Braids with beads aren’t just for kids! Beaded braids are super trendy today and make it possible to get really creative with your woven looks. From earthy wooden beads to metallic cuff beads and everything in between, check out some of the cutest beaded braid looks to try!
Why Are Braids With Beads So Trendy Right Now?
- Braids with beads highlight ancient traditions and throwback 80s-90s looks
- Different types of beads create unique braided looks and vibes
- Bead placement can be scattered, symmetrical, or a few statement beads
There’s no doubt that braids with beads are all the rage right now. You’ve seen them all over TikTok and Instagram with tons of cute braided styles. But as pretty as beaded braids are, what’s behind the resurgence? Beaded braids are steeped in history.
In fact, this is a look that’s been around since ancient times! Women in Africa wore beads in braids as a way to symbolize status – lineage, marriage, age, and social standing could all be indicated by the type and number of beads worn in the hair.
Vikings and Celtic men and women also sported beads in braids in ancient times – even beads in braided beards.
As people all over the world highlight more of their cultures’ oldest traditions and history, it’s only natural that beaded braids are once again in the spotlight. But historical significance isn’t the only thing putting beaded braids top of mind right now.
We’re all digging deep into vintage 80s and 90s looks that we once put away and giving them a much-deserved second life. From funky beads in braids to perms and butterfly clips, our society’s obsession with all things throwback couldn’t possibly leave beaded braids out!
With the historical significance and throwback vibes in mind, black celebrities, athletes, and influencers have been happily bringing beaded braids back into the spotlight lately.
Stars like Beyonce, Venus Williams, and Zoe Kravitz have shown off uniquely beaded braids and made way for thousands of influencers to come up with their own takes on this time-steeped tradition.
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Getting Creative With Beaded Braids
Braids with beads are full of variety and options for those who love to get creative and have fun with their styles. Different types of braids, unique bead colors and shapes, and strategic or random bead placement options mean you can make your look 100% you.
- Braid type: Box braids are the most common way to rock beads in plaited styles, but that’s not your only option. Cornrows, half-back flat braids, lemonade braids, Fulani braids, and kinky twists are all cute options to add beads to. You can also bead your locs or add cuffs for a cute accessory!
- Bead shape: Choosing different shapes of beads will change up the overall look of your style. Beads are available in sizes from tiny to jumbo – just make sure the opening is large enough for your braids! Choose shapes from perfectly round, elliptical, cylindrical, cuff, or unique free-form shapes to really get creative with your look.
- Bead material: Your beads can be plastic, wooden, metal, ceramic, or glass. It all depends on how much you want to spend on them! Plastic beads will always be the most affordable, and things get more expensive when you start looking at materials like glass, metal, and wood. You can even find unique beads carved from bone or studded with jewels!
- Bead and braid color: Another way to get creative with your beaded braids is choosing different colors for your braids and beads. If you’re using hair extensions to fill out your braids, why not try a pretty, vibrant hue you like for an added pop of color? You can go with subtle, understated beads (clear, natural wood, tones similar to your hair color, or frosted glass colors) or get as loud and bold as you like.
- Bead placement: Finally, you’ll be able to tweak your look to make it you by altering the placement and arrangement of your beads. Do you want beads stacked up at the ends? Do you like a random, scattered assortment throughout your strands? Maybe you’re digging the subtle look with just a few beads placed near your face for impact. Think about how you want to arrange your beads so you’ll really love the results.
16 Cute Ideas for Braids With Beads
Think you’ve seen it all when it comes to beaded braids? We’ve got some cute looks for you to check out and grab a little inspiration from. You’ll see different braid and bead types, ideas for creative bead placements, and pretty bead color schemes to try in these gorgeous examples!
1. Silver Beaded Box Braids
A light teal, silvery tint colors these unique box braids adorned with metallic silver beads. This understated look doesn’t go overboard with the accessories, letting the colored braids and a few strategically placed beads here and there do the job nicely.
2. Metallic Twist Braids With Beads
Twists are woven for a beautifully textured look with long strands for a trendy look. Metallic threads wind through the twists for an added touch while colored, round wooden beads cap off sections along the ends.
3. Emerald Braids With Metal Cuff Beads
The same way face-framing layers and highlights serve to accentuate your best features, these metal cuff beads placed around the face at different angles have the same effect.
Keeping your beads minimal with the right placement will give the biggest impact without making your braids appear cluttered. And that emerald color is gorgeous!
4. Accessorized Flat Braids With Hanging Braids
Shake up a beaded braid look with more than one type of accessory and braid for a really unique look. Here, flat braids are the main style component with a few hanging braids around the face. Metal cuff beads, round wooden beads, and even a few shells make their way into the look for a boho look.
5. Medium Box Braids With Tiger Striped Wooden Beads
A quick way to make a statement beaded braid look is to go straight for bold, notice-me beads. We love these jumbo-sized wooden beads with a tiger-striping detail. They have a natural, earthy look and the wood tone works really well with the medium blonde braid color.
