I've seen an uptick in the number of posts on my timeline with the hashtag #feedinbraids lately. Black girls everywhere are trading in our fros and silk presses for easy-going, protective styles. The term might be new to you—but chances are if you've been getting braids for a while you've probably seen (or worn) this look.
Feed-in braids use a method that gives the illusion of natural, full braids by "feeding in" synthetic hair with your natural hair beyond the start of your hairline. With regular cornrows, your stylist will start each braid with a knot to mix your hair with the synthetic hair. But with the feed-in method, the hair adding process begins after your hair is braided, with the synthetic hair being fed-in mid-braid to create a natural, seamless look. Here, 30 ways to wear the look.
From the intricate parting to the golden-hued bun, Lexi's feed-in style is a showstopper.
Quinta Brunson's crystal-adorned cornrows can be taken from the red carpet to any special occasion.
Baby Hairs on Display
Baby hairs and side-swept braids are a dynamic duo. Here, Khat Brim's braids look light and natural thanks to the feed-in braid technique.
This fishtail pony proves that with creativity and innovation, braided styles can never be boxed in.
My Blue Heaven
Blue is always a good choice for dark hair if you want to add color. Here, the stylist used a full head of braids to create a cool, textured lob.
A Work of Art
When the topic of cultural appropriation comes up surrounding braids, I always hear it's just a hairstyle. Yara Shahidi's red carpet style proves that statement wrong, as Black hair is and always will be an artistic work of art.
Texture, Texture, Texture
This style shows us that feed-in braids have a lot to offer. These chunky braids play with texture and shape.
This blonde, Fruity Pebbles-esque ponytail reminds us to never be afraid to play with color.
Say My Name
Karrueche's straight back braids are giving me Beyoncé "Say My Name" vibes (though her braids are significantly smaller in size). With braids that slim, you'll want to be sure to take care of your edges so you don't end up with breakage.
Shani Crowe's 66-carat masterpiece is an excellent reference for a wedding day or a special occasion look.
Bun, Meet Ponytail
To achieve this braided bun-meets-pony look, you'll probably spend a significant amount of time in your braider's chair. But Vanessa Matsena's sleek, beaded look is worth the wait.
Braided and Wired
Bianca Lawson's cornrows don't appear to feature extensions, but feed-in braids could work here. Just add a little hair and gold hair wire.
Beyoncé has has been giving us braid-spiration since she and Destiny's Child hit the scene in the 90's. Her butt-length, side-swept braids frame her face beautifully.
Fulani With a Twist
Braids are all about versatility. Here, the traditional Fulani style gets a twist with a gorgeous red color and an intricately knotted up 'do around the crown of the head.
Beauty and the Beads
Solange's blonde braids with red beads are iconic. With natural hair that's dyed blonde, you'll have to take extra care to ensure the hair is properly moisturized—especially when adding tension.
Brazilian blogger Magá Moura is another naturalista that shows us how versatile our natural coils can be by adding bubble braids to this look.
During the peak summer months, long feed-in braids might be too warm for some of us. The bob gives us a cool, protective style option.
Paola Mathé's braided updo isn't one-dimensional. You can wear this look a few different ways—in a bun, a bun mixed with a little hang time, or let it all hang out.
Crochet All Day
Sanna Lathan's braided look is ideal for crocheting. Ask your stylist to install individual feed-ins to the front of your hair, then install the rest with crochet.
A braided lob is a nice middle-ground for someone who wants length without the commitment of cascading extensions.
The Gold Shoulder
If you have shoulder-length hair, you could ask for this style sans extra hair. But for longevity and fullness, you can add hair as well.
Feed-in braids lend themselves to many style options, and hair artists like Susy innovate. A braided mohawk of this stature would work at a wedding or art gala.
DIY If You Dare
Here, Natasha keeps it simple. A style like this could easily be done at home with guidance from a YouTube tutorial.
Modern Middle Part
Adding a braid where your middle part would be gives this style an elevated, cool-girl look.
This Girl Is on Fire
Okay, this asymmetrical bob is fire (pun intended) and the gold charms on the blunt, burned ends set it off.
Love. That. Length. These feed-in braids remind us that we can honor traditional African styles while adding length and a modern twist.
Kersti's colorful yellow and white hair is eye-catching, with the sizing of the braids adding depth to her bun.
Lesley's angled braids are a reminder that you can be simple without being boring.
This undercut, jumbo braid combo is geometric eye candy. When wearing hair up in a ponytail (especially with extensions), take it down at night so you don't end up with breakage in the middle of your head (or a headache).
Feed-In Bubble Braids
Until I saw this tutorial, I thought bubble braids would never work on my hair—but Grownish hair stylist Tinisha Meek has proved that theory wrong. The feed-in process works similarly to how you'd braid the hair to the scalp.