Bubble braids have a fun throwback vibe with cute, modern twists. If you love the way these round faux braids look, get inspired with our 12 favorite ways to wear them! It’s all here in our guide.
What Are Bubble Braids?
- Use staggered elastics to create fluffed-out “bubbles” of hair
- Choose ponytail bubble braids or flat bubble braids
- Create volume and boost fullness in thin or fine hair
Bubble braids are definitely having a moment. These whimsical, volume-boosting styles don’t actually involve braiding at all and are one of the easiest hairstyle trends to try!
Bubble braids start with the humblest of all hair tools and products: A pack of clear or colored small elastics. In fact, that’s all you need to create this trendy style yourself.
You don’t need to know how to create woven braids to try this look. But if you can braid, working bubble braids in with other types of plaits makes for a super cute style!
There are 2 basic ways to do bubble braids: Hanging (ponytail) or flat (similar to French braids). Hanging bubble braids are the easiest version, but flat bubble braids are arguably the most on-trend right now.
The origins of bubble braids are hotly debated. Some remember them as a fun 1980s style, while others swear they came into fashion in the 1990s. Either way, the original bubble braids were usually hanging braids created with a ponytail base.
Today’s bubble braids are a little different with the same overall concept. Now, these bubble-icious braids are often done as double flat braids that cling to the scalp like French braids.
One thing we really love about the trend is how well it works for different hair types. It’s a go-to look for thick, dense hair but also looks great in fine, thin, or flat hair that lacks volume. The fluffed-out bubbles give hair a fuller, thicker look, especially if you lightly tease each bubble section before securing!
Not only are they one of the most versatile types of braids, but they’re also incredibly easy to create and good options for second (or third, who’s counting) day hair. Next time you think you’re out of hairstyle ideas, try bubble braids and get back on that horse!
Next up, we’ll take a look at some really cute bubble braid styles so you can get an idea of the different looks you can create with this trend.
12 Cute and Trendy Bubble Braids to Try
Everyone’s loving the look of bubble braids right now. If you’re ready to try this trend, we’ve got 12 cute ways for you to wear your bubbled-up braids with creative twists! Here are some of our favorite bubble braid looks to try.
1. Half-Up Twists With Inverted Bubble Braids
Cute, trendy, and super easy to create, this is one of our favorite bubble braid styles right now! Half-up twists keep your hair out of your face and securely stylishly.
Inverted bubble braids – just flip each “bubble” inside out like an inverted ponytail – really make it stand out.
2. Long Cuffed Bubble Braid Style
This style uses multiple types of braids to create a really dimensional, intricate look. Fishtail, French, and bubble braids decorate the style with a few inverted ponytails in the back cascading down. The bubbles are finished off with metal cuffs.
Create half crown French braids around the sides, leaving enough hair out to do a small fishtail wrapped and pinned horizontally. Finish the tails with loose fishtail braids stacked on top of loose hair cuffed into bubbles.
3. Scrunchy Bubble Braid
Make your bubble braids unique with the addition of some silky scrunchies! This look leaves each bubble flat and uses silky, slip scrunchies to avoid damaging the hair. Plus, it only takes about a minute to style!
It’s a great idea if you’re paying extra attention to keeping your hair healthy!
4. Artsy Looped Bubble Braid
Make your bubble braid style really unique with this artistic twist on the trend! Hair cord is used to loop and wrap hair into loose, voluminous bubbles that really make this style stand out. Start from the top with a high ponytail and wrap the hair into looped bubbles all the way down.
Tug out a few strands around your face to soften the style a bit. Or sleek your hair straight back for a fierce, edgy look!
5. Messy Bubble Ponytail
This girl shows just how simple and quick a bubble braid ponytail can be! If you’ve got a few elastics laying around and a minute to wrap them in your ponytail, you can create this look.
Stagger your elastics further apart and gently fluff the bubbles out. Wear it on the side for vintage vibes!
6. Inverted Bubble Braid Half Updo
Make your bubble braids modern with a boho chic vibe when you combine this style with a relaxed half updo! Simple twists lead back from the front sides.
The tails of the twists are secured about 2 inches apart with tiny black elastics and flipped inward to invert each bubble. Super cute!
7. Colorfully Clipped Bubble Braids
This colorful style shows that kids should try the trend, too! Pick out elastics in her favorite colors and use them to create fluffy bubbles all the way down her pigtails.
Top it off with some criss-crossed clips in a different color to give this look a fun twist.
8. Coily Flat Bubble Braids
Get the trendy boxer braids look with flat bubble braids that are fixed tightly to the scalp before hanging loosely at the ends. This secure style uses alternating elastic colors to keep the braids tight and offer a cute pop of color!
It’s a great style for coily hair because you can rock your natural texture without heat styling. A little moisturizer, gel, or curl cream is all you need!
9. Fluffy Hanging Bubble Braids
She might be little, but she’s got a big idea for a cute bubble braids look! Curly hair is the perfect base for fluffy, voluminous bubble braids. Hanging bubbled braids are so easy to do.
Create pigtails and stagger elastics 3-4 inches apart for super long hair. Tug on all sides of the separate sections to fluff out your bubble braids!
10. Boho Fishtail Bubble Braids
French braids, fishtail braids, and bubble braids all in one? Sign us up! This look starts with French braids created on each side of a middle part. Tug out some face-framing pieces in the front. Once you reach the neckline, switch over to fishtail braids.
