Beauty All Natural 3 Gorgeous Styling Ideas for Chunky Braids Turn your plaits into structural works of art. By Kayla Greaves Kayla Greaves Instagram Twitter Website Kayla Greaves is the Executive Beauty Editor for InStyle, overseeing all beauty coverage on the site. She has previously held positions at HuffPost and Bustle. InStyle's editorial guidelines Published on April 29, 2021 @ 01:43PM Pin Share Tweet Email For Black women, braids are so much more than just a hairstyle. They're a part of our ancestry, our heritage, and our culture. Braids offer us comfort. They help connect us to the matriarchs in our families (we've all sat in-between another Black woman's knees as they did our hair), and they protect our delicate strands from the elements. They also help us to realize just how versatile our natural coils and curls can be. There are few other hair types, if any, that have the ability to defy gravity in the way natural hair can, which means that we have a plethora of otherworldly styling options available to us when it comes to braiding. But don't just think these looks are limited to skinny box braids. Chunky plaits are just as mesmerizing — especially when you allow them to reach new heights. Ahead, three gorgeous styling ideas for chunky braids on natural hair. How to Do Bubble Braids on Every Natural Hair Texture and Length Bountiful Bubble Braids Joe Bulawan This style is perfect for your first formal post-pandemic outing. To craft this look, start off by simply parting your hair straight down the middle to create two sections. Next, use a hair tie, like Goody's Ouchless Comfortable Elastic Hair Accessories Set and wrap around the base of each braid, then move down about an inch-and-a-half and repeat until you reach your ends. If your hair is more on the coilier side and can stand up on its own, simply use another hair tie to attach the ends from both sides of your hair. Otherwise, use bobby pins or a flexible wire to help to create structure and bring the ends together. Playful Plaits Joe Bulawan This simple hairstyle will bring back memories from childhood, but that doesn't mean it can't be elevated for adults. Start off by sectioning your hair into four parts, but keep in mind they don't need to be overly neat. Next, use a hair tie at the base and add some gel to the hair to help with hold. The Blueberry Bliss Curl Control Paste and Control Curl Sculpting Gel, both from Curls, are great options. Once you're done, braid each section downwards, making sure to leave some of the ends out. You can create this style using your own natural hair, or add in some kinky kanekalon bundles for more length. To give the style some shape and dimension, scrunch the braids at the roots and down the shaft. Joe Bulawan Put a Ring on It Joe Bulawan For another look, section the hair into five sections and braid each part all the way down to the ends, using a flexible wire on some sections to help create a free-standing circle with the plaits. Next, grab some hair rings or regular hoop earrings, open, and carefully attach to the hair. For bigger rings, you can also opt to use scunci's Elevated Basic Mini Bobby Pins to help fasten the jewelry. Photographer: Joe Bulawan. Makeup: Simone Otis. Hair: Justin German. Stylist: Aliecia Brissett. Model: Janessa. This is All Natural. From the kinkiest coils to loose waves, we're celebrating natural hair in its many forms by sharing expert tips for styling, maintenance, and haircare.