35 Stunning Braids Inspired by Beyoncé's Iconic Lemonade Album

lemonade braids

@beyonce

Beyoncé's 2016 album Lemonade is a visual masterpiece rooted in feminism, a celebration of Black women and African history, themes punctuated by Beyoncé's grand hairstyles, specifically her waist-length braids. According to her longtime hairstylist Kim Kimble, "The whole video is paying homage to women’s culture.” In videos such as 'Formation" and "Sorry," Beyoncé can be seen donning up to three looks or more throughout her various scenes. Kimble tells Elle, "We designed the hair not just for her, but for the entire project,” she explained. “Each song had its own inspiration."

From her iconic side-swept cornrows and many variations of box braids, updos and braided pigtails, there’s so much style Beyoncé brought forward in her visual album. If you need a reminder of just how great Beyoncé’s hair looked in Lemonade, check out these 35 different braid styles inspired by the music video anthology’s very best snippets.

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Ombré Ends

Lemonade Braids Ombre Ends

@thecurlymommy

In Beyoncé’s music video “Hold Up,” you might recall her center-parted loose curls stealing the show while she sashayed her way down streets in a bright yellow dress. This look can be replicated with tree braids, another style Beyoncé loves to wear. All it takes are a few freestanding braids and curly tresses to look like the songstress. These side-swept ombré tree braids look similar enough without it being a copy-and-paste job.

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Half-Up, Half-Down

Lemonade Braids Half Up Half Down

@brandiwynae

There’s no secret that Beyoncé likes her blonde locks. And if you happen to have blonde hair yourself, tree braids are sure to look very Lemonade-esque. Aside from parting your hair, you can try a half-up-half-down style for a really dynamic look.

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Ponytail Tree Braids

Lemonade Braids Tree Braid Ponytail Beyonce

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Are you curious about how tree braids look when they’re pulled back in a ponytail? Beyoncé has been rocking the look since well before her Lemonade days. It's a stunning style no matter the occasion, but particularly for bat-swinging.

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Cinnamon Bark

Beyoncé’s voluminous curls grazed her tailbone in "Hold Up." You can go for a similar look with your tree braids with extensions if you don't have the natural length. For this particular style we found on Instagram, we can’t get over the gorgeous cinnamon color.

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Walnut Waves

Lemonade Braids Walnut Waves

@ladyzofelegance

Tree braids look great with natural textures, but they also look amazing with roller sets and curl wands. Here’s what the style looks like with a smoother and looser curl pattern. The walnut shade is also awe-inspiring.

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Ebony Tree Braids

Lemonade Braids Dark Tree Braids

@syleenajohnson

Of course, we can’t forget how great tree braids look in a darker shade. Wouldn’t you agree?

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Small Lemonade Braids

Lemonade Braids Small Jada Pinkett Smith

Getty Images

Yoncé's cornrows are already quite small in the "Formation" and "Don't Hurt Yourself" videos, but #smalllemonadebraids is still a massively popular hashtag on Instagram, so the differentiation is worth noting. We love these golden braids on Jada Pinkett Smith.

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Golden Rows

Lemonade Braids Golden Cornrows Jasmine Sanders

@goldenbarbie

Again, if you’re on the blonder side, you might get more people connecting the dots that you’re recreating a Lemonade style. A golden tone may get easier callbacks over others since it closely matches Beyoncé's signature locks.

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Alternating Cornrows

Lemonade Braids Alternating Cornrows Jourdan Dunn

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Beyoncé’s cornrows were pretty thin and tight for the "Don't Hurt Yourself" video, but you don’t have to do exactly what she did. If you like playing with sizes, this alternating braid style might be more to your liking.

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Chunky Rows

Perhaps you prefer a set of chunky braids on your head over skinny ones—here’s a way you can style them. Though, instead of braiding them straight back, maybe you can position them at an angle.

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Decorated Cornrows

Alicia Keys

Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images

Beyoncé’s cornrows were pretty plain to keep in theme with the video’s overall grittiness, but there’s a chance you may want to dress your braids up for a special occasion (or just because). If that’s the case, you can decorate your cornrows with a metallic thread or braid charm.

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Curly Ends

Lemonade Braids Curly Ends

@braidsgang

Maybe the "tough" look isn’t for you and you'd rather go a little bit more flirty. That’s no problem at all–you just curl the loose ends of your cornrows for all the "cute" you need.

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Blonde Box Braids

Lemonade Braids Blonde Box Braids

@bestboxbraids

In the music video “Sorry,” Beyoncé and her besties went all out with hairstyles that complemented the emotion behind the scorned ballad. Throughout the video, you can see Beyoncé whipping her long, blonde box braids. It’s only fitting that you get box braids of your own in solidarity.

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Half-Up Box Braids

Lemonade Braids Half-Up Box Braids Skai Jackson

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When you need a break from all your swishing strands, you can always sweep them away in a bun. But for the sake of Lemonade, leave half of your box braids down to stay close to the source of inspiration.

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Pigtail Braids

Lemonade Braids Pigtail

@braidsgang

In one of the scenes, Beyoncé wears her hair down in a pair of braided pigtails. She also leaves out a portion of her bangs for a sultry look. You can achieve a similar vibe by leaving out your favorite strands.

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Nefertiti Hat

There’s another scene that shows Beyoncé donning a sky-high style that Kimble has confirmed as a reference to the Egyptian queen Nefertiti. The style might be difficult to achieve on your own, but if you have something strong enough to support your wrapped-up braids, you can absolutely rock this look. And if all else fails, you can always opt for a pre-braided Nefertiti hat.

