The Only Thing Better Than Braids Is Their Accessory-Adorned Counterparts

The possibilities are endless.

Originally Published: 
Tessa Thompson box braid with pearls
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While braids themselves are endlessly versatile, there are those moments when you just need a little extra oomph — celebrities certainly do, especially for their most high-profile events. Hair accessories for braids are as aesthetically varied as the actual braids, and the industry’s biggest (and most stylish) stars aren’t afraid to play around and experiment with them all. No matter if it’s a casual summer day in the backyard with friends or fashion’s biggest night out, there’s a hair-accenting accessory for every occasion, style, and braid type out there.

If you gravitate towards bohemian, earthy looks, there are celebrity-approved hair beads, cuffs, wire wraps, and even pins with real flowers ready to adorn braids both simple and intricate. For a full-on glamorous effect, it doesn’t get any better than Janelle Monáe’s designer pearl wraps and emblem-covered brooches and Zoë Kravitz’s prim Met Gala bow, both perfect for black-tie affairs and major events. In fact, these accessories are so transformative that they could be just the ticket if you’re feeling the urge for a makeover — they’re a lot easier to switch up that an all-out haircut.

Below, check out these celebrity-favorite braid accessories for any style, complete with everything you need to get the look at home.

Serena Williams In Braid Cuffs


Williams’ just gave gold hair cuffs and beads the ultimate stamp of approval. Not only did she wear them on her whirlwind European vacation, but she also wore them to Beyoncé’s Renaissance World Tour — there’s simply no better endorsement possible.

Alicia Keys In Hair Gems


Hair crystals are incredibly popular for concerts thanks to TikTok, but Keys has been wearing the style on-stage and IRL for years now. By using two different shades of gems, silver and gold, she adds extra dimension to her long plait. Affix them to your hair with a specially-designed tool (like below) or pat them on with eyelash glue and a wax-tipped tool.

Tessa Thompson In Mermaidcore Pearls


It doesn’t get much more Rapunzel-perfect than Thompson in long, intricate box braids dotted with shimmering pearls, a look created by hairstylist Lacy Redway. By staggering pearls of different sizes all the way down, Thompson captures the fresh-from-the-ocean appeal of the mermaid core trend.

Tracee Ellis Ross In A Silky Scarf


A few seconds scroll on Ellis Ross’ Instagram grid is enough to open anyone up to the endless braid accessory possibilities. While it seems like the multi-hyphenate star has experimented with every embellishment under the sun, this silky scarf woven into her long, strong braid is so pretty peeking out from the hair’s loops — and it even matches her stormy blue eyeshadow.

Gabrielle Union In Wooden Beads


Union is one of those celebrities who can seamlessly flit between aesthetics but her earthy, goddess-like looks always number among her best. She experimented with plenty of braid rings, charms, and tubes over the years but these wooden accent beads are a shortcut to boho-chic.

Kerry Washington In Rings & Charms

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While Washington is technically wearing long, glossy Senegalese twists here, the sentiment is the same — the gilded hoops, rings, and dangling freshwater pearl charms placed through her hair are an absolute dream. By leaving some of the rings more simply-designed than others, her accessories glisten and stand out even more.

Issa Rae In Metallic Wire Wraps

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Naturalista icon Rae famously loves to dress up her assorted braid styles with eye-catching accents, and this delicate copper wire wrap is perfect for minimalists. The orange-toned shade stands out against her blonde highlights, catching the light just enough to add some dimension, color, and shine.

Zoë Kravitz In A Hair Bow

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Simple doesn’t have to mean boring — just look at Kravitz’s prim tweed bow holding back her braided chignon. Especially when paired with those oversized, undeniably glamorous earrings, Kravitz’s look is pure sophistication.

Janelle Monáe In Hair Jewelry

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Is there anything Monáe can’t do? For a special Paris Fashion Week Chanel show, the multitalented entertainer adorned her own plaits with tiny diamond-headed pins, an ultra-luxe pearl wrap, and a full-sized Chanel brooch fastened right in the middle.

Teyonah Parris’ Floral Accents

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Few hair accessories are as breathtaking as flowers woven into a braid. No matter if they’re real, fake, or somewhere in between (think dried flowers!), adding blooms and greenery to hair — like Parris’ delicate baby’s breath accents — are fairylike and so ethereal.

Amandla Stenberg In A Shimmery Headband

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When in doubt, just add a crown — or a shimmery headband. Stenberg accented this double braid crown with a vintage-looking jeweled headband that adds a starlike twinkle effect that’s just irresistible for a big night.

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