3 Ways to Wear the Braid-Out Hairstyle on Natural Hair

Your guide to creating and styling braid-outs.

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One too many times we’ve seen the braid-out get confused with other natural hairstyles like twist outs on Instagram and other platforms. So what is a braid-out, you ask? It’s simply a natural hairstyle that is created by using three-strand braids. The plaits are usually done on damp hair, set overnight or for a few hours, and then loosened (once dry) to reveal a stretched, crimp-inspired curl. There are numerous techniques that can be used to create a similar look. A few of our favorites: Create a head full of small braids to create super defined curls, big braids to create a fluffier texture, or add flexi rods to a braid to create a ringlet/crimpy curl.

Braid-outs, like many other popular natural hairstyles, can be worn a number of stylish ways. To inspire you to try out the braid-out on your natural hair, we’ve rounded up three simple ways you can wear the look. Read on to learn how you can recreate braid-out styles at home on your hair:

Step 1

Section hair.

Start from the bottom and create 1-2 inch thick sections.

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Step 2

Braid first section.

You’re now ready to start your braid out!

Simply do a regular 3-strand braid, twisting the end to give a more defined curl pattern.

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Step 3


Repeat steps 1 to 4 until you have braided your whole head.

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Step 4

Sleep with braids in.

Now you can either wait until your braids are dry or catch some beauty sleep with them in. Just be sure to protect the hair with a silk scarf or bonnet if you’re sleeping with them in.

When you’re ready, undo the braids. To make this easier, apply a few drops of The Good Stuff Frizz Control Oil to the fingers when unbraiding.

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Step 5

Separate the curls.

Separate the strands by gently pulling them apart with your fingers.


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Step 6

Gel baby hairs.

For the finishing touch to your braid-out style, take a toothbrush and apply a small amount of Emerge Style Goals Gel to control any baby hairs around your hairline.

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Step 7


Not enough volume? Then fluff out the roots using an afro pick.

And you’re all done: a fabulous braid out completed in no time!

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Look 1: The Half-Up Braid Out

half-up style on braid out hairstyle for natural hair
You can turn braid outs into fun trendy looks like this half-up style. Photo credit: Suzanne Cohen Photography

Besides the high pony, this trendy half-up style is yet another way to wear the braid-out look, and get your curls out of your face. This style is perfect for hot and humid summer days. Pull back a section of hair at the front, and secure with hairpins. Fluff the back of your hair by picking the roots with an afro pick or wide-toothed comb for volume and set with a light-hold hairspray like Dove Style+Care Compressed Flexible Hold Hairspray.

Look 2:  High Ponytail a.k.a The Pineapple Updo

braid out ponytail hairstyle on natural hair
Wear this look to sleep and out in public. Photo credit: Suzanne Cohen Photography

This simple look is ideal for those that don’t want to spend too much time styling their hair in the morning. Not only is this style an updo that you can wear just about anywhere, it’s also used as a technique to maintain curly hairstyles while sleeping. Get this look by using your hands to gently gather your curls into a high ponytail and loosely secure with a hair elastic.

Look 3: Down and Curly

braid out style worn down on natural hair
Wash and go shrinkage not your thing? Try braid outs as an alternative. Photo credit: Suzanne Cohen Photography

Many naturals use this style as a wash-and-go alternative. Truth be told: Wash and go styles are a cute way to show off your natural curl pattern, however, it doesn’t work out for everyone. This style helps you create a similar style with a more stretched-out look that helps with length. To recreate a look like this, braid damp hair into single plaits all over your head using Suave Professionals Define & Shine Serum Gel. Once your hair is dry, release and apply a natural hair oil of your choice throughout your hair for shine.

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