Types of Braids: A List of African Braiding Styles W/ Video Tutorials/Pictures?

types of braids

Types of braids – when it comes to find that perfect style for the summer the decision is always made based on how hot the whether is and how easy the hairstyle is or whether it’s protective style or not. Hey, it’s summertime!  At the end of the day, I always gravitate to the all but famous ‘braid styles’.  I love the fact that there are so many types of braids I can rock different time of the hot and messy summer months.

I think sometimes we get confused when we see another woman with a beautiful braided style not knowing if they are regular twists, Senegalese twists, or Marley twists. Even the cornrow styles, there is subtle differences in Ghana braids verses regular cornrows braid styles.  There many differences subtlety between these many types of braids, so I have narrowed down some fabulous braid styles that I know you’ll love and want to rock this summer for sure!

Types of Braids by Popularity

#1. Kinky Twists vs Marley Twists

kinky twists vs marley twists hairstyles

Both kinky and Marley twist styles are so gorgeous and really can look very natural to the eye.  A lot of African braiding styles are like this.  But there is a not-so-obvious difference between the two, and it mainly being the type of hair used and the length.  Kinky twists often used a shorter type of braiding hair and the ends of the twists form a more natural curl at the ends.  Marley twists, in the other hands, are thicker, which project a little duller look then the kinky twists, and the ends do not have a curl to them at all. Two of my personal favorite types of braids!

Video Credit: teeday6

When looking at the difference of hair for the two twist styles, you may be able to tell right away if you’re a hair expert that, kinky twist hair has a softer looking curl pattern, and the hair is normally shorter.  With Marley hair, it’s more coarse and comes twice as long as far as length concerns .  Both types of braids styles are very natural looking African braiding style and if the person rocking it decide  to go for a shorter braid style, kinky twists are a must try.  But if you she wants a more sultry and long natural and luscious look, Marley twists is the way to go.

#2. Cornrows vs Ghana Braids

cornrows vs ghana braidsstyles

Without really analyzing the details of cornrows and experimenting with a few designs I would have never realize how unique and intricate Ghana braids are when wearing this African braiding style with cornrows verses  the regular cornrow style my mama and aunt used to do on my hair when during my teenage years.  So in finding these differences, Ghana braids have more of a banana shape to the design, and  the braiding techniques are totally unique.

Video Credit: Braid Styles

With the Ghana cornrow, you start off braiding your natural hair first and then intertwine the extension hair.  With a basic cornrow style you start the hair extensions from the root to the ends.  Both braid styles are equally pleasing, but if you want a specific pattern and design, Ghana braids will give you just a little more edge.

#3. Havana Twists vs Senegalese Twists

havana vs senegalese twists

From personal experience,  because I’m literally rocking some Senegalese twists now, I never knew really the difference between Havana twists and Senegalese twists until a few years ago.  In my eyes they both looked like radiant types of braids styles, but there’s a little bit of uniqueness to the two.  Havana twists are visually more thicker, and in length they are normally half way down the back or shorter.

Video Credit: ChelsNewNew

With Senegalese I feel like the hair has more of a sheen to it, smaller size of the twists and most of the time the hair is worn super long.  With Senegalese twists you get to wear your hair in more various styles, because the twists are smaller.  When it comes to Havana twists you definitely get variety as well, but more of basic styles usually.

#4. Marley Locs/ Yarn Locs

faux locs vs marley vs yarn braids styles

Yes, so there is a huge difference in these two braiding methods.  The stylist did an amazing job on pulling off the look as natural looking locs.  I admire the two different loc styles, because they both give off a different loc look.  With the yarn locs that texture really gave off a believable loc look.  One thing about yarn too is the variety of colors your able to use, they are endless. With Marley locs, the hair used made the locs look chunkier, but gave a little nice sheen to them.  I pleasantly like the two equally, and it be so fun to just try all of them!

Video Credit: LoveNaturally

Other Types of Braids – List of African Braiding Styles

#5. Box Braids aka Poetic Justice Braids

box braids aka poetic justice braids

Those who believed box braids were never going to come back, shame on you for not having faith. Remember, Janet Jackson on the movie ‘Poetic Justice?’ Well, the long braids she had on are box braids re-branded poetic justice braids. Fast forward to 2015 from the 90’s, box braids are back. They are simply three-strand twists braided together. My recommendation is to for smaller box braids not the big ones..my preference.

TUTORIAL: How to Install Box Braids for Beginners

Video Credit: teeday6

#6. Nubian Twists

nubian twists hairstyles

Nubian twists look natural and gorgeous, especially when rocking them short. You can even add a little highlights to the extensions for some flavor. They’re flexible and best worn during the summer as a protective style to keep the heat off your neck.

TUTORIAL: How to do Nubian Twists for Beginners

Video Credit: Ninisis Locs

#7. Micro Braids / Tree Braids

micro tree braids tutorial

If you want to do micro and tree braids yourself you will need to dedicate a lot of time and have pretty of it to kill. Micro means super small and take a look at the branches of a tree and you’ll find out how your tree braids will look. They both are super tiny braids. These types of braids are braided near the root. I would recommend you visit a specialized braids stylist and ask for tree braids instead of micro. But if you have time to keep and brave enough to try them, below is a video tutorial for beginners.

TUTORIAL: Micro / Tree Braids for Beginners

Video Credit: Lucilious37

Well, I hope you hair fanatics have learned the difference between these different types of braids styles but also which style will be the next one you rock for the summer.  I believe it’s all about experimentation and seeing what fits you best.  So with all the endless African  braiding styles that are out there, I know you will find a winner or two from our listed types of braids!