Braids For Men: The Best Styles And How To Wear Them

Braids for men are the ultimate in stylish and low maintenance looks. We’re not talking about braid hairstyles but professional plaits. Once braids are in, they last for weeks with proper care and maintenance. Types of braids for men can be anything from straight cornrows to long box braids worn up in a man bun or even braided dreadlocks.

Many men opt for the braids and fade combination, with a low, mid, or high fade or undercut around the sides and back with hair concentrated on top. Or get braids all over with a taper fade. A shape up is another popular addition to braids.

While braids can last up to 6 weeks, they will start to get fuzzy at the roots as hair grows out as well as fly-aways in the braids. Dirt and oils can build up on the scalp so regular washing and conditioning are still necessary. Here’s how to make your braids last longer.

  1. Moisturize daily, like you would with hair worn loose. On either damp or dry hair, work a leave-in conditioner, oil, or Shea butter onto braids. Be sure to work your product of choice into the scalp to keep it from getting dry. A pointed applicator can make it easier to direct solution in-between braids.
  2. Wash the scalp every 7-10 days. Co-wash is designed to moisturize hair while removing scalp build-up. Wet hair, gently work through braids, and squeeze it out.
  3. Protect hair while you sleep by wearing a silk do-rag or using a silk pillowcase. This is good advice for all natural hairstyles because the smooth fabric won’t pull on hair or dry it out like cotton can.

Keep in mind that all braids should be taken out after 6-8 weeks at the most. Too much tension on the roots can result in traction alopecia, which is gradual hair loss caused by the pull of tight hairstyles like braids and weaves.

Now check out these different types of braids for men. While these hairstyles for men are traditionally for Black men, guys with all hair types are embracing this cool look.

1. Cornrows

Cornrows, also called canerows in the Caribbean, are a traditional African style of hair braiding. Hair is braided close to the scalp in a continuous, raised row. Cornrows are often formed in simple, straight lines, like their namesake, but they can also be braided into elaborate designs from zig-zags to starbursts.

In any shape, cornrows are a low maintenance hairstyle for men, especially for medium to long hair. That is one of the reasons more athletes are wearing braids, including NBA stars Allan Iverson, Russell Westbrook, and Kawhi Leonard.

Do braids work with a beard? Check out these pictures to see how good it can look.

JM da Barber
Zeke the Barber
Isaiah Hernandez
Frank Soto
Queen of the South
Black Queen
Queen of the South
Yenny Trenza

2. Box Braids For Men

Box braids are individual plaits set in small squared-off sections. Box braids can be plaited into any width or worn at any length. Some women and men, including Travis Scott, add synthetic or natural hair for added length and fullness.

Box braids can be worn loose or styled into buns or ponytails because the plaits are not attached to the scalp like cornrows. ASAP Rocky is also known for his box braids and different ways to pull hair back.

Jody Taylor
Nasty Barbers
Mark Marrero
Pat Regan
Pat Regan

3. Two Braids for Men

Another popular braid style for men is wearing a pair of braids. Wear hair in be a pair of cornrows or French braided long into a Viking style.

Jonathan Rosario
Julius Cvesar
Marcos “Reggae” Smith
Wade Menendez

4. Zig Zag Braids

Zigzag braids feature a zigzag instead of straight lines. The zigzag can be in the part and/or braids. The zigzag can be repeated in surrounding braids, go straight, or hang loose in box braids. A standout type of zigzag braids is the elaborate fishbone pattern.

JD Barber
Black Queen
Cut Junkies
Nataly Styles
Nataly Styles

5. Man Bun Braids

Braid hairstyles for men tend to be for long hair. If you don’t want all that length hanging loose, try one of these cool man bun braids.

Yenny Trenza
Xelly Afroarts
Travis Hill
Afro Hannah
Barber Bebo

6. Braided Dreads Hairstyles for Men

This cool look combines two hairstyles into one. Fine dreadlocks or microdreads can be braided to tie hair back and add another layer of texture. Braided dread styles work for shorter as well as long hair.

Lundon New York
Taylor Gang
Art of Fades
Shanna’s Hair Studio

7. Cool Braids for Men

These are some standout ways to wear braids for men.

Firework braids by Adam Fresh Barber
Axel Rivera

8. How To Get Braids For Men

Hair braids for men can require long hair. For Black men, tight curly hair has more length than it appears. Braiding pulls hair taut so they will be longer than natural hair. For straight and wavy hair, the twisting and turning means braids will be shorter than hair worn down.

If you have the been growing hair out, great! Braids are also an attractive style that protects hair. If you want the look without the time, there are ways. Hair extensions can create braids of any length and color. Then all you need is enough hair to braid together your hair and the braids. Guys with shorter hair can use extensions for box braids and other loose styles. Cornrows and feed-in braids need longer hair.

Even though it’s not your hair, braid extensions still need to be washed. Divide hair into four sections, two at the front and two the back. Braid the smaller plaits together. Pour a watered-down shampoo/conditioner over braids and scalp to wet. Gently squeeze and repeat until you’re satisfied. Then gently squeeze damp hair with a towel to remove moisture. Finish with a spritz of conditioner around the scalp where natural hair meets extensions.

That’s a lot of you’re new to extensions but talk to your local braiding salon about what you want and they’ll hook you up.

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure for more info.