The men’s hairstyle world has been known to borrow elements from ancient hair traditions (like the samurai-influenced top knot) and even from hairstyles that have been traditionally non-masculine (like the man bun). In this article, we’ll go over a style that draws upon both areas: braids for men.

braids patty_cuts
@patty_cuts / Instagram

Braids for men are a relatively new trend. While braids for men have showed up in history, recently the hashtag “manbraid” has become popular on various social media networks. Men are embracing the idea of the man braid in a variety of ways. We’re not sure how this man braid trend arose––while some guys have experimented with braided hair over the past several years, the style has exploded over the past few months.

Braid Knot
Credits: Mikey

If you’ve got the hair for braids and want to rock this style, we’ve got all the information you need to braid your own hair in a few easy steps and come out with a stylish man braid.

What do I need for the man braid?

The man braid is a hairstyle that demands a certain length of hair. Like the man bun, the man braid is best suited for longer hair. You’ll need at least a few inches of hair to obtain a noticeable man braid. With about three or four inches of hair, you can get some smaller braids, and if you want to go for super long braids, you can go as long as you want. Five to eight inches of hair will produce longer, more dramatic braids, and hair longer than eight inches will make for the most extreme braids.

Part Man Braid and Pompadour
Pompadour with Part Braid by Credits: Braid Barbers

Braids for men can work with most hair types because they involve curling the hair. Straight hair is easy to curl, and curly or kinky hair will naturally curl, so braiding is easy in both cases. Thick hair might be difficult to work with.

braids for men
Top Double Braids, credits: source

When it comes to face shape, certain braided hairstyles will favor different face shapes. If you’re simply looking to include a braid or two in your current haircut, then you don’t need to worry about face shape too much. If you want a style more akin to cornrows, where you’re braiding your entire head of hair or most of it, then face shape matters a little more. Guys with square, triangle, diamond, and oblong faces are best suited to fully braided styles, while guys with round, oval, and heart shapes aren’t as well suited.

Back Braids
source

You’ll also need a few pieces of equipment: a good quality comb, hair oil, small hair bands, and a spray bottle for water. Hair bands are the only absolutely necessary tool, but depending on your hair type, it may benefit you to have some of the others. Once you’ve got the materials you need, you’re ready to start styling your braid.

Man Braid Back

How To Style Braids for Men

You can start with no preparation if you have manageable hair, but if your hair is tougher to work with, use the spray bottle to mist your hair with water. You don’t want your hair to be drenched––moisten it enough so that it’s flexible to work with. Brush or comb your hair to get all the knots and kinks out.

Locate the area where you want your braid. Grab that section of hair and divide it into three sections. You can do this using your fingers or a comb.

braids 2 patty_cuts
@patty_cuts / Instagram

Start by taking the leftmost section of your hair and crossing it over the middle section. Then take the rightmost section and cross it over the middle section. Continue in this alternating fashion until you’ve finished the braid, which should be fairly tight. (You can also braid starting with the right side.)

afro with braids

Once you’ve finished the braid, fix it at the end with a hair band in the same way that you would tie a ponytail. You’ve finished your first braid, and you can now repeat the process with other sections of your head. If you have smaller, tighter braids, or if you wear your braids for several days, moisturize the braids with hair oil and wash your hair by patting the shampoo onto your head and massaging your scalp to keep the braids intact. You can also wear a hair net if you’d like; this minimizes the chances of accidentally undoing a braid.

Braid Undercut
Undercut with braid by Credits: Mikey

You have lots of options here––you can have one braid, two symmetrical braids, and you can even do cornrows using this method. However, since cornrows are more intricate and require more maintenance and care, we recommend visiting a stylist who is experienced in making cornrows.

Warning: Don’t Man Braid Too Hard!

Braids for men are certainly a trendy style, but they can also cause harm. Extremely tight braids can cause traction alopecia, which is hair loss that occurs when there’s too much pressure on the hair follicles. Don’t tighten your braids too much––if a braid feels painful, undo it and rebraid it until it’s comfortable.

