Ladies and gentlemen, all hail one of the world’s most popular and enduring hairstyles, the eternal braids.
Braids have been worn by women as far back as 3,500 years ago, and they’re not going out of fashion anytime soon. From the days of the Egyptian women of yore, to Kylie Jenner, the Kardashians, and Beyoncé, braids will always be in style – and for good reason.
See, braids are an easy and simple yet elegant way in which you can give your crowning glory a little rest, and protect its beauty. It allows you to ditch the exorbitantly-priced salon visits for months. There are as many styles of braids you can rock as you can think of, allowing you to get creative with how you rock them. You can experiment braids with highlights, various hair textures, and an unlimited number of patterns and shapes.
They are practical, fashionable, and easy to style, and they’re a form of art and communication that has stood the test of time.
It is for this reason braids are so popular in the United States – and we’ve narrowed down the 7 most popular styles you can rock in a pinch.
1. Classic Braid Styles
There’s a reason why they’re called “classic” – and that’s because they don’t go out of style. It’s simple, versatile, and super chic, and it’s a style worn by women all over the world – from Paris, to Johannesburg, to Beijing, and to New York.
One classic braid style that has been popular all throughout history is the French plait. It’s a hairstyle whose origins have been traced to North Africa, with evidence that dates back as far as having been in use over 6,000 years ago in present-day Algeria. There is also evidence that the same style found its way into Ancient Greek, Chinese culture, and Celtic culture. The style found its way to France, where it earned the name it’s called today in salons all over the world, including American ones.
It’s not hard to see why. There are so many ways you can rock classic braid styles like the French plait – and you can pair such styles (and similar ones to it) with endless variations of tops and bottoms. If needed, you can wrap them into buns and ponytails for a more stylish look. For ease application, use something like this.
2. Twisted Braids
Twisted braids are another fantastic way to rock braids – and the reason why they’re so popular is because it takes just five seconds to do. It looks harder to do than it really is!
Simply twist your hair in one direction, then wrap both sections altogether to the opposite direction. This forms a rope-like braid that you can rock with a ponytail, twist into buns, or a stylish updo if you have long hair. Again, the versatility of twisted braids makes it a winner, from the bedroom, to the gym, to the office, and even to the red carpet.
Cornrows are making a comeback – not that they have ever been out of fashion. It may have seen its peak during the ’90s, but it has never gone out of style – just look at the cornrows that Beyoncé had just recently. The best thing is, you don’t have to be a 90’s rapper, singer, or hip-hop artist to wear them. All you need is curly hair to get started.
Several examples of cornrow braids that have remained popular in the United States are the following:
- French cornrows.
- Multi-braided cornrows.
- Curved cornrows.
- Double cornrows.
It’s not as easy to pull off as other braid styles are, but in the hands of a capable stylist, you’ll catch all sorts of attention anywhere you go with cornrows.
4. Crown braids
If you prefer a braid style that’s cute and easy to pull off, you could hardly do better than a braided crown. It’s best described as a braid that looks like a crown of flowers to adorn your hair, but it has since seen various iterations due to how adaptable it is. This braid style alone has saved many a bad hair day, and is fairly easy to make. Oh – and did we mention that it will keep your head cool for the summer?
It’s ridiculously easy to make it your own style, too – there are countless variations you can style your crown braids with. Whether you prefer something regal, something rock chic, or something bohemian, there is a crown braid style you can use. Simply braid your hair just above your hairline and voila! There’s your crown braid. You can achieve all sorts of looks, updos, and angles, depending on where you braid your crown. And that’s what makes it so popular in the United States.
5. Braided buns
Braided buns aren’t just useful for keeping your hair out of your face and neck as well as keeping your head cool, but they also exude style and pizazz. Oh, and you can totally rock them rock them like Khaleesi.
They just go together like milk and cereal do – effortlessly. Regardless of how you wear your braided buns – as a rock chic topknot, or pulled back, down, and away, it’s a hairstyle you can whip up in mere minutes that can work for you for the gym, or for a gala.
Prepping for the gym, office, or a night out has never been easier to do with a braided bun – it’s comfort, style, and elegance in one hairstyle. It can be as elegant as you want, but it can just be as edgy.
6. Box braids
This braid style is basically created using the aforementioned three-stand braid, divided by squared-off sections called boxes. They could, however, come in triangular sections as well. It can be worn any number of ways, and extensions can easily be added to them. That’s what makes it so popular – it’s trending all over the world.
One popular box braid style is its wavy version, wherein box braids are weaved together into bigger braids. These are then dipped in hot water and towel- or hair-dried (it’s preferred to braid your hair dry). If you’re going to use a hair dryer, it’s important to note that you should have a hair dryer suited to your own hair, because it could impact the way your braids are done. On All the Stuff we found two different hair dryers specifically built for this task.
Box braids are certainly rank among the most popular braid styles in the United States – not surprising given how they’re worn by celebrities like Rihanna, Brandy, Alicia Keys, and Beyoncé, for starters.
7. Colored braids
This braid style can be said to have been derived from box braids, but since it’s so popular, we’ve decided to rank it on its own.
If you want to breathe new life into your existing braids, you should consider coloring them. The sky is the limit to what you can choose – you have a whole spectrum of colors with which to color your locks with. Mix and match them to get daring and bold looks – or colors that will bring out the best of your braids. Color them any which way you please! Bring out your creativity like Kylie, Beyoncé, and Jordyn. It’s a braid style that you should consider if you want to stand out from the crowd.