30 braid hairstyles to try if you’re looking to up your braids game

Beth | 09 April 2019
Braid hairstyles Photo of a woman with long twisted marley braids with hair cuffs, wearing a black top

Bored of wearing the same old braid hairstyles all the time? Shake up your style with our gallery of the best natural hair braid ideas.

Choosing new braid hairstyles to try can be a genuine struggle. The vast amount of choice might seem like a good thing but actually it just makes it even harder to pick. Long or short? Brightly coloured or ombre? Straight or curly? It’s overwhelming!

But you can put your feet up because we’re here to help make finding your next braid styles a stress-free experience. Discover 30 of the best braid ideas for natural hair, below.

1. Box braids

Long box braids hairstyles: ATH editor Amra with long box braids in a half-up half-down style
A half-up, half-down is one of the easiest everyday hairstyles. Credit: Verity Jane Smith

There are so many different braid hairstyles but for us, box braids will forever be a reliable (and let’s not forget, super stylish) go-to. And the best part? You can learn how to do box braids at home with our DIY how-to.

2. Long box braids

Long box braids: Woman with extra long brunette box braids, wearing a lilac jumper and glasses
Rapunzel who? Credit: Instagram.com/alannanicolex

Thought you couldn’t have braids and still keep up with the latest hair trends? Well, think again! Tap into the A-list Rapunzel hair trend with waist-length statement long box braids like this Instagrammer and you’re sure to turn heads. Credit: @alannanicolex

3. Bantu knots

Low manipulation hairstyles: Close up shot of women with bantu knot hairstyle posing in a field of yellow flowers
Beautiful and budge-proof bantu knots! Credit: Verity Jane Smith

Looking for easy hair braid ideas you can do on yourself? Bantu knots are a really fun, playful style and they barely take any time at all. Don’t believe us? Check out our seriously simple 6-step tutorial, here.

Next read: More bantu knots inspiration to copy from Instagram 

4. Marley braids

Braid hairstyles Photo of a woman with long twisted marley braids with hair cuffs, wearing a black top
Marley braids are one of the most popular braid styles. Credit: Verity Jane Smith

If you love the ease and convenience of box braids but want to try new braid styles, marley twists are another great alternative.

5. Box braids ponytail

box braids ponytail: woman with pink box braids hairstyle styled into a ponytail
Amp up the romance with this box braids ponytail ‘do! Credit: Instagram.com/bestboxbraids

Box braids ponytails have to be one of the simplest hairstyles to do with braids, but when they look so good why complicate things? Credit: @bestboxbraids

6. Box bob braids

Bob braids bob: Woman with rose gold short box braids, wearing cherry earrings with grey blazer and pink top, posing outside
Box braids bob styles look magical in this colour! Credit: Instagram.com/sol_noturno

Feel like long braids are too much effort to take care of? When it comes to finding low-maintenance braid styles, bob box braids win every time. Credit: @sol_noturno

7. Boho box braids

woman with boho box braids that have hair rings in them
Box braids + hair accessories = boho box braids! Credit: Instagram.com/ @shyinstar

Channel Coachella vibes with these festival-ready boho box braids. From metallic thread and hair cuffs to shells and feathers, there are so many ways to accessorise your braid styles you’ll be spoiled for choice! Credit: @shyinstar

TRESemmé Botanique Nourish & Replenish Hydrating Mist

Editor’s tip: Want to know how to keep your braid styles looking their best? Make sure you’re keeping your hair hydrated with a leave-in conditioner spray like the TRESemmé Botanique Nourish & Replenish Hydrating Mist. This will help to moisturise your hair and stop it becoming dry and frizzy.

8. Dookie braids

Dookie braids: Close up shot of a woman with naturally curly hair styled into dookie braids.
You don’t always have to get long extensions. Credit: Verity Jane Smith

Just one of the many ’90s inspired hairstyles we’re seeing this season, dookie braids are back and bigger than ever.

9. Loose box braids

Loose box braids: Close up shot of Zoë Kravitz with chocolate brown, long box braids with curly ends.
Zoë Kravitz is the queen of loose box braids hairstyles! Credit: Rex by Shutterstock

As soon as we saw Zoë Kravitz rocking these loose box braids with undone ends, we knew these effortless, undone braids would become a big trend.

10. Box twists

Woman with very long chocolate brown box twists parted in a centre parting with yellow gold yarn wrapped around them
Instagram #hairgoals. Credit: Instagram.com/shinestruck

If you hate the thought of spending hours in the salon, consider box twists as a quicker alternative. Credit: @shinestruck

11. Coloured braids

woman with ombre mint green seafoam box braids
Looking mint! Credit: Instagram.com/inkysweet

One of the major benefits to box braids is that you can play around with different coloured braids without ever having to dye your natural hair. The only problem will be choosing what hue to go for! Credit: @inkysweet

12. Poetic Justice hairstyles

poetic justice braids styles: imani hakim with top knot box braid hairstyle
Box braids in a topknot. Credit: Rex by Shutterstock

Recreate Janet Jackson’s iconic Poetic Justice look with this playful half-updo.

