If you are a man, getting your hair braided has several benefits. It helps to protect your natural hair. When synthetic hair is added, it can instantly become any length you want without the agonizing weeks spent waiting for it to grow. While men have worn braids for over 6,000 years, there have never been more ways to braid men’s hair than today.
Please read this post to learn more about braids for men. We will take a deep dive into over 40 ways that men can wear braided hair, and we will also discuss which braid styles may look best on you and how to maintain braids.
Without any further introduction, let’s start examining this fascinating topic.
Men’s braids fundamentals
Turn on any professional football game, and you will see men wearing braids. Turn on a rapper’s music video, and you are also likely to see men in braids. Take a walk across most college campuses, and you will see men in braids there too.
From pro athletes to musical stars, many men love to wear braids. If you are considering joining them, you need to know the information in this post about men’s braids.
Are men’s braids in style?
Men’s braids never go out of style, but the type of braids may change over time. Braids on men are perfect for guys who live busy lifestyles and do not have time to take care of their hair regularly. You can find so many trendy styles that you can periodically change the look and still appear stylish.
One of the great things about braids is that when you find a style that works for you, that style will never disappear or look dated. For example, the first cornrow braided hairstyles were created in Africa about 4,700 years ago, and they have never disappeared.
In Egypt, the first box braids were created about 4,300 years ago. If you like the look of pigtail braids, they have been in style for nearly 2,200 years. Incorporating beads when braiding hair started in the 1970s is still a popular choice today.
Ever since the first braids were created in Africa, people have been creating braid styles to showcase something about their identity. In the beginning, one could look at an African man and tell what tribe he belonged to without ever communicating with them.
One reason braids remain popular is that different styles still represent a person’s ethnicity, age, beliefs, or some other facet of their lives.
Cornrows have been popular with many rappers, including ASAP Rocky, Pusha T, Ludacris, and Snoop Dog. Many male athletes have worn their hair in braids, including Allen Iverson, Kawhi Leonard, and Anthony Castonzo. Even if athletics or music are not your callings, you will find plenty of men rocking braids.
How long do braids last on guys?
Depending on the oiliness of your scalp and how quickly your hair grows, braids can last between two weeks and several months. The tighter the braids are locked in, the longer they will last. Therefore, it is a great idea to have them put in professionally.
While I will go into more detail in a little while, men considering wearing braids need to consider the time required to take care of their hair because braids are not a one-time and done experience.
Most men will need to use products daily on their hair to make sure the scalp stays clean and the hair moisturized. Men must be prepared to sleep with a hair covering, like a durag, on their hair at night. Furthermore, they must spend several hours at a stylist regularly.
Before getting braids, it is essential to consider what happens if you fail to maintain your hairstyle. Your hair can get very dry, making it brittle. Therefore, it breaks very easily. The longer you keep your hair in braids, the more it will become tangled.
Getting out tangles often hurts and can lead to even more hair damage. You may also notice that your hair becomes frizzy. Therefore, most experts recommend you get your hair re-braided about every month.
In order to prevent these problems, you must see a professional regularly. It must be a priority, or you will end up with extremely damaged hair that may need to be shaved off your head.
How much do braids cost for guys?
You may be able to find a beginner that will braid your hair for about $60, but most professionals charge much more. Additionally, consider the cost of dry shampoo and other products you will need to use on your hair. Do not be surprised if more experienced hair stylists want almost $200 to braid your hair.
Many factors will determine how much you pay for braids. One of them is the intricacy of the design. For example, if you want your cornrows braided so that it looks like you have a cross, teardrop, or other design on top of your head, you can expect to pay a lot more than if you want typical braids. Generally, jumbo braids are the cheapest option.
Another factor affecting the cost of braids is your location. Hair stylists in large metropolitan communities can charge more because there is more demand for their services than those living in smaller urban areas. It is usually cheapest to get your braids done in a rural area if you can find someone who does them.
Some stylists have a well-earned reputation for braiding and can demand more for their services. While it is cheaper to go with someone just learning the trade, there is a tradeoff.
Your hair may not look as good when they are done, and it may take them longer to braid your hair. Especially if you work for yourself, you need to decide if you can earn more than the difference in price that you are paying while sitting in the styling chair.
What to consider when braiding guys’ hair?
You will need to consider many things when braiding a man’s hair. The first tip is to know what type of braid the guy wants and if it will work with their hair. Know if you will be braiding the man’s natural hair or if you are adding extensions to his hair. Ensure that the guy has enough time to get his hair braided.
As you will learn in the next chapter, there are over 50 styles that are possible. Therefore, it is not enough to know that the guy wants his hair braided. You will need to know the style and have expert knowledge of what styles will work with his hair.
Before starting to braid a man’s hair, you need to determine the hair’s moisture level. This will let you know what products to recommend that the guy uses on his hair and which products you should use when braiding his hair.
You will also need to know the hair’s structure. Braiding fine hair requires extra care to contain all the hair. It is also more apt to break, so you need to recommend the man get his hair re-braided more often than if he has thicker hair strands, as they can stand up to more punishment.
In addition, you will need to know the length of the hair. Some braids, like cornrows, can be done with hair that is only 2 inches long, while other styles will require the man to grow his hair before it can be braided in the style he wants.
Finally, you will need to know the texture of the hair. Some braid styles are ideal for straight hair, while others work best with coily hair.
Knowing all these factors ahead of time allows you to prepare to braid a man’s hair.
How long does men’s hair need to be to get braids?
