While braids are an easy and great way to forget about styling and protect your hair from harsh environmental factors, they can also be incredibly stylish.
Braided hairstyles – whether they be simples plaits, cornrows, or updos – allow you to be super creative, and there are so many different and gorgeous braided hairstyles available!
So whether you’re looking for a style for the office, an event, a date or just for you, there’s plenty on offer.
If done right, braids are great for protecting your hair as protective styles, braids allow you to avoid too much manual manipulation and give your hair time to recover and grow.
These styles protect your hair’s ends from damage, which helps to prevent shedding and breakage while making detangling sessions much easier.
In this article, we’re going to go through some of our favourite braided hairstyles to give you a bit of inspiration the next time you want to shake things up.
These chunky braids are excellent for days when you want to give your hair a break but still look fashionable. They’re easy to style and easy to take out, so you won’t have to worry too much about how long it takes to uninstall them.
Image credit: @cmoniquexo
Chunky Box Braids
Box braids can be done in a variety of ways and the size of them will give a different look every time. From thick and chunky to small and dainty, box braids are an excellent option for a more casual but fashionable look.
Image credit: @martiniquaisement_
Bob Braids On Short Natural Hair
Timeless yet sophisticated, a bob haircut plus box braids is a statement look that’s suitable for any occasion.
For added flair, consider adding accessories or highlights. This braided style isn’t going out of circulation anytime soon!
Image credit: @naturalbabepro
Braided High Bun
Professional yet glam, a high bun is a fail-safe style that’s graced the ages. Versatile, simple and super protective, this style is definitely one of our favourites.
Image credit: @chelliscurls
Multiple Braided Ponytails
Traditional, timeless and easy to put together, pigtails are a great choice for their simplicity, protectiveness and flexibility. You can go for a simple, no-fuss look or opt to add some excitement with accessories and highlights.
Image credit: @purple.fenty
Chunky Mohawk Braid With Cornrows
Give your thick braids a twist with a chunky mohawk — wear it braided down the back or try styling it to your preference. This is a great look that requires very little effort. It’s also super easy to undo once it has run its course.
Image credit: @Melforddivashair
5 Top Tips For Maintaining Braids
Now that we’ve shared our favourite styles with you, here are a few top tips for maintaining your braids so that you can maximise their protective capabilities.
While your natural hair is in braids, you need to keep it moisturised and healthy. Grab a hydrating hair spray, such as Sheen, and generously mist your braids. This will instantly make your braids look fresher and also moisturise your hair in the process!
Don't Forget About Wash Day
Washing your braids especially if you have long braids can be cumbersome and often the braids don't dry properly, which can introduce moulds and fungi – which isn't what anyone wants!
Avoid Over Styling
Constant pulling of your braids to get them into different styles can cause them to come undone very quickly. The tension can also affect your natural hair and lead to shedding and hair loss. Keep your styles simple and varied if you can.
Look After Your Braids At Night
Before going to bed, it’s best to wrap your hair in a silk scarf or use a satin bonnet. This will reduce friction while you sleep and preserve your braids (combatting frizz). You can also use a silk pillowcase to achieve the same results.
Know When It’s Time To Take Them Out
Braids aren’t meant to last forever. These tips will help you to preserve them as long as possible and make sure they look the best they can, but after six weeks or so it’s time to take them out (and give your hair a break from the weight).
Let your hair breathe for a few weeks after taking your braids out!
Looking for products to look after your hair while it's in braids? We can help! The Braid Care Set is perfect for protective or low-maintenance styles like braids and twists with your natural hair or extensions. Using the Braid Care Set whilst protecting your hair with braids will help you minimise breakage and retain length.