What Are Fulani Braids and How To Take Care of Them
You’ve seen them everywhere– on your favorite celebrities, on Instagram influencers, and even on your neighbor’s daughter. We’re talking about Fulani braids, the hottest trend in protective styling. But what are these trendy braids? How long do they last and what’s the best way to maintain them? We’ll break down all you need to know about Fulani tribal braids.
What are Fulani Braids?
Fulani braids are a type of tribal hairstyle that is traditionally worn by the Para-Fulani tribal people of West Africa. They were worn to show wealth as well as ancestral and tribal background. Many other African cultures have similar styling braids especially in countries like Ethiopia and Sudan.
Fulani braids are characterized with patterned cornrows in the front and on the crown of the head, and box braids in the back. Oftentimes women will have one distinct braid going down the middle hairline or two longer braids hanging on each side.
You can use your natural hair if it is thick enough or add extensions for fuller braids. Fulani tribal braids are often decorated with beads, hair clips, and dyed extensions.
Fulani braids achieved mainstream popularity in the United States in the early 2010s among African American women and have been growing in popularity ever since.
You may have seen Fulani braids on celebrities like Alicia Keys, Beyonce, Rihanna, and Kim Kardashian.
Why Try Fulani Braids?
There are many reasons why you might want to try Fulani braids. First and foremost, they are a great way to protect your hair from damage. If you’re tired of heat and chemical damage, Fulani braids are a great way to give your hair a break for a few weeks.
In addition, Fulani braids are in style and can be very flattering. They can add volume and body to fine or thin hair, and can help create the illusion of longer, thicker hair. The intricate and tight braiding gives a sleek and sophisticated look that will make you stand out at any occasion.
They are also very diverse! You can change up your look with so many different styles to choose from– from adding beads, curls, colors, or other accessories, to perfectly match your outfit and represent you.
How Long Do Fulani Braids Take?
While it will depend on the experience and speed of your braider, you can typically expect to sit in the chair for 2 to 5 hours. More intricate styles and longer hair will of course require more time. A simple, straight cornrow and box braid set, as well as shorter length braids will be the quickest, averaging around 2.5 hours.
How Long Do Fulani Braids Last?
Fulani Braids can last anywhere from 2 weeks to 2 months—it all depends on how well you take care of them and how quickly your hair grows. It seems 6 to 7 weeks is the average time most women keep their Fulani braids in. Usually at around 3 weeks, the braids will start to lose their crispness and loosen up a bit.
How Much Do Fulani Braids Cost?
The cost of Fulani braids varies depending on the length of your hair and the complexity of the style you choose. Simple styles with only a few cornrows may cost as little as $100-$200. More complex styles or service from a well known stylist or establishment can run you anywhere between $200-$500. It seems $250 would be a good starting point for simple, medium-width, medium-length braids from an experienced stylist (extensions not included).
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How To Care For Fulani Braids
To prolong the life of your Fulani braids, avoid sleeping on them (which can cause them to frizz and come undone). Always make sure to wrap them up in a silk or satin scarf or bonnet before bed. Avoid getting them wet (which can cause your hair to curl and frizz) unless you are washing them. And yes, you are able to wash your hair when you have Fulani braids in.
The trick is to use a more water diluted, moisturizing shampoo and conditioner. This will result in less frizz and will be easier to rinse out. The GIRL+HAIR shampoo and leave in conditioner is a personal favorite for braids.
Never rub and scratch your scalp underneath the braids, but have more of a downward brushing motion with your fingers in between the braids. Any products in the hanging part of the braids should be gently squeezed out while moving down the braid instead of rubbing or scrubbing.
Here is a great guide on how to wash Fulani braids and keep them fresh for longer.
Another way to prolong your Fulani braids is to tie them securely when exercising. Sweat and humidity will cause frizz, and the excessive jumping and movement may loosen braids or cause breakage. Keep your hair tied securely in a bun on top of your head. You can even try wrapping your hair in a silk or satin scarf or headband to keep it secure and to minimize sweat.
Also, be sure to avoid bad smelling or overly fragrant environments. Odors tend to linger on our clothing, skin, and hair. If you’ve ever been in a room where people were smoking indoors, you know you will go home smelling like an ashtray.
Lastly, be sure to see a professional stylist who knows how to properly install Fulani tribal braids. A bad installation can lead to damage that will shorten the lifespan of your braids or even cause hair loss. The Fulani braids style does use tighter braiding than regular box braids so proper installation is needed to ensure your hair stays healthy and there’s no breakage.
Best Fulani Braid Wigs
If you don’t have the time or length of hair to get your hair braided, you can always skip the whole process and get a Fulani braid wig. Fulani lace front braided wigs give people the illusion that you spent several hours to get your hair braided and just left the salon.
Here are some of our favorite Fulani braid wigs and similar styles.
The Brianna Independent Duchess Frontal Side Braid Wig is a beautiful, braided wig crafted from luxurious, silky straight virgin human hair. It features a distinctive left side-parted braids design and comes pre-plucked and pre-bleached to reduce your preparation time. The breathable and thin frontal lace seamlessly blends for an undetectable natural hairline, enhancing the overall authenticity of your look.
This fully hand-made Fulani braid wig has an intricate micro-braid styling with a lace front fitting. It’s made of superior quality Japan-made synthetic fibers. It’s extremely natural appearing and is super lightweight. The braids are neatly and tightly done so no tangling or shedding. It includes natural edges with pre-plucked baby hairs allow for a seamless hairline transition.
This hand-made braided lace front wig comes with small Fulani style braids and a lace front fitting, including baby hairs. It’s made of 100% kanekalon fiber, which gives a natural looking luster, soft texture, and thickness. Its super light weight so no overheating or feeling of bulkiness.
This Fulani lace front wig is another top seller for quick and natural Fulani braid hairstyle. This synthetic wig has a hand-tied lace parting with individually braided strands. It uses ultra soft Swiss lace with natural looking edges. It also includes a full perimeter of baby hair which allows for easy styling and a seamless hairline transition.
This black and ombre micro-braided wig is a fantastic choice for anyone looking to rock the stylish and intricate Fulani braided hairstyle. It’s made with high-quality synthetic fibers that can also handle heat styling up to 160 degrees. This lace front Fulani wig offers a realistic look and comfortable fit that’s light weight and super breathable. The natural lace front hairline design adds to the authenticity, making it difficult to distinguish from your natural hair.
If you’re looking for a sexy and fun, protective summer hairstyle, Fulani braids are a must-try. With proper maintenance, you can wear Fulani braids for a month or two, and change up the style with various ponytails, curls, and hair accessories.
People won’t be able to help themselves from admiring the beauty of Fulani tribal braids as the skill and dedication of your stylist sits on your crown for all to see. It may cost you a few hours and a few hundred bucks, but it will give you a convenient, get-up-and-go, protective style for at least a month. So worth it!
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