Men with hair as short as 2 inches can have it braided. Men with longer hair will find many more options when braiding their hair. It is also possible for men to have hair extensions added to hair that is at least four inches long.
While I will go into even more details in the next chapter, a man with short hair can have it braided. Possible options include multi-directional braids, cornrow braids, braids with a mohawk, and short box braids.
Men with medium-length and long hair may want to consider braided buns, boy braids, French braids, pigtails, Viking braids, fishtail braids, woven braids, and others. As I mentioned, I will go into more detail in the next chapter. So if you need to know what these possibilities are, be sure to keep reading.
If you want braided extensions put in your hair, you can have them put in when your hair is extremely short, but they will look best when your hair is between 2 and 4 inches long. This allows the stylist to blend the extensions into your natural hair so that they do not look fake. As with your natural hair, extensions can be any length.
Braids were reserved for black Americans in the not-so-distant past, but that is no longer the case. Men of all nationalities can enjoy wearing them. A talented stylist can suggest the style that they think will look best on you. But I encourage you to do your homework before your appointment to have a basic idea of what you want the finished product to look like.
How to wash men’s hair with braids?
Many men fear washing their braided hair will make it frizzy, but that does not have to be the case if you use the proper technique and hair products. You should wash your hair every time you sweat a lot or have been swimming.
Even before you have a professional braid your hair, it is vital that you deep condition your hair. The products you use should be designed to lock moisture into your hair and strengthen its structure. Deep conditioning your hair helps to remove tangles, makes your hair shinier, and increases its smoothness.
After your hair is braided, concentrate on cleaning your scalp without rubbing the braids. You will want to use a clarifying shampoo to remove buildup from your scalp. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s directions because you need to leave on your hair for a couple of minutes.
Astringents can help you clean your scalp without getting your hair wet, so they are ideal for prolonging the life of your braids. Witch hazel is a natural astringent that you can rub on your scalp, especially where you notice dandruff or your scalp is turning red.
In addition to taking care of your hair regularly, as I discussed earlier, do not leave your braids in too long. They will cause your hair to become damaged. Then, your only choice may be to have your hair cut and wait for it to get healthy and grow again.
If you are still pondering getting braids, I will discuss different braid types that you may want to consider in the next chapter. Under each one, I will try to describe it and tell you what kind of hair may work best in that style, so be sure to keep reading.
Types of braids for men
There is an incredible number of braid styles for men, and understanding the possibilities is the first step in deciding how you want to braid your hair. Therefore, please read through this entire list and consider how you will look in each option.
After determining which looks you love the most, consider if it is an excellent style for you based on your hair. While you may love the look, some may not be perfect for your hair.
As I mentioned, many factors will help determine if a braid style suits you. For example, men with fine hair may have trouble wearing big braids because of the amount of hair required to make them.
Alternatively, men with kinky hair may find that some styles require too much control of their hair to work on their heads. If you have hair that lacks moisture, choose a design that does not require the stylist to handle the hair as much so that you avoid excessive breakage.
Let’s start narrowing down the choices that you find attractive and will work with your hair. If you find a style that will look great on another man, consider sharing this post with them.
Cornrows for men
As I said earlier, cornrows are one of the oldest hair-braiding styles for men and women. It is also a style that men with short hair can easily wear. Stylists often create short rows when putting in these braids, which is where the name comes from because they often resemble rows of corn.
Alternatively, talented hair stylists can braid cornrows into very elaborate geometric designs. Hair stylists can also incorporate things like beads, shells, or other items into your hair. As you will see in the following sections, you can wear cornrows in many ways, depending on the length of your hair, so you can have fun experimenting with this look.
While I will go into more detail in the following sections, in order to cornrow your hair, it needs to be clean. Then, the stylist will part your hair into three evenly spaced sections. Next, they will divide each section into three smaller sections.
Then, starting from the front, braid the hair, picking up small strands of hair as you work your way to the back of your head. Continue with each main part until you have braided all your hair, and secure each section with a hair band.
Cornrow man bun
Instead of having the end of the cornrow at the back of your head, consider gathering them together in a man bun. You can wear your bun at the top or back of your head. There are many ways to get creative with this look.
For example, you can form two larger rows of cornrows down the sides of your head and have a geometric pattern woven into the middle. You can also have numerous braids put in that end with a small bun at the back of the neck’s nape.
Another alternative is to wear two cornrows high on your head and have the stylist shave the sides. It is also possible to incorporate a fade into the sides of your hair by shaving it a little lower.
Instead of having the rows go straight to the bun, you can have them run around your head. Another alternative is to have your hair slicked back in cornrows but allow the hair in the bun to go natural and stick out in many directions.
Side cornrows for men
While most cornrows go towards the back of your head, consider side cornrows. These cornrows run across your head in the other direction. A talented hair stylist can create them regardless of the length of your hair.
Some guys wear them long down one side of their body, and others opt to have them end near the neck’s starting point. Of course, a talented stylist can create geometric patterns on your scalp while putting these braids in.
Other men choose to grow a beard, creating a bad boy look where the cornrows appear to grow out of the beard. Still, other men decide to have the cornrows created so that the first braid hands off the right side of their body and the next braid hangs off the left side. Others choose to have the stylist incorporate shells, beads, or other items into the braid while making it.
Large cornrows for men
While most cornrows are created to be small, you may want to have large cornrows made instead. This is an excellent option for guys with lots of hair and those with thicker strands.
Instead of having multiple little cornrows, go with two, three, or four jumbo cornrows, sometimes called Ghana braids. As with little ones, you can end these in a man bun or with a hair band.
