30 Cool Tribal Braids Ideas You Shouldn’t Pass Up

Be inspired and update your look.

Protective braided styles are some of the top go-to hairstyles in the natural hair community. Tribal braids in particular have become very popular recently. More modern updated versions of tribal braids are a whole new take on the traditional style that has been around for a while.

Tribal braids originated from the Fulani tribe in West Africa and were a way to celebrate the culture. The look traditionally consisted of middle-parted cornrow braids that go straight back against the head, decorated with beads. Like many styles, this look evolved and changed over the years. Today, people experiment with different widths of braids and unique patterns while doing tribal braids. However, the cornrow look is what always sets this style apart.

Scroll down to check out the hottest tribal braid styles now.

30 Tribal Braids to Try Now

Tribal braids are a great option if you still want to wear a protective braided style but want something a little more intricate than typical box braids. Keep scrolling to get some style inspiration for your next braid style!

1. Swirled Cornrow Braids

girl with tribal braids
Add a unique pattern to your braids. Photo and styling credit: instagram.com/busybry_

Get creative with your look! Try out new patterns like this swirled look. This style will still protect your hair but make the look feel more personalized to you. Talk to your stylist about interesting patterns you can try on your strands and get creative!

2. Low Bun and Mini Braided Tribal Braids

girl with low updo and tribal braids
Gather your braids into a low bun. Photo and styling credit: instagram.com/busybry_

Create a unique look with mini braids for women. Pull your hair back into a low bun for a sleek finished style. This look can be great for casual moments or worn for fancier events!

3. Side-Parted Tribal Braids with Wavy Ends

Show more cornrows off with a side part. Photo Credit: @KhatBrim

A side-parted look is a fun way to change up your look without doing anything too drastic. Plus, you can leave the ends out of the braids and show off the curly texture. This effortless style allows you to embrace the natural beauty of your curls, giving your hair a lively and carefree vibe while keeping your protective style intact.

4. Thick Tribal Braids

girl with thick tribal braids
Opt for a thicker braid.

Thick braids are another great option when it comes to choosing tribal braids. This type of braid pops more and can add fullness to the updos you create. Consider this if you’re looking for a more voluminous style!

5. Pink Tribal Braids

girl with pink braids
Try out a fun color!

Ready for an unexpected change? Weave pink hair into your braids for a bubblegum-inspired look. This is a great way to play with color without sacrificing the integrity of your natural hair.

6. Red Tribal Braids

girl with dark red braids
Try adding hair cuffs to your braids.

Not feeling pink braids? Red, especially a deep maroon shade, is a great everyday color when you want something different. This deep shade is flattering on a wide range of skin tones and super trendy right now!

7. Layered Beaded Braids

girl with beaded braids
Accessorize your braids with beads. Photo Credit: Gina Tigere

Who says you can’t pair layers with braids? Hop on to the layered hairstyle trend and ask for layers within your braided look. Adding beads to the ends will make your layers stand out too!

8. Heart-Shaped Braids

girl with heart tribal braids
Try out a creative shape in your braid. Photo and styling credit: instagram.com/busybry_

Heart-shaped braids add an extra feminine touch to your style. Whether you need a festive look for Valentine’s Day or just want a unique braid pattern, this style is perfect for that!

9. Classic Tribal Braids

girl with straight tribal braids
Photo and styling credit: instagram.com/busybry_

You can’t go wrong with a classic tribal braid look. For a modern touch, use SheaMoisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil + Flaxseed Black Edge Gel to lay your edges in a trendy design.

10. Long Straight-Back Braids

girl with casual braids
Go for a simple, casual look. Photo Credit: Joshua Ovebanii

A classic long, straight-back tribal braid style is a great go-to look. It’s simple and works for such a wide variety of occasions. Show off your beautiful face with a style that keeps the focus on you!

11. Low Ponytail Tribal Braids

girl with beaded braids in a ponytail
Add beads and gather your braids into a low pony. Photo Credit: @maimaiapplepie

Want a sleek look? Gather your braids into a low ponytail for a powerful look. The beads add the perfect finishing touch to make your style stand out. This polished yet statement-making hairstyle is an ideal choice for a trendy protective style.

12. Tribal Braided Pigtails

girl with high pigtail braids
Create high pigtails with your braids

Thanks to many of the 2000s trends making a comeback, pigtails have appeared across TikTok. Create a voluminous version of this style with your tribal braids.

13. High Ponytail Look

girl with high ponytail braids
Go for a sleek, high ponytail. Photo credit: @braidedbytee

A high ponytail never fails to impress, no matter what occasion. Chic and elevated, this style adds instant height to your look and will prepare you for almost anything on your agenda.

