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How to Choose the Best Braids Hairstyles - with picture of Alicia Keys

Updated on January 5, 2013
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I am an African Woman and almost always have my hair in weaves and braids. I am an enthusiast and write about it.

As in everything related to style, you need to focus on your strengths to choose the best braids hairstyle for yourself.

The temptation to copy the hairstyles of braids aficiandos like Alicia Keys and the Williams sisters can be almost overpowering, but you have to create your own look.

The braids pictures below give an idea of the versatility of the style. Don't be afraid to be adventourous when trying out braids.

For this guide to choosing your own braids style, I will discuss with pictures, the various ways you can create your own braids look.

Braids can be made with two strands or more, with colored extension that may or may not match your hair color, and you can add hair accessories.

Pick, mix and match ideas from descriptions below.

Pictures of Some Braids Hairstyles

A lot can be learnt from observing the styles of others.

Your own braids style is best selected by combining what looks good on you with some tips to help keep the hairstyle unique.

Chimamanda and her braids
Chimamanda and her braids

Accesoize your Braids

The award winning Nigerian born writer, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie wears her hair in braids.

As in the picture on the right, she has made the simple African style all hers, by accesorizing.

She adds beads to two individual strands on either side of her face and that has become her 'look'.

Accessories include beads, pieces of tinfoil, cowries, shells, bits of colored ribbon etc. Incorporate them in other places not just at the end of the braid to stand out.

Serena Williams hairstyle
Serena Williams hairstyle

Colour Selection

Braids and Color - Williams Sisters Braids

The tennis power duo of Venus and Serena Williams quickly distinguished themselves.

They did this both by their prowess on court and their fashion and style off court.

Part of this was a result of their hairdo.

Serena as shown in the picture is a powerfull woman. She has the courage to wear her hair in 'notice me hairstyles'.

This blonde box braids may not be for everyone but it will give you an idea of how to make a common style all yours.

You could decide to use only dark red-brown hair extensions.

The colour is close to the natural hair of most African-Americans but over time could become your own colour.

Even when you change styles - from weaves to braids to cornrows, maintain this colour.

Braids with Texture
Braids with Texture

Textured Braids

Braids must not be straight all the time. adding texture is easy.

How to add texture to braids

Once you have finished braiding the whole hair, take some plaits and braid them together

(Note - the more braids you plait together at a time, the looser the resulting waves).

Dip them into hot water, let it drip dry then loosen it. The result is a head full of wavy braids.

Please do not do this on your own, always have a friend or assistant stand by with the hot water.

Alicia Keys Braids Hairstyle
Alicia Keys Braids Hairstyle

The Combination - Combining Weaves and Braids

One of the most interesting hairstyles you can choose is to combine weaves and braids.

Start the hair with cornrows and end with a weave.

The weave could be sewn in or hair extensions added at the cornrow stage and left loose at the end.

This hairstyle was made popular by Alicia Keys.

The only limit to the kinds of styles you can conjure up is your imagination.

Combining braids and weaves lets you take advantage of the length, colour and texture ranges you get with weaves while maintaining a link to your ethnic roots.


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