Protective styling is so versatile. You can box braid, cornrow, Bantu knot, twist… the list goes on and on. Traditionally, a protective style like box braids uses kanekalon braiding hair made with synthetic fibers that mimic the feel of hair. We love to honor tradition, but shaking things up is usually a good thing, and yarn braids prove my theory. These brightly hued braids are everywhere. We love to see it—Black girls living their best lives, out loud, in living color. If you’re more of a traditionalist when it comes to hair color, that’s great too! You can use yarn to create looks with deeper shades as well. Think chocolate browns and even grays.
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 recommends keeping them in for four to six weeks to prevent breakage and tangles.
Now, for some inspiration. Below, we've rounded up some of the coolest yarn braids on Instagram.
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.
Neon Pink Yarn Braids
Neon pink looks beautiful on Sherice’s brown skin, and her two buns frame her face perfectly.