We could go on and on about the many benefits of protective styles. They give your hair a break from hot tools and product buildup, plus they’re so easy to maintain. Aside from the technical stuff, they also look really effing cool. We’ve already seen how Lupita Nyong’o has transformed the bob, but some people still want their long, flowing braids, twists, and faux locs for the summer — and we can’t blame ’em. If you’re going long, now is a great time to channel your inner African goddess and add beads to your look.
“Braids have been decorated since the beginning of time,” César Ramirêz, Mizani’s global artistic director, tells us. “I believe they’re derived from a very old tribal tradition that has been passed down into fashion.”
He’s certainly right about the latter: Disco divas like Patrice Rushen were known to rock them in the ’70s, and hordes of imitators followed throughout the decades. We’ve seen mini resurgences of the look throughout the years, but now, they’re back in a big way and so easy to incorporate into your style yourself. “I love shopping at [craft stores] for all sorts of beads, charms, and chains,” Ramirêz continues. “They can be sewn or clamped in. Even wrapping a thin wire in adds some texture. Have fun with it!”
Want to try it yourself? Scroll on for a dose of inspiration before you hit the craft store.
“Why Photoshop when you this P•H•A•T (Pretty, Hot, And Tempting),” Danielle Brooks captioned, showing off her braids as done by Tish Celestine.
Photo: Via @daniebb3.
On the first night of On the Run II tour in Cardiff, Wales, Bey didn’t just bless us with a #veryrare glance of Sir and Rumi — she did it wearing a set of intricately beaded blonde plaits. And while it might not technically be the style she sang and danced in, we would live for that performance.
Photo: Via @AmberJPhillips.
This artful take on a bob is actually a wig, created by Ramirêz.
Photo: Via @cesar4styles.
This cornrowed ponytail is awesome, but we especially love the variation added with the help of dainty beaded plaits and gold thread.
Photo: Via @kitagirl921.
You don’t have to do your whole head to be a part of the #braidsgang. Half-cornrows are just as dope, too.
Photo: Via @tator_tat_.
Venus X describes this look as “a sci fi dance hall queen.” We couldn’t agree more.
Photo: Via @venusxgg.
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