Best Ghana braids hairstyles
Ghana braids are the name of a protective hairstyle which is sometimes referred to as banana braids cornrows or straight-backs.
It was initially popularized by women in the West African country… can you guess it? That’s right! Ghana!
They used to arrange their hair in this style to protect their curly hair from being damaged and tangled.
Today Ghana braids don’t refer just to one single hairstyle but it is more of an umbrella term for dozens of different braided patterns which are popular not only because of their protective properties but also because they look really mesmerizing.
Today Ghana braids are worn not only by west African women but also by women and men of all ages and ethnicities all around the world.
They can be long-medium or short, vary in number or in the thickness of the actual braids and can even be accessorized with beads of various colors and even incorporate hair extensions in order to achieve the desired length.
There are dozens of different patterns in which Ghana braids can be installed so let’s look at the 20 most popular ones.
Classic Ghana braids, also known as classic cornrows or Caribbean braids
The most popular subtype of Ghana braids is probably the classic cornrows. The hairstyle which was and still is popular among many Hollywood celebrities, athletes, etc.
In order to create this hairstyle, the hair is divided into equal sections and each section is a braided front to back creating braids of equal thickness. The final result is somewhat reminiscent of rows of corn in the field, hence the name cornrows.
This type of Ghana braid has been worn by many Hollywood celebrities including Jada Pinkett-Smith, Alicia Keys and of course, last but not least, Snoop Dogg.
Traditionally these types of cornrow braids are braided front to back and sweep down towards the nape of the neck, however, if you think that this type of style is a bit too basic don’t worry, there are dozens of variations you can experiment with.
Super thin cornrows
Classic cornrows are usually the width of one of your fingers however you can make them as thick or as thin as you want and if you want to really impress friends and family may I suggest going for super thin Ghana braids.
These are braids so thin that from afar they can barely be distinguished from loose straight hair.
Needless to say, it requires a great amount of patience to install these however the end result is definitely worth it.
Ghana braids worn in a high ponytail
If you don’t want to wear your braids down no problem! You can wear them in a high ponytail.
In order to do that it is necessary to braid hair back towards the highest point at the back of your head so that they can be gathered into one neat ponytail.
Wearing braids this way is especially popular among younger women with long hair. Not only does it provide protection for the hair, but you can be certain that it will make the heads turn in admiration wherever you go.
If your natural hair is too short to enable you to do this type of hairstyle you need not worry.
With the addition of several hair extensions you will be slaying that look in no time.
And don’t think for one minute that you have to match the extensions to your exact hair color.
In fact, the more contrasting color you choose the more effective your hairstyle will be. This leads us to our next category.
Ghana braids worn in a bun
If you decide to sweep your braids back you don’t necessarily have to wear them in a long ponytail.
The alternative is tying them up in a neat bun.
It can be either a low bun which is fixed in place near the nape of your neck or it can be a high bun which will make you look like an elegant ballet dancer.
Or it can even be two buns on either side of your head so that you bring a bit of African flavor to that Princess Leia costume.
Any method you choose is guaranteed to look stunning.
Long Ghana braids with colorful extensions
If you have long or medium hair and are thinking about getting braids for a change then why not go all the way and treat yourself to some colorful hair extensions.
Hair extensions may start at the very beginning of the braid and be woven through its entire length. Or they can be woven through just the bottom half of the braid and even have an ombre effect.
Choose any color or colors you want, you are only limited by your own imagination! Colorful Ghana braids like these will surely be a conversation starter at any party you attend.
Colorful Ghana braids
If you wish you had a different hair color for a while but don’t want to go through the rigmarole of actually coloring your hair this is the solution you have been looking for.
Extensions woven into Ghana braids can be used to masterfully camouflage your natural hair color.
Perfect solution for the summer without the need to damage your hair.
Ghana braids with beads
If bling is more your thing we have a solution for you. Beads, beads and more beads! Big beads small beads, glass beads, metal beads, wooden beads, smooth beads, textured beads! Any type of bead your heart desires.
Traditionally beads were fitted onto the end of each cornrow braid as a sort of finishing touch. However that is not a requirement at all. Place your beads wherever you want.
You can have them at the beginning of your braids, or you can have them fixed throughout the braids.
However, if you opt for glass beads keep in mind that you have to choose high-quality ones so as to avoid them breaking and in case of metal beads go for the ones that won’t be susceptible to rust.
Palm is the braid pattern that has been gaining popularity recently.
Beads and extensions are fun, although they can add some extra weight to your hair and for those who don’t want to be weighed down during hot summer days and nights, but would still like to deviate from traditional braid patterns this is one of the best solutions.
In order to create such braids hairdresser usually divides hair into five or six equal sections and braids hair backward, sideways or diagonally, starting from the same point near the forehead.
This results in chunky braids that radiate outward from the same point on the head resembling the leaves of a tropical palm tree. Hence the name palm braids.
Side-swept braids is another variation of Ghana braid style that has gained popularity with general public.
This type of Ghana braids style as the name suggests involves braids of various shapes and sizes that are swept from either side of the head and fall down in the long cascade of braids onto one of your shoulders.
