53 Stunning Goddess Braids Hairstyles: Tips on Getting Goddess Braids
Goddess braids have been a staple hairstyle option for women with black hair for as far back as any of us know. Even if traditionally black hairstyles are not the type you are interested in, the option has been presented and there are several reasons why. Goddess braided hairstyles are considered as iconic as taper fade styles are for Afro American man but also an excellent way to give your hair a break, retain length and moisture and are considered a great and stylish protective style option.
As a kid I remember being incredibly excited to get my hair done, choosing one of a million different goddess braided hairstyles and being so excited to show off my new look at school. This is the narrative for a lot of girls, even when people considered it to be too weird, or out of place or odd that we wore the same style for weeks, it always gave me a sense of pride and was a way to show off my individual style.
Some people learn how to do certain variations of goddess braids on their own, but for really intricate designs it is best to go to a professional braider and get the whole install taken care of. Unless you have amazing arm strength and endurance, you’ll greatly appreciate the professional help.
If you are interested in goddess braids, but don’t know where to start, hopefully this article will be a big help. Consider this the informative guide for goddess braided hairstyles, complete with several style options for inspiration at the end.
What Are Goddess Braids?
Goddess braids are large to oversized braids designed to work as a protective style for black hair. They can be cornrows or individuals, but it is the design that really matters. They are suitable for both natural and relaxed hair regardless of additional processes like coloring.
For those trying to grow out their hair, transition from relaxed to natural or just give their hair a break, goddess braids are certainly an option. Goddess braided hairstyles have a slew of benefits for installing them and they are very easy to maintain.
Other forms of braids inspired by goddess braided hairstyles are being seen everywhere. While braids have existed in many cultures for eons, the goddess braid hairstyles have a thorough history of their own. Just as braids have been able to convey social status and are perceived as art, even today, goddess braids show the time and diligence to get your hair done, a luxury.
This isn’t a style that is meant to be installed in the morning and taken down the next day; it takes time, effort and intent and is supposed to last for one week to several weeks depending on the style. By giving your hair a break and tucking away the hair it promotes growth and prevents damage beautifully ” when it is done right.
Why Are Goddess Braids a Good Protective Style?
A good protective style is low maintenance, lasts at least a week, is low manipulation and gentle on hair. Goddess braids are easy on hair and work towards maintaining length by avoiding breakage and stress on the strands.
Goddess braided hairstyles do not dry hair out, and are incredibly easy to maintain. Protective styling is also about retaining moisture while simultaneously protecting ends of hair from fraying and split ends.
Goddess braids can last anywhere from one week to six weeks depending on the style.
Goddess braided hairstyles are varied and easily adjustable. Every design can be worn several different ways.
Low manipulation means you do not actually HAVE to style your hair, because it is already styled. Essentially, goddess braids are a get up and go’ hairstyle, i.e. low manipulation.
Because of the size of the braids, more of your actual hair is included in each braid or cornrow, creating a solid foundation and minimizing the likelihood that too much weight on small amounts of hair can cause tension issues.
All styles of goddess braids tuck the hair in from root to end making it easier to properly moisturize, clean and maintain while it grows.
How Are Goddess Braids Done?
Goddess braided hairstyles are done a number of ways, each varying based on the intended final design.
Cleaning the Hair: As with all protective styles, the first step is usually a deep clean of the hair and scalp with a clarifying shampoo and then a deep conditioning treatment.
Conditioning: After the deep conditioning treatment, the hair is usually stretched (if natural) to create a smooth lead into and finish for the braids.
Choosing the Ratio of the Braid: The ratio of hair for each braid is decided by the end design and parted to support the look. This happens whether additional hair extensions are added or not.
Installing the Braids: Next the braids are installed, typically using a pomade or light gel depending on the hair type.
Sealing the Braids: Finally, in the last step the ends of the goddess braids are sealed to keep the braids from coming loose and any hair jewelry or beads are installed as well. In most cases, especially where synthetic hair is used, the hair is sealed with hot water.
In other cases, hair accessories can be installed to close the ends and in some cases, even a small inconspicuous knot is added at the end of the extensions to close the braid. This part is usually snipped off during takedown.
Goddess Braids Dos and Don’ts
Do take care of your hair while it is in braids. Spritz your hair with water and oil it. Use a specially formulated braid spray; just pay attention to the ingredients you use.
Do adjust your routine. Washing, deep conditioning and moisturizing hair is still essential, but you will have easier access to your scalp and can continue to maintain without the worry of detangling, drying, styling, etc.
Do be careful of your edges. Many a hairline has been ruined by braids installed improperly around the edges.
Do pay attention to the ratio ” extensions can add bulk and length, but adding too much without a good ratio of your hair will cause pulling as it grows out and create tension on the scalp, which can lead to bald spots.
Do your research on braiding salons! Check out their most recent work on social media or go in for a consultation and see some of the results live. This is incredibly important as many braiding salons have a tendency to pull hair too tightly, which can lead to bald spots and traction alopecia.
