If you are just starting your braiding journey or have been braiding for years, here are 20 of the best braids for men. Keep your hair back or spice up your style with these trendy and fun braids. Read on to see the looks.
What Is a Braid?
A braid is any flexible material woven together to form a long interlinked structure. In the case of hair, braiding is a millennia-old art of hair weaving. It spans every culture and time. For as long as people have had hair, they’ve been finding ways to braid it.
Different types of braids fall in and out of style, and each braid has different levels of complexity, but they are always in fashion. The history of braids is long and complex.
Braids hold a different significance in each culture. Men and women alike have always had a very intimate relationship with their hair and how they styled it. As a result, braids can be as unique as the person wearing them.
Braids for Men: 20 Ways to Rock the Trend
While braids, and styled hair in general, have come to be seen as a more feminine form of expression over the last few decades, they are making a comeback for men.
From ancient Africa to the Vikings, men love their braids just as much as women. It is a skill and a statement to wear braids. Here are twenty trendy braids for men to rock. The first ten are some of the most fundamental braids.
1. Single Three-Strand Braid
The single three-strand is the most basic of braids. To make it, separate the hair into three sections and cross each outside strand into the middle of the other two, alternating sides each time. This braid is extremely easy and is the foundation of almost every other braid.
2. Reverse Three-Strand Braid
While the regular three-strand braid looks like arrows pointing down, the reverse braid looks like arrows pointing up. This is what the back of any regular three-strand braid will look like, but you can also do it intentionally on the front by alternatively wrapping the middle strand around the outside ones.
3. Fishtail Braid
A fishtail braid is a two-strand braid that employs the same principles as a French or Dutch braid. However, because the technique is more akin to wrapping than braiding, the strands end up looking like they meet in the middle rather than cross over.
Cornrows are small tight braids done in an underhand or Dutch style. They generally start at the forehead and work back to the neck, but they can also be done in different configurations, as seen here. The designs get pretty creative, and they stay looking nice for a long time.
5. Tied-Off Cornrows
The patterns for cornrows are endless, and while they look really good on shorter hair, if you have longer hair, the question becomes what to do with the ends. While you can leave them loose, you can instead join them to keep everything neat and out of the way.
6. Box Braids
If you have a lot of hair and want a style that will keep it contained for weeks at a time, then box braids are the way to go. With these many small braids, you can wear them loose, ponytail them, or incorporate them into other braids.
7. Undercut With Cornrows and Topknot
A popular look for men with shorter hair, the undercut with cornrows and topknot will keep your hair secure while looking fabulous. This style can be done with as many braids as you please and can vary from small crochet braids to larger Dutch braids.
8. Undercut With Box Braids and Bun
This hairstyle is gorgeous. It takes the regular box braids and the messy bun look and marries the two perfectly. This style keeps your hair out of the way without a lot of effort and looks good doing it.
9. Braided Box braids
While the resulting braid is often quite thick, it also looks incredible. If you have multicolored hair especially, then this is a unique way to show it off. This style is easiest for longer, thinner hair but works for any hair type.
10. Beard Braid
This is just a reminder that anything you can do to your hair, you can also do to your beard. Try a single regular braid or try multiple braids of different styles for the dwarf king look. If you have enough hair, you could even French braid your beard along your jaw and meet the two braids in the middle to form one.
11. Raised French Braid
If your hair is relatively short, but you still want to do braids, then try this raised French braid. It is a regular French braid but done loosely to add volume to the look. Just be sure you have a lot of hair spray on hand.
12. French Braid to Four-Strand
If you are skilled at braiding but don’t want to attempt a four-strand French braid, then try this look. Start by braiding a regular French or Dutch braid until you can’t add any more hair in, then separate the loose hair into four strands and continue with a four-strand braid until the end.
13. Braid With Yarn Accents
One of the best parts about braids is that you can tie in almost anything you want. Colored yarn is a popular choice to give your hair a new spin temporarily. If you feel bold, you can even add small chains, cuffs, or fake hair to your braids.
