African hair may not be as long as the hair of other races, but it sure comes with its benefits one of which is versatility. It is as though mother nature knew why she gave us this type of hair. Perhaps, so we can achieve different hairstyles with it regardless of its length. If you don’t want to install weaves on your hair, you may want to go for any of these types of African braids. They are suitable for any type of hair; whether you are a naturalista or not.
Before we proceed to see the types of African braids you can wear in the new year and beyond, let’s see why you should appreciate these hairstyles in the first place.
Benefits of African Braids
You see, the types of African Braids come with other benefits apart from beautifying your hair. And they include:
You Don’t Have to Style it All the Time
Once you wear any of the types of African braids, you don’t have to stress yourself styling and restyling all the time (unless you want to though). This is because you can rock the braids exactly as they are. No need to brush or comb it.
Gives Your Hair a Break
You don’t have to worry about washing your hair or applying different hair care products when you wear these hairstyles. It simply gives your hair a break from all these up until you loosen it.
They are Cheaper than Weaves
If you can’t afford human hair weaves, you can opt for the different types of African braids. They are inexpensive and are a great alternative to increase the length of your hair while looking more beautiful.
You can Wear Any Colour Without Dyeing Your Hair
You don’t have to apply hair dye on your hair before you make it look colourful. All you have to do is to buy any colour of extension you want, depending on your style, and use it to make any of the types of African braids. This way, your hair doesn’t get damaged from colouring.
What You Need to Make African Braids
To achieve this hairstyle, you need good hair extensions. Brands such as Darling hair, Expression, Kanekalon, Lush, etc., make good extensions for braids.
Once you’ve gotten your extensions, then go to a good hairstylist.
Types of African Braids
1. Cornrow Braids
Cornrow braids are simple yet elegant African braids. To achieve this hairdo, your stylist has to braid your hair very close to the scalp, using an underhand, upward motion to make a continuous row. Thus, resulting in simple, straight lines.
Furthermore, you can add hair accessories to the braids to embellish them and make them more attractive. Also, you can give yours a centre part, side part or whichever tweak you’d like to make it more appealing.
This is basically inverted cornrows. The difference between didi and the traditional cornrows is that you weave the hair on the reverse; as though you are weaving your hair inside out. It is believed that didi spurs hair growth. So, if you want your hair to grow faster, you can go for this type of African braids.
Didi braids are cool and versatile. You can have them done as basic cornrows or in an updo fashion like shuku.
Shuku is one good hairstyle. It’s a way to braid your hair into cornrows in an updo fashion. It involves braiding the hair to create a hump on your head. You can wear any of the latest shuku hairstyles and transform into a showstopper immediately. And if your hairstylist is creative enough, she’ll add to its beauty with different styles and patterns of sections.
Dreadlocks are simply ropelike strands of hair which are formed by braiding or matting the hair. To achieve this hairstyle, the hairstylist has to wash your hair without combing it. Then section and twist it while wet into tight braids, coils or ringlets hanging down on all sides. They can also use the dread perming procedure if your hair is straight.
Dreadlocks hairstyles are permanent and the only way to loosen them is to cut your hair. And you’ll have to visit the salon regularly to wash and maintain your dreads so they can be healthy and not harbour lice.
5. Faux Locs
If you don’t want to wear real dreadlocks probably because you don’t want to cut your hair to get rid of it, try faux locs. Faux locs are commitment-free dreads. This is because you aren’t actually wearing traditional dreads but dreadlock extension, thus the name “faux locs”.
If you love the look of dreadlocks, but you don’t like its disadvantages, this style is a good alternative. It is temporary, unlike traditional dreadlocks. They last for about four to six weeks.
6. Ghana Weaving
It is a great choice for highlighting your facial features. This is a versatile hairstyle that comes with noticeable details too.
Ghana weaving can be made into cornrows, shuku, double buns, two-step or any other style you feel like achieving. What you need is a good extension, and of course, the patience and endurance to sit down for a while.
7. Senegalese Twist
These types of African braids involves wrapping two strands of hair, or extensions as the case may be, around each other for each section. This process ends up making the hair look like a rope.
Twists are beautiful and easy to maintain. They are also stress-free as they pose no difficulty when it’s time to loosen them. You can use your natural hair to do twists or settle for a good hair extension.
8. Box Braids
To achieve these types of African braids, your hair will be cut into different sections in a square-shaped manner. You can braid your hair into tiny or big braids depending on what you want. If you want tiny braids, you just have to be ready to sit down for a while so your hairstylist can achieve this coiffure.
9. Knotless Braids
This is a variation of box braids. The difference is that knotless braids styles don’t have those small knots that sit at the root of the scalp when your stylist adds synthetic extensions to your hair. Instead, they first of all braid your natural hair in small pieces from the roots before attaching the extension to it.
Thus resulting in a plait that isn’t heavy on your scalp. If you don’t like the stress that comes with box braids, go for this hairstyle. It gives no tension to your scalp and edges.
10. Crochet Braids
If you wouldn’t like to spend so much time in the salon to get these hairstyles, then wear crochet braids. This type of African braids involves crocheting hair extensions to your natural hair with a crochet hook or latch hook. They come in different forms, usually traditional braids, twists, faux locs, etc.
Which of these types of African braids have you decided to settle for? Whichever one you choose, make sure you don’t hurt yourself while in a bid to achieve it. To be specific, ensure the weaving isn’t too tight so you don’t give yourself unnecessary headache or lose your edges in the process.