If you're lacking ideas when it comes to your hair, you can always count on TikTok for some inspiration. The app has made it easy to find thousands of creative hairstylists that post step-by-step videos of the latest hair trends. Lately, a new take on classic goddess braids has been popping up on For You Pages everywhere, and we can't get enough.
Goddess braids—think of them as a thicker take on cornrows—are one of the most popular braided styles for good reason. They're extremely versatile, protective, and can last up to six weeks with proper care. They even have roots in ancient Africa, where the style held a special meaning in creativity and culture, and are still used as a form of self-expression.
While they have a long history, most modern renditions of the style require extensions to be braided in. However, this newer take on the braids can actually be done on natural hair, no heat or extensions required.
In a video that kicked off the trend, user @blissful_.beaute demonstrates what she calls "boho goddess braids" on her natural coils. After prepping her hair with product, she parts it evenly into sections, and braids each section in a simple three-strand braid. Every couple of times she crosses a piece of hair over, she leaves a thin strand out. The end result is a unique look that shows off her beautiful texture as well as the trendy braids.
Leigh Hardges, a stylist at Maxine Salon in Chicago, says that this style is trending "because it’s a variation on a classic braided style that doesn’t create more work, and still preserves the protective essence of the style.”
Thanks to all of the videos on TikTok, you don’t have to spend hours at the salon. Instead, you can do the braids at home. But Hardges says to remember one key rule when doing the style yourself: “Be sure to distribute the product evenly on the hair to simplify styling.”
Celebrity hairstylist and Matrix brand ambassador Takisha Sturdivant Drew says “it’s all about the prep,” when it comes to these natural goddess braids. "First you should cleanse the hair. I recommend starting with Matrix A Curl Can Dream Shampoo ($20), and then following it up with their Rich Mask ($19) for an extra boost of hydration.” She also notes that the Matrix collection is great for hair, thanks to the added Manuka honey that softens the hair.
"Then blow dry the hair to make it manageable, and part the hair in the direction you want it to go in," she adds. "Then separate all of the hair that would be added in, and start braiding with it.”
How to style
Like traditional goddess braids, these boho braids are extremely versatile, and can be worn as-is, or worked into different styles like pigtails, half-ups, and bantu knots. The options are endless.