Add an elastic, create a small fishtail braid “bubble,” then add another elastic and repeat to the ends. This boho style is super casual and trendy to wear! It also looks a lot more complex than it really is.
11. Stacked 80s Bubble Braid
Try the original iteration of the popular bubble braid with this 80s-inspired look! A single ponytail gets a twist with multi-colored hair ties stacked high at the base for extra volume.
Let the bubble ponytail lay on the side for that cute 80s look – colorful eyeshadow optional!
12. Flat Multi Bubble Braids
Get a look similar to cornrows with multiple bubble braids all over, styled in vertical rows! This look prioritizes precision, not volume, for neat-looking rows of braids that don’t take long to create.
The braids start out flat against the head and transition to hanging braids beyond the neckline. You can leave it as is or invert the bubbles for a more unique look!
Things to Consider
Before you start styling your own bubble faux braids, check out a few helpful tips and considerations to keep in mind. You’ll get better results and longer-lasting braids with these hints!
- Prep your hair first. Your hair will last longer in bubble braids if you use mousse (fine/oily hair), gel (medium to coarse/curly hair), or a little texturizing spray before you do this style. The more grip your strands have, the longer your bubbles will last! Finish them off with a little setting spray to set the look.
- Use the right elastics. Bubble braids can lead to damaged hair if you’re using the wrong type of elastics. We like “ouchless” hair ties with plenty of stretch that slide and glide against the hair. Don’t use real rubber bands, which can cause breakage and rough up the hair cuticle. Clear elastics always work well, but try colored elastics, metal cuffs, or colored hair cord for different looks!
- To bubble or not to bubble? Bubble braids don’t have to be super-fluffed out and rounded. You can rock this look with flat “bubbles” for a twist on the trend! This option is less damaging for hair since you won’t need to tug on your hair to fill out the bubbles. See what you think about the bubbles before you fluff them – you might like this flattened-out look!
- Combine them with other braids. Working in other types of braids with your bubbles is a quick way to really make this style look intricate and special. If you’re familiar with other types of braids, try working in fishtail, French braids, hanging 3-strand braids, or rope braids to elevate your bubble braid look.
- Experiment with different bubble lengths. Some love the look of tight, super-round bubbles. Others like elongated, slimmer bubbles that emphasize the length of the hair. Experiment with different bubble sizes by placing your elastics at different length intervals from 2-4 inches apart.
Prepping your hair first makes a big difference in how long your bubbles will last, especially if your hair is fine or thin. For the biggest, most voluminous bubbles, you can even tease each section gently with a fine-toothed comb before securing it underneath with the next elastic!
Using the right elastics (ones that won’t snag or damage your hair) is key since the wrong type can physically rough up strands and break them during the styling or takedown process.
Beyond that, experimenting with different versions of the style – flat or round bubbles, adding in different types of braids, and playing around with shorter or longer bubble lengths – makes trying this trendy hairstyle even more fun.
You can really make bubble braided styles your own when you take time to see which versions you like best!
Frequently Asked Questions
Still got some questions about bubble braids, how to do them, and where they came from? We’ve got you covered with answers to the most frequently asked questions below.
How do you do a bubble braid?
Creating bubble braids is easy! Hanging bubble braids start with a ponytail secured with small elastics 2-3 inches apart all the way down. Pull out each section with your fingers to create a round shape and finish the bubbles.
"French" bubble braids, or flat bubble braids, start with sectioning the hair in horizontal slices and capping each one off with a small elastic.
Move down 2-3 inches for each section and continue through the ends of the hair. Tug on each secured section to create the bubble shape to finish the style.
Do bubble braids damage your hair?
Bubble braids can potentially damage hair in two ways: The use of lots of small elastics and the pulling/tugging required to create the bubbles.
You can minimize damage by using a strengthening or conditioning product in your hair before doing bubble braids. Be extra careful while filling out the bubbles to avoid breaking your hair or roughing it up too much!
Why are bubble braids popular?
Bubble braids were first popular in the 1980s, but made a major comeback recently on TikTok. Now, bubble braids are a trendy style that fits boho, chic, and sporty vibes.
They're so popular because they work on all hair types and are super easy to create. All you need are lots of small elastics!
What decade were bubble braids popular?
Bubble braids first became popular in the 1980s through the 1990s. Today, there's a major resurgence and bubble braids are now worn as hanging or flat braids, single or multi-braids, and with a variety of looks.
What is bubble technique hair?
Bubble technique hair is a different name for bubble braids. The easiest version starts with one or more ponytails secured with multiple, staggered clear or colored elastics 2-3 inches apart. The sections are then puffed out to take on a rounded, bubble look.
So, Are You Ready to Try Bubble Braids?
They’re trendy, quick, and easy. What’s not to love about bubble braids? If you’re onboard with this look, we say it’s high time to give it a go!
Try the easiest version of the bubble braid with a single hanging braid styled into a high ponytail. It only takes a minute to arrange your elastics, fluff out the bubbles, and set the style with hairspray.
If you’re itching to try a more creative version, work in different braid types, go with flat (French braid-style) or hanging braids, invert the bubbles, experiment with flatter/more voluminous bubbles, and try staggering your elastics at different length intervals.
There are truly endless ways to customize and tweak this trendy style!
As long as you properly prep your hair with product before styling and take care not to damage your hair in the process, you’re going to love the versatility and ease of bubble braids. It might become your new go-to hairstyle!