With such a wide variety of braided hairstyles to choose from, selecting a trendy style that’s suited for you can be a challenge. We’re here to help!

Braids have been around for centuries, and although the styles and techniques have evolved, braids remain the number one hairstyle among black women. Apart from their cultural significance – braids are well suited for ethnic hair because the texture, plaiting and twisting create beautiful artistic designs, plus it’s a great method of protective styling for Afros.

Thick or thin, loose or tight – our favourite celebrities have pulled off amazing braided hairstyles to inspire your next look. In finding the perfect braided hairstyle for you, it’s best to go with your personal style first and then consider factors such as longevity and maintenance.

We’ve rounded up 5 of the most popular braided hairdos you should consider.


Kelly Rowland Cindy Ord / Staff / Getty Images

If you’re looking for an easy to maintain style, box braids are for you! They’re simple, easy to plait and can be worn by everyone, whether you have ethnic, or silky texture hair, box braids are quite versatile. The parting and sectioning of the hair can be done in patterns of even square blocks, triangles, twists or zig-zags. Hair fibre or extensions sizing can range from thin to thick or oversized depending on the look you are going for. Kelly Rowland kept her braids neat and evenly sectioned and her roots in triangles. These are basic box braids suitable for any occasion, day or night. 

For music artist, Brandy Norwood box braids have been part of her image since the ‘90s when she came into the music scene with the classic hit ‘I Wanna Be Down’ and when she starred in the comedy series Moesha. Brandy’s love affair with box braids never fizzled out – to this day she’s still a fan of the hairstyle and changes it up by using different hair colours and creating fun twists at the front, or a plaited ponytail.

Nomzamo Mbatha Noam Galai / Stringer / Getty Images

Nomzamo loves to embrace her natural hair in creative ways. Her statement box braids made a splash at the Global Citizen Festival in 2018. Thick and oversized box braids are a style that usually lasts a week or two depending on how you take care of them. They are best for an event or outing because they last for a very short time. This is because the hair partitioning is big, therefore as time goes, and friction happens your natural hair stands up and pulls away from the braid. This style makes a statement but only for a short while.


Amandla Steenberg Steve Granitz / Contributor / Getty Images

Cornrows can seem like a basic pulled back hairstyle that has little to offer. Not true! Celebs like Amandla chose creative ways to style their cornrows into beautiful symmetrical rows that give the style a whole new exciting look.

Rihanna Daniele Venturelli / Contributor / Getty Images

Riri took a fun approach to her cornrows and went for a thin-sized zig-zag pattern. This works well with your natural hair but can also be achieved using hair fibre and extensions. Your hairstylist should avoid pulling your hair edges but rather layer your hairline in the way Rihanna has. Your hair will stay protected and no hair breakage will occur.

Alicia Keys Kevork Djansezian / Stringer / Getty Images

When she hosted the 2020 Grammy Awards musician Alicia Keys went with her original and signature hairstyle of pushed back cornrows. Alicia Keys has been rocking some of the most iconic braided hairstyles since the beginning of her career. When she first started in the music scene her signature style was cornrows with colourful beads at the ends. This style has been seen on celebs from the days of Mariam Makeba, Brenda Fassie and will forever remain an African hair favourite.


Danai Gurira Presley Ann / Stringer / Getty Images

Having short natural hair does not mean you can’t have up-dos or high buns. Danai’s hair is quite short but she has extended her middle section with long braids and created a plaited high bun with gold threads. The sides are kept in small dreadlocks but they’re barely noticeable as the high bun is the centrepiece of her look. This is style is perfect for special events such as weddings.

Tessa Thompson Pascal Le Segretain / Staff / Getty Images

Don’t be afraid of colour with your braided hairstyle. Tessa chose a deep green colour that complements her skin tone and does not distract from her beautiful face. Her up-do is neatly folded into a big plait that is wrapped and tucked in asymmetrically. Her edges are impeccably layered as well!

Ayanda is a natural beauty that likes to keep her looks simple and understated. Her high bun is made up of simple box braids, swirled on the top of her head and neatly tucked under. This is quick and easy to achieve, and an effortless look for any occasion whether casual or formal.


French braids and Dutch braids are basically the same thing, the only difference is in the plaiting where the Dutch braid is an inside out version of the French braid. Amanda Du Pont’s natural hair is gorgeous; she can pull off any hairstyle effortlessly. Her Dutch braids are thick and plaited tightly with hair extensions at the bottom for extra volume. This is a casual and fun hairstyle and takes less than 30 minutes on the salon chair.

Kim Kardashian Marc Piasecki / Contributor / Getty Images

This is one of Kim’s favourite hairstyles, she has been seen wearing the French braid a couple of times out and about and on the red carpet. Kim is not afraid to take hair risks, she colours her hair blonde from time to time, and this blonde shade beautifully shows off her braids.

R&B singer, Ciara, kept her French braids thin and slick using her natural hair. Although most celebrities can pull off this look with their own hair, this can be done with any hair extension of your choice and colour.


Storm Reid Paul Archuleta / Stringer / Getty Images

This trend has been around for a long time, but has transformed from season to season. Initially, it was a simple sleek plaited ponytail. Now we see so many variations of it with accessories, bright colours and new plaiting techniques. Young actress Storm Reid’s braid is a single twist with decorated coloured hair cuffs plus and a thin plait on top. It’s a fresh and fun style that suits her young personality very well.

Beyoncé - Brad Barket / Stringer / Getty Images

Queen B hardly misses the beat when it comes to hair moves. Her extra length pony is perfect for her stage performances, it has that extra dramatic effect and moves along with her when she dances. It’s kept tight and flat on top keeping hair away from her face and showing off her flawless beauty throughout her show.

Yara Shahidi Alberto E. Rodriguez / Staff / Getty Images

Yara Shahidi always takes it one step further with her red carpet hair choices and brings her youthful originality every time. Her jumbo braid can be easily copied by using a few extra packs of extensions, and gold hair accessories.

Click here for tips on how to take care of your hair

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