If you’ve been thinking about trying Ghana braids for a while, or they’re one of the top contenders for your next protective style.
Not only are there so many style ideas in the Ghana braids category alone (looking at you, chunky braids and zig-zag parts), but unlike, say, micro braids and box braids that can have you in the chair all day, Ghana braids can be installed in just two hours, depending on the intricacy of the style you choose.
Ghana braids are obviously very similar to cornrows, but thanks to the added braiding hair, you can really play up and customize the shape, thickness, and colors to match your vibes.
“There’s such a great, rich, beautiful cultural history of braiding that has been so diluted, Western culture has developed its own simplified take on Ghana braids.
By the time we get to where we are today to talk about Ghana braids, it’s pretty basic.
Although both feed-in braids and Ghana braids are very similar in technique, Spicy and Trendy say that Ghana braids should end up looking thicker and fuller than feed-in braids. “What makes Ghana braids different is the substantial amount of hair added through the braid for volume,” Spicy and Trendy explains.
“Feed-in braids have hair added through the braid as well, but a stylist is able to manipulate it in a way to where the braid stays the same size.” Another difference? “Hair is usually added for length with feed-in braids as opposed to volume with Ghana braids,” Spicy and Trendy.
How long do Ghana braids last?
Although Ghana braids can last up to a month if properly maintained with products and hair coverings while you sleep, both experts recommend wearing Ghana braids for two weeks only (three weeks max, says Spicy and Trendy) so that the hair doesn’t dry out and take your style from protective to damaging.
Do Ghana braids break your hair?
Ghana braids, like any protective style, can damage your hair or scalp if done too tightly—but you can avoid it. Spicy and Trendy explain that although tension is needed for most cornrow styles, too much tension can do the opposite of a protective style, which is why it’s important to see a knowledgeable stylist and try to speak up if you feel pain during your braiding (easier said than done, right?).
Got all that? Good. Now, to help you narrow down your look, Spicy and Trendy gathered up all the best Ghana braids ahead, the prettiest Ghana braid styles of all dang time.
This Triangle-Parted Ghana Braids Style
The best part about Ghana braids is how versatile they can be, especially when it comes to parting. I mean, how cool is this triangle parting? Even better, this style is made up of only three braids, which means you’ll spend even less time with your braider (no shade—I’m sure they’re great).
Ghana Braids with Cuffs
There is no braided hairstyle that doesn’t look extra cute with beads and cuffs and even if you opt-out of the cuffs, those center-curved cornrows are unique and precise enough to make the whole style.
Ghana Braids with Cornrows
These Ghana braids are anything but basic. The teeny-tiny cornrows not only add a cool contrast to the thicker braids,
but the way they cross over each other takes it from a braided style to a literal work of art.
Ghana Braids Bun with Loose Curls
Leaving your ends loose and curly is such a fun way to mix up your style.
To get this high bun, gather all of your braids into a ponytail, then wrap them around the base to form a bun, leaving a few of the curly ends out of the bun before tucking the rest underneath or securing with bobby pins.
Ghana Braids in a High Ponytail
Mousse is going to be the answer to keeping your braids this fresh and shiny for the full two weeks you have them.
Cover your Ghana braids from roots to ends in your favorable mousse (try Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Frizz-Free Curl Mousse or Shine-N-Jam Magic Fingers Setting Mousse) and let them set under your silk scarf or wrap until they dry.
This Half-Up Ghana Braids Style
Any time you’re not sure how to style your hair, tie it off into a half-up, half-down style like this.
It instantly gives your style a little extra personality, and it looks especially great with these alternating Ghana braids and cornrows.
Half-Braid Half-Loose Style
Can’t decide between full braids or a full sew-in? Good thing you don’t have to.
Meet them both halfway with this half-braided, half-extension combo. It’s honestly so pretty, and both protective styles will give your natural hair a break from daily life.
Jumbo Ghana Braids With Cornrows
For a more intricate look, ask your braider for mini braids that follow a criss-cross pattern along with your jumbo braids and straight cornrows.
Ghana Braids With Zig-Zag Part
Important tip from Francis to help maintain moisture while wearing Ghana braids (or really any braids):
Ghana Braids in a Spiral Pattern
Ghana braids and goddess braids
(a similar chunky cornrow style) are the perfect go-tos for those who love a versatile hairstyle and don’t want to spend forever getting them done.
Two-Tone Ghana Braids
If platinum-blonde hair is just not for you,
try using braiding hair in a warm honey blonde to add dimension to your Ghana braids while still feeling natural and wearable.
Spicy and Trendy