By Leah Fletcher
Just like fashion, the hair industry is always creating age-appropriate yet trendy hairstyles styles and Black teen hairstyles have never been prettier. As teens return to school, African hair braiding styles can be a perfect option. While African hair braiding styles are numerous, box braids, cornrows, micro braids and invisible braids are some of the most popular styles for teens.
Because braids are easy to maintain, they work particularly well for teenagers who might not be accustomed to spending a great deal of time caring for their hair. If done correctly and cared for properly, braids can also prevent breakage, allowing teens to protect their hair and maintain hair growth for the duration of the style.
Box braids are an African hair braiding style that is both versatile and easy to maintain, making them ideal for teens who love to follow trends and want to minimize styling time. Hair extensions are typically used and worn long, sometimes to the knees. The three-strand braids, which can be worn for up to eight weeks, became popular in the 1990s and are making a comeback as many African-American celebrities have started wearing the style again.
Cornrows are a great option for teens who want a more traditionally African braided style. They are three-strand flat braids that lay close to the scalp. Though cornrows are a traditional style, teens can make them more modern by varying braiding patterns and creating updos, which may be adorned with all sorts of ornamentation including beads, shells, barrettes and ribbons. To create cornrows, teens my use their own hair or hair extensions, which requires hair length that is at least two inches.
Micro braids are one of the most versatile braiding styles. They may be worn in any length, and are typically worn long with hair extensions added. Teens who want to sport micro braids should be aware of the time required to create them, when may take up to eight hours, and removing them, when may take even longer. Teens with thin hair should avoid micro braids with added hair extensions, as these braids can induce breakage due to their small size and tendency to weigh down the hair.
Invisible braids are similar to micro, but they are smaller, three-strand braids. However, invisible braids differ from micro braids because they are braided a short distance between the head and the hair shaft. The remainder of the hair, and hair extensions are left to flow freely. This African braiding style is for teens who want to create a more fluid hair style that will accommodate varying lengths.