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, here are 40 different braid styles inspired by the music video anthology’s very best snippets.
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.
Small Lemonade Braids
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 the golden cornrows featured above and the way they seemingly pay homage to Lemonade.
In the music video “Don’t Hurt Yourself,” Beyoncé gets in touch with her tough side by sporting straight cornrows. You can get a similar effect by braiding your own defined set. In this example, you can see what jumbo cornrows (or "goddess braids," if that’s what you prefer to call them) look like with a stitch pattern etched in.
Blonde Box Braids
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.
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.
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.
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 is reminiscent to the crown Beyoncé wore in her own video.
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.
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.
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.
Chunky Box Braids
In the music video “Daddy Lessons,” there is a scene where Beyoncé is riding a horse in an open field while her box braids sway in the wind. Unlike the other box braids she wore in her previous videos, these are on the thicker side. These shoulder-grazing box braids are on the same level of Beyoncé’s style, albeit shorter than the ones she had.
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.