You can also choose to have beads, shells, or other things woven into the braids. It is possible to keep the braids higher on your head and do fades and shaves on the side. The shaven area can also have geometric patterns shaved into it.
Keep in mind that the flatter the cornrow, the bigger the braid will appear, but that may stop the stylist from getting your cornrow as tight, so you must have your hair re-braided more often.
Box braids for men
Box braids are another terrific option for men. This style usually is done with synthetic hair, so it can be an excellent option for men with short hair. Using synthetic hair also lets you take it out if you decide you do not like the look.
If you examine these three-strand braids closely, you will see that the braids resemble a series of little boxes. You will need to plan on getting your hair re-braided about every five weeks.
One potential problem with box braids is traction alopecia, where your hair begins to fall out. Research shows that if the hair stylist hurts your scalp while putting in these braids, it is more likely to occur, so be sure to speak out. The hairstylist can put in braids that are various widths. The narrower the braid, the longer it will look great in your hair.
Short box braids for men
Short box braids are a terrific option if you want to use your natural hair. These braids end about your neck’s nape. Consider having the hair stylist braid your hair so that some of the braids frame your face.
Talk to them about where to end the braids, as ending them at your face’s strong suit will draw more attention to that part of your face. Short braids look ideal with a medium fade. They are also a great option if you want designs put on your scalp because there can be plenty of room left between the braids.
Box braids start with a knot against your head, so the braids naturally lift out. This often makes them an excellent choice for people with thin hair as it makes the braids stick out. This can be a great option if you are short on money because they are usually less expensive.
Triangle box braids for men
Triangle box braids leave your scalp looking like it has little stars all over it instead of boxes. The trick to getting this hairstyle to look great is to work with a stylist who can make the triangles appear even.
You can style triangle box braids in many ways. For example, consider weaving a cord through one or more of your braids. You may also consider wearing hair cuffs near the braid’s top.
Triangle box braids can be of various sizes, and you may want to choose lots of little ones or go with two or three larger ones. Many guys prefer to use colored synthetic hair, allowing them to add a pop of color to their looks. Of course, you can pull them back to make a man bun or pin a giant triangle box braid to the top of your head in a circle.
Box braid ponytail for men
If you like the look of a ponytail, this option is perfect for you. Start by having the stylist braid your hair into box braids. Then, pull all the braids back into a ponytail. You can choose the height of the ponytail.
If you want to create a more relaxed look, wear the ponytail down low. But if you want a more formal look, opt to wear it in the middle of the back of your head. Depending on where you place the ponytail will also draw attention to various features of your face.
If you want to appear taller, wearing a high ponytail can help. You can choose to add adornments to the braids if you want. I dated a man who often wore this look in the summertime because it kept the hair back, off his face, and up off his neck. Therefore, it was much cooler.
Knotless braids for men
Knotless braids look very similar to box braids. These braids are perfect for men with synthetic hair added to their natural hair. The process starts with the braiding of your natural hair before the synthetic hair is added, resulting in hair braids that lay closer to your head.
This process causes less tension in your natural hair, making it ideal for those with damaged hair or fine hair that gets damaged easily. This option is also perfect for guys with curly hair because of the way that synthetic hair fastens to natural hair.
Many men find that they can go three months without having their hair redone when wearing this style, which is about a month longer than with box braids.
Side braids for men
If you are unsure that braids are for you but have longer hair, consider trying out the look with side braids. These braids can be of various thicknesses and form a frame on the sides of your face, which is a great way to make it look longer.
They can also help distract the viewer’s attention if you have a large forehead or a broad face. As with other braid styles we have already discussed, you can have a stylist create them using various techniques, such as box or knotless braids, so you can even wear them if your hair is not long enough to braid naturally.
I particularly love this style on guys with long hair and a beard because it gives a cohesive look. Consider drawing attention to your braids by backcombing the rest of your hair. Adding shells, beads, or other hair adornments can also draw more attention to them.
Dreadlocks for men
Talented hair stylists can create dreadlocks by twisting or braiding hair. In various formats, dreads have been around since 1600–1500 B.C. They may have started in Central Europe. One trendy style is to wear them like singer Bob Marley. While some believe that Marley refused to take care of his hair and the dreads naturally formed, you will want to have an experienced stylist put in your dreads.
Then, you can style them in so many ways depending on the length of your hair. You can pull them back into a ponytail or let them fall naturally. Dreads can be any length, so before going to the hairdresser, decide what length is right for you.
Dreadlocks are an excellent option for men with curly hair who want it to look more manageable. Keep reading because I will discuss in more detail some ways you can wear dreadlocks.
Dreadlocks with bun for men
While many men choose to let their dreadlocks hang down naturally, a trendy option is to wear dreadlocks pulled back into a man bun. Some men only decide to have the dreadlocks on top of their heads and pull them back into a high bun. Then, have their heads cut into a fade on the sides.
You can put all your hair into a bun or only part of it. You can also choose how you want the fade to look. A high fade will help draw attention to your facial features. As an alternative, consider braiding the dreads together to make jumbo braids before placing them in the bun.
This option works well with a high fade, as the hair in the bun will be even more noticeable. You can also have your hair undercut before pulling it back into a bun. This style, which takes more hair products and styling time, looks great in the business environment.
Dreadlock pigtails for men
Instead of pulling your hair back in a bun, you can go with pigtails instead. This is a terrific option for men who want to do something unique with their medium-length hair, as it does not have to be as long as when worn in a ponytail or a bun.
