For the longest time, braids have been predominantly attached to the African culture. But you may not know that three-strand braids have been part of Thai culture for centuries. Thai people often wear braids as a form of cultural expression. Read on for more insight on Thai braids.
What Are Thai Braids?
Thai braids are colorful, long, three-strand braids either done using one’s natural hair or by attaching synthetic hair. Generally, Thai braids are worn by women, but a few men rock them either as part of their cultural identity or for fashion.
Thai braids are done by weaving the hair into cornrows or as braids that start from the scalp. Doing Thai braids from scratch can take up to four hours. It can take longer if your hair or extensions are longer than the standard size.
The Origin of Thai Braids
Thai (or Thailand) braids have been around for generations. The jury is still out on whether these braids are part of the Thai culture or not, but there’s no doubt that Thai people love braids.
Traditionally, boys in Thailand rocked braids, otherwise known as Phom Pia. Fewer boys wear braids today, but plenty of young girls and women still wear the style beautifully and with pride.
Thai Braids Inspiration: 10 Ways to Rock the Trend
Celebrities like Kylie Jenner wearing Thai braids has helped popularize the hairstyle. As a personality many in the youth bracket admire, Thai braids are something that many women from different cultures across the globe are now eager to try out.
Generally, people prefer braids because they keep your hands off your hair for some time and are an excellent protective style. A common dilemma most people face is how to style their braids. So, below are 10 fun ways to rock the trend in 2023.
1. The Messy High Bun
Thai braids have a messy vibe that gives them a unique edge. It can be hard to figure out ways to rock your braids without them looking too messy, especially if it’s been a few weeks since you had them done.
The messy high bun is a great braid style that allows you to hide the growth in the middle part of your hair. Start by holding all the braids, bring them to the center of your head, and tie them with a rubber band or scrunchie.
Roll the hair around to create a messy bun, and voila! You have a presentable hairstyle you can wear to your date, corporate meeting, or a casual outing with friends.
Read Next: How to Make Cute Messy Buns
2. Straight and Smooth
Thai people tend to have naturally-straight hair, so this style is a fantastic natural-looking option. You can wear your braids loose for an elegant look. The straight and smooth hairstyle tends to frame your face to appear alluring, plus it doesn’t take much for you to stand out from the crowd.
If you have difficulty choosing braid styles that go well with your face, trust that this style will accommodate and accentuate the shape of your face beautifully.
3. Rainbow Drip
The best thing about braids is that you can put on any color and still look fabulous. The rainbow drip is a style on its own. You don’t have to do anything other than keep it away from your face.
Whether you push it back and hold your Thai braids with a rubber band or allow your braids to lie freely on your back, you’ll look superb. Thai braids come in different colors, including pink, red, blue, black, yellow, brown, you name it.
You can have them short or do braids that go all the way to your knees. Whichever your style, the rainbow drip is something you must try if you’re a daring person who loves color.
4. Thai Braids With Bangs
Add a bang to your braids, and you instantly look younger. Bangs are a fun yet distinct style to rock Thai braids. Suppose you’re looking for an out-of-the-box way of experimenting with your hair.
Feel free to try different colors and add shiny hair accessories that make you stand out. Make sure your bangs are eye-brow-level or slightly shorter. Most people prefer longer bangs, but shorter ones look more presentable and don’t obstruct your view.
5. Braided Thai Bob
Long Thai braids are the in-thing but have you seen Thai braids in a bob? It’s mind-blowing! This look is excellent for that lady who prefers to avoid the bulk and weight of putting on the standard long Thai braids.
The Thai bob is a simple yet sophisticated look for anyone not afraid to express themselves through fashion. It’s one thing to dress nicely, but add a braided Thai bob, and you’ll be the new showstopper in town!
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The Mohawk gives you a rock star edge that’s super intriguing for people eager to turn a few heads. If you have loose Thai braids, you probably find it too monotonous to leave them hanging. Styling them into a Mohawk keeps unwanted strands away from your face, plus it looks awesome!
7. Half-Up, Half-Down
Are you feeling extra adventurous? The half up, half down style is a girly way to hold your braids without going to the stylist or taking too much time. It involves gripping the top half of your Thai braids with a rubber band and leaving the other bottom half free to lie on your back.
