How to Get Two-Sided Natural Braids + 16 Looks We’re Obsessing Over

All Things Hair | 30 November 2017
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We’re going all the way with our natural braids.

We’re always looking for creative ways to spiff up our regular ponytails especially now that beanie season is upon us (all about that #bumpfreelife!). Our current obsession: natural braided hairstyles like double braids and box braids, which get us from basic to totally Instagrammable in less than five minutes.

The hallmark of this hairstyle is a pair of baby Dutch braids on each side of your head, all tied together, quite literally, with a puffy ponytail. The single cornrow plait on both the left and ride side gives a slightly edgy wink to any classic look. And although cornrows and natural hair braids really pop on curly hair, other hair textures can totally get it on this ‘do as well.

Easy, democratic and transformable—seriously, what else does anyone need in an everyday hairstyle? Read on to learn how to create these fun natural braid styles:

Tutorial: Two-Sided Natural Hair Braids

1

Start with clean, freshly washed hair.

Prep your hair with a conditioning heat protectant (Nexxus New York Salon Care Promend Heat Protect Mist shields hair from damage) before drying with a blowdryer.

2

Apply some gel.

Firm-hold gel helps give your natural braids styles control and your ponytail base some protection against flyaways (especially when outdoors), but also respects your natural texture. Apply a dime-sized amount of TRESemmé TRES Two Extra-Firm Control Gel on one hand and rub between palms. Spread evenly onto your hair, focusing more product on the hairline area.

3

Section your hair.

Using the end of a rat-tail comb, first part hair in the middle, then create a horizontal section across your head from ear to ear. Clamp one half aside for later, and get ready to go Dutch!

4

Start braiding.

To create a Dutch plait, split your section into three and alternately cross the side strips under (and not over) the middle strip. Continue till you reach the ends, then secure with a hair tie or elastic.

5

Repeat on the other side.

Begin braiding on the opposite side, weaving till the ends and securing with a hair tie.

6

Tie hair up.

Integrating both braids into the gather, create a low ponytail near your nape. Secure with a hair tie or elastic.

7

Done!

Finish natural hair braids look with a fine coating of hairspray, such as Suave Professionals Luxe Style Infusion Anti-Humidity Hairspray, to help fight the frizzies and lock down your look. You’re all set!

Photo credit: Raquel Espírito Santo

Want to learn how to do more natural braided hairstyles like this Dutch braid style? Check out our other braid and half-updo tutorials.

Braids are one of the biggest hairstyle staples for natural hair. We’ve become complete enamored with these protective styles, and each day we come across new tweaks to this classic look that have us begging for more. These natural braided hairstyles are just too good to pass on and we believe that every girl should try these braided looks at least once in their lives. If you’re craving a new ‘do, then check out some of these hot natural hair braids to freshen up your look:

16 Natural Braided Hairstyles To Change Up Your Look

natural braided hairstyles
Pulled back braided bangs are chic and stylish for anytime you’re on the go.

1. Pulled Back Bangs

Show the world your beautiful face while showing off your perfect natural braids by pulling back your bangs. You can tame down any flyaways and baby hair with TRESemmé TRES Two Ultra Firm Control Gel.

TRESemmé TRES TWO ULTRA FIRM CONTROL GEL
natural braided hairstyles short braids
Keep your natural braids short and sweet.

2. Short Braids

If you’re more of a fan of short and simple looks, go for a braided short cut. You can get it bob or lob length, thin or thick braids; whatever you please will look amazing on your natural braided hairstyle.

natural braided hair curly
Cute and quirky natural braids are the way to go!

3. Curly Braids

Curly natural braid styles are fun and playful, and they’re much simpler to style than you think. Just curl them as you usually would and then keep them curly all day long by spritzing them with Dove Style+Care Flexible Hold Spray.

DOVE STYLE+CARE FLEXIBLE HOLD HAIRSPRAY

 

natural braided haristyles pulled back braids
Put your braids in a simple ponytail or an intricate braid.