You can let one or more of the dreadlocks hang down in front to add visual interest to your face. You can have endless things woven into your hair when styling it this way, or you can wear unique pigtail holders.
Consider coloring only the parts of your hair in the pigtails and leaving the rest of your hair its natural color. Alternatively, you could pull most of your dreadlocks to one side and only wear one pigtail.
Microbraids for men
Microbraids are tiny braids so small that they often resemble thick hair strands. Putting in these tiny braids can be very time-consuming. And usually, it takes even longer to take them out. So be prepared for them to be one of the costliest options on this list if you choose to have them done professionally.
Putting microbraids into your natural hair begins at the base of works with only about 0.125 inches of your hair at a time. Each braid is usually sealed at its bottom. Another popular option is adding synthetic micro-braided hair to your own. But this is also time-consuming and costly.
One of the reasons that many men prefer microbraids is that they can gently wash their hair. You should never be forceful when shampooing and conditioning your hair because microbraids can come out.
Half-up braided ponytails for men
The half-up braided ponytail is simple enough to do this style quickly at home. Gather about half of your hair at the top of your head. Start by backcombing your hair. Make sure to get all the tangles out. Next, you will want to bring hair from the sides of your head into the middle.
Then, divide a section of that hair into three separate sections. Ensure you leave about half of your hair hanging loose and that it comes from all parts of your head. Then, braid the part that is left.
I like a regular braid down the back, but you can use a French or Dutch braid if you want. There are many variations of this style that you should consider. For example, pin the braided part to the top of your head or curve it around so the braided ponytail hangs down your side.
Loose braided ponytail for men
While most braids are tightly braided so they will stay in your hair for long periods, a loose braided ponytail for men is designed to go in quickly, and you can take it out equally fast. This ponytail style is excellent for men with thick hair that is medium to long.
You can start the braid where you want on the back of your head. Gather the hair together. I like to hold it in place with a hair adornment at the top as it ensures that it stays tight against my head. I often choose an adornment that I can braid into my hair, such as a rope or piece of leather.
Then, divide the hair into three strands and loosely braid it. You can decide how tight you want the braid, but for a loose-braided ponytail, I like to leave it loose enough that you can see where I have crossed the hair strands over each other.
Three-strand braids for men
A three-strand braid for men is similar to the loose braid, but this time you will work on getting the braid tight. Start by gathering the hair where you want the braid to begin. You can choose to use a hair adornment or divide the hair into three strands and start braiding.
Bring the left strand over the right into the middle. Then bring the right one over the middle so it becomes the new middle. Continue until you have used all the hair or have the braid as long as you want it to be.
Two-strand braids for men
If you are a guy with long hair, one of the simplest ways to braid it is simply to create a ponytail and divide it into two strands of hair, with each one being about 1 inch wide. Then, wrap one around the other and push it up through the middle of the strand you have created.
You will now have a new strand on the left side. Grab it, wrap it around the one on the right side, and bring it up through the middle. Continue the process until you reach the end of your hair. You can change this look up by incorporating beads or a rope into your hair.
When you get to the bottom, finish it with a hair band. You can also choose to start the braid at different points to create unique looks. Some days, you may want to start it at the top of your head, while on other days, you may want to start it at the base of your neck. You can also use this style to enhance your hair further if you have dreadlocks or microbraids in it.
Zigzag braids for men
Zigzag braids were trendy at the start of the 21st century and are once again fashionable. With this style, you create zigzag lines on your scalp. The most popular option is to use feed-in braids, which I will cover in just a minute, but you can also create this style with dreadlocks and other braiding styles.
It works well on hair of all lengths, and it looks great on people of all ages. If you want the lines to appear bolder, then use jumbo braids. That is to say, if you want everyone to notice the lines, then use big braids.
If you want the lines to be less bold, use smaller braids. The distance between the braids also affects how bold the lines appear. You can always combine this style with a fade or shave the sides of your head.
Feed-in braids for men
Feed-in braids are sometimes known as cornrows because the hair stylist will use a very similar braiding technique. This style is typically worn in straight rows with a very simple design.
Since keeping the rows straight is essential to the look, you will want to work with an experienced stylist. As the name suggests, these braids are created by continuously feeding in hair as the braid is formed.
The more hair you feed into the braid, the bolder the design will appear as the braid becomes larger. Some very talented stylists can also use geometric designs to create patterns on your scalp.
This type of braid typically starts at your forehead and continues to your neck’s nape. If your hair is very short, the stylist can incorporate synthetic hair into the braids. Since this style can put quite a little pressure on your hair, ensure it is in excellent condition before having it feed-in braided.
Braided mohawk for men
There are an incredible number of ways that you can style a mohawk for men that has just a single braid. If you prefer the two-braid look, ensure that you keep reading because I will cover that in the next section.
You can put a braid down the middle of the head and end it in a top knot at your head’s crown. A diagonal braid coming off the top of your mohawk is another fun look.
Alternatively, you can add colored braided synthetic hair to the top of your mohawk. We will discuss a Viking braid in a little bit, but you can wear it in place of a mohawk while shaving the sides of your head.
You may also consider forming a large, braided knot on top of your head instead of the straight hair typically seen in a mohawk. One of my favorite ways is to French braid the hair across the top of the mohawk.
Double-braided Mohawk for men
There are also many fun ways to wear more than one braid with a mohawk. One of them is to wear double braids that run diagonally down the back of your head. In this case, you can fade or undercut the sides of your hair close to the mohawk to make the braids appear even bigger.
