Tree Braids: What Are They and How to Wear Them?

Alyssa François | 15 May 2017

Everything you need to know about this popular protective hairstyle. 

Tree braids are a protective style also known as invisible braids. The idea is that you don’t see the braids in your hair, just the ends of the extensions that have been installed into the braid. However, some women opt for getting the tree braid effect with regular box braid styles.

Usually, tree braids are chosen over other braided hairstyles, like box braids or twists, because they take less time to install. Additionally, since the ends of the hair are left out, you also have the flexibility to style the length of your hair as you please. Read on as we explain the process and show you a few different ways to wear the look.

Tree Braids: Installation and Style Ideas

How tree braids are created:

To create the style, you can use any kind human hair you want. The popular options are straight hair or wet and wavy hair. When beginning the style, the stylist parts the hair then installs the hair extension using the cornrow braiding technique weaving new pieces of hair while working their way down. However, the pieces of hair that are being weaved into the braid, is not braided in. It’s left outside of the braid so it looks like strands of hair. Once the braid reaches half-way or shorter, the stylist creates a knot to prevent the braid from unraveling. This method is continued all around the head then sprayed with oil sheen at the end for shine.

Ways to wear tree braid styles:

As mentioned above, there are a number of different ways you can wear tree braids depending on the type of hair you get. Below are a few of our favorite styles done with the box braid technique.

tree braids: straight hair
Straight extensions are one of the most popular tree braid styles.

Look 1: Straight Tree Braids

Go bone straight or go for a slight wave for body. Human hair tends to have a finer and thinner look. To avoid the stringy, thread-like effect and create a fuller look like this, it’s best to use two packs of hair instead of one.

tree braids with ombre
Add a bit of color to enhance the look of your tree braid hairstyle.

Look 2: Curly Tree Braid Bob with Ombré

If you want color on your tree braid style, you can simply buy a pack of colored hair. The options are endless! You can find hair that has one color all over, streaks, ombré or even balayage. For length, you can go two ways: either have your stylist cut the hair to your desired length, or buy the hair at the length you want.

Tree braids with lob haircut
Turn your tree braid style into a trendy haircut.

Look 3: Tree Braid Asymmetrical Lob

Get a little trendy with your tree braid style and go for a look everyone is after, like the lob. Wear it straight, curly or wavy. If you happen to buy extensions that have a tighter curl but you want a wave, dampen the hair and braid the ends into 4-6 chunky braids and allow it dry. This will help stretch the curl and create a wavier look.

How to care for hair with tree braids.

Like many other protective styles, you can wash your hair with the tree braids in. When washing, be sure to focus on your scalp as over time there may be build up between the cornrow braids. After drying your hair, spray with a hairspray that offers shine and a light hold. You want your extensions to be shiny but not stiff.

Want to learn more about popular braided styles? Here’s how to wear and care for crochet braids

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