African braids have reigned supreme for years in the Black hair community. From celebrities on the red carpet to the girl next door, braided hairstyles allow us to protect our hair while making bold and beautiful statements.
In this post, I'm bringing you the chicest African braids that need a spot on your hair inspiration board right now. Get ready to discover goddess faux locs, Fulani braids, Ghana braids, and more of 2024’s hottest braided styles!
We’ll start with bohemian goddess faux locs, featuring trendy beads and cuffs throughout the locs for that cool, laidback vibe. Next up are versatile Senegalese twists, mini twists that can be worn flowing or pinned up in an endless array of styles.
Making a splash this season are jumbo Ghana braids, named after their West African heritage and known for their eye-catching size and designs. Then there’s intricate Fulani braids with braided cornrows decorated with cowrie shells, perfect for your next summer festival or vacation.
From nature-inspired tree braids to beach mermaid waves achieved through wet braiding, I’ll show you how to get the most-wanted African braided looks on the ‘gram right now. Let’s dive into the chicest braided inspiration for 2024!
Goddess Faux Locs
Goddess faux locs take inspiration from traditional faux locs but incorporate beads, cuffs, shells, and other decorative elements for a bohemian vibe. These locs often use products like embroidery thread or raffia to create twisting strands around the synthetic hair before braiding. The embellishments are strategically placed either during the initial installation or afterward. Gold beads and cuffs lend a regal feeling while seashells andwooden beads embrace earthy vibes. You can choose to have these decorative pieces run the entire length of the locs or reserve them for the ends. This versatility allows you to customize the look and change it up whenever inspiration strikes!
Senegalese twists are thinner, smaller two-strand twists that utilize both synthetic and natural hair to achieve a tapered appearance. The twists start small near the scalp and increase in width down to the ends. This protective style allows natural hair to rest underneath while the synthetic length on top provides styling options. Senegalese twists can be worn straight back or with curved partings. For events and going out, they look beautiful swept atop the head in an updo or high pony. The ease of styling combined with the hair health perks make these twists a top choice time and again.
Originating from West Africa as the name implies, Ghana braids encompass extra-large cornrows with square or triangular partings. These braids make a serious style statement with their sheer size and volume. They are sometimes called banana braids thanks to the curved shape. Ghana braids are usually waist-length or longer and finished off with beads or cowries. Go solid black, try ombre colors, add curly synthetic hair, or top with floral fabric for runway-worthy takes on this traditional style. As fun for a festival as they are classy for Sunday service, Ghana braids work for any occasion.
Fulani braids are complex cornrow styles that originated from East to West Africa with the Fulani people. Intricately-plaited cornrows sculpt the head in wavy or straight designs. Additional braids are then woven horizontally, vertically, or diagonally across the cornrows. These delicate braids artfully incorporate gold cuffs, cowries, beads, and shells. Fulani braids combine stunning beauty with cultural pride. They can be minimalist or maxed out with accessories. Either way, be prepared for countless compliments!
Drawing design inspiration from nature, tree braids style the hair vertically like hanging vines or roots. Simple side parts open up curved sections for the braids to flow down organically from the scalp, resembling branches of a willow tree. For added depth, try a mix of braid patterns like traditional three-strand braids, lace braids with loose hair, and chunky twists. Take it up a notch by braiding in strands of raffia or curling the ends for a whimsical effect. Tree braids have an earthy, effortless vibe perfect for the next summer music festival!
With so many gorgeous African braids gracing runways, red carpets, and the girl next door, it’s truly an exciting time to embrace black hair creativity. Goddess faux locs, Fulani braids, and all the styles in between allow us to make bold statements, protect our natural hair, and celebrate our roots through artistic expression. After reading about these chic African braids, I hope you feel inspired to adorn your mane with beads, shells, cuffs, and vibrant ombre colors. Don’t be afraid to channel your inner queen, mermaid, or flower child! Whether you’re attending a festival, vacation, or just drinks with the girls, take a chance and rock one of these showstopping braided styles. I promise your hair will turn heads and your spirit will soar as high as your new Ghana braids! What African braids are you excited to try next for summer and beyond?