african braids

128 Versatile African Braids Hairstyles for a City Lioness

African braids are not just for summer anymore. Now you can wear this hairstyle throughout the year. The street style presented on the best catwalks in the world features many girls that were sporting this type of hair. In addition, they are a comfortable choice of hairstyle and they fit all looks. You can use them both in more formal and informal events.

We put together a collection of 128 African braids hairstyles that range from the most traditional to the most daring. What are you waiting for in order to join this trend? Get inspired with the most tribal looks, which already sweep the street style!

  1. Thick Afro style with red synthetic hair added

african braids

2. Happy girl sporting golden braids

3. Thick braids put together in a voluminous updo

4. Braids so thin and numerous like natural hairs

5. Thicker braids made with white and blonde extensions

6. Synthetic extensions enrich kinky hair

When you add blonde extensions over darker hair, you will obtain a truly special combination. Think about associating the exoticism of African braids with the candor of blonde hair. If your roots are dark colored, then you will obtain an even more dramatic effect! This hairstyle is truly remarkable on really long hair.

7. Kids can benefit from the Afro style too

8. Cute girl sporting an Afro style braided on a side

9. Braids can be braided in a bigger braid

10. Incredible attention to detail and pattern making

African Braids vs. Conventional Braids

African braids are different from conventional braids because they always flatter one’s head and face shape. It is one of the hairstyles that never goes out of style, and that has been trending for years thanks to its versatility and comfort for all hair types, including short ones. Not only is it a look that manages to domesticate the most wild and curly hair types, but it is also a good alternative for those girls who have straight hair or hair with little volume. You will be able to find an endless variety of braids made in an Afro style that you can use on the occasion that you like the most.

11. Afro braids done using the twisting technique

12. Thick braids for thatch hair only

13. Practical ponytail done with thick braids

14. Cornrow hairstyle and a low bun

15. Six thick braids suitable for any style

16. Neat cornrows and a high bun

17. A work of art made of hair

The hairstyle shown in the picture is truly remarkable. There’s a lot of design and extra hair involved in making this hairdo.

18. Mesmerizing gal wearing hair accessories on braids

19. A pattern made of hair only

20. Lovely twisted braids with golden accessories

Versatile Braiding Style Doable on Short Hair

Traditionally, several small and tight braids are made all over the head without leaving any loose hair, but the truth is that they can be combined in many ways: making them only on one side of the head, together in a tail, throughout the entire hair length and so on. They can even be interlaced with colored threads to confer a more original and casual look.

If you have short hair, for example, and you do not like how African braids look on it, then you can count on some hair extensions. We recommend that if you decide to use extensions, then always go for synthetic hair. This type of artificial hair can be found online or at multiple hair salons.

The addition of hair is not absolutely needed unless you have to attend a special event or in case you really lack volume. Many hairstyles don’t look quite right if you do not have enough volume or length in the hair, hence the use of synthetic extensions for this or other hairstyles.

Artificial hair comes in many colors and in different lengths. It is easy to wash, does not cause allergies or other inconveniences. If that were the case, they would not have been applied on the head by so many African and European women.

Beware! Any kind of extensions, artificial or natural, must be washed before being applied. They are treated with chemicals and dyes that need to be removed.

As you see the options are endless and only you decide which one would make you look better. African braids can last up to three weeks if you properly take care of them.

21. Thick and thin cornrows put up in a ponytail

22. Extensions added over natural hair 

23. Braids parted in a fun way

24. Two blonde braids added for originality 

25. Tight and long black braids accessorized

26. One of the most natural looks obtainable with braids

27. Colored extensions added over natural hair

28. Easy African braids secured in four sections

29. Thin and thick braiding for a maximized effect

30. An updo with really thick braids

African Braids Need Special Care

If you thought you could not wash your hair while wearing African braids, it’s not like that! If you want to know more about how to take care of this type of braids, pay attention to these tips:

Washing –  when you have to wash your hair, be careful with those braids. First, you must dilute some shampoo. This means that you have to add water to a small amount of shampoo. Take a small plastic bottle, pour about 2 fingers of shampoo in it, and then add three quarters of water. Shake the bottle thoroughly to mix the water with the shampoo.

