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Different Braid Styles That Fit All Lifestyles

Updated on December 22, 2014

Braiding Styles

Some classic hairstyles are limitless and then there are braids. Braids truly give a person the ability to make a style statement. No longer known as a method to hide natural hair but to give off a personality of their own.

Don’t think that non-professional people can only wear braids. The hairdo’s described below will illustrate how anyone – whether on vacation or in a boardroom meeting can wear these hairstyles.

Braid hairstyles stem back in history and known for their ability to manage very course tresses. Typically used by those with African descent though braiding styles have hit mainstream cultures and used all around the world.

So the described styles below exemplify how one can use extensions or natural hair to achieve any desired style. The length of the hairstyle is likewise a personal choice. Adjusting the length of the extension easily produces the desired length of braids. Also using different hair types create unique styles. One may want straight hair or curly hair affording for endless possibilities. Hair types vary from deep waves all the way to really tight curls. Finding hair that is heat resistant adds to the styling options allowing one to create your own curl patterns. Changing your hair color is simple with the help of extensions. Purchasing human hair can ease styling hassles making it easier to brush.

There are no limits to braid length
There are no limits to braid length | Source

Care For Braids

Caring for your style and natural tresses are essential. Depending on the style will also determine the needed care to maintain great looking hair. Typically extensions should not be worn for longer than 3 months with adjustments being made every 4 to 6 weeks. Remembering to keep the scalp clean by periodically cleansing it with a desired technique. After washing ensure that the scalp is able to completely dry to prevent the growth of bacteria. Yes if you keep unneeded moisture on the scalp it can develop mold. Though do not mistake the previous statement with moisturizing the scalp, which is essential. Make sure that after cleansing the scalp you replace the washed away essential oils. Using something light such as coconut oil or almond oil will add just the right amount of moisturizer.

Singles

A term used to distinguish a braid method that uses a determined amount of single strands of hair to create a braid or platt. Many times braids are interchangeably referred to as singles. These styles will typically be free flowing from scalp to end, unlike a cornrow braid that are attached to the scalp. Most of the styles described use this methodology to create the finished look.

Janet Jackson in Poetic Justice
Janet Jackson in Poetic Justice | Source

Box braids

Box braids are simply a technique used when parting the hair and attaching the extension or braiding the natural hair. Just as the name implies the hair is parted in a square fashion. Whether a small, medium or large box – the scalp pattern will demonstrate that precise shape. Depending on the size of the parting and if extensions are added will determine the amount of the scalp design. Examples of box braids are like that of Janet Jackson in Poetic Justice. She is sporting a larger box braid and as she so glamorously modeled you can see that the braids can be very long if preferred. Box braids were even rocked by Christina Aguilera and with colorful extensions.

Micro braids with deep wave hair
Micro braids with deep wave hair | Source

Micro braids

Another braid style that is quite similar to the box braid. The difference is in the name – micro – meaning small. Taking small strategically pinched pieces of hair and usually attaching an extension helps to create this style. Unlike the box braid the scalp will typically not show off precisely parted sections. Most of the time the braid is only platted past the natural hair and then tied off so that the ends look like natural hair that can be combed. Depending on individual preference one may use higher end hair so that it is easier to brush and style. Micro braids have been worn by Beyonce and in the past was Brandi’s go to hairdo.

Tree Braid Tutorial

Tree braids

If you have not been exposed to this technique before please watch the video to the right, as this is certainly a great way to wear hair. The braiding pattern is the same as cornrows except that after every other pass a small piece of the extension is purposefully left out. The end result creates a look of natural hair. The braids are cleverly hidden underneath the pieces of hair left outside of the braid. However, since the pieces of hair are pulled out all the way to then end of the braid wearing this style up can be somewhat challenging. It is hard to detect who has worn tree braids since the style looks just like natural hair.

Cornrows

This style can be fancy or simple. There are no limitations to the cornrow creation. For a demonstration of how to cornrow see my article to the right. A style that can be created with both natural hair and extensions. Usually one of the faster ways to create braids, cornrows are great for an on-the-go hairdo. Getting creative creates endless elegant styles. Likely if using extensions, high-end hair is not required for since the hair is neatly tucked in the braid. Taken to another level, Bo Derek boldly showed off how cornrows can be worn by just anyone. Also known for her unique and ever changing patterns, Alicia Keys not only rocks the stage but she also rocks some mean cornrows.

Dreadlocks

A personal choice, but dreadlocks can look very professional and neat. This style can be achieved on natural hair or with the addition of extensions. Keeping your dreadlocks looking kempt and neat take some care and attention. Adding personality to your locks is as simple as adding trinkets to the ends or by dying them a different color like red or blonde. Well right off the bat the Marley’s may come to mind or maybe George Clinton when you thing of dreadlocks. But so many more celebrities have taken on that style. Such as Lauren Hill, Shakira and Erykah Badu just to name a few. And who can forget the American Idol Crystal Bowersox.

Twists
Twists | Source

Senegalese Twists

Similar in fashion to singles, Senegalese twists are attached to hair in the same way. The difference is they are twists. Attaching extension hair is identical to that of singles but instead of using three strands to braids, the twists use only two strands. See the video to the right for a demonstration. Again worn by Beyonce, but really what hairstyle has she not tried. Also twists were fashionably strutted by Joy Bryant.

Braided Mohawk work by Jill Scott
Braided Mohawk work by Jill Scott | Source

Braid Updo

Pretty much all of the braiding techniques described above with the exception of the tree braids can be easily transformed into an updo. If strategically placed tree braids can be put in a semi updo such as a low ponytail. Cornrows can be braided directly into an undo look; however, you are limited to that one style for the duration of the style. On the contrary, other braid styles can be easily put up in a ponytail or even something more sophisticated like a French twist. Jill Scott rocked a curly cornrow Mohawk. Look at the creativity of that style. I can list the famous women for days that have sophisticatedly worn an updo, so I won’t

Conclusion

The purpose of this article was to demonstrate the possibilities and styles when wearing braids. These styles can be worn by anyone and one is only limited by their own imagination. Remember when rocking your braids don’t forget the attitude and be fierce.

Comments

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    • mdscoggins profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Scoggins 

      4 years ago from Fresno, CA

      Thanks FlourishAnyway. There are more but I decided to stop there :)

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 

      4 years ago from USA

      I never knew there were so many types.

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