songwriter Alicia Keys debuted her Fulani braids on the 2002 cover of Essence magazine.

31. Fulani Egyptian Braids

Fulani egyptian braids hairstyle
Image: IStock

This trendy hairdo combines two different hairstyles to create eye-catching braids. The Egyptian braids add an exotic touch to the intricate Fulani hairstyle. While Fulani braids are known for their cultural significance, the Egyptian braids are popular for their elegance. This hairstyle uses beads, shells, and other decorative elements on the Fulani braids, making it even more charming and glamorous. You can play around with the hairstyle and customize it according to your own preference. From bold and edgy to subtle and sophisticated, this hairstyle has a wide range and can become what you want it to. It is perfect for any occasion.

Infographic: 5 Amazing Fulani Braids Hairstyles

Although it is a transitional African hairstyle, the Fulani braids have been gaining a lot of popularity these days after some celebrities were seen sporting them. People choose to wear this hairstyle with a little twist or added elements to make it interesting and trendy.
Check out the infographic below to know more about the trending Fulani braid hairstyles.

5 amazing fulani braids hairstyles (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Fulani braids styles are protective hairstyles with medium-sized braids that are weaved close. These hairstyles come from an African tribe called Fula. For natural hair, styles like the Fulani braid really show off hair texture. They can last up to 5 weeks with proper care and maintenance. You can use any extensions for these braids. Fulani braids can be styled in various ways. Long Fulani braids, crown braids, box braids, twist braids, modern tribal Fulani, big Fulani braided buns, simple tribal Fulani braids, and half ponytail Fulani braids are a few ways to style Fulani braids. Choose the style that best suits you to give you a perfect look.

Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of hair are Fulani braids done on?

Fulani braids can be done on any type of hair. They can be done even with hair extensions.

How many packs of hair do you need to do Fulani braids?

Usually, Fulani braids can be done with 5 – 8 packs of hair.

Do Fulani braids hurt?

Yes, Fulani braids do hurt when you try them for the first time. However, the pain usually subsides within 2 – 3 days. If you feel discomfort even after 3 days, it is advised to inform your hairstylist.

Key Takeaways

  • Fulani braids are thin to medium-sized braids that are weaved close to the scalp and fall into long hair extensions.
  • Since it is a protective hairstyle, it can last up to five weeks.
  • Though many people use hair extensions, you can also weave your natural hair in the Fulani style.
  • You can style your Fulani braids with beads, tie them up in an edgy bun, or leave them loose to match your look.
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Learn 12 quick and easy ways to style your Fulani braids with this tutorial video. Elevate your hair game with these versatile braids. Check it out.

Personal Experience: Source

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Jessica Noonan

Jessica NoonanHairstylist

Jessica Noonan is the owner of Friseur NYC, a zero waste, sustainable mobile hair service. She has 35 years of experience behind the chair and a passion for education. She specializes in edgy haircuts emphasizing natural texture and high impact minimalist color. Her fiercely loyal clientele includes salon-shy celebrity indie rockers and creatives. Jessica is an advocate for sustainable beauty,...read full bio

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