Next, avoid rubbing the skin from your head with your nails. It is preferable to massage your scalp with the tips of your fingers or with your whole palm mobilizing your hair lightly on the scalp. Leave the shampoo in for 5 minutes and then rinse the roots. Repeat the same steps again again and you are ready.

You can also use dry shampoo from time to time. However, not in excess since it will be difficult to remove from the braids.

Washing frequency – If you wash your hair every 10 days, that’s okay. You don’t have you wash it more often than that. In case you wash your hair too often, the natural oils in it will not feed it enough. There’s no hair product in this world better than the sebum, which is naturally produced by your scalp.

Hair goes greasy because it is actually protecting itself from external threats. In case you face dandruff problems, it’s because your scalp is too dry.

The drying process – First, just wrap your African braids in a towel and let it absorb the excess water. Next, use the hairdryer at a medium temperature on all the areas where your natural hair is braided. If you want to, you can use hair oil as well.

The removal process – The removal process is not hard, but it might take a while. Before you actually start undoing the braids, you have to wash your hair 2 days in a row. Cleanse your hair very well and start removing them the next day.

What you need to do is undo the braids. Although this may seem a simple process, it depends on how many braids you have, how long and thick they are. In case your braids aren’t very thin, it will be easier to undo them. You have to take each braid separately.

If you have extensions that make your braids longer, you can just cut off the extensions and then proceed to undo them. However, you might want to use that synthetic hair again, so give it a little thought before proceeding.

Use a pen or something thin and sharp to undo each braid. Once you’re done, you can comb the hair thoroughly. To minimize the damage to the hair after combing the braids, we recommend that you use a hair mask. In this way, you can moisturize your hair, especially the tips that are the most damaged.

31. Braids swept on one side only

32. Astonishing pattern made of hair

33. Shimmery look with golden blonde extensions

34. Extensions added to the roots for length 

35. Updo created entirely out of braids

36. Impeccable Afro hairstyle with center parting

37. Six twisted braids start from the side parting

38. Half up, half down Afro style

39. Hair with Afro braids

Just when we thought we can’t make the half up, half down hairstyle better, we discovered the variant with braids.

40. Little girl’s braids styled like normal hair

Advantages and Disadvantages of African Braids


  • You will only have to wash your hair every two weeks. Since there will be lots of natural oils gathering on your scalp, they will nourish it. So, not washing your hair will actually make it healthier. However, your braids will not look greasy.
  • Having African braids is also a protective style for your natural hair. Many women use it to let their natural hair grow and regenerate. Of course, this could just be a hairstyle for other women who don’t have hair problems.
  • Your hair will always be done. Unless you want to put your braids up in a cool hairstyle, you will always be ready to leave the house because they don’t need styling. These braids will actually become your new hair.
  • Another advantage would be the fact that you don’t have to dye, straighten or curl your natural hair anymore. In case you want another hair color, it is easy to just add colored hair extensions.

41. Kim Kardashian sporting Dutch braids in an African style

42. The combination between thin and thick braids

43. Rich hairstyle obtained with synthetic hair additions

44. Braids twisted and embellished with highlights

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45. Afro style accessorized with golden leafs 

46. Truly amazing front bun and ponytail

47. Black braids made more interesting with color

48. Short braids done for a well-groomed look

49. African braiding technique allows the creation of patterns

50. Roots braided for the addition of extra hair


  • European women might have difficulties with having their hair braided really close to their scalp. Your scalp will actually be sore for a day or two, but that feeling of tightness will fade.
  • Another issue that could come up once you get braids and extensions installed is an itchy scalp. This problem may occur if you don’t rinse and dry your scalp properly.
  • The weight of your new hair extensions might be hard to bare. Just think about it. Adding extra hair on your scalp means adding extra weight. Unless you are going for extremely long braids, that shouldn’t be a problem.