8. Cornrows on the Side
Mixing up cornrows and standard braids is a look that will never grow old. Celebrities and other trendsetters all over the world love this style. It’s the ideal braid style if you want to mix it up a bit. It’s a popular style that manages to look sophisticated and fun at the same time.
9. Fishtail Jumbo
If you have individual Thai braids, you could start a single cornrow-like braid from the front to the end. The result is a fish-tail-looking single braid that looks tidy and beautiful.
The best thing about this hairstyle is that you can add your own touches to make it look unique. Some prefer to tie the fishtail end with a fancy silk scarf; others add shiny accessories to make their braids even more beautiful.
10. Colorful Space Buns
Space buns make you look youthful. This compact hairstyle keeps things interesting and your hair away from your face. Space buns look good whether you have single-colored plain Thai Braids or you prefer to mix up different brightly colored braids.
Instead of the standard two-space buns, you can create your own thing by having three buns using two buns in the front and one at the back.
Thai Braids Care Tips
Your natural hair seems to grow even faster when you have braids on. If you don’t practice good braid care, you’ll have messy hair that degrades your appearance.
Braids are a protective style that also requires care to last longer. Here are a few pointers to keep your Thai braids looking beautiful for weeks.
Moisturize Your Scalp
A dry scalp is an itchy scalp. When you’re constantly scratching your head, you slowly pull on hair strands, and your hair won’t look so neat anymore. To avoid dryness, flakiness, and irritation, hydrate your hair regularly.
Wash Your Braids
Straight hair is prone to being more oily. Leaving your braids in even for a week means a build-up of excess oils, which could leave your hair smelling funny and looking unpresentable.
Provided you know how to wash your hair and scalp with Thai braids, your hair will still look fresh, and your scalp will have a chance to breathe.
Avoid Tying Your Hair Too Tight
Tying your hair too tight can bring unimaginable damage to your hair and scalp. Most people who choose Thai braids probably wear their hair straight and natural more often than usual. Putting in braids and pulling them tightly to style them can lead to:
- Hair breakage
- Scalp irritation
- Bald spots
Choose to have different loose styles on your braids that suit the shape of your face.
Wear a Bonnet
Bonnets are excellent hair accessories for women who want to keep their braids looking neat for longer and to avoid breakage. A silk or satin bonnet is better than bonnets made from other materials likely to cause friction on your hair. If you don’t want to wear a bonnet, use a silk pillowcase instead.
Read Next: How to Wear a Bonnet
Don’t Leave Your Braids in for Too Long
If you’re good at taking care of your Thai braids, they will still look freshly done five weeks later. But it’s recommended that protective styles shouldn’t last for longer than six weeks at a time. Your hair needs a break too.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do you still have questions about this hairstyle? Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about Thai braids.
Are braids part of Thai culture?
While there’s evidence that Thai people in the past wore braids and cornrows, things seem different today. Very few Thai people wear braids culturally in Thailand now. The more common hairstyle for Thai women is straight, long hair.
What’s the difference between Thai braids and African braids?
Braids generally involve weaving three strands to make cornrows or a long loose braid. Thai Braids resemble African braids, but the two have some distinct differences too. The major difference is that Thai people make Thai braids while African braids are worn by people of African descent.
What cultures wear braids?
Most people know that braids originate from Africa. But other cultures have and still practice braiding techniques as a communal art form or as a mode of social interaction, including people from Japan, China, Central Asia, Europe, India, Australia, and more.
Do braids help hair grow?
Hair growth rate is determined by genetics. Braids, therefore, can’t speed up the rate at which your hair grows. However, braiding protects the ends of your hair. This protection means less breakage as your ends are less exposed. You also don’t experience as much breakage with braids because you don’t have to brush and style your hair daily.
What happens if I leave my braids in for too long?
Braids are an excellent protective style, but leaving them in for longer than six to eight weeks can be detrimental to your hair’s well-being. Dirt, hair loss, oil build-up, and matting are the main issues you’ll face if you keep your braids in for too long.
Are Thai Braids Right for You?
It’s unclear whether or not Thai People culturally wear braids, but one thing’s for sure, Thai braids are a beautiful hairstyle. Characterized by brightly colored threads, Thai braids are unique and unlike other braids from other cultures across the globe. Think you can rock the style? We say go for it!