Then, run them diagonally down the back of your head until they meet at your neck’s base. You can also braid part of your head above the mohawk and end it in a ponytail about halfway down the back of your head.
Another look I love is to create small braids on either side of a spiked mohawk to give it more definition. You can leave all the hair in one color, or you can experiment with braids that are different.
As with single braids, you can use multiple braiding techniques to create rows of braids across the top of your head instead of leaving the mohawk hair straight.
Fishtail braids for men
A fishtail braid is also sometimes called a herringbone braid. The great news is that you can use either your long natural hair or synthetic hair to create this style that can be styled in many ways. The two sections are braided together to look like they have a line down their middle.
You can start the fishtail braids at your forehead and pull them back in a ponytail or a man bun. There is an endless variety of ways to wear them hanging down or pull them back and wear them with an undercut.
They can be used to create a mohawk look on top of your head. They look super when you gather the hair at the base of your neck in a hair rubber, and fishtail braid it to its end. Of course, you can also choose to add colored synthetic hair or dye your own hair so that the braid and the hair on the rest of your head are different colors.
Intersecting braids for men
You can create intersecting braids for men using several different braiding techniques or have all the braids going in one direction made from one type of braid and make the ones going in another direction using a different braiding technique.
This is also a fun look to have all the braids going in one direction, one color, and those going in another direction, a different color, then braid the two colors together where they meet. One thing that really helps to set this look apart is to choose a focal point. Then, create intersecting braids starting from that point.
For example, you might have a zigzag braid put into your hair and then use that line as a starting point for braids going in multiple directions that meet at crazy angles. Choose a starting point on your head’s crown and start the braids at that point. Then, create other braids coming from the front to that point.
Crown braids for men
You will feel like royalty when you wear a crown braid or braids. If your hair is long or you want to use synthetic hair, you can have the stylist braid it to encircle your entire head. If your hair is short, have the stylist create two braids that circle half your head and meet in the back.
This braid style can be made using several braiding techniques, but it usually looks best when the braid is relatively thick so that it is more noticeable. You may need to use hair adornments to hold the braid in place. If you use one braid that circles your entire head, the stylist will probably part your hair in the middle and start braiding using either a Dutch braid or reverse French braid in the front and keep working until they get back to the middle part in the front.
Fishbone braids for men
Fishbone braids are very similar to large cornrows, and you can style these braids in many of the same ways. For example, you can have the stylist start at the front and fishbone braid your hair before twisting it into a man bun.
A unique option is to create fishbone braids at different levels coming towards the back of your head and join them together in a ponytail. These braids can be made in many different widths.
So you may want to consider wearing a large one to create a ladder-looking ponytail that runs from the front of your head to the back and have the sides of your head shaved.
Alternatively, you can have all the head on your head shaved off except for the fishbone ponytail, which ends about your neck. Consider having the stylist start numerous fishbone braids at your forehead and join them together in a very short ponytail in the back that almost doesn’t meet.
Reverse braids for men
Typically, when you picture braids in your mind, they end in the back, and the reverse braid does just the opposite and ends in the front. While you can use various braiding techniques, these braids are usually kept relatively short.
If you are afraid that a braid hanging down in front of your face will bother you, then ask the stylist to only reverse braid the hair around your ears because those braids usually barely touch your face.
You can also have reverse braids created that frame your face on one or both sides. Stylists can make these braids any length, but ending them near your strongest facial feature will help draw attention to it naturally.
You can also combine reverse braids with other braiding styles. For example, you can use the starting point for a reverse braid as the starting point for putting intersecting braids into your hair.
French braids for men
While it used to be that men would not be seen in French braids, thankfully, those times are gone, and men can wear French braids in many ways. This braiding technique crosses strands of hair under instead of over when braiding creates a braid that stands up away from the scalp more than regular braids or cornrows.
It is ideal for creating ponytails and man buns. You can go with shaved sides to create a mohawk look or choose an undercut style with one French braid coming down the center of your head. Alternatively, French braids are ideal for creating multiple braids running from your forehead to the back of your head.
You can also choose to leave most of your hair down and wear French side braids, and they will help frame your face and draw attention to it. You can also opt to have beads or other hair adornments added to French braids.
Viking braids for men
Viking braids may be the perfect option if you like the look of a messy braid. Traditionally, these braids consist of a series of three braids that are braided using the French braiding technique. One popular option for guys is to have three braids created at the front of their heads that are evenly spaced apart.
Then, braid the hair at a diagonal so that the braids meet about the middle of the back of the head. Then, combine the three braids into one that flows down your back. You can decide how long you want each braid to be before it joins the main braid.
For example, you may want to start all three braids at your forehead. Alternatively, you may wish to have the two side braids start just above your ears and be smaller and thinner than the main braid.
Ladder braids for men
Ladder braids are braided so that the finished braid looks like a ladder. This is done by grabbing hair from the head on one side and braiding it. Then, hair from the other side of the head is added to the underneath side of the braid.
Therefore, the finished braid will look like some sections have fallen. As with most braid styles, you can wear this braid in many ways. One of my favorites is shaving the head’s sides and wearing a large ladder braid down the middle since this is such a pretty braid.
Whichever way you wear it, be sure to secure the end tightly so that your braid will not fall out. A clear hair rubber can be a great idea if you do not want it showing. Another attractive option is to dye only the hair in the braid to stand out from the rest of your hair.
Tribal braids for men
Traditionally, tribal braids were small braids starting at the forehead and going back to the neck’s nape. Historians suggest that the Fulani tribe may have first worn them in West Africa to celebrate their culture. You can wear tribal braids in many ways, and they can be made in various thicknesses.
