If These Photos Don't Convince You to Get Goddess Braids, Nothing Will

Zoe Kravitz long box braids and smoky eye

Jon Kopaloff / FilmMagic / Getty Images

You might have seen a few gorgeous braid styles that resemble chunky cornrows on Instagram, but did you know that it has a particular name? They’re called goddess braids, and they’re one of the hottest hairstyles for natural and transitioning hair, thanks to their protective properties and pleasing visuals. However, it’s important to note that this style isn’t anything new. Goddess braids
date back to ancient Africa as a symbol of arts and creativity.

The most notable difference between goddess braids and regular cornrows is that the former is thicker in size and raised higher, which ultimately creates the goddess effect. Even better, they can be worn in a variety of ways. Up, down, sideways, and any other designs you can think of. The length of time it takes to get your goddess braids done ultimately depends on the skill of your braider and how elaborate you want to go. The install process can be as little as 30 minutes or take as long as two to three hours. The time trade-off is so worth it, though, since you can keep goddess braids in for up to six weeks.

If you need some inspiration before trying the style for yourself, check out these 40 goddess braid hairstyles that are wowing the Instagram crowd.

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Simple Ponytail

Goddess Braids Ponytail

@hairbysusy

Ponytails are a style that might be old, but they’re also gold. Cornrow your entire head and follow through until you can’t braid anymore. Once your goddess braids are established, you can wrap a few around the rest to create this queenly look.

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Goddess Bun

Goddess Braids Bun

@magicfingersstudio

Next up on the list, a regal top knot bun. Secure the braids with bobby pins or a color-matched elastic. For added dimension, alternate between braid sizes throughout.

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Double Buns

Goddess Braids Double Buns

@_thebraidbar

What’s better than one bun? Two buns, of course! This style is perfect for the goddess braids enthusiast who’s obsessed with symmetry.

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Pink Pony

Goddess Braids Pink Ponytail

@worldofbraiding

Pink is a fun color. Why not put it in your hair? We particularly love it with this sky-high ponytail and Rapunzel length braids.

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Straight Back

Goddess Braids Straight Back Gabrielle Union

Getty Images

For the lover of simplicity, straight-back braids are the answer. Sure, you can try to dress them up with fancy accessories, but you can also just wake up and go whenever you please. What’s better than that? 

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Boho

Goddess Braids Boho Alicia Keys

@aliciakeys

Most goddess braids are tight and neat, but it doesn’t have to be that way if it’s not your style. Looser braids tend to be better for your edges anyway, so kudos to you. Alicia Keys sported a carefree bohemian style that we’re still not over.

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Goddess Braids with Accessories

Goddess Braids with Accessories Janelle Monae

Getty Images

When you feel like a goddess, there’s no harm in adding a few accents to your braids. Metallic colors are a classic option, or if you're looking to make a bold statement, try white fabric tied around dark locks (or vice versa if you're rocking a lighter shade).

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Half-Up, Half-Down

Don’t know whether you like your hair in a bun or down? Don’t worry; you can have the best of both worlds. Just make sure to ask your braider to create a pattern that will let you pull part of your hair up when you need to.

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Symmetrical Part

Goddess Braids Symmetrical Part

@worldofbraiding

They say beauty is found in symmetry, and you might as well apply that theory to goddess braids, too. For a touch of uniqueness, make sure to add an accent box braid on each side.

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Curly Ends

Braiding your hair could mean saying goodbye to your regular hair for a few weeks. If you feel like you’ll miss your locks, you don’t need to braid all the way down. Curly strands look extra stunning with this look.

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Partial Pigtails

Goddess Braids Partial Pigtails

@symphanisoto

Pigtails are always a fun hairstyle, but you can give them a modern twist if you don’t commit all the way. We love this half-pigtail, half-down style with tendrils left out in the front.

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Asymmetrical Blonde

Goddess Braids Asymmetrical Blonde

@worldofbraiding

Channel your inner Beyoncé with an asymmetrical braid style that screams Lemonade vibes. Make sure you get your braids done on your favorite selfie side, and bonus points if you opt for goddess braids in a light brown or blonde hue. 

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Skinny Goddess Braids

Goddess Braids Skinny Storm Reid

@stormreid

Chunky braids might be having a moment right now, but that doesn’t mean you can’t don a few thin ones if that's the look you love. The other plus side? You can sport your hair sans extensions or save a few bucks by not needing so many.

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Whimsy Goddess

Goddess Braids Romantic Delicate

@ameliamonet

Take a break from tying your hair back and let your braids fall naturally. If you like a romantic look, curl your free ends. The texture is extra visible on blonde and other light shades.

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Double Braids

Goddess Braids Double Yara Shahidi

Getty Images

If you want to keep things simple, stick to two long braids. The sheer length and accompanying hoop earrings provide all the clean drama you need, though feel free to dress it up with thread or charms if you'd like.

