30 best African braids hairstyles 2021 (with pictures)

30 best African braids hairstyles 2021 (with pictures)

Are you looking for the latest hairstyles for ladies in South Africa? The fact that braids are simple, versatile, and cost-friendly makes them a good option when considering easy to go hair styling options. Besides, these styles are protective considering that they do not require constant combing and exposure to both chemicals, and they are also desirable for faster hair growth. Additionally, your hair will remain untangled even when beating a rainy day or having a good time at the swimming pool.

30 best African braids hairstyles 2021
African braids hairstyles 2021. Photo: @Afrohairarchive (modified by author)
Source: UGC

For all you know, braiding is one of the most popular natural African hairdos that come in multiples, and unlikely to run out fashion. African hair braiding styles pictures provide endless options that will undoubtedly leave you indecisive on the most suitable style. However, our description should not only inform but also guide you on the most appropriate hair styling option for a flaunting look. So, join several other famous African ladies that cannot resist this hairdo by reading further for insightful details on favorite braids hairstyles and why these styles are suitable for both formal and informal occasions.

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30 best African braids hairstyles 2021

What are the most popular braids? Regardless of the type of hair extensions you opt for, these braids hairstyles 2021 pictures will help you settle for the perfect hairdo that will bring out your best facial features and enhance your looks.

1. Big bun

Easy knotless braid bun
Easy knotless braid bun. Photo: @BellaRingss
Source: Twitter

This styling option is among the favorite for most stylish African beauties. Most elements about the style look epic and will undoubtedly turn heads regardless of the occasion. You can loosely hold the bun or tightly hold all the plaited hair, depending on your preference.

2. Down-to-there platinum hair

30 best African braids hairstyles 2021
Mary J. Blige. Photo: @KimbleHairCare
Source: Twitter

South African women cannot resist this creative styling option that stole scenes at Essence Fest. Of course, Mary J. Blige brought this fancy hairstyle from New Orleans Streets with her, and its stunning appearance is worth trying if you are bold enough to rock the color. You may opt to leave the extensions hanging or tie them neatly as shown above.

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3. High ponytail styling

30 best African braids hairstyles 2021
Trendy Stitch Braids With High Ponytail. Photo: @elisavin67
Source: Twitter

Are you confident of your facial features? Then high ponytail is the style to go for. It can be done on cornrows plaited with hair extensions, or single strands can be plaited into the style as shown above. If you love top featuring hairdos with colored extensions, you can go for platinum high pony style below.

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4. Side bun with a neat circular knot at the back

Side bun braids hairstyle
Side bun braids. Photo: africanbraidingaustralia
Source: Instagram

Looking for a classy way to tie those plaited hair extension strands? You can style them by making a neat side bun and tying the remaining hair in a circular knot at the back. This combination to some extent hides the not so good facial features and prevents the discomfort of hair falling on your face. This hairdo is suitable for brides as it holds the tiara and the veil nicely.

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5. Unicorn dreams styled in two ponytails

Colored African braids hairstyles 2021
Two braided ponytails. Photo: @unicorn.curls
Source: Instagram

The hairstyle comes with a colorful style characteristic, and it is interesting how it is tied in two high ponytails. If you are daring to try rainbow braids, you can style them in high ponytails as above and apply matching make up to stand out. This is not a very appropriate styling alternative for the office and formal events as it screams your presence.

6. Side swept cornrows

Latest African braids hairstyles
Latest African braids hairstyles. Photo: @maboplus
Source: Instagram

Side swept always enhances one's looks, more so when neatly organized as shown above. You can do this style using your favorite color of braids.

7. Kandy cornrows

Kandy cornrows 2021
Kandy cornrows. Photo: @beyondthetangles
Source: Instagram

The yellow and orange-colored hair extensions are visually compelling with an edible feel that makes them extra attractive. While not many people cherish Kandy corn, they are a catch for daring girls looking for a perfect fit hairstyle.

8. Stylish cornrows with strands of plaited hair extensions

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cornrows styles 2021
Cornrows style. Photo: @maboplus
Source: Instagram

Tired of straight back or one design of cornrows? You can opt for some lines going to the middle and some falling on the sides, with braids at the back or cornrows from the back to the middle. You can then take a number of plaited hair and create a bigger strand. This combination looks complicated, but you will love your choice.

