8 trendy braiding styles Thuso Mbedu, Ciara, Issa Rae and other celebs are loving at the moment

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Yara Shahidi attends the 2021 MTV Movie & TV Awards at the Hollywood Palladium. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/2021 MTV Movie and TV Awards/Getty Images for MTV/ViacomCBS)
Yara Shahidi attends the 2021 MTV Movie & TV Awards at the Hollywood Palladium. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/2021 MTV Movie and TV Awards/Getty Images for MTV/ViacomCBS)
  • Many have gravitated towards more classic braiding hairstyles because we have spent so much time at home.
  • From a pop of colour to creating braiding styles, celebrities are adding a few stand out elements to these timeless hairstyles.
  • We are also seeing a preference for textured and more lived-in braiding styles.

Taking care of our own hair during lockdowns hasn’t been a picnic for many who rely on expert hands to ensure the upkeep of their manes. As a result, celebrities are embracing more lived-in braiding styles.

The standout hairstyles during the pandemic have featured classic-inspired and effortless-looking styles – this, of course, complementary to the sweatsuits and loungewear we started this journey wearing. 

As our needs, habits and mobility changed, so have our hairstyle preferences – or at least as far as public figures are concerned. Even as restrictions ease and tighten, hair trends have become more relaxed looking. 

READ MORE | BraidsByVuyo's Vuyo Morgan debunks myth that painful braids are longer-lasting and neater

These celebrities show us how to knock it out of the park with I-woke-up-like-this-esque hairstyles. But, make no mistake, not all these hairstyles are as effortless as they look. 

Chunky cornrows 

When sitting for six-plus hours is not an option, a few chunky cornrows will have you looking fresh-faced and trendy in a fraction of the time. To add a little something extra to the look, neon coloured hair extensions as seen on Sho Madjozi will do the trick.

You could also attempt a just-got-out-of bed look as seen on Tamera Mowry-Housley

Or alternate the sizes of the cornrows for a more elevated look as seen on Kat Graham.

READ MORE | Bed hair, glossy lips, winged liner were the top beauty trends seen on MTV Movie Awards red carpet 

Fishtail braid

The beauty of a fishtail braid is that it can be as neat or as messy as you want it and still look good. With minimal flyaways, Janet Mock shows us how it's done. 

Grown up braided pigtails

A stunning pair of earrings and customised braiding techniques prove that pigtails don’t have to make you look like a schoolgirl. Yara Shahidi wears in an intricately-bound braided set, completed with a plaited crown. 

Filmmaker Garrett Bradley has hers adorned with cowrie shells

And model Duckie Thot infused hers in a subtle deep green. 

Braided tendrils  

A nostalgic style with a twist, hair tendrils have made a strong comeback and braiding them add an option to alternate the look. Thuso Mbedu puts her own twist with a textured high bun

Lizzo restyled her fine braids in Bantu knots while leaving room for her tendrils 

And Bella Hadid, who has shown great appreciation for this look, wore it braided this time. 

Dutch braid cornrows

One of the best and easiest ways to securely put your hair back with no fuss is having two rows of braids, and with the Dutch braid technique, you’re able to better control flyaways. Gabrielle Union’s styled her minimal braids to complete a homey sporty look

Filmmaker Chloé Zhao graced the Oscar's red carpet in this effortless 'do

And, Storm Reid does a braids-on-braids look.

READ MORE | Fun, feisty and relatable, comedian Elsa Majimbo has inspired the comeback of an age-old hairstyle 

Knotless jumbo braids 

A favourite look this past year has been the knotless jumbo braids, whether it in twists or the traditional three-strand braid. Issa Rae, Natasha Thahane and Lori Harvey have been wearing the latter with their individualistic spin on it. 

Textured faux locs 

A longtime favourite, faux locs are still around but this year they have been reinvented to have a more natural look. Nomzamo Mbatha and Danielle Brooks wear theirs with curly ends

Ciara has opted for a more textured look, both in a bob and Rapunzel length.  

READ MORE | 5 hair care mistakes to avoid when you have braids 

Low side braid

In a meta-braiding moment – much like Storm – Regina King, Kerry Washington and Angela Bassett style their braids in abraded low bun. We’re taking notes from Angela Bassett for weaving braids in different sizes to enhance this look. 

Regina King infuses her fine, multicoloured twists in a loose side braid

And, in knotless box braids, Kerry Washington wears hers more securely. 

What has your favourite lockdown hairstyle been? Let us know here.

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