51. Baby hairs need styling as well

52. A natural look with black braids parted in the middle

53. Red Mohawk secured with braids to last longer 

54. Huge extension braids added on natural hair 

55. Natural hair only used for this Afro style

56. Easy and practical African braid

57. Flawless braiding style with long ponytail

58. Half kinky hair braided in a crown

59. Personalized pattern according to hair length

60. Accessorized hairstyle with blonde extensions and patterns

If you managed to braid your hair in African braids or you went to the salon for that, you can now browse though hairstyles. Enjoy their charm and their way to highlight your exotic side, as well as your beauty and naturalness.

Also See: 84 New Crochet Braids Looks for a Healthy Hairstyle Change

61. Pick a hairstyle and go with it for as long as it stays put

62. Braids secured in a voluminous half bun

63. Precise braiding made by professionals

64. Kinky hair tamed with a crown braid

65. Elegant hairstyle achieved by braiding the braids

66. Clean execution of cornrows from kinky hair

67. Braids almost as many as hairs

68. Thick twisted braids at shoulder length 

69. Add a touch of light in dark hair

70. Platinum blonde extensions for a distinct look

71. Protective style braids put up in a ponytail

72. African braids done by twisting really curly hair

73. Twisted braids combined with ruby red hair

74. Root braids make hair look richer 

75. Highly complex braiding style for an updo

76. Braids swept over the head

77. Full head of hair with extensions braided in the roots

78. Cornrows for a cute little girl

79. The way getting highlights doesn’t damage hair

80. Natural look achieved with wild braids

81. Perfection in hair styling with flawlessly tamed hair 

82. Patterns can be created with hair

83. A multitude of Afro styles examples

84. Cornrows on a side and long braids on the other

85. High bun and styled strands on the sides

86. Half braided hair and half natural hair

87. Beauty enhanced with the Afro style

88. African braids long to the waist

89. Half updo and really thick braids

90. Bigger hair portions used for the same hairstyle

91. Thick, twisted braids for the summer

92. Tidy hairstyle made entirely out of braids

93. Tidy hair and well groomed hairstyle

94. African accessories added on the ends of braids

95. Curly or kinky hair are not mandatory for braiding

96. Sophisticated look with a top knot

97. Thick twisted braids for kid’s style

98. Short hair braided in a Mohawk

99. Large cornrows put up in a side tail

100. Beyonce sporting thin and thick African braids

101. The shape of a Mohawk obtained with cornrows and braids

102. Golden touch added in the middle of black braids

103. Copper highlights added to black kinky hair

104. Short bob done entirely out of braids

105. Non conventional blue synthetic hair additions 

106. Medium braids done with a side parting

107. Original look created with thick, twisted braids

108. Golden accessories embellish thick, twisted braids

109. Cornrows and Dutch braids in one hairstyle

110. Natural look created by braiding curly hair

111. Surprising hair design done by professionals

112. African hairstyle with both braided and loose hair

113. Thick braids means richer hair

114. Space buns featuring fuchsia hair extensions

115. Mohawk hairstyle featuring braiding and twisting

116. Pocahontas look done using different braiding techniques

117. Detailed image of Dutch braiding, African style

118. Hair crown made of twisted hair

119. Afro braids acting like normal hair

120. Thickness achieved with synthetic hair extensions

121. An exotic look with a high ponytail

122. Afro style presents hair accessories picked right

123. A mix of natural hair and colored extensions

124. Flawless hairstyle with evenly braided hair

125. Cornrows braided close to the scalp

126. Not your everyday African braids look

127. Braids suited for any style and personality

128. Afro style obtained from straight hair

African braids have a supreme advantage, namely they are special and they succeed in charming the others without any tricks. Their secret is the fact that they shine without you having to find other inventive ways to bring them in the center of attention.

Take Tessa Thompson as example and you’ll understand what we’re saying. Don’t be afraid to use extensions if you need them and braid your hair at least once in your lifetime. The bohemian feel conferred by these braids is enough to make your charm magnetic. Conversely, it’s African legacy can make you feel like a true lioness of the city.

In addition, you can’t overlook all the advantages this hairstyle has to offer. Not to mention its versatility and how little you have to actually care for it.

In conclusion, try to step over your preconceived ideas and give African braids a try when you need to give your natural hair some time off or when you feel like changing your style. You will be happy to use more free time on your hands and look fabulous when you wake up and have to leave the house in a hurry.


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