African Braids: 10 Traditional Styles to Try Now

Get inspired by these traditional styles.

When it comes to African braids, the styles that many of us adore and wear today have a much deeper significance. The African braids that we are inspired by are all associated with many ritualistic meanings. However, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to try the many beautiful braided hairstyles from this culture. If you are looking to wear an African braided style as a protective style or just for the fashion, we’ve rounded up some of the most popular looks of the moment:

African Braids: 10 Braids from African Culture to Try

african braids: one-layer cornrows
Braids are closely braided together to follow the shape of your head.

1. Cornrows

There are many different variations of cornrow braids. This look in particular is called one-layer cornrows. To create this look, the cornrows are installed mimicking the shape of the head. They are braided close together to hide the parts.

african braids: goddess braids
Double goddess braids.

2. Goddess Braids

This is an example of a goddess braids style which is usually a chunky braided hairstyle. These African braids start from the hairline and are braided all the way down to the ends. To maintain your edges with this look, you can use a sculpting gel like Nexxus Exxtra Hold Sculpting Gel.

african braids: ghana braids
Ghana braids style.

3. Ghana Braids

This look has been taking the internet by storm as of late. Ghana braids are also known as one-layer crazy cornrows. The name describes the different sizes of the cornrows used to create the style. To create the look, your braider will space the hair loosely to create a variation of braid sizes.

african braids: burnt ends
Braids with burnt ends.

4. Boxed Braids with Burned Ends

There are many ways in which you can style the ends of your box braids. If you’re looking to get this style and wear it for a long time, you may decide on having the ends burned. If this is the look you want, be sure to consult your stylist so you can buy the appropriate type of braiding hair. Not all braiding hair can be used with fire.

african braids: box braids
Long box braid style.

5. Box Braids

The box braids style is an example of individual braids. The look is very versatile, which is why many women gravitate to it when choosing a protective style they can wear in many ways.

african braids: micro braids
Teeny-tiny micro braids.

6. Micro Braids

These braids are also individuals. To create the look, the hair is divided into tiny sections to create the micro braid effect. One caveat about this style is that it can take hours to install and hours to remove. Nevertheless, it’s a beautiful braided hairstyle.

african braids: colorful braids
Chunky box braids with a burst of color.

7. Colorful Braids

If you’re looking for a fun braided style, try colorful box braids. To create this look all you have to do is buy the color of hair you want, and your braider will install it for you.

african braids: tree braids
Long tree braids.

8. Tree Braids

Instead of opting for a traditional weave style, a lot of women like to get tree braids instead. The braids at the roots are what hold the braiding hair to your own hair, and the ends are left undone. You can style this hair as you would any straight hair.

african braids: zigzag cornrows
Zigzag cornrow style.

9. Cornrows with Designs

This cornrow style is designed with a mix of zigzag and straight braids. There are many different ways in which you can style cornrows. Opt for straight braids, or make the look fun with variations of designs.

african braids: yarn braids
Chunky yarn braids style.

10. Yarn Braids

If you’re looking for braids with a thicker texture to it, you can opt for the yarn braid style. We love the mix of color used to create this chunky box braided look.

Loved these African braiding styles? Try a twist next! Here are some Senegalese twist styles we love. 

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