Typically, stylists use the same braiding technique as they do for cornrows. Usually, tribal braids are worn long. They often end from the shoulder to the middle of the back. While many people still opt to have their hair parted in the middle, side parts are also possible.
Many men choose to have a bead placed at the end of each of their braids. Some men feel this is a great way to celebrate their African roots. Look across the National Football League, and you will see many players wearing this style. The league has ruled that hair is part of the player’s uniform, so it is legal to use it when tackling another player.
Spider braids for men
A talented stylist can create a spider braid on top of your head. This braid style, customarily done with short hair, looks like a spider with numerous legs when viewed from the top. Most stylists will use a dreadlock braiding technique when creating this look.
The excellent news for men is this style can be put in with very short hair, but it will act as a protectant for your hair. Therefore, consider it while waiting for your hair to grow out. It is also an ideal summer haircut because the large spaces between braids help air get to your scalp while it is circulating.
Some men who are committed to this style even have the spaces between the braids tattooed so that the spider shape becomes even more apparent. This is a fun hairstyle to wear in the fall.
Waterfall braids for men
Men who are looking for an upscale to do with their hair will want to consider a waterfall braid. This hairstyle usually starts at the forehead with a French braid. Once the hair reaches the back of the head, then the hair is gathered with a hair adornment and left to fall naturally.
There are at least two reasons that I really love this hairstyle. First, it adds visual interest to the back of your head. Secondly, it controls the hair in the front, so it does not fall in your face or get blown there.
This option goes up quickly compared to many styles on the list. Therefore, it is excellent for men who want to try braids but cannot afford to sit in a stylist’s chair for hours. In fact, you can do this braid in your own hair if it is long enough.
Two-strand Twist braids for men
A two-strand twist is created by sectioning your hair into multiple little sections. Then, divide the hair into two sections and wrap one around the other. These twists last up to five weeks, making them ideal for people leading busy lifestyles.
Generally, this style puts less stress on a man’s hair, so your hair is likely to receive less damage. Two-strand twists can be done on any hair length over 2 inches. Your stylist can create hundreds of micro-twists, but if you are in a hurry, consider having them create chunky twists.
One possible option is to have coarse Marley hair extensions twisted into your hair, but if you like a smoother look, then choose Sengalese hair extensions. In either case, you can twist smaller sections of your hair together to create the look you want. Talk to the stylist about different options because new styles of twists are constantly being invented.
Rope braids for men
Rope braids are another very simple braid style to do with your natural hair, assuming it is long. You can incorporate as much of your hair as you want. One look that I really like is to start the rope braid near the forehead and keep twisting in the hair as I work my way back until I finally gather all my hair into a ponytail.
This is a look that works well for men as well as women. You may also want to start two rope braids at your forehead and bring them together in a ponytail in the back. With either of these looks, you can decide how much hair you want to incorporate into the braid.
Another option is to create multiple little braids in your hair near the forehead and bring them back to meet in a high man bun. Instead of ending them in a bun or a ponytail, you can also choose to end each braid with a hair rubber.
Pineapple box braids for men
A pineapple box braid is an excellent choice if you have curly hair. This braid style creates grooves in your hair resembling the outside of a pineapple, so that is where it gets its name. This style is typically worn in a man bun placed on top of your head, but you can choose to create multiple smaller pineapples if you desire.
There are several reasons that this braid style may be perfect for you. Its messiness means that each curl does not have to stay in one place. Since the bun is high on the head, many men find it easier to sleep in this style.
The style also minimizes fizz, making it perfect for rainy times of the year. You can easily change the look by tying bandanas around your hair. For example, you can match the colors in your outfit or choose a different type of fabric, like cotton or silk, depending on what you are wearing.
Tapered fohawk braid
If you are still determining if a mohawk is the right look for you, consider a fohawk instead. The difference between a mohawk and a fohawk is that the hair is left on the side of the head instead of being shaved off.
You can wear almost any style of braid in the middle of your head. Traditional choices include Dutch, French and ladder braids. You can also choose to have the stylist put in rows of dreadlocks or go for a unique look by wearing a reverse braid.
The width of the fohawk can easily be adjusted. You can choose to have the hair on the sides of your head cut shorter all at once or go with a more tapered look. Wearing fohawks was extremely popular in the early 2000s after European soccer star David Beckham started wearing them, and they have never gone out of style since.
Lattice braids for men
Lattice braids are an excellent option for men because it leaves your hair with little diamond shapes. One way to wear this look is to create lattice braids on top of the rest of your hair. In that case, start in one corner and gel your hair down with styling gel.
Braid one section at a time, allowing the braids to intersect to form the diamond shapes. Ensure this style stays in your hair by using a hair tie to hold them wherever they intersect with another braid.
You can make this look more noticeable by dying the hair used only in your braids or leaving your hair hanging down. Almost any style of braiding can be used, but many men stick with a simple three-strand braid and allow the intricate design to steal the show.
Halo braids for men
Halo braids consist of one long braid braided along your hairline. Stylists can do them with your natural hair if it is long enough or synthetic hair. You can easily incorporate beads or other items into this style to attract more attention.
Various braiding techniques can be used, but most stylists will try to create a raised braid, often a round one, so that the halo is more noticeable. Most halo braids are done without dying the hair, but if you want a unique look, consider adding an ombre braid.
When done with your natural hair and a three-strand braiding technique, this braid can go into your hair amazingly quickly and come out just as fast, making it an excellent choice for those who want to braid their hair for a special event.