13. Curly box braids

outdoor shot of woman with curly braids wearing black top
All over curly braids are so enchanting! Credit: Instagram.com/wreneem

Always thought you had to choose between having braids or rocking your curly hair? With curly box braids you can have both! Credit: @wreneem

14. Box braids updo

close up shot of woman with low box braids updo hairstyle, wearing all black and posing
Shorter box braids? Try this! Credit: Instagram.com/faceovermatter

Box braid updos are great if you want to keep your braids out of your face and this Instagrammer’s low bun style immediately caught our attention. Credit: @faceovermatter

15. Flat twists

side view of a woman with her hair up - flat twist hairstyles
Try your hand at this elegant ‘do. Credit: Instagram.com/nossacarapinha

A simple flat twist hairstyle is perfect for everyday and a great protective style for the colder months, too. Credit: @nossacarapinha

16. Cornrows

A black girl with cute cornrows and floral embellishments in her hair
Learn everything you need to know about cornrows. Credit: Verity Jane Smith

Wondering how you can dress up cornrows? These floral-adorned braids are the perfect summer style and just think of the Instagram potential!

Next read: You have to see these incredible floral afros

17. Yarn braids

short yarn braid styles: thebaydian girl with short twisted yarn braids
Short yarn twists. Credit: Instagram.com/thebaydiangirl

After something a bit different? Yarn braids, created with -yep, you guessed it!-  yarn, are woven in the same way as regular braids and twists but you can see that the different texture gives the look a more unique finish. Credit: @thebaydiangirl

18. Two strand twist

twist hairstyles for natural hair: twisted side braid
There are plenty of chic ways to rock a twist. Credit: Instagram.com/mahoganycurls

As much as we can appreciate the intricacy of more complicated braid hairstyles, sometimes the simplest looks can look just as good. There are all sorts of hairstyles you can create using the basic two strand twist – like this cute and easy side braid, for example. Credit: @mahoganycurls

19. Senegalese twists

Jazz up your Senegalese twists with hair cuffs - Instagram
Use hair cuffs to jazz up your Senegalese twists. Credit: Istagram.com/braidsgang

The smooth, shiny hair used in Senegalese twists means you’re guaranteed a glossy finish. Credit: @braidsgang

20. Micro braids

ombre micro braids hairstyles: woman with long braided hairstyle done in ombre
Ombre micro braid hairstyle. Credit: Instagram.com/lolaomonaija

Love trying out new hairstyles? Then these micro braids, which can be styled into all sorts of looks from space buns to halo braids, are perfect for you. Credit: @lolaomonjaija

21. Kinky twists

kinky twist hairstyles: yvette brown with kinky twist side ponytail, wearing leopard print dress
Side ponytail. Credit: Brian To for Rex by Shutterstock

Subtle caramel highlights add dimension to Yvette Nicole Brown’s kinky twists, making her side ponytail pop.

22. Goddess braids

black woman with goddess braids in a ponytail
Opt for a glamorous goddess ponytail. Credit: Instagram.com/j0j0lara

Regal, feminine and beautiful, goddess braids can range from intricate spiral designs to angelic halo braids, so there’s a look for every occasion. Credit: @j0j0lara

23. Ghana braids

ghana braids pictures: yara shahdidi wearing blue dress on red carpet
Elegant Ghana braid. Credit: Rex by Shutterstock

If you need some #hairinspo to inspire you to try out Ghana braids for the first time, Yara Shahidi’s fashionable triple braids are a great place to start.

VO5 Mega Hold Styling Gel

Editor’s tip: Love Yara’s sleek edges? To lay down any baby hairs and keep your braids looking flawless, we recommend using a toothbrush and some of the VO5 Mega Hold Styling Gel to style the hairs into place.

24. Crochet twists

Crochet twist braids with grey Havana mambo hair - Instagram
Crochet twist braids using grey Havana mambo twists. Credit: Instagram.com/umonahair

Worried about damage? With crochet twists, your natural hair is braided into cornrows to keep it protected, while pre-made twisted extensions are hooked into them, making them a fast and protective option.

25. Braided crown

Crown braids: how to get crown box braids with our crown braid tutorial
We love this half-up crown braid.

Lacking inspiration? This half-up braided crown is a great example of how many creative ways there are to wear box braids. Check out our crown braid tutorial now to find out how to get the look.

26. Low manipulation hairstyles

Low manipulation hairstyles: Close up profile shot of a black woman with natural hair styled in two boxer braid ponytails wearing a yellow top
You don’t need to be a hair styling pro to be able to create amazing DIY looks. Credit: Verity Jane Smith

Heard of low manipulation hairstyles but not really sure what they are? Essentially they’re different braid hairstyles which don’t cause too much strain or pulling on the hair, so they’re kinder to your scalp and strands than tighter woven styles.

27. Short box braids

short box braid hairstyles: the half up half down hairstyle as shown by instagram blogger zoeleeg
Half-up, half down bob braids. Credit: Instagram.com/zoleeg

We can’t keep up with all of the celebrities who have gone for the chop lately, so it’s hardly surprising that short box braids have become such a coveted look. Credit: @zoleeg

28. Tree braids

alicia keys with tree braids and curly hair
Alicia Keys’ curly tree braid hairstyle. Credit: Rex by Shutterstock

Running out of fresh braid ideas to try? Why not consider tree braids for your next look? They’re the perfect way to protect your delicate strands while also giving you the freedom to show off your natural curls at the same time. It’s a win-win!

29. Undercut box braids

shot of woman with long box braids with shaved back and sides, posing on the street
Push the boat out with an edgy undercut. Credit: Instagram.com/bestboxbraids

Not one to play it safe? Undercuts aren’t for everyone but if you’re not afraid to go bold, box braids with shaved sides can’t be beaten. Credit: @bestboxbraids

30. Faux locs

Loc styles: nathalie emmanuel
Celebrity dreadlocks: Nathalie Emmanuel. Credit: Getty Images

Real dreadlocks can take months or even years in some cases to achieve, but if you really want to try them there is an easier way. With faux locs, you can try them on for size commitment-free, without having to wait for them to form naturally.