The scramble to find innovative ways to keep our natural hair healthy amid limited access to salons has resulted in an increased search for protective hairstyles—and people are turning to Pinterest for inspo. Take a look at some of the keywords around the subject matter that saw a significant spike on the famed visual search engine in 2020:
Honestly, the demand for low-maintenance hair inspiration makes total sense, especially since these hairstyles minimize potential damage to growing hair, without compromising style. Even Pinterest's Head of Content and Editorial Partnerships, Aya Kanai, shared her growing appreciation for these easily manageable hairstyles.
"I love the idea of having a hairstyle that lasts for multiple days or weeks," Kanai tells us about her admiration for protective styles, especially with our newfound lifestyle that consists of regular Zoom meetings for most. "It looks like you did something, but you didn’t do anything—you did it one time and it lasted a long time. Now that we live our lives with mostly just our head and shoulders visible on Zoom, it’s the only part people see."
Without access to help from hair professionals due to statewide shutdowns, who can blame the millions of Americans searching tirelessly for at-home hair solutions that look like you put some effort in? Our point exactly. We want to talk yarn braids specifically, which saw a 145% increase in searches this year.
Ahead, we dive into the yarn braid trend that is taking Pinterest by storm. From quick tips to cool inspiration, we’ve got you covered.
How To Do Yarn Braids
If you know how to install braiding hair, you’ll install the yarn with no problem—you may even save a few dollars. Yarn tends to be cheaper than kanekalon braiding hair because it stretches further since you can separate it into smaller pieces. You may be thinking, "Doesn’t yarn get hot?" The answer is yes. However, you can avoid the extra heat, particularly in the summer months, if you use acrylic yarn and not wool. Wool yarn can also be drying to your coils, so even in colder months, you may want to skip using it altogether.
One final tip we want to add to your haircare toolbox, is yarn braids tend to be lighter than traditional box braids. However, once the yarn is wet, the braids can become heavy and take an extended amount of time to dry. Wringing them out post-wash and wrapping them in a microfiber cloth for up to an hour can help soak up the excess water. Like most protective styles, stylists usually recommend keeping them in for four to six weeks to prevent breakage and tangles.
Now, for some much needed inspiration. Below, we've rounded up some of the coolest yarn braids on Instagram.
Yarn Braid Highlights
Add dimensions to your braids by adding colorful yarn without the damage of traditional hair color.
Neon Green Yarn Braided Cornrows
We can’t get enough of this green eyeshadow and green cornrows beauty moment.
Lavender and Black Yarn Braids
This lavender and black yarn duo is a beautiful pairing.
Multi-Colored Yarn Braids
Can't decide which colors to go with during your next braiding session? Try them all! Pink, neon green, blue, white… the opportunities to brighten up your style are endless.
Yarn Braided Pixie
Cropped braided looks are chic and cool, and adding a pop of color with yarn can help your look take on new life.
Cropped Yarn Braids
Yarn braids can work on any length or cut, and these blue and yellow yarn braids make this cropped look the epitome of hair envy.
Yellow and Turquoise Yarn Braids
Two-toned hair can be achieved in more than one way, and here we see Frokyo braid each half of her hair in two different colors.
Yarn Braided Bob
This yarn bob is sleek and intricately crafted since Bliss used more than one color to braid her hair. If you want to try this at home, check out her tutorial.
Yarn Wrapped Jumbo Braids
Accessorizing braids with yarn is also an option. Here we see neon yarn used to wrap the natural hair color underneath.
Neon Pink Yarn Braids
Neon pink looks beautiful on Sherice’s brown skin, and her two buns frame her face perfectly.
Cotton Candy Yarn Braids
I’ve never thought about cotton candy braids until now, and boy are these yarn braids sweet.
Multi-Hued Yarn Braids
These aren't quite micro-braids, but their small size and length make the gray yarn and colorful accents stand out.
Floor-Length Neon Orange Braids
Ok, these braids made me stop and save (to my Instagram folder). Want to make a statement? Floor-length neon orange braids will do just that.
Pastel Yarn Braids
Fairy but make it fashion. These whimsical, pastel hues give Hayley's braids a springy, fairytale-esque feel we love.
Bright Blue Bun
This blue yarn braided bun is show-stopping, but could add some stress to your scalp and edges if you're not careful. Be sure to let your hair down overnight and limit the updos if you do find your buns too heavy.
Two-Toned Middle-Parted Yarn Braids
Faith's braids show how texture and color can reimagine a traditional protective style.
Colorful highlights coupled with two free-flowing ponytails give these braids dimension and a cool-girl look I can't get enough of.