We’re always looking for creative ways to spiff up our regular ponytails. Our current obsession: natural braided hairstyles like double braids (a hairstyle with just two braids) and box braids.
The hallmark of the first hairstyle we’re highlighting 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 this fun natural braid styles and get inspired by the rest of our favorite braided hairstyles for natural hair:
Tutorial: Two-Sided Natural Hair Braids
Start with clean, freshly washed hair.
Prep your hair with a conditioning heat protectant (Nexxus Promend Heat Protecting Mist shields hair from damage) before drying with a blowdryer.
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.
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!
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.
Repeat on the other side.
Begin braiding on the opposite side, weaving till the ends and securing with a hair tie.
Tie hair up.
Integrating both braids into the gather, create a low ponytail near your nape. Secure with a hair tie or elastic.
Finish natural hair braids look with a fine coating of hairspray, such as Bed Head by TIGI Headrush Shine Hairspray, to help fight the frizzies and lock down your look. You’re all set!
Photo credit: Raquel Espírito Santo
These natural braided hairstyles below 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 get some inspiration from these braided styles to freshen up your look:
1. Pulled Back Bangs
Show off your natural braids by pulling back your bangs. You can tame down any flyaways and baby hair with TRESemmé TRES Two Ultra Firm Control Gel.
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; everything looks good on a natural braided hairstyle.
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.
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.
5. Long Braids
Honestly, there’s not always a need to mess around with your natural hair braids too much. Leave them loose and let them swing around for a sexy, eye-catching style.
6. Extreme Side Part
An extreme side part is great for both long and short braids. It can do wonders for any style. Create the look by simply pulling your braids over to one side!
7. Thin Cornrows
Thin cornrows are a great option for natural hair, and they’re so easy to change up depending on your mood. You can opt for 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.
8. Low Ponytail
Let your braided locks breathe by keeping them in a low, loose ponytail.
9. High Bun
If you’re going to a formal event, a high bun is a great way to easily style your hair and look elegant at the same time. This bun also makes your braided natural hairstyle look fuller and more voluminous.
10. Side Bangs
These side bangs are another top pick style for a big night out. They always give off a sexy and sultry vibe and can be styled by using hair pins to keep them in place.
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?
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.
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!
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.
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.
16. Twisted Top Knot Bun
If you want to give your braided hair an upgrade, this is definitely one of the best natural braided hairstyles on this list to inspire you. A twisted top knot is intricate, playful and just oh-so-chic, we’ll definitely be rockin’ this style soon!