20 Best Braids for Black Women to Copy and Try in 2020

There are so many reasons why I love being a Black woman, and you know what’s at the top of that list? The fact that we can style our hair in a million and one different ways. Seriously, from weaves and wigs to twist-outs and wash and gos—the list is endless. For me, though, braids are definitely my favorite hair look. They’re just one of those win-win hairstyles: eye-catching, super cool, and, most importantly, low-maintenance. And now it seems like braids are everywhere. With so many inspo pics and new designs popping up on IG, there’s never been more options for braids for Black women.

Don’t stress if you’re feeling a little overwhelmed with all your choices—I have a whole IG folder full of my favorite braided looks. You legit have so many options. Ahead, the 20 best braided looks for Black women.

1

These Blue and Black Box Braids

Add a colorful twist to the classic box-braids style and opt for blue braiding hair in addition to black. It’s cute, but not way too over the top, yfm?

2

These Passion Twists

Think of passion twists as the more fun and carefree sister to your Senegalese twists. They’re still two-strand twists, but the ends are curly, giving them a more bohemian vibe. PS—sweep on a non-flaky edge control to make sure your edges stay sleek.

3

These Half-Up Half-Down Braids

Why decide between wearing your braids up or wearing them down when you could do both? Go for jumbo box braids—they’re quicker to install and it’s easy to wrap them up into space buns—and add some beads at the ends to level up your look.

4

This Braided Stitch Bun

Look like the queen you are and opt for this braided stitch bun. Seriously, how effing classy is this look? If you want to play around with the style, add in some gold cuffs to accessorize the braids.

5

These Blond and Black Knotless Box Braids

Blondes have more fun, amirite? But if you’re not willing to go full-out platinum, these blonde-and-black box braids are a fun way to road test the shade. Don’t forget to hit your look with a leave-in conditioner spray to keep them looking fresh.

6

These Marley Twists

If you’re a little lazy when it comes to haircare, even with a protective style, you’ll love these Marley twists. Because the hair used to create the twists are thicker and resemble natural hair, you don’t have to spend as much time styling them in the AM.

7

This Braided Wig

The shitty thing about getting braids is the fact that it can take hours to get them installed. If you’re not down to sit in a chair for the length of a full season of The Real Housewives of Atlanta, you should consider a braided wig. It looks just like the real thing.

8

Ella Mai’s Long Ponytail Braid

This long ponytail braid is equal parts cute and simple. If you want to copy Ella Mai’s look, definitely have your stylist feed in hair extensions to give it that long, Rapunzel-esque look.

9

These Side-Swept Braids

This baby hair and side-swept braids combo is absolutely fire. If it’s too hard for you to use a fine-tooth comb to swirl your edges into shape, use an edge styler. It’ll make the entire process a billion times easier.

10

These Jumbo Box Braids

I’m legit obsessed with jumbo box braids. The larger size of the braids means that your stylist, using a rat-tail comb, can switch between triangle- and square-shaped parts to make your look more visually interesting.

11

This Braided Ponytail

Instead of braiding your hair all the way down, stop once you reach the nape of your neck. Then add in hair extensions to create a wavy ponytail.

12

These Micro-Braided Space Buns

Transform your micro-braids into these space buns—they’re out of this world (lol, had to). Don’t forget to secure your look with a few—or, fine, probably more than a few—bobby pins.

13

These Short Faux Locs

Dreadlocks are a major commitment, so if you’re not willing to take the plunge yet, go for these faux locs. Whenever they start looking a little dull, spritz on an oil to give them some sheen.

14

These Black and Silver Cornrows

Level up your cornrows by choosing a bright and eye-catching color. Seriously—this silver shade will turn heads. Pro tip: Hit your braids with mousse before you go to bed. It’ll keep your hair from frizzing overnight.

15

These Boho Box Braids

If you’re looking for a style that’ll give you an effortless quality—these boho box braids are it. Be sure to work in a hair and scalp oil every morning to keep it moisturized.

16

These Braided Bantu Knots

Bantu knots are a staple look when it comes to styling your natural hair. But if you want to switch things up, section off your hair and braid each section—instead of twisting them—and then wrap them up into knots. FYI: You can keep your parts slick and smooth by using a styling gel to lay them flat.

17

These Braided Pigtails

These are the grown-up version of the braided pigtails you had in pre-K. Leave the ends undone and tie them up with rubber bands to keep the style from looking too basic.

18

These Short-Length Cornrows

Long, ass-grazing cornrows are super pretty, but they might feel heavy on sensitive scalps. That doesn’t mean you have to give the look up completely, though. Go for a shorter length—it’s just as cute, and it won’t weigh you down as much. If your scalp is still feeling a bit tight in your braids, smooth on a scalp lotion to soothe any irritation.

19

These Long Faux Locs

Longer protective styles are usually a bigger time commitment than shorter protective styles—but not with these faux locs. They’re a cute, low-maintenance protective style that’s great if you’re low on time (or just feeling a little lazy) and don’t want to put in that much effort.

20

This Braided Bob

PS—you don’t have to cut your hair to get a bob. A braided bob can get you the look, no scissors included. Oh, and before you start braiding, prep your hair with moisturizing butter to keep your base healthy and hydrated.

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