Reviewed & updated: October 19, 2022 by Jamie Wilson BA
While men’s braided hairstyles date back far longer than you’d ever expected (we’re talking stone age here), recent years have seen a surge in their popularity thanks to the power of the internet. Men and women from various cultures now sport an abundance of different styles, from the traditional to the contemporary – let’s take a look at some of the most popular.
Braids for Men: The Top 3
#1: Simple Cornrows
Probably what will spring to mind when most people think of men with braids, cornrows for men can likely be described as the most simplistic, straightforward style of the lot. Varying from single plait braids to double braiding, side cornrows, and more elaborate iterations; there are a vast number of ways to style cornrows with varying levels of difficulty.
So, what exactly are cornrows? Stemming from African tradition, cornrows are defined by the tight braiding method that remains very close to the scalp leaving you with continuous, slightly raised rows of braided hair. While, typically, they remained in straight, defined rows – they can now come in a variety of different patterns or shapes.
Check out some of the most popular styles below, from more natural finishes to blond cornrows for men.
#2: Intricate Braids
While still ‘technically’ cornrows, more intricate designs come with their own set of names due to the fact that they don’t all meet the defined, straighter rows outlined by a traditional cornrow style. Varying in different patterns, levels of tightness, and the amount of hair that’s actually styled; the number of men’s braiding designs is more expansive than you would imagine.
Some of the more common iterations include box braids and fishbone braids for men, of which we’ve placed some examples below alongside a selection of other intricate braiding styles.
#3: Long Braided Style
When it comes to braided hairstyles for men, they’re not restricted to just the shorter styles. Lengthier options that lead into dreads are popular alongside high-top braids, undercut braids, french braids, and even a questionable man bun braid.
Alongside the aforementioned shorter options, french braids for guys and their longer kin have been around for centuries, originating from the African continent as far back as 3000bc signifying everything from sexual availability to religion.
Top 20 Braid Looks To Go For
1. Cool Braid Hairstyle With Blonde Highlights
If you’re a fan of switching up your hairdo and hair color, why not go for this look? Guys who like to experiment with hair dyes will enjoy this blonde touch-up. If you are in your twenties why not consider this look? It is super stylish, cool, and playboy-like, ideal for most trendsetters.
2. Tight Braids Twist Look
If you enjoy low maintenance looks this will suit you. Go for thin and tight braids if you want a stylish look that is perfect for any event. When it comes to this design, it is important to set it in place with the right hair gel or hairspray. Prolong its longevity and durability by securing it in place.
3. Cool Texture Spider Braids
Tight and chunky braids, don’t you just love them? These braids have something unique and interesting, often worn by African men who like to show off their stylish strands and gorgeous locks. If you want to achieve fullness and you’re also a fan of gorgeous looks, this is how you should try to style your strand of hair.
4. Cornrow Braids Hairdo
Tight cornrow braids are some of the most popular looks. If you’re a fan of cornrows and you wish to try out a hairdo that suits your age, headed event & stylish attention-seeking moments. You will look like such a player with this overall vibe. You will like this when paired with a taper fade.
5. Cool Braids Ponytail Knots
Tight braids or Viking braids are for those who like longer and more dramatic looks. Black guys tend to go for this hairdo and similar transformations. Try out a ponytail or a low bun detail with braids if you want a sporty and casual style. It is a wild design that is often worn by basketball players.
6. Pop Of Color To Braids
Do you like a pop of color in your hair? This red/orange design will attract looks. Make sure that you color your hairdo every 6 weeks since this design is high-maintenance. It is a good design that is often worn by younger guys. Also, this look should be sprayed in place with the right spray bottle so that it stays on for weeks, and for you to prolong its longevity.
7. Long Hair Brown Braids
Long braids and this overall vibe are a must-try. It is popular in American culture. Most players can style and show off this look flawlessly. Make sure that you book the best hairstylist since this look is a bit hard to achieve, and should be done by the right stylist or barber.
8. Cool Shaved Sides Vikings Ponytail
A high updo ponytail such as this one is so stunning and attractive. When you tie up your hair, why not opt for a shaved detail or a fade to round up the look? This is a player-like haircut if you’re into chic clubbing moments. Show this off if you want to look like a serious thing (this look is often worn by rappers btw).
9. Black Short Hair Twists
Black short braids and twists will look so healthy and shiny! This duo is super cool and elegant. If you have dark brown or black hair and your strands are shiny & healthy, this will look great on you. Make sure that you have your right section styled the right way so that you can achieve proper parting.
10. High-up Top Curly Blonde Braids
High up and curly, this messy Afro with cool braids is for men or women who like drama and fabulous looks. Not a lot of guys can rock this style. Can you? If your hair is super long, thick, curly, and voluminous, why not try this out and give it a go? Add your favorite curl cream to style it the right way for daily moments.