14. Goddess Tribal Braids

girl wearing goddess tribal braids
Goddess braids are often combined with tribal braids.

When modernizing tribal braids, many people love to mix in Goddess braids by leaving the ends curly. We love the variation in texture this look creates and how beautifully this style blends two unique looks.

15. One-Sided Look

one sided tribal braids
Gather all of your braids to one side. Photo Credit: @freshlengths

A one-sided braided creates a sleek and sophisticated style. However, your scalp may need some TLC between wash days. Use SheaMoisture Moringa & Avocado Power Green Tea Hair Rinse to lightly cleanse your scalp between wash days. We love how it helps soften and smooth your strands.

16. Braid Ring Hairstyle

varied tribal braids
Incorporate a variety of sizes into your tribal braids. Photo Credit: @braidedbytee

Are you looking to dress up your braids a bit but don’t want to deal with a complicated style or drastic change? Hair rings are the perfect way to add a touch of shine without dealing with any hassle. They’re an effortless way to incorporate a simple but elegant addition to your hair.

17. Half-Updo Beaded Look

girl with
Try out a half updo. Photo Credit: @kersti.pitre

Want to keep your hair from falling into your face but still want to show off your look? This half-updo bun is the perfect solution! This look also includes that bright pop of red hair color we mentioned before.

18. Blonde Hairstyle

Try these bright blonde braids.

Are you wanting to make a big change to your hair? Go blonde! To maintain your color and help prevent it from turning brassy, use a purple shampoo like SheaMoisture Purple Rice Water Strength & Color Care Shampoo and Conditioner.

19. Accessorized Look

girl with accessorized braids and styled edges
Accessorize your braids and style your edges for a super polished look.

Make your braids stand out with accessories. Try everything from colored yarn to hair cuffs for a change in your look. This is a wonderful way to experiment with your braids with ease!

20. Combinations of Braids

thick and thin braids
Create a combo of thick and thin braids. Photo Credit: Shaquille Dunbar

Many people love adding variation to their tribal braid looks. This combination of skinny and thick braids creates an amazing contrast. It’s a perfect way to stand out without straying too far outside your comfort zone.

21. Classic Middle-Parted Tribal Braids

middle part tribal braids
Try out a classic middle-part tribal braid style.

A middle-parted style with beads at the ends is a classic tribal braid look. For a traditional style, opt for a look like this. We can’t get enough of this beautifully intricate style.

22. Tribal Braids With A Pop Of Color

Color is a must, especially in summer.

Add a splash of color for the warmer months! Blend your natural hair color with some colorful strands; whether it’s turquoise, pink, or red, they will spice up your look quickly.

23. Braids and Curls

Keep your hair half natural and half braided.

This style is perfect if you want to try out tribal braids without committing to the full hairdo. Combine a neatly braided scalp with loose hair to create a natural and trendy look.

24. Scalp Design

Have fun creating different designs.

Your scalp can become a canvas for incredible styling. Take your tribal braids up a notch with an edgy scalp design. You can even add an accessory like a pearly clip shown above to add that extra dash of creativity to your look.

25. Colorful Ponytail

Elevate your tribal braids ponytail with splashes of color!

Check out these vibrant tribal braids. The braids are styled into a bold red and orange ponytail. We love this hairstyle, and it’s perfect if you want a bold new look. What’s more, you can choose the shade you like the most. If you’re not feeling the bright red-to-blond blend, you can swap it for a blue-to-purple blend or any other color combination!

27. Ombre Tribal Braids

Play with gradient colors.

Don’t be afraid to play with gradients! These nuances give depth and color to your style while keeping a natural look. We love this blend of caramel brown and black hair colors.

28. Curly Braids

You can’t go wrong with curly braids.

Combine your desire for curly hair with trendy tribal braids! This sleek look adds volume to your strands and complements any face shape. We love how the curls transition from dark to light hair colors.

29. Box Braids

Box braids are a trendy and easy-to-maintain style.

If you’re looking for a more long-lasting style, box braids might be for you. They’re cool, protective of your natural hair, and they are super easy to style in many different ways! You can have them stay braided all the way down to the ends, or curl the ends like shown above to add some flair to those box braids.

30. Space Buns

Space buns are a fun way to wear braids.

We can never get enough of space buns! And you can easily recreate them for a cyber-chic look to wear everywhere you go.

Are you looking for more hairstyle inspiration? Be sure to follow us over @AllThingsHairUS!


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