Fulani braids: Fulani braids styles are all the rage right now. However, they have been around since ages. They made a comeback with a bang when songtress Alicia Keys sported them in her song ‘Falling.’ Not sure what Fulani braids are? Do you want to ditch the same old braids and try out this new trending style?
Read also: 50 Top Feed in Braids for your Salon Business
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Keep reading to learn everything about Fulani braids and how they differ from other braiding styles.
Braids are a staple protective style for Black women. They are convenient, low-maintenance, and come in an endless variety of styles—like Fulani braids. While the style has been around for centuries (more on that below), they’re still hugely popular for all the fun and imaginative ways you can wear them. Think bright colors, unique patterns, and a mixture of accessories in all different shapes and sizes.
Here’s a quick primer on what you should know about them.
1. Before You Get Started
- Avoid getting Fulani braids on relaxed hair. Relaxing treatments expose the hair to stress, and braiding them may further cause damage.
- Fulani braids may hurt initially but be assured that the pain will subside in 2-3 days.
- Wrap your head with a silk bonnet before bed. This prevents moisture loss, friction, and frizziness.
- Wear the braids for 4-6 weeks. Leaving them any longer may damage the hair.
Read on: 36 Basic Steps to Get the Best of Small knotless Braids
2. What are Fulani braids?
As celebrity hairstylist Susy Oludele—who’s responsible for some of the phenomenal styles you’ve seen on Solange—explains, Fulani braids are a mixture of cornrows and box braids and can be worn with or without beads. Most commonly, the style—which gets its name from the Fulani people in West Africa, where the braids originated—is created with cornrows in the front and box braids in the back.
The look has been modernized recently—often seen on red carpets, music videos, and in everyday life—“but it has been worn for many, many years now,” says Oludele. Symbolizing not just its African roots, Fulani braids can also represent “social status, wealth, religion, or marital status,” Oludele says, adding that “braids have always been part of our culture.”
Ready to ask your stylist for them? Ahead, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite Fulani looks and braided hairstyles—from neon green beads to platinum blonde braids.
3. Fulani Braids With Wooden Beads
Take a page out of Alicia Keys’s book (some can argue she re-popularized the style back when she first burst on the scene) and add some wooden beads to the ends of your braids. It’s great if you’re looking to inject some flair into the style.
4. Classic Fulani Braids
A fresh-faced Kelis shows off a classic Fulani style, which consists of two straight back braids and additional ones that branch out from the center. This is great for someone who veers more minimalist in their style.
5. Classic Fulani With A Twist
If you’re looking for a unique and chic way to style your hair, try braiding this unique, jet-black Fulani braid hairstyle. The braids branch out from the center and the sides, creating intricate patterns on the scalp. This is a great way to let your natural beauty take center stage and make a bold, confident statement.
See also: 10 Tips to Get the Best Jumbo knotless
6. Wrap-Around Fulani Braids
Rihanna’s Fulani braids seemingly wrap around her head in a way that’s both elegant and edgy. As she demonstrates, for a style like this, it’s important to not neglect your baby hairs.
7. Fulani Braids With Curls
Bring it on! The length that is, which looks even more impressively beautiful paired with loose, curly ends, like here on Gabrielle Union.
8. Braided Bun
Who says Fulani braids always need to be worn down? Pull them up into a bun as Taraji P. Henson does here, which gives off an air of regality.
9. Platinum Braids With Red Beads
Solange is never one to be outdone. Her platinum blonde Fulani braids complete with red beads aren’t for the faint of heart—but they are absolutely incredible. You’ll have no problem standing out with this look. Do as she does and coordinate your outfit and accessories with your hair.
10. Playful Fulani Hoops
We’re huge fans of having fun with your hair, and these playful Fulani hooped braids on Yara Shahidi are just what we mean.
Read also: 45 Tips to Get the Best Jumbo knotless Braids
11. Waist-Length With Beads
One of the great things about braids is the many ways they can be adapted. You can stick to shoulder length if that’s more in line with your taste or you can add some length. The choices are bountiful and endless.
12. Knotted Braids
Keeping the stunning Fulani styles in the family, here we have Beyoncé wearing knotted, Bantu-like braids atop her head in Black Is King. The signature Bey blonde highlights really add dimension to the look.
13. A Bounty of Beads
Actress Teyonah Parris shows off a stunning look with beads in varying colors, shapes, and sizes.
14. Fulani Braids With an Afro
This is one of Oludele’s favorite Fulani styles and we can see why: The larger-than-life curls pair well with simple cornrow braids. The accessories are the icing on the cake.
15. Zigzag Braids
Remember zigzag parts from the ’90s? Well, zigzag cornrows might be better (and more intricate). Add some glimmer by tacking on gold cuffs.
See also: 27 Tips to Get the Best Medium knotless Braids
16. Braids With Highlights
Maybe you’re looking for a hint of color in your braids. This version is like getting subtle highlights put in your hair.
17. Fulani Bangs
Instead of cornrowing your hair straight back, this style is braided toward the front of your head. The result: truly unique Fulani braids that are then adorned with cowrie shells and beads.
18. Fulani and Milkmaid Braid Combo
We love the contrast of small cornrow braids in the front and a large milkmaid braid in the back. This is a great modern take on the Fulani style for those who maybe don’t want a full head of braids (or don’t want to sit through the often long process it takes to have them installed).
19. Classic Fulani Braids With Wooden Beads
As this style showcases: Sometimes simple is best.
20. A Maze of Braids
This is another popular and classic Fulani style. We’re particularly fond of the intricate pattern and accessories.
Read also: 25 Tips to Get the Best Styles of knotless Braids
21. Fulani Braids With Neon Beads
Justine Skye is bringing us back to our childhood summers when braids and beads ruled our heads. This style is a little more adult but still includes a hint of youth in the form of the electric green beads.
22. Shades of Green
Why should beads be the only source of color for your style? Incorporate some bright shades on the ends of your braids for a truly head-turning look.
23. Blonded Braids
If blonde is more your taste, that’s doable too. We’re big fans of this honey shade paired with multicolored beads.
24. Fulani Braided Art
This style is definitely one of the most distinctive that we’ve seen. The puff ponytails, the cowrie shells, and the zigzag cornrows all combine to create an impressive work of hair art.
25. Green Hair-Wrapped High Ponytail
It’s impossible to take your eyes off these gorgeous green Fulani braids! And if you want to add a twist to the style, gather your braids into a high ponytail with a few braids wrapped around its base and show off your long tresses.