Protective styles like braids can sometimes take hours to achieve, so of course, you want them to look extrafresh once you finally get out of the braider’s chair. We’re talking about hair that makes you do a double take and then double tap. Braiding, particularly in cultures with a strong African influence, is a tradition that goes back for generations. And classic styles are constantly being reinvented and brought to life with a new-school swag. We’re seeing beads, patterns that swoop and swirl around the crown, technicolor ombré hues, and braids adorned with thread, cuffs, butterflies, and more. The options are endless, which can be a bit daunting if you’re trying to decide on a braided look. But fear not — we’re here to help you navigate it all with some major inspiration spied on celebrities and on Instagram. Whether you’re looking to rock straight backs, Fulani braids, or the ever-popular Janet Jackson Poetic Justice braids, we’ve got looks that will help you achieve ultimate hair goals.
Originally posted at: https://www.allure.com/gallery/black-braided-hairstyles
Many an attendee rocked this hairstyle at Essence Fest, so Mary J. Blige brought it from the New Orleans streets to the stage for her performance at the festival. Blige ditched her trademark cropped, blonde hair for the event, choosing instead to wear long, platinum box braids that reached down to the top of her thighs.
Popular natural hair influencer and comedienne Nneoma is the queen of finessing her protective styles in unique ways. Here, she used one of our favorite accessories from childhood — hair bobbles — and wrapped them around the top and bottom of each box braid for a playful look that's simple to replicate on your own.
Insecure creator and actress Issa Rae stunned on the red carpet at the 2017 NAACP Image Awards rocking this half up, half down look with a cornrowed topknot and two loose braids on the side, leaving her hair loose in the back. Consider trying the style out on those extremely hot days when you want lots of volume but also want to keep your hair out of your face.
When is Solange Knowles not giving us serious hairspiration? Not only did she shock us by going blonde last September, but when she stepped out with this set of braids by Susy Oludele, aka @hairbysusy, we were, as the kids say, shook AF. We love the mix-and-match feel of these braids, adorned with beads and white thread
Kerry Washington's straight-back cornrows, which she rocked to shoot Allure's November 2017 issue, were given an easy, earthy vibe with loose edges and a few well-placed cuffs. Here, hairstylist Takisha Sturdivant-Drew shows us you don't always need edge control to serve a polished braided moment
Just so you know, we’re still gathering our collective edges from when we saw this hairstyle on Survivor’s Remorse actress Teyonah Parris. Parris took her Fulani braids to beaded glory with this look. Want to copy it? Head over to Khamit Kinks in Brooklyn and ask for the stylist Fatoumata. Tell them we sent
Up-and-coming songbird Justine Skye has a girl gang that includes Kylie Jenner and Jordyn Woods. She also has great hair. All the time. The self-proclaimed "Purple Unicorn" made a bold statement with this braided ponytail by master braider @guin_gui. There’s some legit whip-ability with this braid…and we wouldn't have it any other way.
Speaking of purple, model/dancer Damaris Lewis was a muse to the late great Prince. They shared the stage and the sensibility to be fly and fierce, which is what this look by Felicia Burrows is. We especially like the zig-zag part in between the braids; it’s a nice touch. Reminder: Screenshot this and bring to salon.