The versatility and longevity of braided hairstyles is why so many people enjoy wearing them. Stylists tailor them to fit any texture, length, or occasion. So it’s no surprise that we are already starting to see braided hairstyle trends pop up in 2022.
Here are braided hairstyles that will be popular this year, according to some of our top-rated professionals. From knotless braids that are miniature in size but grand in style to accessorized feed-in braids for women and men’s cornrows with tribal designs that are works of art.
Save these braided hairstyle trends to your phone so that you can share them with your stylist when booking your next appointment on StyleSeat.
Long, Knotless Braids Using Human Hair Extensions
Celebrity stylist Erinn Courtney says ‘the simple fact that we are doing knotless braids is an evolution from box braids.” It’s a sleeker finish that is now a go-to for many of her clients, including singer-songwriters Willow Smith and Goapele.
“Before 2010, it was unpopular and uncommon to have box braids without the thick, knotted top of the braid,” Courtney explains. “Now that we’ve incorporated knotless braids, it’s more chic, and healthier for the hair not to be weighed down around the root of the hair as it’s growing out.”
Stylist and textured hair expert Kamara Brown agrees, adding that “Zoe Kravitz braids” are her ultimate favorite braided hairstyle to do and incorporate human hair extensions. “Feeding in the extensions,” she says, “allows for complete movement, flexibility, and less tension.” Brown also notes that it “looks super cute” over time once the braids are more lived-in, “making it the most low-maintenance style.”
Feed-In Braids Adorned With Accessories
Atlanta-based hairstylist Jaz It Up has built a massive following from her intricate braided hairstyles – there is no style she can’t slay! She describes feed-in braids as an “updated version of cornrows done with hair extensions.” Jaz credits this style’s transformation over the years to braid pros like herself making them look more natural, with the addition of hair barely visible. “What makes it stand out are the stitch-like parts of perfection,” she says.
One major tip that Courtney shares when choosing a braided hairstyle trend like feed-in braids is to consider the silhouette and how it would look on you. “Someone with damaged edges may not want to wear styles that expose the edges or cause further damage,” she explains.
Men’s Cornrows With Tribal Designs
Brown admits that it’s been fun for her to watch men play around with different protective braided hairstyle trends. “More men have been ditching the traditional fade and opting to grow out their hair for a more versatile look,” she says.
Though Courtney points out that intricate cornrow styles “have always been a thing in Black culture,” recalling basketball legend Allen Iverson’s iconic cornrows. Instead of the traditional, straight-back aesthetic, more and more are confidently rocking styles that feature tribal designs, zig-zag-like patterns, and more. “[They] are finding more creative ways to express one’s self through style,” says Courtney.
Ornate Braided Updos
Jaz tells us that she has many clients who prefer their hair not to touch their neck, whether for professional or personal reasons. And thanks to the “feed-in” technique, this allows her to effortlessly add hair extensions and create a standout look that satisfies her clients.
Goddess braids with ponytails that cascade down and away from the body, as well as bold top knots and feed-in braids, are among Jaz’s most popular braided updos. The possibilities are truly endless here. And Courtney calls to our attention that fun colors can also be added that compliment the overall aesthetic.
Elegant Half-Braided Hairstyles
The duality of cornrows and hairstyling is what sets off this braided hairstyle trend, according to Jaz. She says, “The braids give it pizazz, whether they’re in the front, top, sides, or back. The hairstyling gives it versatility, whether it’s curls, straight, a ponytail, or a bun.”
Brown adds that with half-braided hairstyles, you can wear them any season and for special occasions such as weddings. Finding a beauty professional who is skilled at both braiding and traditional styling is key here to achieving a braided hairstyle trend that works for you. Courtney highly recommends having handy visual inspiration to help your stylist create the desired look.