Braided hairstyles have made a comeback over the last couple of years in Nigerian hair trends. Before this, braids were seen as low compared to weavons and extensions, but not anymore. Braids are seen as just as glamorous and trendy as weavons and there are plenty to pick from. But we have made it easier for you by compiling a list of 20 Nigerian braided hairstyles to have you feeling like a million bucks.
Classic Nigerian Braid Hairstyles
Braid hairstyles are very popular among African and Caribbean black people. Here We have compiled 20 best-braided hairstyles for Nigerian women.
1. All Back Cornrows
Cornrows are a classic braided hairstyle. They can be made with extensions or without extensions. The simple ‘all-back” cornrow is a hairstyle that suits all faces and is convenient for keeping your hair away from your face
The ‘shuku’ is a braided ponytail that has been around for ages in Nigeria, long before it became popular in mainstream America. It is done by braiding the hair upwards into a bun.
The ‘clap’ is a similar Nigerian braided hairstyle to the shuku mentioned above, but instead of forming a bun, the cornrows face each other like the palms look when clapped, hence the name. It is a simple look, although it is currently overshadowed by the shuku look which has gone global.
4. Single Braids
Single box braids like most braid hairstyles in Nigeria are a classic. You can wear them with extensions or without extensions. With extensions, they can take up to 7 hours depending on their sizes but without extensions, they can be done under an hour or two, once again depending on the sizes and the density of your hair.
5. Goddess Braids
Goddess braids also known as crown braids involve braiding the hair across the edges or ‘front’ of the head. They are regal looking hence the name, ‘goddess braids’. They are not time-consuming as they can be completed under minutes. For bigger braids and the best look, you can add some extensions, but if your hair volume is just right, you may not need that.
6. Two Braid Pigtails
Twin braid pigtails are laid-back styles that are convenient and casual. This is the Nigerian braided hairstyle you wear when you have errands to run on a weekend, or when you have other activities that require a no-fuss hairstyle. You can add some extensions if you want it bigger and longer. On shorter hair, you can tuck in the ends.
7. Zigzag Braids
The zigzag is a creative take on the classic cornrows. While the classic cornrows are straight, the zigzag has bends as it’s braided down a straight line. The zigzag cornrows could consist of only zig-zags or they could include tiny straight corn rows in between for some extra jazz. Accessorize with some wooden beads to make it even better.
8. Side Didi
The side didi is a unique braided hairstyle for women that is common in south-western Nigeria. Unlike mainstream cornrows, it looks more similar to french braids that have been done sideways. They are unique and add some dimension to the hair.
Side dee-dees are usually done without braid hair although, in the case that you want to add some extensions, it can be done for you.
9. Inverted Cornrows
This braided hairstyle is popularly called French braids. They are like normal cornrows but inside out, this gives the cornrows a flat finish and zip like pattern. On its own, it can be used to create other styles such as the pompadour and other updo styles, but it can also be braided in rows as is common among Nigerian women.
10. Layered Braids
Braiding in steps is a simple way to make cornrows look even more fabulous. This Nigerian braid hairstyle creates dimension and volume and is more durable protective styles than box braids which get rough easily.
11. Differently Sized Cornrows
Having all cornrows in one size is a look, but the combination of big sized braids and tiny sized braids looks even better. This style can be done with extensions for a bolder finish, but without extensions, they would look equally good.
12. Half Braided Updo
The half updo has been a popular braid style among Nigerian women for some time now. It involves braiding one half of the hair to form a ponytail while braiding the second half down and flat. It’s a chic way to change your look if you think the full-on updo is too basic for you.
13. Braids and Fringe
Braids don’t have to be long, they can be made into bangs as well. This Nigerian hairstyle with braids is perfect for people who have short hair as they won’t need to cut their hair to meet the desired length of the bangs.
14. Braided Ninja Buns
Ninja buns are an edgy take on the lazy bun and we are loving it. To create ninja braided buns, section your hair in two parts. Braid one part from the crown of your head till about midway, then braid the same section from the nape of your neck upwards until the middle section.
Use an elastic to secure the ends of both braids into one, then create a knot for the bun. Repeat the same thing on the second section and you’re good to go.
15. Braided Locs
Contrary to what many people think, locs can be versatile and don’t have to hang loose all the time. They can be curled up, knotted up and most importantly, braided. Each strand can be woven into a box braid kind of look or they can be flat woven to look like a cornrow.
16. Mini Twists
Mini twists are famous among naturalists. Although both relaxed and natural-haired Nigerian ladies can wear mini twists, the aesthetic is often more pleasant with natural hair as the ends curl into itself rather than sticking out. It is often worn as a protective style, that is to minimize hair manipulation and therefore prevent hair breakage.
Mini twists also create a defined twist-out look when unraveled, so you get to rock two styles in one hairdo.
The braid out is the aftereffect of taking down your braids. It’s popular in the natural hair community as a low-manipulation hairstyle. Although, technically, you can achieve a braid out by loosening the braids of any of the aforementioned braid styles for Nigerian women.
For the best results, it’s best to section and braid your clean hair, using the right products. The result would be fluffy curls with lots of volumes.
18. Braided Pompadour
When you think of the pompadour, it is common to picture loose hair that has been rolled and tucked. But a pompadour doesn’t have to be loose, it can be done with a combination of cornrows on the sides and single braids in the middle, rolled up and tucked in at the crown of your head. This braid style can be worn for formal events like balls, dinners and even church.
19. Half Cornrow and Single Braids
This is just as versatile as having only single braids all over your head. With your hair cornrowed half way and braided individually the rest of the way, you can have an all-back laidback look, switch up to a high bun or low bun. But the most important thing is that you would have your hair away from your face.
20. Feed-in Braids
Feed-in braids are a convenient hairstyle for Nigerian women. It’s like cornrow 2.0. It is neat and involves cutting the hair into sections within sections and braiding it down.