Hair should be braided tightly, but not too tightly. A puffy swollen scalp all the way to the hairline is unacceptable.
Don’t overdo it on washing or conditioning.
Don’t allow product buildup. This can stifle your hair growth, weaken your hair and cause your goddess braids to look dirty.
Don’t fall for the idea that the tighter the hair is installed, the longer it will last. This is an exaggeration; tightly braided hair is secure, but hair braided too tightly will cause issues. I cannot state this often enough.
Don’t wear the same goddess braid hairstyle each time, and space out installs with a minimum of one week’s rest for your hair. Ideally you should give yourself a month between protective styles.
Professional Goddess Braids Install: What to Expect
Expect to be there for hours if not all day. There are memes and jokes galore about going to the salon, and they are all accurate. A full install will include a wash and condition, stretching the hair and braiding and can take hours.
Depending on whether you are getting Individual box style goddess braids or a cornrowed goddess braid hairstyle, the length of time spent on braiding can vary by hours. A nearly all day commitment to the salon may seem like a sacrifice but remember this style will last you weeks.
Make certain to discuss with your braider if the hair extensions are included or if you need to bring them with you.
During the appointment, if you haven’t already chosen a style, you’ll have the chance to look at a few. It is never a bad idea to bring along any images of goddess braids for inspiration as well. Browse Pinterest, Instagram, wherever you can find a style you like (even in this article) and show it to your stylist for inspiration either before, so you can get a better quote, or during the actual appointment. Take a look while you are under the dryer if need be, it’s a great use of time.
Once your hair is stretched, the hair is usually divided up, or parted into workable sections decided by the style you’ve chosen. Then comes the even bigger wait. If you are tender headed (which is a debatable topic, I know), take a pain killer first to ward it off and make the process easier.
The addition of the hair is done in a variety of different ways, but if the ratio is right, it should not add too much weight so as to become uncomfortable.
Listen to the stylist when your hair is being styled, they will give you insight on how to protect your hair and how to style your goddess braids, should you choose to. Most Goddess braid hairstyles are fine as is, but can be pinned up, adorned or styled differently as well.
Goddess Braids Care and Maintenance
Wrap your hair before bed in a silk or satin scarf before bed, which will help keep your hair from drying out and will keep your edges protected as you sleep. When it is time to washing your hair, pay attention to your scalp and rather than scrubbing with your fingertips, follow the lines of your cornrows or run the lather down the length of your goddess braids, whichever is applicable to your style.
The same goes for conditioner and when it is time to rinse, let the water run through the hair and follow along with your fingers carefully. Be careful not to snag the hair and mess up the braids.
To keep hair from being too weighed down by all the water, wash a section of goddess braids at a time if you have individuals, or half and half if you have cornrows. Blot your hair dry and wrap it in an old t-shirt rather than drying with a towel to reduce friction and keep goddess braids looking fresh longer.
If your stylist has suggested a braid spray, make certain to use it as directed or ask for a recommendation. There are plenty of great options, but most people will still use a spritz of water and their favorite oil with great success.
Goddess Braids Takedown
When the time comes to take down your goddess braids, the best thing to do is use conditioner. If you have very long braids installed, trim the ends up a few inches but nowhere near where your actual hair will have ended, and being unraveling the braids. Start unraveling the goddess braids from the bottom, slowly and carefully making your way to the roots.
Make certain to use conditioner and water as well by applying it to the goddess braids you are removing. Conditioner provides slip and reduces breakage and stress on the strands. The extensions will come out easier and your hair will essentially be given a conditioning treatment before your final wash.
As you remove your goddess braids, you’ll see a lot of hair shedding, which is something natural, taking the fact that we normally shed up to 100 hairs a day. So if you have worn your goddess braids for a week, after taking them down you may see around 700 shed hairs, which shouldn’t frighten you.
Goddess Braids Ideas
1. Golden Goddess Braided Ponytail
Goddess braids are known for an impressive size, weight and a myriad of designs. Here the goddess braided hairstyle is of cornrows that lead up to a voluminous ponytail at the crown, with cornrows that hang down in the back for a half-up, half-down style.
2. Gold Goddess Box Braids
Box braids are an excellent protective style, ultimately versatile and gorgeous and here the combinations of blonde create a golden appearance to the goddess braids. Here the goddess braids are wrapped up into a stunning halo of a high bun.
3. Gold Streaked Straight Backs
Goddess braids accented with a color can create dozens of beautiful and unique designs. Here the highlights of gold are a beautiful, eye-drawing feature of the straight-back goddess braids. The change from one size to another is clear and interesting.
4. Medium Sized Goddess Braids
The slight zigzag on the parts of the cornrows looks stunning, accented between by micro cornrows designed to follow the parts. The front of these cornrow goddess braids are accentuated by gold wrap hair accessories.
5. Incredible Sections Goddess Braid Hairstyle
This style is fabulous, beautifully parted and detailed. The addition of the extension is perfectly weighted to accentuate the goddess braids without weighing down the hair. The length is perfect, the parts are perfect, and the goddess braid hairstyle is perfect.