Fulani Braids Are the Fire Protective Style You'll Want to Rock This Spring

Everyone from Alicia Keys to Willow Smith loves them.

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ALL NATURAL: What Are Fulani Braids
Photo: InStyle/ Instagram @e_scizorhands

When it comes to braids, there are hundreds of options. I feel like every day I see a new style on Instagram – and I love it! The most recent style the Internet put me on to? Fulani braids.

Once I discovered them, I was immediately obsessed. So, not only did I do a deep dive on these braids, but I also spoke to three hairstylists who are well-versed in all things braiding, including everything about Fulani braids, from installation to maintenance.

Find out more, ahead.

What are Fulani braids?

These braids originated from the Fulani people of Africa. This style incorporates a mixture of cornrow and box braids. So, in short, Fulani braids are a unique and creative protective style.

"Some of today's notable celebrities such as Cicely Tyson (RIP), Beyoncé, Solange, Alicia Keys, Rihanna, and Teyonah Parris have worn this look on the red carpet, film, and in everyday life to embrace and celebrate our cultural history and legacy," says Felicia Leatherwood, celebrity hairstylist and owner of Brush with the Best. "The Fulani braids are part of Black history."

How Long Do Fulani Braids Last?

"[Fulani braids] typically last four to six, but how long you keep them in is a personal preference," says Illeisha Lussiano, owner of The Way salon in Manhattan. "Everyone's braids look different as new growth comes in. Keeping your scalp well oiled and hydrated is essential."

What's the Best way to Maintain Fulani braids?

For the best results, Leatherwood recommends moisturizing the hair daily. She says to use a scalp moisturizer or pomade, such as Carol's Daughter Mimosa Hair Honey and the brand's Goddess Strength 7 Oil Blend Scalp & Hair Oil.

To further help with maintenance, also make sure to tie your hair down with a silk scarf.

How Much Do Fulani Braids Cost?

Price varies between salons, stylists, size, and length of braids. However, getting Fulani braids typically ranges between $150 to $400.

How Long Will I Be Sitting In My Stylist's Chair?

According to Amourjah, a New York-based hairstylist and owner of BraidEnvy, it can take up to four to six hours depending on the size, length, and intricacy of the style. However, considering how jaw-dropping Fulani braids are, it'swell worth the time and money!

Interested in Fulani braids? Here are some inspo-photos to take to your stylist.

Willow Smith rocks the classic Fulani style, with one braid going down the middle and the rest veering out on each side. It's giving chic for all occasions.

Most pictures of Fulani braids are shown down, so we absolutely love seeing them pulled into a bun! Taraji P. Henson proves the versatility of the style, which is perfect for people who tend to throw their hair up most of the time.

Adding colorful extensions and hair rings gives playful beach vibes that can carry you through any season — no matter the temperature.

Justine Skye with classic Fulani braids and neon beads is giving all the feels and nostalgia of summers in the 90's while still being trendy and current.

Keeping Fulani braids short and sweet gives a minimalist look, and adding neutral-colored beads adds an authentic feel.

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A high ponytail with an adornment of bigger and smaller beads not only shows how versatile this style is, but also how creative you can get with it.

We cannot discuss this style without giving Alicia Keys her flowers! I'm pretty sure the first time many of us saw Fulani braids was in the iconic "Fallin'" music video back in 2001.

There's something about incorporating highlights into braids that gives them a sleek look, almost as if the hair isn't braided at all. It's a bomb illusion.

For people who like to frequently switch it up, half Fulani braids with the back left out is perfect. You can curl the remaining hair, straighten it, put it in a cute low pony, or even do space buns; the looks keeps coming no matter what the vibe is.

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.

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