Smoke pop braids for men
Smoke pop braids take their name from the rapper Smoke Pop, who passed away in 2020. Many men get as close to his distinctive style as possible when putting these braids into their hair, but many variations are available.
Instead of running from the front to the back of your hair, these braids usually start from a center part with numerous braids placed along it. Men with hair of various lengths can wear this style.
It is an excellent choice for men with short hair who want to grow their hair longer. Some people have also gone away from the center part to a zigzag feature, which allows them to create unique designs with their braids.
As with most braided hair, the smaller the braid, the more likely it is to damage your hair. Therefore, if you are going to have the stylist install small braids, ensure that your hair is in great shape.
Layered braids for men
Layered braids are a unique look that you may want to experiment with if you are a guy. These braids are usually long and flow most of the way down the back. They consist of two or three layers placed on top of each other.
For example, the hair against your scalp may be left unbraided with a ladder braid placed on top of that and tiny Viking braids placed on top of the ladder braid. Any braiding style can be used, so you can get creative in how you have the stylist braid your hair.
As I have already shared, the most common way to create a layered braid look is with a ponytail, but it can also be an excellent option for mohawks if you want your hair to appear taller.
Consider having the stylist put a waterfall or lattice braid over another type of braid with your natural hair underneath to create a layered look.
Crochet braids for men
Crochet braids are synthetic braids that the stylist braids into your hair after cornrowing it. The advantage of this braiding style is that your natural hair gets protected in two ways, making it an excellent choice for men with damaged hair.
The finished look of crochet braids can be almost any braid style that starts with cornrowing, so long braids, man buns, and other looks are possible. The stylist will use a special hair crochet needle to add the crochet braids.
Most pre-styled cornrow braids come with a special loop that allows the stylist to attach the hair to your cornrowed hair easily. If the hair does not have attached loops, then the stylist will form a loop in the synthetic hair where they will attach it to your natural hair.
Since the crochet braids protect most of your natural hair, this style can be worn for up to 12 weeks. You can wash the synthetic hair like you do your own. Like other styles, you should concentrate on keeping your scalp clean and touching your hair as little as possible.
In this chapter, we’ve covered the most well-known types of braids for men. Still, if you are interested in learning more about types of braids in general, please check our post Types of Braids. Here we cover the subject from a broader perspective. Even if some braid styles are often used by women instead of men, it doesn’t mean you cannot braid your hair one way or another. Besides, you might get a comprehensive view of braids in general. So, do not hesitate to expand your knowledge.
While you are making up your mind about which style you like the best, keep reading the rest of this post. I will discuss how to maintain braided hair in much more detail. If you are undecided if braids are for you, learning how to maintain them may help you make up your mind.
How to maintain braids for men
Now that you have decided what type of braids you want, it is natural to have questions about how to maintain them. While talking to your stylist is always a great idea because they can give you specifics about your particular braid style and hair type, I will provide you with some generalized advice in this chapter.
Unless you choose a braid style that you put in for the day, most braids should last about six weeks, and it is those braids that we will be focusing on in this chapter.
Maintaining your braids is essential for at least three reasons. First, braids that are not maintained start stinking after a while, and no one wants that. Secondly, maintaining your braids helps them to look great for longer.
Since it is expensive to have braids put in, you want to wear them as long as possible. Third, you want them to look great so that you are presenting yourself in a favorable light.
The great news is that taking care of your braids is usually not expensive or time-consuming. Therefore, you should not let the thought of maintaining braids stop you from getting them.
Ensure your hair is in excellent condition
Your hair needs to be in great condition before you have a stylist put in braids. Before you have braids put in, your hair should be shiny and smooth. If you have curly hair, it should bounce back to its original length quickly when you stretch out a strand.
Furthermore, your hair should detangle very easily. If the weather turns humid, your hair is not entirely out of control. If you are new to wearing braids, talk to the stylist about trimming your hair two to three weeks before getting it braided, as that will help it get even healthier.
There are also some signs that you may need to work on getting your hair healthier before braiding. While braiding is a protective hairstyle, it can stress your hair. If your hair tangles easily, does not shine, or you shed a lot of hair daily, you need to delay getting it braided and work with a stylist to get your hair healthier.
Start with clean hair in most cases
Except for Viking braids, the stylist will wash your hair before they braid it. You can help them by ensuring your hair is squeaky clean before arriving at their shop. When choosing your shampoo, consider the type of scalp that you have.
A healthy scalp produces healthy hair. If your scalp is oily, choose a volumizing shampoo and avoid moisturizing options as they will cause even more oil. Alternatively, if your scalp is dry, avoid shampoos with sulfates.
When choosing a shampoo, you will also want to consider your hair’s texture. A volumizing shampoo is an ideal choice for people with fine hair.
Balancing shampoos are an excellent choice for people with curly hair, but if you have medium-textured straight hair, use a moisturizing shampoo. Finally, use fortifying shampoo if your hair is brittle or breaks easily.
Oil your scalp regularly
Especially if you have braids with some space showing your scalp, you may need to oil your scalp regularly because water helps clean your scalp, but oil locks in the moisture. You should only use a few drops, as too much will cause crud to build up on your scalp.
Men with dry or fizzy hair will want to consider using coconut oil because its fatty and lauric acids will help lock in moisture and feed your hair follicles. If your scalp is flaky, add a drop or two of pure tree tea oil to the coconut oil.
