Summer Black Braided Hairstyles
Braids for days. Courtesy of Shaniqwa Jarvis

Outside of the endless sartorial possibilities that summer brings, the season is also a prime time to elevate your beauty game. Perhaps your mind goes to metallic eyeshadow and trends like Hailey Bieber's new favorite peachy beachy makeup. For black women everywhere, one word comes to mind when thinking of summer and beauty — braids.

Braids have become one of the most popular hairstyles among the black community and for good reason. They not only produce gorgeous creations, they're also protective, especially if you have a thick texture and want to combat the season's relentless humidity. Styles like knotless braids and cornrows, which can be worn in different shapes and sizes, are go-tos for tropical getaways because of their effortless styling versatility. On the other hand, braided ponytails and buns serve as sophisticated styles for fancy, warm-weather soirées.

Besides their unmatched wearability, braids have a rich history that dates back to 3500 BC in Africa, which marked the first sighting of cornrows. Braid patterns served as a symbol of social class, marital status, power, religion and a person's tribe. They were even used as a way for slaves to communicate with each other as they navigated paths to freedom.

Since then, braids have evolved into a cultural phenomenon that's worn on many occasions, from the salon to the red carpet. From Zendaya's red box braids and Zoë Kravitz's bohemian goddess braids to Alicia Keys' braided buns, the style has a staying power like no other. So whether you're going on vacation or you're in need of a confidence-boosting change, keep scrolling for some of the best black braided hairstyles to add to your repertoire this season.

Knotless Braids

Jumbo Box Braids


Cornrows With Curls

Fulani Braids

Freestyle Plaits

The Braided Baldie

Braided Top Knot

Half Up, Half Down

Twisted Mohawk

Natural Boho Braids

Boho Braids

Zoë Kravitz Braids

Braided Bantu Knots

Braided Updo

Beaded Braids

Knotless Braids With Curls

Shell Cornrows

Tanavoho Braids

Sculptural Braids

Koroba Braids

Braided Ponytail

Braids With a 'Fro

High Ponytail

Freestyle Beaded Braids

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