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Regal Ponytail

Goddess Braids Regal Ponytail

@worldofbraiding

Getting a goddess braid ponytail doesn’t mean you have to keep your plaits the same size. You can easily alternate between sizes and create a unique pattern. Make your actual ponytail voluminous If you like a dramatic, regal touch.

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Two-Tone Tribe

Love blonde and brunette? You can opt for both hues and create a dimensional style that resembles highlights and lowlights. Don’t forget to add your beads, of course!

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Elegant Updo

Goddess Braids Updo Jada Pinkett Smith

Getty Images

Sometimes, goddess braids look their most regal when sticking close to your head, leaving everyone to closely admire the intricacy. Loose pieces in front of the ears only elevate the romantic feel further.

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Short Embellishments

Long goddess braids are popular, but short- and medium-length styles need love too. Here’s what you can expect if you ask a braider for a shoulder-length ponytail with charms.

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Snowflake Part

Goddess Braids Snowflake Part

@worldofbraiding

Don’t forget, you can braid in a pattern with your goddess style. We love this eight-pointed snowflake (or star if that’s what you prefer to call it) pattern. The design serves as a fun peekaboo crown without having to shave.

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Loose Half-Up

To make the style a bit more loose, leave the ends of some of the goddess braids undone, and pile hair into a messy half-up style, with a few loose braids framing the face for good measure.

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Slicked-Back Look

Goddess Braids Slicked Back Skai Jackson

@skaijackson

A slicked-back look is always beautiful, and it looks even better at extreme lengths with a few beads at the end. The result is nothing short of majestic.

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Red Curly Updo

A short goddess braid hairstyle with curly ends will create a gorgeous updo, and pairing it with a vibrant red will make you look like a flame.

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Threaded Ponytail

Goddess Braids Threaded Ponytail

@jadegodbolt

If braid charms aren’t your style, you can always wrap a few braids with decorative thread. This goddess braid ponytail looks stunning, especially when it's paired with a few alternating cornrows.

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Braided Halo

Goddess Braids Halo Regina King

Getty Images

Do you want to feel like an angel? Then try this halo goddess braid for a sent-from-heaven vibe. You can either keep it simple or add a few accent braids for a modern twist.

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Rainbow Goddess

Goddess Braids Rainbow

@worldofbraiding

Sometimes, you need a pop of color. Why not go for all of them while you’re at it? 

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Red Romance

Goddess Braids Red Keke Palmer

Getty Images

Add a little romance to your everyday look with a crimson red hue that's sure to stand out no matter how you style your braids that day.

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Chunky Braids

Goddess Braids Chunky Lupita Nyong'o

Getty Images

What can we say? Chunky braids are just less fuss, and they look phenomenal. We recommend you give them a try when regular goddess braids just aren’t doing it for you.

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XL Braid

Goddess Braids XL

@foreverflawlyss

There’s beauty in simplicity, and this glamorous, extra-long goddess braid proves it. Don’t you agree?

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White Ombré

Goddess Braids White Ombre

@braidsgang

Going for goddess braids that are let down like box braids will give you the best of both worlds. Try enhancing the look with gray-to-white ombré highlights.

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Red Space Buns

Goddess Braids Red Space Buns

@worldofbraiding

Goddess braids don’t have to be “serious.” You can still dabble in fun, festival-ready styles like space buns.

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Goddess Braid Headband

Goddess Braids Headband Oprah Winfrey

Getty Images

Treat your goddess halo like an actual headband. Keep it simple with hoops, or you can even add in your favorite flowers as a natural accessory.

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Accent Beads

Goddess Braids Accent Braids

@braidsgang

We’re in love with this shoulder-length goddess braid style. The multicolored beads take it up a notch, as well.

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Blue Goddess

Goddess Braids Blue Amandla Stenberg

Getty Images

If you dig fashion colors, you might want to embrace a nice cobalt blue. Try an updo if you like a little drama.

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Curly Pigtails

Goddess Braids Curly Pigtails

@braidsgang

Add some texture to your braided goddess pigtails by leaving your hair in voluminous waterfall curls. If your curls could use a boost to be this bouncy, don’t be afraid to whip out a curling wand, iron, or roller.

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Goddess Box Braids

Goddess Braids Box

@braidsgang

We’ve shown you a lot of goddess braid styles that resemble box braids, but here’s another one to capture your heart. 

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Purple-Gray Pony

Are you experimental with your colors? You’ll love this purple and gray goddess braid ponytail.

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Braided Fauxhawk

Goddess Braids Fauxhawk Janelle Monae

Getty Images

Fauxhawks always provide an edge, and this one is no different. Check out this intricate set of braids—we’re sure you’ll save this look for a future appointment.

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Goddess Pigtails

Goddess Braids Pigtails

@braidsgang

Instead of just sticking to individual pigtail braids, go for an elaborate set with numerous plaits. For a more fun look, position them up high and smooth over your baby hairs.

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Burgundy Braids

They say a deep shade like burgundy symbolizes wealth, power, and ambition. That’s why it pairs so well with adorned goddess braids.

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