4. Pulled Back Braids

This style is so universal, it can be changed up in an array of looks! Either tie them back in a ponytail or bun, or even try a fun braid. Whichever natural braided hairstyle you choose, it’s guaranteed to give you a sassy and sexy look.

natural braided hair long braids
Let your long braided locks flow through the wind.

5. Long Braids

Honestly, there’s not even a need to touch your natural hair braids. Let them loose and have them swing around for a sexy, eye-catching style.

natural braided hairstyles deep side part
Go for an extremely parted side to get a dramatic, exaggerated look.

6. Extreme Side Part

An extreme side part is great for long and short braids. A deep part can do wonders to your style, all by simply switching your braids over to one side.

natural braided hairstyles thin cornrows
Cornrows are a classic, timeless style that can be rocked anywhere, anytime.

7. Thin Cornrows

Thin cornrows have been a major style on natural hair, and it’s so versatile to change up. You can make patterns, keep your rows straight or slightly curved—the possibilities are endless! Keep them tamed and in place (with a slightly matte, trendy finish) by using Bed Head by TIGI Manipulator Cream.

BED HEAD BY TIGI MANIPULATOR CREAM
natural braided hairstyles low ponytail
Make your hair look like a flowing river of braids in a low ponytail.

8. Low Ponytail

Let your braided locks breathe by keeping them in a low, loose ponytail.

 

natural braided hairstyles high bun
For a sleek, elegant look with extra volume, tie your braids up in a high bun.

9. High Bun

If you’re going to s formal event, a high bun is a great way to easily style your hair and look elegant. This bun also makes your braided natural hairstyle look fuller and more voluminous.

natural braided hairstyles side bangs
Side bangs are a fun and flirty look for any special occasion.

10. Side Bangs

Side bangs are another top pick style for a big night out. Side bangs always give off a sexy and sultry vibe, and can be styled by using hair pins to keep them in place.

natural braided hairstyles low bun
A low bun with thick, long braids gives a voluminous and full look.

11. Low Bun

A low-hanging bun is one of our favorite looks on this list. How can you not fall in love with this full, jaw-dropping bun?

natural braided hairstyles braided mohawk
A mohawk gives you a sexy and playful edge. Photo credit: instagram.com/studio91nhs

12. Braided Mohawk

Only a true rebel will put her natural locks in a braided mohawk that looks as badass as this one. To give your hair added volume, use Nexxus Diametress Volume Lavish Body Gel Spray once you’re done braiding this edgy look.

NEXXUS DIAMETRESS VOLUME LAVISH BODY GEL SPRAY
natural braided hairstyles top knot
A top knot bun is virtually effortless.

13. Top Knot Bun

If you’re not in the mood to actually style your hair, but still want to give your natural braided hair some body and fun, then try a simple top knot bun. Just grab a few locks, put them in a bun and you’re finished. Seriously, it’s that simple!

natural braided hairstyles ombre
Use a two-toned gradient to give your natural braids a pop of color. Photo credit: instagram.com/braidsnation

14. Ombré

An ombré style looks mesmerizing on all natural braided hairstyles. Drastic multi-toned colors look like a rainbow of beautiful pigments on these braids and twists.

natural braided hair beaded braids
If you really want to make your natural braided style pop, add some beads for some funky locks.

15. Beaded Braids

To give your braids a glam look, use beads to accessorize your natural braided hairstyles. Let your locks down and add big beads and pins, or try a bun with smaller beads for a unique and creative style.

natura braided hairstyles twisted top knot
Upgrade your top knot bun with an intricate twist.

16. Twisted Top Knot Bun

If you want to give you braided hair an upgrade, this is definitely one of the biggest natural braided hairstyles on this list to do so. A twisted top knot is intricate, playful and just oh-so chic, we’ll definitely be rockin’ this style soon!

If you’re looking for more braided styles, then check out some of our favorite protective braid hairstyles.