The man braid has become popular in recent years, although guys with braids used to call them “cornrows”. For years, men felt French braids were a woman’s domain, but braided hairstyles cross that gender boundary with style and flair, especially when you combine a fade with braids. Braids for men are the new top knots of men’s hairstyles, and the trend towards longer hair has opened up braid styles to sportsmen and hipsters alike.
Male braids are uprooting classic haircuts for guys and just like the man bun, men with braids are becoming more socially acceptable. If you have medium-length to long hair and need to keep it out of the way for sports or work, consider braids for men a trendy way to hold your hair back.
What Is The Man Braid?
The man braid, also known as cornrows for men within the black community, is a cool new men’s hair trend influenced by ancient heritage. Braided styles require taking hair and making creative designs by weaving it together in new patterns. The basic French braid has proven to be the most popular because it works for both short and long hair.
The finished braided hairstyle will vary depending on your hair type and thickness, but the man braid is a modern, trendy look that suits most face shapes. Guys with square, triangle, diamond and oblong faces are best-suited for a full-head of men’s braids.
One cool thing about guys with braids is that the style can offer the best of both worlds. When combined with a taper fade haircut on the sides and back, a fade with braids gives men a stylish look that is masculine yet modern. If you have the fashion style to support male braids, we recommend you try braided hair once just to change up your look.
What Do I Need For A Man Braid?
Man braids require quite a lot of hair and length, as the sections need to overlap in order to create the desired braided style. At least 3 to 5 inches of thick hair is necessary, but if you have shorter hair at the sides (e.g. a fade haircut), just the hair on top can be braided. Longer hairstyles which allow for versatility of styling are the best for braiding. For the coolest guy braids, the ideal hair length is 5 inches or longer as this provides the opportunity to try out detailed and unique hair designs.
Furthermore, some pomade or gel will help to hold the braids in place, and is especially important if you have “slippery” hair that falls out of style easily. A good comb or brush can also assist you in getting clean lines necessary for parted braid hairstyles, and hairspray is useful if you want a neat look with few fly away, frizzy hairs. Lastly, hair ties are used to tie off the end of the braid and bobby pins may help to keep the hairstyle tidy throughout the day.
One thing to note is that some men who wear tight braids often can experience hair loss. Because braided hair has the potential to pull hard on the hair follicle, we recommend guys try other hairstyles once in awhile. Or to avoid the problem altogether, looser braids which don’t pull on the scalp are a better choice than super tight braids.
How To Braid Your Own Hair
Learning how to braid your own hair can be tricky at first, but after a little practice, braiding won’t be a problem. The French braid is a good place to start, as it is the basis for more complex braiding designs for men. Male French braids involve gradually adding in sections of hair to tether the braid to the back of the head.
To braid men’s hair, follow these directions:
- Start with damp, towel-dried hair. Comb the section of hair you would like to braid towards the back of your head.
- Section off the front of your hair with a comb and separate it into three even strands.
- Begin plaiting the hair by passing the right strand over the middle strand, then the left strand over the new center strand. Repeat twice.
- Gather a new strand of hair from slightly further towards the back of your head, on the left side. Add this hair to the left strand. Pass the entire left strand over the center strand.
- Repeat by adding a strand to the right strand. Continue braiding, alternately adding new strands of hair from the left and right of your hair.
- Braid until you run out of hair and fasten with a hair tie.
- Use a bobby pin and some hair product to neaten up any hairs that escape.
Note: if your hair is on the shorter side (4-5 inches), you will need to braid firmly in order to hold the style together.
The Best New Man Braid Hairstyles
Some men’s braid styles have to be seen to be believed and replicated. In fact, there are hundreds of intricate braided designs to choose from, and men can wear them just as well as women.
To help guys find the best braided hairstyles, we compiled a collection of stylish man braids. The following photo gallery of guys who rock their braids can give you inspiration for new types of braids to try.