11. Cool Trend Braids Back
Most guys love stylish and longer hair braids. Do you? This slick back braided style is cool and modern. It is often worn by guys who are in their 30s. Do you wish to give it a go? If so, make sure that you go for thin and secure braids and set them in place with your favorite gel and ties.
12. High Up Top Knot Braids
High up and worn this way, a lot of guys will enjoy this style. It is a stylish and playboy-like cut that you will love for daily and night-time moments. Show it off with your favorite braid cream and ask your hairstylist for defined locks that can suit your face & head shape.
13. Messy Afro Curly Braids
High-up, tight and curly, this messy look is for African men who have tighter curls. If you want to show off your curls and braids every here and there, this cut will suit you since it is a multi-purpose cut. Show it off to any event, but rock with the right hydrating products since it will demand moisture.
14. Zig Zag Braids
Zig zag braids will forever be in fashion. Do you like this pattern? Show it off for any event! This hairdo looks feisty and will look amazing on those who wish to get that music video hairdo. If you want to attract looks yet wear something comfy, this is it.
15. Brown Tight Right Strand Look
Tight braids and long or medium-length style is for those who like to own and rock their looks with confidence. Make sure that your hair is healthy, thick, stylish, and shiny – this will suit you. Show off the hydrated locks and invest in your hair-care items to rock this for any event.
16. Eye-catching Dreadlocks
So different, chic, and eye-catching, don’t you agree? If you like quirky looks, this will suit you. Wear your hair on the right side or stick to the left section so you can get this full effect. Just make sure that you use the right type of a leave-in conditioner when it comes to this cut and its maintenance.
17. Brown Swept Types Of Braids
Younger guys tend to go for this cut. Do you like how it looks? If you are into swept-back looks and you fancy thinner braids (or if your hair is super thin naturally) this will suit you. Go for some simpler pigtails and show off the look anywhere you go.
18. Cool Hairline Braid Look
If your barber is skilled and you fully trust him or her, you can try out this cut. It is a stylish design that has a lot of accessories and will suit those who like paying close attention to details. If you’re into fun looks and you need a transformation, why not this?
19. Man Braid Look
If you like to pay close attention to all the little details, why not try this cut? It is done with some fun and cool lines, along with tight braids. The overall vibe is fun and chic, great for those who like to wear modern cuts and new inspiring looks. Show it off knowing that no one is going to have something as similar.
20. Long Braids Hairdo
Long, fun, and bold, this braided hairdo is cool and retro. Men who are looking for a new cut should book this look. It is often worn by those in their 30s, craving fun, and wild transformations. If you like to do your own hair quite often and you’re good at it, why not try out this look?
Popular Celebrity Braids
As with most prevailing haircuts, rappers with braids have been a substantial driving force behind the rise in the style’s popularity. From short, tighter cornrows to longer options, everyone from ASAP Rocky to Ludacris has rocked braided hair at one point or another. Check out some of the most iconic iterations below.
ASAP Rocky’s hair is easily one of his most recognizable features with many of his young followers looking to replicate the iconic look. While the style isn’t exactly anything new, ASAP Rocky’s braids have skyrocketed the style to new heights. If you’re wondering how to do asap rocky braids it’s relatively straightforward, once you’ve got them done that is. In the words of ASAP…
Dirt actually makes our hair grow. I know you probably don’t believe it, but it’s true. I wash my hair once a week.
– ASAP Rocky
Not the first man that’d pop to mind when thinking about braids, when Riff Raff hit the scene in 2008 many admired his ability to pull off intricate, detailed cornrow styles with ease. Riff Raff’s braids typically take on relatively detailed shapes while being braided quite tight to his head.
While Wale’s dreadlock styles have fluctuated in length and braiding from time to time, the style generally maintains a similar silhouette. The rapper’s hair typically takes the form of tightly braided cornrows leading into looser dreads.
Another man who’s renowned for his cornrow hair; Pusha T’s braids have fluctuated from sharper, tighter styles to loose, soft locks – all while maintaining a dedicated of followers looking to emulate the does’.
How to Braid Cornrows?
Top 3 Men’s Braids Styles
- Cornrows: One of the more straightforward braided options, cornrows typically take a simple approach to braid.
- Intricate Braids: Taking on various shapes, patterns, and braid sizes; intricate options are a popular take on the more straightforward cornrow style.
- Long Braided Style: Varying from loose braids to lengthy dreads, longer styles are just as popular as their shorter counterparts.
On That Note
There we have it. Men’s braiding styles come in a wide variety of different forms, but the general premise remains the same. Whether long, short, simple, or complicated; they all stem from one general origin. From the cool braids on the likes of ASAP Rocky or Wale to the questionable options sported by the likes of Riff Raff, you’re now more than equipped to make an informed decision with your braided style of choice.