Braids are perfect any time of the year, but something about the seasons changing makes us want to tuck our strands away into the protective style. The versatility has always been unmatched, and updated techniques have made getting your hair braided a faster option than ever.
But it isn't just the practicality that draws us in. Today's braids are beyond creative, featuring top knots, solo strands, and other unique factors that help them stand out. Among our favorites are curls. They require slightly more expensive hair and a bit more maintenance, but the payoff is totally worth it.
Ahead, check out 15 braided hairstyles we can't get enough of.
Crinkly Bronze Braids
Chloe Bailey's braids flowed from her hood at the 3rd Annual Hollywood Unlocked Impact Awards. The crinkly bronze box braids were the perfect accessory for her power suit-inspired dress.
Half-Up, Half-Down Braid Crown
"Banel and Adama" actress Khady Mane sported a regal look at the 76th Annual Cannes Film Festival. The front section of her hair was pulled up and crafted in such a way as to resemble a crown, while the ends of her braids were softly curled.
Female athletes are finally getting recognized as the influencers they are, and we're here for it. Aliyah Boston of the WNBA's Indiana Fever wore braids that flowed into deep purple waves to a GMA appearance–and we couldn't take our eyes off them.
Braid the Town Red
Jordyn Woods stepped out in long red braids featuring a slight curl at the ends. We love how several loose curls were slipped into the style at different angles.
Zaya Wade served face and hair at the Miu Miu Womenswear Spring/Summer 2024 show during Paris Fashion Week. The model rocked micro braids with a middle part. Wispy curls at the ends completed the look.
Out of this World
At the 2023 Essence Festival of Culture, the "Abbot Elementary" creator donned a pair of identical space buns in the front of her hair, with auburn braids and curls cascading down her back. The small braids are adorable and versatile.
Twists and Laid Baby Hairs
Technically, these are twists. But we couldn't resist including Tem's stunning style, with soft baby hair slicked to the side and wiry ringlets slipped through the twists. She finished the look with a swipe of purple eyeliner and sharp brows.
Top Knot and Loose Curls
Janelle Monae, the artist who introduced us to the age of pleasure, accentuated her braided top knot with two loose, curly, face-framing strands. The extra-long braids flanked her bare shoulders, adding drama to her full-sleeved dress, while the knot was crafted into a chic sphere.
Rock and Roll Curly Micros
Zoe Kravitz has embraced the versatility of micro braids for years, frequently wearing them on-screen and on the red carpet. She rocked a long set with curled ends to a party celebrating her role as a beauty ambassador for YSL.
Singer Tyla opted for Fulani braids with loose waves for a visit to Sirius XM. Highlighted streaks baked into the waves added a fun touch.
Dramatic Braided Pin Curls
Marsai Martin attended the "The Little Mermaid" premiere in an Ursula-coded hairstyle. The top sections of her box braids were pinned into large curls at the top of her head, creating a powerful, statuesque style. It was the perfect way to make a statement with shapes.
Color, Curls, and Shells
Sha'Carri Richardson ran the women's 4x100 meters relay final for Team USA with cowry shells sitting in the middle of her medium-sized braids. Loose curls flanked the style, while red and yellow strands were woven into the look to add color.
Golden Half-Up, Half-Down
The half-up half, half-down look isn't going away anytime soon (and we're not mad about it). Lexi Underwood rocked a variation on the look at the Variety Power of Young Hollywood party. Lived-in braids are a fresh way to approach the style.
Carefree Curled Micro Braids
"Abbott Elementary" star Sheryl Lee Ralph promoted her book "DIVA 2.0: 12 Life Lessons From Me For You!" in loose micro braids with a slight bend at the end. We love the relaxed vibe of this style; it echoes that of her television stepdaughter, Moesha.
Playful Braids and Fluffy Curls
Issa Rae's character on "Insecure," Issa Dee, wore several braided styles on her journey from a confused twenty-something to a confident thirty-something. Off the small screen, Rae likes braids as well. She wore a look that featured front cornrows, dangling accents, a full back, and a fluffy top knot to the 48th NAACP Image Awards. It was a fun and youthful choice.
Read the original article on Byrdie.