Faded Braided Top
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Faded Braided Top

With this fun style, loose and curly braids are tied up into a knot on the top of the head, while he fade on the sides draws the eye toward the braids.

Fine Taper Fade with Dyed Braids
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Fine Taper Fade with Dyed Braids

Looking for a head-turning hairstyle? These dyed braids will certainly do the trick. The sharp contrast between the faded sides and the neck-length braids is dramatic and eye-catching.

Top Knot with Taper Fade
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Top Knot with Taper Fade

Here’s a unique variation of the popular topknot style. Faded sides emphasize the dual braids that lead to the small knot at the back of the head.

Dyed Braids with French Crop Low Fade
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Dyed Braids with French Crop Low Fade

If you’re after a bold style, this is it! A French crop-inspired fade serves as the foundation for these tall braids that are bunched up into a knot. (Beads and hair dye are optional.)

Spider Braids
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Spider Braids

It’s easy to see why this style has earned its name! This haircut will give you an edgy (and perhaps even spooky) vibe.

Related
Tightly Knitted Line Up
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Tightly Knitted Line Up

Here’s a different take on a braided look. The braids are tight and close to the scalp, which creates a crosshatched, woven effect.

Tapered Sides Blonde Hair
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Tapered Sides Blonde Hair

If you like the look of thicker braids, check out this style. The braids form a sort of faux-hawk down the middle of the head.

Twin Braid
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Sharp Twin Braids with Line Up

When you think of braided hair, this sort of style is probably what you imagine. Two classic braids lead to a top knot at the back of the head. A line up adds definition and frames the braids.

Highlighted Braides
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Highlighted Braids

Braids are quite uncommon, so why not pair them with other uncommon elements? Perhaps you’ll copy this style by dyeing your braids and adding a shaved design on the side.

Clean Fade and Line Up
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Clean Fade and Line Up

Fun and casual, this braid hairstyle is simple yet stylish. An even fade and a line up round out the look.

Braided Top with Designed Sides
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Braided Top with Designed Sides
Braided Bun and Fade
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Braided Bun and Fade
Fancy Sides with Shoulder Length Braids
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Fancy Sides with Shoulder Length Braids
Tight Braids with Buzzed Sides
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Tight Braids with Buzzed Sides
Fancy Roped Braids with Tapered Design
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Fancy Roped Braids with Tapered Design
Braided Top and Faded Side
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Braided Top and Faded Side
Braids United
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Braids United
Mustache Goatee and Braids
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Mustache Goatee and Braids
The X Factor Fade
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The X Factor Fade
Faded Line Up with Intertwined Braids
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Faded Line Up with Intertwined Braids
Twin Braids
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Twin Braids
Thick Hairline with Shaved Temple
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Thick Hairline with Shaved Temple
Tight Knotted Braids
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Tight Knotted Braids
Dyed Spider Braids
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Dyed Spider Braids
Neck Length Braids
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Neck Length Braids
braids
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Clean Braids
Braids Design on Long Hair and Beard
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Braids Design on Long Hair and Beard
Symmetrical Braids with Taper
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Symmetrical Braids with Taper
Exclusive Braids Collection
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Exclusive Braids Collection
Braids Have Their Own Mood
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Braids Have Their Own Mood
Fancy Dyed Braids with Fade
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Fancy Dyed Braids with Fade
Braided Bun with Fade
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Braided Bun with Fade
Braided Fun with Low Fade
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Braided Fun with Low Fade
Braided All The Way
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Braided All The Way
Anarchy Braids Knot
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Anarchy Braids Knot
Inverted Disconnection and Braids
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Inverted Disconnection and Braids
Braided Knot
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Braided Knot
Undercut Threaded Braids
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Undercut Threaded Braids
Snake Braids
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Snake Braids
Dyed Braids with Tiny Pony on Top
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Dyed Braids with Tiny Pony on Top