Style Braiding Dictionary

If you are a natural haired lass, then protective styles need to be your closest friend. While these type of styles are typically done by ladies with natural hair, it can also be done by all other hair types and texture, whether your hair is relaxed or in its kinky state.

A protective style is any type of hairdo that protects your hair from harsh properties such as dry weather and constant hair manipulation.

These styles help to minimise the amount of hair pulling, shedding and breaking your hair would typically go through on a daily. They are loved by naturals because they help keep the ends tucked in and strands moisturised.


Protective styles are best for those looking for stylish hair that requires little to no upkeep and is maintenance free. Lucky for us, we are spoilt for choice when it comes to protective hairdos.

There is a plethora of braided styles to choose from; the question is do you know which style is which and what it’s called? Allow us to school you with this protective styles dictionary.

Tribal Braids

These must be the trendiest braids at the moment. They come in different designs and often feature cowries, beads and hair rings. You would have seen them on stars such Xitsonga rapper and actress, Sho Madjozi.

Crochet Braids

Crochet braids are exactly that, braids inserted using crochet pins. The natural hair is usually braided down in cornrows and added with hair fibre, through the use of crochet pins, to create the desired braid style.

Faux Locs

Faux locs are best for those looking to try the dreadlock trend without the commitment, patience needed or hard work required. We’ve seen this trendy style on stars such as Lerato Kganyago, Terry Pheto and recently, Pearl Thusi.

Jumbo Braids

As the name suggests, jumbo braids are super sized braids. They can be as big and as thick as the wearer pleases but it must also be noted that they are super heavy and only for those brave enough to have some heavy weight braids on their heads.

Corn Rows

These old school braids are a classic. Wig and weave lovers will know all about this style as it’s the most worn protective hairstyle under every weave and wig. The hair is braided close to the scalp with rows moving downwards. It can also be enhanced with fibre.

Box Braids

Box braids are the go to protective style and one of the most popular styles around.

Twist Braids

Twists have many sub categories. Similar to box braids, this style is popular with hair lovers and ranges from the micro, edges killing Masai braids to the kinky woolen twist option all the way down to chunky Marley or yarn braids.

Straight Up Braids

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For the “wake up and go” type of hair, straight updos are a great option. They are elegant, easy to maintain and – if done well and not pulled at the edges – take care of your edges and hair in one sweep.

How many of these style names did you know? Share your thoughts with us.

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