7 braiding hairstyles to try that Kim Kardashian hasn’t stolen yet

Upon deciding which style I should do for my next, well, ‘do, I always encounter the same sweet fake-dilemma. Which to choose?

I mean, of the hundreds upon probably literally thousands of protective braiding styles there are out there — which is the here? The now? The woman I’m going to be for the next 6 weeks?

This is always the question. This time, though, I’d figured it out ahead of time: I’d do blonde, Fulani braids — a switch-up from the cherry red box braids I’d had in at the time.

Okay. Except, not okay, because when I went to my trusty hairdresser in Spanish Harlem and told her the style I wanted, she nearly laughed me all the way back downtown.

“Ohhhh,” she said smugly, “you want the Kim Kardashian braids.”

Now before it seems like I’m dragging my hairstylist through mud, she was clearly joking, and also dragging me, which was funny, but also unbearable. Like damn, this is like the time Miley Cyrus wore space buns at the 2013 VMAs and then everyone started calling them “Miley buns.”

Well, except it’s a bit different, considering Kim Kardashian continues to appropriate various elements of black culture, namely hair, simply because she can and inevitably doesn’t really care about the backlash at this point but will still release a public statement deeming it “appreciation” for haphazard PR purposes. Same.

So, although I was determined not to let Kimmy derail my plans to rock this look until further notice, the whole encounter inspired me to write *this* *comprehensive* *article* outlining 7 (seven) entire protective (they’re called ‘protective’ because they’re meant to protect natural hair BTW, lol) hairstyles that Kim Kardashian has not yet stolen.

READ ALSO: This NYC based hairstylist does Solange’s hair and she’ll do yours, too

1. Short box braids

Tag her

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This is a style I’d always wanted to try, and when I finally got around to it I was not disappointed. It’s super fun, easy to manage, and effortlessly cool.

Plus, contrary to what I perceive to be popular belief, I’d make the argument that Summer is really #shorthairszn. Case in point. This hair is dope (and also, looks great in any color).

2. A half up, half down style

By ‘half up, half down’, I really just mean partially braided partially not-braided: but see how much less cohesive that sounds?

For real though, this is always a beautiful go-to look: I’m considering it for my next style. And quite frankly, there are so many possible variations for the braided portion. These were some of my favorite braid patterns that I came across:

Keep scrolling you might find somebody finer

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But honestly — if you can dream it, you can braid it (I’m actually trademarking that right now).

3. Crochet braids

Yes, crochet braids are technically braids, because a) it has “braids” in the name, silly and b) because of the method that is actually used to achieve them! Basically, the natural hair is cornrowed or braided in a pattern along the scalp, and the hair extensions are literally — are you with me — crochet through the braided hair! I’m phrasing this assuming the reader doesn’t already know this, but I’m sure some black people are reading this rolling their eyes, lol.

Crochet braids are like the best-kept secret: they’re so cool, and everyone always thinks they’re natural, hehe. Can’t wait to fool my friends once I finally try these bad boys out (except those of you who actually read this article: aka my real friends!1!!1).

READ ALSO: This beauty line will help your natural hair grow, regardless of hair type

4. Braided bangs

✨🌼 @_tyneceallen

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This is another one of the coolest looks I’ve ever seen. Want bangs? Want braids? Why not try both? Who says the two styles are mutually exclusive. Plus, as someone who’s had bangs at one point in time, I can imagine that braided bangs are much easier to control and manage: you literally wake up and they’re perfect.

5. Bantu knots

Bantu flexing on this beautiful day. ✨✨✨✨ Today’s hair made with @carolsdaughter #PracaxiNectar line | 1⃣ Procaxi curl twisting custard to moisturize hair before creating #bantuknots 2⃣ Procaxi style control gel for any fly aways and to lay baby hairs. ____________________________________ ⬇MAKEUP DEETS⬇ BROWS ⚡ @benefitcosmetics PRECISELY MY BROW PENCIL shade #4 MASCARA ⚡ @milkmakeup KUSH MASCARA HIGHLIGHT ⚡@bobbibrown #BronzeGlow Highlighting Powder BLUSH ⚡ @kriscosmetics #HopelessRomantic Blush Powder LIPS ⚡ @fentybeauty #mattemoiselle shade #SAW-C topped with #GLOSSBOMB . . #makeup #hair #hairstyles #carolsdaughter #AD #bantuknots #naturalhair #benebrows #FENTYBEAUTY #milkmakeup #bobbibrown #Freckles

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New HAIR • • Yay or nay • • Yes these are Bantu knots on my TWA • • @jj.pitre • • Freed’m’Silky Braiding hair from @rastafribraid in color 1B • Click link in bio to see the process • • @problack.princess @darkskinwomen @theblackbooke @ebonyfitnesstoday @sisterswithmelanin @black_beautifulclassy @usdarkskins @browngirlsbeach #healthyhair #boxbraids #unconditionedroots #jumbobraids #rastafribraid #braids #hairvideo #naturalmakeup #crochetbraids #blackgirlmagic #bantuknots #protectivestyles #coils #fauxlocs #cornrows #melanin #curls #blackgirlsrock #naturalhaircommunity #naturalgirlsrock #naturalhairjourney #melanin #curlygirl #kinkycurly #feedinbraids #naturalskincare

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Bantu knots are the cooolest. I feel like when I do try these, I’ll have been the last person on Earth to have done so, because these are such a classic style.

There are countless ways to rock Bantu knots, and odds are your favorite black female celebrity has rocked them at one point or another, if you’re looking for inspo. Or, just search the tag #bantuknots on IG: you’ll be up all night, and when you wake up in the morning your Saved folder will likely be very Bantu-knot-centric.

6. One-sided box braids

Eléngé #braidsgang #cornrows #personalblog #melaninmagic

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Honestly, I feel as though there’s likely some more formal or proper term for this style, or at least one that sounds less like I literally made it up because I did, in either case though.

This style is kind of slept on in that I haven’t seen it around much lately, but whomdst could forget Beyonce’s iconic one-sided braided she debuted along with her Lemonade album (which now, not incidentally, have been deemed “lemonade braids”).

7. Unicorn braids

Again, a name I made up. But I’m not the first, and I can guarantee you that I won’t be the last.

Box braids present the perfect opportunity to experiment with color. And while I have been known to do so, I’ve hardly gone so far as to make each braid a different color. I feel like this style is the whole nine, and the perfect demonstration of “Go Big or Go Home” done right.

Though box braids are the age-old classic protective style, experimenting with color is an easy way to stand out and differentiate yourself.

READ ALSO: 5 ways Yara Shahidi’s hair slays on “Grown-ish” this season 

So, as you’ll see, there actually are at least seven hairstyles that Kim The Great hasn’t been “inspired” by. Don’t let me speak too soon, though: lest she get her hands on this article.

PS: based in the NY area and looking for somebody to do your hair? Check out Beyonce and Solange’s (yes, I’m serious) hairstylist.

Gimme More Beauty


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