Alternatively, if your hair becomes brittle, apply castor oil to your scalp, as it will help feed the hair follicles. Whichever oil you choose, you can put it on at night before going to bed. On the other hand, you can put it on 20 to 30 minutes before you take your bath.
Wash your braids every two to three days
As I mentioned a couple of times in the last chapter, you need to be careful not to rub the braids too hard when washing your hair, but you still need to wash them every two to three days. Always concentrate on cleaning your scalp and your hair’s roots.
When you shower, use lukewarm water as hot water will dry out your hair faster. Then, let the water run over your head for a few minutes before using the right shampoo for your hair and scalp conditions.
In order to better control where the shampoo goes, put it in a squeeze bottle with a pointed top. Dilute the shampoo with water and use it on your hair. This ensures that the shampoo gets down between your braids, where it will help clean your scalp and hair roots. You can gently move the braids around if needed so that you clean all of your scalp.
Use a microfiber towel to dry your hair
Never rub your braids with a towel, especially cotton ones, because it can make them come undone. Instead, use a microfiber towel as it is more absorbent. When you get out of the shower, put the towel over your head and gently pat your hair.
Then, if your braids are longer, gather as many of them as you can and squeeze them so that you get as much excess water out as possible.
Finally, wrap the gathered braids in the towel and squeeze them again. Ensure that you avoid twisting the braids while drying your hair, which can make them come undone.
Instead, apply straight pressure to them. It is best to let the braids finish drying naturally, but if you use a hair dryer, use one with a diffuser. Always leave the hair dryer at its lowest setting because added heat will draw moisture out of your hair.
Sleep with your head covered
When getting ready for bed, wrap your braids in a silk or satin head covering. Cotton, linen and many other fabrics have too coarse a texture and can cause friction as you turn during the night. Then, your hair will break.
If your hair is long enough to put into a ponytail, start by gathering your hair into the ponytail and using a hair adornment to hold them in place. Then, take the scarf and fold one corner down to meet the corner on the opposite side, forming a triangle.
Place the folded edge on the back of your neck. Then, pull the sides up to meet in the front. Be sure that all the ends are securely tucked in the scarf. Tie the two ends together on your forehead. Then, wrap the ends around the back of your head and tie them there again.
Try to keep your hair as clean as possible
When you have braids, keeping your hair as clean as possible is essential. Whenever you go outside, wear a hat and tuck your braids into it. I had a friend with braids who decided she would compete in a mud run.
If you have seen photos from these runs, you know that the participants get really muddy as they crawl through mud-filled obstacles and mud puddles. She wore a shower cap during the race because getting all that mud out of her hair would have been impossible without taking down her beautiful braids.
You will also want to touch your hair as little as possible. When you touch your hair, you remove its natural oils. Then, your hair has less moisture, which means it will break easier. Some people naturally do not touch their hair much, while others must work hard to remember to keep their hands out of their hair.
Sleep on a silky pillowcase
The smooth texture of a soft pillowcase will help protect your braids. Its silky texture ensures that you do not cause delicate hair strands to break because of friction caused by other types of pillowcases. Sleeping on a silky pillowcase also encourages your hair to move as you move during the night, so it puts less tension on your hair.
Furthermore, since cotton is absorbent, it can draw moisture out of your hair as you sleep. Meanwhile, silk does not take out moisture, so your hair stays better hydrated, which can be an essential key to helping your braids stay longer and look better.
When shopping for a new silk pillowcase, look for options made from mulberry silk because your hair will stay less frizzy. These pillowcases offer the advantage of helping your head stay cooler at night, so your scalp will not sweat as much.
Massage your scalp weekly.
If you want to keep your hair clean and promote its growth, then massaging your scalp can help. The process may also result in less dandruff and other flaky scalp conditions. Therefore, your hair will look shinier and even more handsome. Over time, massaging your scalp may also make your hair strands thicker.
The process of massaging your scalp is best done using the same oils that we talked about earlier. If you want your hair to grow more quickly, add a drop or two of pure rosemary, lavender, cedarwood, and thyme essential oil to the oil.
You should massage your scalp using a circular motion. Never try to massage your scalp using your fingernails. Instead, use the fleshy part of your fingers, just like giving someone a back massage. Be extremely careful not to scratch the scalp, as that creates microscopic cuts where moisture and nutrients can escape.
Save to get your braids redone regularly
Before you decide to get braids, you need to plan how you will pay to get your hair re-braided in five to eight weeks. Only let your hair go as long as your hair stylist recommends it for an unusual reason. Many people find it easier to put a little back on each paycheck instead of paying for it out of one paycheck.
You can tuck the cash away in a special envelope that you keep in a secure place. We all tend to spend money on things that we find most valuable. If you are going to have braids, then it needs to be high on your priority list.
Many people have their hair braided to avoid damage to their natural hair. When you leave your hair braided for too long, it becomes brittle. Therefore, you are undoing the reason that you got braids. Your hair needs time to relax and return to its natural condition for a few minutes.
In the next section, I will share some concluding thoughts. Therefore, I encourage you to keep reading. You will not want to miss these thoughts. I will also ask you a couple of favors, so be sure not to stop reading now.
Did you ever dream there were so many ways for men to have their hair braided? If you have braids, we would love to see a photo of them and learn why you chose this style.
While I have tried to make everything straightforward, if you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask them. It is how we all learn together.
If you have a friend you think would look great in braids, please share this post with them. It may act as a subtle hint that they need to get their hair braided and help them pick out the perfect style.
Now that we have finished looking at men’s braids, I encourage you to check our other fashion posts. Each has lots of helpful information in it.