6. Two-Toned Box Braids With Subtle Bead Accents
A couple pretty beads worked into your box braid style is an easy way to dress up the look a bit and try the trend. It’s like dipping your toes in the water before you jump in!
Pick out a few small beads you like and place them near your face for maximum impact. You can try 4-6 beads and see how you like the look this way!
7. Half-Back Flat Braids With Earthy Beads
Weaving flat braids half-back to the crown line and letting them hang from there creates a really trendy and modern look to pair with bangs and beads. Multiple types of beads are threaded onto the ends of these braids in different shades of brown and bone white for a natural, earthy aesthetic.
8. Red Feed-In Box Braids With Silver Cuff Beads
A vibrant red color takes on a root melt look with natural hair at the base and red hair fed into the braids. Cuff beads scattered at different levels through the long braids helps break up the length and the overall look is modern and fresh.
9. Partial Flat Braids With Funky Bead Assortment
Thick, straight hair woven into braids and adorned with beads may not be as long-lasting as braids in kinky natural hair, but it definitely works! Pick out a unique assortment of beads to cap off the ends of partial flat braids that transform to hanging braids at the crown for a cute look.
10. Jumbo Red and White Beads With Hair Wraps
Natural dreadlocks with beads are a pretty twist on beaded braids that creates a really similar look. Jumbo-sized red and white beads cap the ends of this look while threads partially and fully wrap other locs for a fun, vibrant style.
11. Scattered Beads in Long Braids
Don’t want your beaded braids to look too symmetrical or packed with accessories? Try a scattered, random beaded look. Here, you’ve got 2 symmetrical beads on either side of the middle part. From there, beads are spaced apart with wide intervals between for a pretty, low-key look.
12. Micro Braids With Grouped Colored Beads
Tiny micro braids are already an entire look, so grouping a few colored round beads throughout the central part of the back is just the icing on the cake! Bright red color, tiny braid width, and pretty blue and yellow beads make this look stand out with a single 3-strand braid running down the back.
13. Crochet Goddess Locs With Single Bead Accent
Trendy goddess locs will make you look and feel like royalty. Finish this boho chic look with a single metallic bead in one of your face-framing locs for a dainty and sophisticated touch that won’t steal the spotlight from your wavy, casual texture.
14. Traditional Zulu Beaded Braids
If you want to try on a traditional, cultural look of the Zulu people, this bold and vibrant style is it. Red and white beads are threaded onto the ends of the hair in a color pattern to show off layers of beads that follow the hair from the top to the bottom.
15. Flat and Hanging Braids With Blue and White Bead Caps
We’re seeing this trendy half flat/half hanging braid look a lot lately and love how different beads can really mix it up! Blue and white beads cap off the ends and give these braids a fun and youthful vibe.
16. Mens’ Short Beaded Braids
That’s right, guys love beaded braids too! Slip some colored round beads on the ends of short box braids for a cool look that’ll make all the other dudes jealous. Try stacking different colors of beads together in a pattern like this.
More Tips and Things to Consider
Wearing braids with beads is definitely on-trend, but there are a couple tips you should read if you’re serious about giving this look a go. Here’s what no one’s told you about rocking beaded braids – the stuff you really need to know!
- Make sure your beads will fit your braids. Whether you’re going with tiny micro braids or jumbo box braids, you’ll want beads with openings that will fit around the width of your braid. Usually, 5mm to 8mm beads will be fine, but double check your braid size if you’re not sure. You want your beads to fit securely but not so tight they’ll be hard to place in the braids.
- Keep your beads securely in place. Keeping your beads secure once you’ve placed them where you want them is simple. For beads at the ends, take the final inch or so of hair and fold it up over the bead. Secure it with a very small elastic to prevent your beads from sliding off. For beads placed higher up in your braids, you can slide them onto the strands as you’re braiding to securely work them into the style or tie small elastics under each one to keep them in place.
- Make sure you’ve got the right tools. There are a number of methods you can use to place your beads into your braids. If you’ll be adding the beads yourself, you should definitely grab a beader tool to make the process easier. This tool allows you to slip the beads in easily with any braid size.
- Try hair cuffs instead of beads for a different look. Beads have a round or oval opening to fit around your braids, while cuffs may be open-ended to open and close over your braids securely. You can also find spiral cuffs that can easily be wound into or over your braids for a pretty, unique look.
- Sleep on them the right way. Sleeping on braids with beads can rough up the braid texture and loosen the beads enough to make them fall out. That’s no good, so make sure you have a silk or satin scarf to wrap your braids in overnight. Wrapping your beaded braids will keep them from getting frizzy and help keep your beads in place longer!
We’re big fans of the braids with beads trend. With so many creative and cute possibilities, you can invent your own look by using different types of braids, beads, colors, and bead placements to make a statement.
Beaded braids aren’t new, but the modernized looks we’re seeing today are fresh and inventive. Take your favorite braids, add some beads (a few or a lot!), make sure they’re secure, and you’re going to love rocking this time-honored, funky look!