14. Dutch Braids to Single Braid
This is a particularly good style for undercuts. Braids a few rows of Dutch braids starting at the hairline, and instead of tying them off at the crown, combine them into one long braid. You can even get fancy and braid two of the five braids down to add spice to the final braid.
15. Viking Braid Ponytail
In this look, there are four French braids; two big and two small. The braids are finished to the ends, then tied together in several places down the length. The result is an intricate-looking ponytail that only required four plain braids.
16. Colorful Pigtail Braids
If you’re looking for an eccentric look, these colorful pigtail braids will bring you back to your schoolyard days. This hairstyle uses several small braids – on both your hair and your beard – that you section off, and then tie with a colorful hair tie.
17. Single Plait
While this hairstyle may give your head its own “tail,” the single plait is definitely an eye-catcher – although having one section of your hair much longer than the others can look a little awkward if you’re not wearing it in the braid.
This style is still a good choice for anyone who has thinner hair, but doesn’t want to put the longer section in a ponytail or bun.
18. Turquoise Fade Braids
This braided style for men includes a ponytail braid – but you’re also combining with a low fade and an extra pop of color. You can add color to the bottom strands of your hair to make them stand out.
But if you’re worried that the color won’t be bright enough (or just don’t feel like bleaching your hair blonde), you can also weave in yarn to achieve a similar effect too.
19. Zig Zag Braids
As far as patterns go, the zig zag is a popular one – especially when it comes to braiding your hair – but it can be pretty difficult to achieve. These zig zag braids feature tight, bigger braids that still create that signature zig zag pattern, but aren’t as difficult to do as some interpretations of this style are.
20. Stitch Braids
Using the stitch-in braiding technique, stitch braiding can accomplish complex, stylish designs like this one by sectioning your hair into horizontal lines. And, if you’re looking for a hairstyle that can last for a while, stitch braids like this style can last up to a month or longer.
Things to Consider
Braiding can be difficult, it can be frustrating, and it takes practice. Here are just a few helpful tips to start you on your journey to braiding – and getting the best hairstyle for your scalp.
- You need to braid at your skill level. Some braids, like stitch braids or even a zig zag design, are simply too hard for beginners. Don’t be afraid to experiment with easier, less time consuming braids before you move onto more complex styles.
- You have to build up arm strength to braid. You may be surprised, but braiding can be more of a workout than you might think. It will be tiring for quite a while when you start, especially if you’re working with a lot of hair or trying to complete a complex design. Understand that making those first few braids might be tiring, but once you’ve done it enough, you should be able to braid all your hair without experiencing too much exhaustion.
- If you are having difficulty, it might be the braid and not you. Dutch braids are easier than French braids, and two is easier than one.
- If you just washed your hair, braids won’t hold as well. Not only could you spend hours on a complex style that won’t stay as long, but if you’ve got natural texture in your hair, braiding too tight could lead to potential hair or root damage.
- You do have to have some length to be able to braid. It seems obvious, but it’s not – especially if you’re used to keeping your hair short. While there are still some braiding styles you create with short hair, the possibilities really begin to open up once you’ve got more than a few inches on your head.
- Learning to braid takes time. There are a lot of little tips and tricks you can only learn through experience, so you shouldn’t be discouraged if you’re not able to perfect a new braiding style the first time you try it. Build confidence with easier styles, like Dutch braids, and work up from there.
- Tighter braids will stay together longer. If you want long-lasting braids, make them tight. Some people want their braided hair to stay for months at a time, but if the style you’ve chosen is too loose, it could end up falling out within a few days. Make sure you’re braiding tight, but also pick a style that’s meant to last.
- Hair texture doesn’t matter. If you want to braid, then you braid. Anyone can wear braids no matter their gender, ethnicity, or style. While thicker hair and textures might have an easier time keeping their hair in braids (especially for longer periods of time), any type of hair is capable of being braided.
Is the Braid for You?
With so many different ways to experiment and execute this style, the braid hairstyle is for everyone. There are a near-infinite number of ways to braid hair, and all of them look wonderful.
Whether you are a pro or a complete noob, you can make any eye-catching braids. The most important secret? Be confident. Start simple, and you’ll perfect these complex hairstyles in no time.