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High Bun

Lemonade Braids High Bun

@braidsgang

If the Nefertiti hat is a little too dramatic or artsy for your liking, you can get a similar effect with a braided high bun. Go for a bun that’s a little higher than you’d usually get to stay true to the Lemonade theme.

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Tall Head Wrap

Lemonade Braids Headwrap

@ceeceesclosetnyc

Although Beyoncé didn’t wear a head wrap in this exact video, she did throughout Lemonade, so it’s worth mentioning if you want to go for a Nefertiti look that isn’t so literal. It’s a great way to get height and keep your braids protected.

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Shuruba/Albaso

Lemonade Braids Shuruba/Albaso

@braidsgang

In the music video “Emptiness,” Beyoncé’s hair is down, but she's wearing an elaborate crown that looks very similar to traditionally braided styles found in Africa. Particularly, her look is very reminiscent of the "Shuruba" or "Albaso" style worn by the women of Ethiopia and Eritrea, which is a half-braided, half-down hairdo. These two beauties are sporting micro cornrows and their natural hair in addition to their statement crowns.

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Jumbo Shuruba/Albaso

Lemonade Braids Jumbo Shuruba/Albaso

@habeshajewelryonline

The Shuruba/Albaso hairstyle doesn’t have to be done with ultra-skinny cornrows. It can also alternate between braid sizes for a natural crown effect that’s highly Lemonade-inspired. 

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Blonde Crown Braids

Lemonade Braids Blonde Crown

@magicfingersstudio

If you'd rather try your hand at regular cornrows, you can braid the front of your hair into a simple pattern. Blonde is a stunning shade to work with as well.

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Winding Paths

Lemonade Braids Winding Paths

@shomadjozi

This cornrow pattern might look a little similar to its blonde counterpart above, but as you can see, it has select statement cornrows that wind down like a snake-shaped crown. The box braids placed right by the ear create a chain-like appearance that's reminiscent of the crown Beyoncé wore in her own video.

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Statement Shells

Fulani Braids Shells

@heycurlie

If you really want to steal the show, go with this ultra-elaborate braided crown that’s half cornrow and half Fulani. Curling the rest of your leave-out into loose waves for an intriguing contrast. Last but not least, pin down some cowrie shells for a pan-African touch that’s on par with Lemonade.

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Tiara Side Braid

In the music video “6 Inch,” Beyoncé wears her iconic black wide-brimmed hat with a beautiful side braid. You can find a hat identical to what she wore, or you can switch it out for a pretty headband. For extra bling, you can throw in some braid charms as well.

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Adorned Side Braid

Not digging the headband look? You can ditch it and just stick to the braid charms instead. We're in love with the volume this braid has from its loosely cornrowed roots. The fullness at the base of the braid is also a nice touch.

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Plain and Pressed Side Braid

Lemonade Braids Pressed Side Braid Joan Smalls

Getty Images

If you prefer to not be as flashy, you can always go for a plain side braid. This sleek, glossy plait is perfectly pressed and ready for its own video shoot.

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Bridal-Worthy Halo Braid

When Beyoncé wasn’t strutting around with her giant hat, her softer side came through with a soft, center-parted updo that’s reminiscent to a halo braid. Her falling curly strands were breathtaking. This style we found is a little tighter braid-wise, but it’s still pretty spot on.

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Wispy Halo Braid

Lemonade Braids Wispy Halo

@jazziloves

This halo braid is also very similar to the original source material with its loose, wavy strands.

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Neatly Charmed Box Braids

Larger box braids are certainly eye-catching. And if you’re a fan of having your braids neatly installed and accessorized, this look will be sure to feed your soul. 

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Boho Box Braids

Lemonade Braids Boho Box Braids

@kenashanell

Or maybe you’re into the bohemian aesthetic and you prefer your box braids to be freer and less uniform. Take a page from this boho beauty’s book.

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Cornrows and Box Braids

Lemonade Braids Cornrows and Box Braids

@floracoquerel

It’s impossible to see Beyoncé's roots from the camera’s distance, so we can't confirm or deny whether she snuck a few cornrows into the mix. But, in case she did, here’s a hybrid cornrow and box braid style that fits the video’s overall ambiance.

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Cornrowed Side

Lemonade Braids Cornrowed Side

@braidsgang

In “Formation,” Beyoncé brought out a handful of natural hairstyles to the forefront. However, the scene when she leans out the window of a moving car with her side-swept cornrows has become a cultural icon (and sassy meme). You can easily recreate the style—just make sure to pick your favorite selfie side.

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Braided Pompadour

Lemonade Braids Pompadour Janelle Monae

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There’s a portion of "Formation" where Beyoncé is shown with her hair swept back in a pompadour-like style. You can create a similar look with volumized roots and a single cornrowed braid.

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Formation Halo Braid

What can we say? Beyoncé really likes wrapping her hair up into a halo. Here’s a cool zig-zagged halo that is different from the rest in this list.

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Cornrowed Pigtails

Lemonade Braids Cornrowed Pigtails

@braidsgang

Beyoncé brought her cornrowed pigtails out again with her wide-brimmed hat. You can get a similar effect if you go for a loosely braided and voluminous set of pigtails that reach your waist. When you’re not sporting a hat, you can pair it with whatever accessory you like.

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