9. Beads for days

Beaded braids 2021
Beaded braids. Photo: @ghanaianhairstyles
Source: Instagram

Now, some of us love beads, and if given the opportunity, we can include them on our head to toe outfits. Beaded braids give you a classy but traditional look, and you can add other accessories selectively so that you do not overdo the ornaments.

10. Curved straight backs with low bun

Curved straight backs with low bun
Curved straight backs with low bun. Photo: @lanishahairalbum
Source: Instagram

Instead of letting your curved straight backs hang on your shoulders, you can opt to tie them in a neat low bun as shown above. This will prevent hair from irritating your hair and also allow you to show off your beautiful facial features.

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11. Braids and buns

Braids and buns 2021
Braids and buns. Photo: @indalonubiannaturals
Source: Instagram

Intricate style lovers have a reason to smile with plaited strands and bun touches. A couple of front buns and the hanging hair extensions make up this amazing style that looks good on both adults and children. Elevate your ordinary looks to the next level with this neatly done hairdo.

12. Up top hairdo

30 best African braids hairstyles 2021
African braids. Photo: @uptophair13
Source: Instagram

Up-top hairdo comes in different sizes, depending on one's tastes and preference. This simple but elegant style also looks good on men, and you can accessorize it with beads.

Men braids hairstyles 2021
Men braids. Photo: @chantfarrar
Source: Instagram

13. Crowned hairdo

crowned African braids hairstyles 2021
Crowned hairdo. Photo: @konfidence_is_ki_.
Source: Instagram

Want to feel like a queen or princess? Then the crowned hairdo is one that you should go for, as it will give you full-time crown as long as you have this hairdo. For a distinct crown, more hair extensions are combined neatly on the sides to form the hairdo.

Crown braid hairstyles
Crown braid hairstyles. Photo: @styledbymrstacey
Source: Instagram
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14. Fulani hairdo

Fulani braids 2021
Fulani braids. Photo: @mobuplus, @braidskulture
Source: Instagram

Fulani are some of the most common braids hairstyles in SA. You can accessorize with appropriate ornaments to get a killer look, and you can opt for the high pony look or straight backs.

15. Half up, half down

Half up half down hairdo
Half up half down hairdo. Photo: @dtouched_.
Source: Instagram

Half up, half down hairstyle is stunning however simple, and it will let you keep that chunk of hair off your face. The half up brings out the beautiful features of the face, and the half down draws attention to the sides, making it hard for people to notice your flaws.

16. Straight backs

Straight back African braids hairstyles 2021
Straight back African braids. Photo: @resie_braids, @atouchofessence
Source: Instagram

Straight backs are back in fashion as if they never left! This simple style when neatly done enhances the looks of an individual and is a must-try look this year. You may opt for very straight backs, wavy straight backs, big, or small ones.

17. Stitched hairstyles

best African braids hairstyles 2021
Top hairstyles. Photo: @chikistyle.unique, @eliteglamstudio_ 317_shay_braidz, @shes_hair_savvy
Source: Instagram

Have you noted the difference between straight backs and stitched hair extensions? With simple straight backs, no definite pattern is brought out when plaiting. On the other hand, stitched hair extensions require a distinct pattern to be realized, and it can be done as straight back or plaited towards the center of the head like the last picture above, or even in a side-swept as shown below.

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18. Box braids hairstyles 2021

1. Long boxed hair extensions loosely held

African braids hairstyles 2021
African braids hairstyles 2021. Photo: @glambiologist_, @ simiestyles, @blackhairomg
Source: Instagram

For the lovers of length, neatly done long box hairdo is a style that you should try before the year ends. You can do big or small box braids hairstyles depending on your taste and preference. This style is very neat and makes your face look longer, and you have the option of simply leaving the hair hanging and still leave heads turning.

2. Short box hairdo and half up do

short African braids hairstyles
Short African braids, Photo: @delilah_braids
Source: Instagram

Did you know that you can do an updo with short hair extensions? Here, the plaited hair extension does not go beyond the neck, and you can tie the ones at the front in a neat up do as shown above. You may also opt for big, short box plaited strands and tie them loosely as shown below

best African braids hairstyles
Best African braids hairstyles. Photo: @shabies_hair_style, @braidsbynik
Source: Instagram

3. Twisted box

30 best African braids hairstyles
Twisted box. Photo: @gracilyndiamond_london
Source: Instagram

Box hairdos do not limit you to three strands plaiting hairstyle. You can opt for a twisted alternative as shown above and further enhance the look with a front updo.

