IG @marihsantosss

By Brenda Alexander

I’ve always loved braids because they were easy and convenient. But, I would get bored after a few weeks of having them because they were one dimensional. I started working as a teenager and in some places of employment, they were even considered unprofessional. And now that I look back, regardless of how insensitive that perception could be, I can see how it may have appeared that way.

With the styles available now, there’s no need to stress over a lack of choices or looking like a misfit in any setting. And, with summer in full effect, now is the perfect time for protective styling and hair that’s durable yet fashionable at the same time. Here are the top braiding options to keep your hair (and body) on guard from the heat while also slaying.


IG @marihsantosss (left) google images (right)

1. Ombré Box Braids
Giving your traditional individuals a twist, they are easy to maintain, can last long depending on treatment and adding a pop of color gives it some pizazz. With the added bonus of crochet box braids, they can look natural too!
IG @lashonte (left) google images (right)

2. Lemonade Braids

Thanks to Beyoncé’s take no mess anthem album and conjoining video, this gives you length and funk with the design. Add in some beaded jewels or even creative parts and you’re good to go!

IG: @narahairbraiding
3. Double Cornrows

Many young brown girls remember sitting in between their mama’s legs to give them “two braids.” It was quick, simple and stylish. With the double cornrows, it adds a trendy look, summer-ish appeal and can be worn to work with a floral maxi or to your Saturday bbq with booty shorts!

IG: @nikkifagbemi (left) & IG: @geminitwinshauwny (right)

4. Feed in Braids

Giving your “straight backs” a more modern feel, the feed in braids combines large, medium and smaller braids cornrowed in a pattern. Light weighted and can even be done at home with a YouTube tutorial, the feed in braids also gives you leeway to add some spunk to it; if you’re stuck between two styles, braids or lose hair, combine both by doing a feed in braided style with virgin (or human) hair hanging from the ends. Who says Wakanda can’t meet Diana Ross in the middle? 
IG: @nnescorner 

5. Fulani Braids
The Black Panther Party would be proud of this updated look. Straight backs, feed ins and individuals all mixed in with a classic “Crooklyn” bead added results in the Fulani braided bead look. It makes a perfect look for festivals and kickbacks.

IG: @fancy_claws 

6. Mohawk Braids
This style has made a resurgence. With all of the colors and braid sizes to integrate, your stylist could come up with something magical fit for everyday or a special occasion.

IG: @being_zeni/ 

7. Ghana Braids
I love larger braids. To me, the older they get, the more natural they look. They also fit pretty much any shaped head and face. And despite their thickness and length, they are relatively light on your head. The Ghana braids add a professional flare. They look good cornrowed, up in a bun or installed individually.

What are some of your fav braid styles for summer?
Brenda is a Philadelphia native with a love for Marketing, Creative writing, wine and Jesus. Her work has been featured on Mayvenn’s Real Beautiful blog and she is the co-author of the book Christmas 364: Be Merry and Bright Beyond Christmas Night (available for purchase on amazon). Follow her on IG @trulybrenda_ and trulybrenda.wordpress.com