You can make the braids as skinny or as chunky as you wish.
Speaking of chunky… one of the most popular Ghana braid Styles has always been the so-called banana braids hairstyle named so due to the thick and chunky appearance of individual braids.
The advantage of banana braids over other types of braids is that they are relatively easy to install and can even be done at home without the assistance of an experienced hairdresser.
You can divide your hair into two or more sections and install two or more banana braids on either side of your head, it’s all up to you!
Yet another Ghana braid pattern which will surely impress your friends. Possibilities of Ghana braid styles are truly endless.
A skilled hairdresser can arrange your hair in any pattern you desire.
If you wish your braids to have a little bit more character the easiest way to do that is to make them curved.
The great thing is that you can go in any direction, and instead of braids being installed in a straight line they are installed in the shape of a crescent moon.
This can be done both with thin Ghana braids and super chunky ones as well.
If you like chunky banana braids and then you may enjoy arranging them into whirlpool pattern.
In this braid pattern several chunky banana braids radiate from the same point on the top of the head and when you look down at this type of braid arrangement it creates an effective design resembling a whirlpool or sun rays.
One Sided braids
One-sided braids have also become enormously popular. In this type of Ghana braids hairstyle only one side of the head is braided.
Usually the hair is parted to the side and the side of the head that has the least amount of hair is braided front to back.
The size of the braids as well as their number is 100% up to you.
This type of braid pattern has become very popular not only among women of African descent who have curly hair, but among women who belong to other ethnic groups as well.
Braided hair provides a Stark contrast with the unbraided curly, wavy or straight hair creating a rather easy hairstyle which is nevertheless quite impressive and memorable.
One Ghana braids pattern which is guaranteed to get
you public attention and make everybody’s head swivel towards you is the mohawk braid pattern.
There are several variations of mohawk braids but in all of them the majority of your hair will be swept towards the middle of your head in order to create the iconic mohawk silhouette.
Version one involves braiding the sides of your head and leaving the middle part of your hair looking all natural.
Version two demands a little bit more commitment as it requires you to shave the sides of your head in a true mohawk style.
The stylist then braids the hair which has been left untouched in the middle of your head creating a hybrid of mohawk and Ghana braids.
In version three the sides of your head are braided using tiny braids front to back and several chunky or banana braids are installed in the middle part of your head which is supposed to be more prominent and noticeable.
Two words: mission accomplished!
Now, traditionally Ghana braids are created by braiding sections of hair front to back or from side to side, but, as they say, rules are meant to be broken and one example of this is the so-called reverse Ghana braids hairstyle.
In this type of hairstyle braiding begins at the nape of the neck towards the front of the head or at least towards the top of the head.
This innovative approach to Ghana braids provides a fresh alternative to the traditional while also looking downright awesome!
Usually thicker banana braids are the preferred ones for this type of hairstyle.
You can either let your braids hang loose framing your face or arrange them in a neat bun.
Alternating thick and thin braids
We spoke about thick braids and we spoke about thin braids.
The question is, what would happen if you decided to combine two types of braids in one fascinating hairstyle? Well, nobody says you can’t! Alternating thick and thin Ghana braids is yet another way in which you can express your creativity and uniqueness.
You can alternate one thin braid with one thick braid or you can alternate several thin braids with one chunky banana braid, and of course you can braid your hair in any direction you like.
You are making up your own rules here. Just have fun and be creative!
Fish bone pattern braids
Another popular Ghana braid pattern is called fish bone pattern.
It is a little bit tricky to create so you will definitely need an experienced hairdresser to work her magic on you in order to install these kinds of braids.
This hairstyle usually consists of several chunky banana braids braided front to back and several tiny braids leading up to the banana braid which will leave it resembling part of a fish skeleton.
It looks much better than it sounds I promise.
Angled braid pattern refers to the hairstyle in which several braids are swept sideways in one direction either from left to right or right to left and the rest of the hair is braided so that it lays perpendicular to the other braids.
This is a simple yet very effective design which is simultaneously practical and mesmerizing to look at.
Zig zag braids
Zig zag pattern is also a very popular variation of Ghana braids. This hairstyle is highly customizable.
You just need to find an experienced stylist and trust her to make your dreams come true.
Similar to one-sided braids this hairstyle doesn’t require you to braid your hair in its entirety.
What you need to do is just braid the front part of your scalp and leave the hair on the back of your head loose to fall down on your shoulders.
This type of hairstyle will be particularly appealing to those who still want to experience the full volume of their hair but at the same time don’t enjoy their hair getting into their eyes.
The number of hours it takes to install braids depends on the thickness of the braids you want, on the complexity of the pattern, the length of your hair and of course on the experience of your hairdresser.
Some braids are easy to install at home after watching a couple of YouTube tutorials whereas some of them will definitely require a more experienced hand.
Originally worn by women in western Africa Ghana braids have become popular all over the world and can be worn by representatives of all ethnic backgrounds genders and age groups.
The best part about Ghana braids is that you can combine the aforementioned patterns in order to create your own unique hairstyle combinations.
With appropriate care the braids can last for weeks even months.
So, what are you waiting for? Go ahead! Express yourself and have fun!