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19. Criss-cross goddess hairstyle

30 best African braids hairstyles
Braided hairstyle. Photo: @profusionhair
Source: Instagram

These chunky cornrows, criss-crossing each other as shown above are a protective hairstyle that takes a short time to do an undo. If neatly done, you can rock this simple but gorgeous hairstyle to work and other social functions. Also, you can opt for several criss-crosses and smaller size of hair extension.

20. Neat, simple tie at the front

2021 best African braids hairstyles
African braids hairstyles. Photo: @_bettyrose
Source: Instagram

So, you want to tie the plaited hair extension at the middle of your head but do not want them hanging. You can neatly style the ends in a simple tie at the front as shown above. The advantage of this hairstyle is that it is not full-time, and you can quickly change the hairstyle when necessary.

21. Bow tie hairstyle

amazing African braids hairstyles
Bow tie hairstyle. Photo: @besamnatural
Source: Instagram

Do you want to go an extra mile to make the desired fashion statement? Styling your plaited hair extension in a neat bow tie is the way to go. You can use hair-clips to achieve this look.

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22. Braided Mohawk

30 best African braids hairstyles 2021
Braided Mohawk. Photo: @blackhair_flair
Source: Instagram

Does not she look amazingly beautiful? This style can be done on any types of hair extensions, whether you have shaved sides or have hair all round. Instead of leaving the ends hanging, you can decide to fasten them neatly to clearly bring out the Mohawk look.

23. Crotchet hairdo

latest African braids hairstyles
Crotchet hairdo. Photo: @_designsbydee_.
Source: Instagram

Well, some of us cannot stand the discomfort of plaiting one braid after another. The good news is that you can still look gorgeous with crocheted hair extension of your preference like the one above. You can style the ends by making curls using hot water.

24. Double buns hairstyle

30 best African braids hairstyles 2019 (with pictures)
Image: Instagram @mo_love23
Source: Instagram

This hairdo is perfect for those who want to achieve the modern pussycat look using two buns. You can try these on all sorts of hair extensions as long as the buns are equally balanced.

25. Fringe styling option

fringe African braids hairstyles
Fringe styling option. Photo: @nigerianbraidsgang
Source: Instagram

You can never go wrong with fringe. This hairstyle can be done on long, short, big, and small plaited hair extensions. Additionally, you can enhance the look by adding ornaments and beads to the fringe part.

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26. Bob styling option

best bob braids hairstyles
Best bob braids hairstyles. Photo: @ghanaianhairstyles
Source: Instagram

Bob hairstyle never goes out of fashion; therefore, you should consider it this year. It is amazing that both long and short braids can be styled in a bob, and you even have the option of mixing colors if that is what you like.

27. Accessorizing hair extensions with stitched thread

best African braids hairstyles (with pictures)
African braids with thread. Photo: @minyatas_touch
Source: Instagram

Now, you have perfectly plaited your hair with desired hair extensions and are looking for some simple additional accessories to rock. Why not stitch some of the hair extension with thread? This is a modern look that many are trying, and you can always settle for your favorite color of threads.

28. Braided Bantu knots

Bantu braids hairstyles 2021
Bantu braids hairstyles. Photo: @TheTubbyEffect
Source: Twitter

Do you love that traditional look but need hair extensions to enhance it? You can opt for braided Bantu knots. That look is perfect for any traditional event and can still be rocked to work.

29. Spiral hairstyle

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spiral bit braids
African braids hairstyle. Photo: @minjiminiex
Source: Twitter

This style can be done on even old braids as long as the spiral bit is neatly done and accessorized with hairpins.

30. Butterfly braids

butterfly braids
Butterfly braids. Photo: @lungile_ringani
Source: UGC

Butterfly style is one that you can always settle for when you want a simple but elegant look. This style takes a very short time to do and undo and does not look so bad even when it gets old.

Besides ranking top in beauty contests, South African women love the African culture as demonstrated through braided hairstyle fashion. Which of the African braids hairstyles 2021 discussed above excited you the most? Make sure you try at least 12 of the styles above before the year ends and share with us your opinion in the comments below.

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