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Braids are a classic and essential hairdo for Black women — they always look great, are easy to manage, and can be decorated or left plain to reflect what your mood. On top of all the aesthetic benefits, they protect your hair from over-manipulation, excessive breakage, and harsh weather.
With constantly evolving styles and old hits getting brought back into the hair conversation, you can truly never get bored with braids. To add your own flair to your favorite styles, you can always mix up the size of the braid, the patterns of parted hair, the different colors of braiding hair used, the accessories, and so much more. While there will always be classic styles and quick go-to options, there will also be new and trending braids on rotation each season.
For fall, expect must-have looks like glinting gold goddess cuffs and long, flirty styles. And naturally, because PSL season calls for it, autumn -toned braids colored with burgundy, fiery orange, and deep red hair are having their moment. There’s also plenty of braids inspired by the Y2K resurgence, for which you can pull inspiration from Instagram or your favorite celebrities like poet laureate Amanda Gorman, gymnast Nia Dennis, and tennis star Naomi Osaka.
The style that’s right for you is often more dependent on your hair texture (fine or coarse) than on your curl pattern. With fine hair, go for styles with minimal tension to avoid breakage. For coarse hair, it’s still important to avoid tension at the scalp, but this texture can handle a little more weight without snapping.
Looking for your next braid style for fall? Here are the seven options you’ll see crowning heads all autumn long, according to three top hairstylists.
Coi Leray Braids
If you listen to hip hop, you’ve probably heard Coi Leray’s “No More Parties.” Even if you haven’t, you’ll be seeing jumbo knotless braids with curly ends, newly dubbed “Coi Leray braids,” everywhere this fall.
“I love knotless braids because there isn’t so much tension at the root and it stays,” says Naturally Drenched founder and Maggie Rose Salon owner Jamila Powell. “It’s gorgeous, neat, and keeps your hair healthy.”
These are also quicker to install and can take just two hours, compared to the five or six hour process for standard box braids. A lot of people just want three things with their braid styles: to save time, not damage their hair, and look good. That’s why this option is a new favorite.
The Braided Bob
If you follow beauty and fashion trends, you’ve seen that Y2K is everywhere from makeup launches to clothes resurrecting quintessential late ‘90s and early ‘00s moments. Just like Jada Pinkett Smith in Set It Off, the braided bob is coming in hot. With the rising popularity of jumbo braids, you’ll also be seeing braided bobs with much bigger sections than in years past.
Depending on your style, you can rock a braided bob that skims your collarbone or hugs and accentuates your jawline. Whether you get a braided bobs with jumbo or standard-sized parts, don’t forget to accessorize. Between beads, cuffs, and string, the possibilities are endless.
Jumbo braids have been on a path to becoming a new classic because of how easy they are to install: bigger parts and less braids can halve braiding time. This means they’re easier to install and still offer the benefits of any protective style like keeping your daily maintenance low.
But Coi Leray boosted this style’s appeal when she made her signature look — jumbo braids with curly ends — popular. Outside of the Leray-inspired look, jumbo braids with braided ends and of all lengths will be everywhere this fall, especially mid-chest and waist-length. These are the perfect style to feel cozy during pumpkin spice season while elevating any seasonal look.
Bubble Braids & Baby Bubbles
Bubble braids are a reemerging ‘90s style that look good and work on just about any hair type. These also work great on a variety of hair lengths. You can bubble braid long hair, like a ponytail, into a chain or bubbles. Or you can try this style on shorter hair to create baby bubble braids (which looks particularly stylish on bangs).
Unlike box braids, these may not take several hours to put in, but you will need a lot of scrunchies. Depending on how well you take care of them or how often you need to wash your hair, these can last for a whole week. During that time, you can still switch it up (and potentially set a new trend). Think about how to accessorize your bubbles and the bands in between.
Sometimes, throwing all of your hair into bubbles can feel daunting and hard to perfect — getting the sizes of each to be the same can be a little hard at first. Baby bubbles are also helpful if you’re just starting out and learning to perfect the shape.
There is something so alluring about having your braids swing below your waist, accentuating every move you make. Super long braids not only add something to your style and movement, but they give plenty of space to work in different fall-themed hair colors.
“Super long braids will be big this fall,” Boho Locs founder Lulu Pierre tells TZR. “These waist-length braids are also perfect for adding in some of those rich, autumnal tones!”
Everything this past year in fashion was about comfort. Now with braids, a similar pattern is emerging as more relaxed styles with open ends and a looser feel take hold. Boho braids with unraveling ends are set to be huge this fall, and give off major Zoe Kravitz vibes.
How long they last depends on the braid size, but if you take care of them by sleeping in a satin or silk scarf, applying mousse when there’s frizz, and occasionally deep conditioning, they can last four to five weeks.
“My favorite accessories are the different gold charms you can loop into braids, the colorful strings you braid in with your natural hair, and beads!” Beautybeez braid stylist Geneva Fowler tells TZR.
The Halo Braid
“In the fall and winter, we’re looking to stay warm but still elevate our look,” Powell tells TZR. “Halo braids are classic and timeless and there are so many ways to wear them.”
While some styles of braids work best for tighter curl patterns, the halo braid (aka the goddess braid) is a universal style and can work with any texture. It’s can be done in as little as 30 minutes while lasting anywhere from one to six weeks depending on maintenance and wash schedule. Plus, it’s easy to dress up or down depending on your vibe for the day.