It’s only a natural occurrence that we have a large variety of rappers with Braids since Hip Hop Culture is Black Culture. In many African tribes the braided hairstyles were a unique way to identify each tribe.While we don’t live in tribal times today braids still are identified as a black style. Braiding was and is a social art which has transcended in contemporary times. Black artists choosing to style their hair in braids can be seen across genres and generation especially in Hip Hop.
From cornrows to Box Braids rappers throughout the years have styled their hair in many ways, we also have examples of rappers with braids cutting their hair only to regrow it and braid it again.
Difference between Braids & Cornrows
The term braids and cornrows are somewhat synonymous with people sometimes referring to cornrows as braids and braids as cornrow. While in theory the style is the same the difference is
Cornrows – Hair is braided very close to the scalp, using an underhand, upward motion
Braids – Hair is braided off from the scalp involving a three-stranded structure.
Outside of braids in Hip Hop dreads are also a popular hairstyle, therefore we have also covered the most popular rappers with dreads
Here are the Most Popular Rappers with Braids
ASAP Rocky’s signature hairstyle is the braided ponytail look which he has styled since his debut mixtape back in 2011. Outside of this look we have also seen Rocky braid his hair in many different styles from cornrows, middle parting braids, 4 big braids and blow outs.
Rocky is also known for incorporating bandanas & accessories to his hair styles from time to time to give it a slightly different look from his signature style. To achieve the same look requires hair to be sectioned with the 2 long braids in the front and the back pulled into a pony tail.
Pusha T alternates his braid styles between with and without Ponytail. He’s been growing his hair since he started rapping and put it in braids as soon as he could.
In an interview with Noisey Pusha says the decision to grow his hair came from the death of a childhood friend, therefore paying homage to him while creating sentimental value. He also mentions Allen Iverson being an influence to him being from the same town while also hearing the athlete deciding to grow his hair out for similar reasons to Pusha.
More about that here –
At the time of his debut Lil Yachty can be remembered for his red braids which were worn mostly as a way to stand out from his peers. Yachty recently dropped the Red Dye from his hair explaining it not being good for his hair growth.In an interview with Complex Yachty explains –
“Honestly, it was hard to maintain,” Yachty explaining his red dye process. “The bleach was literally killing my hair. My hair was just dying. It’s growing now. That’s all. It’s just hair. I just kept it red because I loved it. But it kept falling out. It never would grow.”
Outside of ditching the Red Hair Lil Yachty also alternates hair styles from braids to 2 big cornrows from time to time.
During the early phases of his career Travis was in between styles experimenting between comb coil twist hairstyles and a short mini afro. He decided to rock the braids and grow them out which has now become a signature look for the artist.
Throughout his career one of the most popular hairstyles by Kendrick was the high fade cut with a line parting. He usually referenced his hair style as nappy explaining his lack of care to look cute. Today however Kendrick embraces multiple different braided hairstyles to his liking from ponytails, off scalp braids and cornrows.
As well as alternating between braided hairstyles Kendrick also varies in braided thickness, sometimes thick and sometimes thin. Our Rappers with Braids list wouldn’t be complete without K Dot himself as one of the staple members of Hip Hop today!
While Tyga technically doesn’t have braids as he chooses to rock 2 strand twists the only difference between braids and twists is that 2 strands of hair is used to achieve Tyga’s hairstyle , giving it a ropey effect while 3 strands of hair is used to create braids.
With that being said Tyga underwent a hair transplant procedure in order to retrieve his hair line & start his hair growth process. After said time we have seen Tyga sport multiple styles from colour braids, twists and cornrows.
YBN Cordae (Twists)
YBN Cordae also rocking the Twists as opposed to braids and has kept the same hairstyle throughout the majority of his career. Today he rocks the twists with blonde dye giving him a new look and feel!
The late Pop Smoke created his own signature look with a combination of thick braids and cornrows.
The influence of the late rapper saw fans and hip hop lovers choosing to rock the pop smoke braids which included 2 big braids in the front, middle parting and cornrows across the sides and back.
Head to YouTube, type in pop smoke braids or pop smoke hair style, you will see countless amount of content creators and hair stylists sharing their tips to achieve this look.
To finish of the look Pop Smoke made sure to always have a clean shape up.
Coolio hair may be the most distinctive set of braids we cover on our list of rappers with braids and its clear to see why.
During the 90s his braids were styled to stand up whilst the later years before his death featured his hair with crown balding whilst keeping the hair on the sides.
From the moment Coolio was introduced to the masses he created a recognisable look by creating this unique hairstyle. May he rest in peace!
Prior to 2018 we saw Dave East have his hair in a low buzz cut which was his signature look. We then got to see his hair growth in real time as he transitioned to braids.
Today he continues to alternate between different cornrow patterns. This being between the traditional cornrows which go straight down, side cornrows with a middle parting and off scalp braids.
Check the Dave East Braids Gallery for more looks
Since his rap debut we have seen Lil TJay seen his hair in various protective styles which consist of
- 2 Strand Twists
- Off Scalp Braids
Due to all the styles above being low maintenance it makes it easier for artists to manoeuvre around as they last for weeks on end.
Hair at that point is one less thing to worry about which explains his decision to constantly do protective styles.
If there’s one thing we know about Soulja boy it’s that he’s not scared to get experimental with his hair which we have witness over the last few years.
Prior to growing his braids Soulja Boy started his growth journey by putting his hair in comb coils and then took them out before they fully matured into locs.
This tactic has been used by many artists due to the nature of hair growing faster this way, reason being is hair in locs or twists allows for more hair growth due to minimal shredding which Soulja Boy did. He then combed his hair out to put the style in braids!
Today Soulja Boy alternates between putting beads in his hair and hair dye.
Ludacris being the Hip Hop Icon that he is shocked the world once he switched the braids for a low cut fade haircut. 2000s Hip Hop can be remembered for its creative visual storytelling and Ludacris was one of those artists at the forefront with his signature cornrows. Ludacris cut his hair back in 2007 and then decided to grow it out again during the 2020 quarantine period which gave Hip Hop fans the nostalgia he created in the early 2000s!
Jim Jones (Regrown)
How can you forget Dipsets very own Jim Jones, turn on any Dipset Video and you can see Jim Jones in the early 2000s sporting his infamous cornrows which he would later cut off around 2010. Jim Jones had been rocking his cornrows since the mid-90s and wanting a change in his look went for a fade haircut. He then began to regrow his hair during 2020 switching up his cornrow look for braids.
How to Maintain your Braids
Inspired by the rappers with braids above and influenced to style your hair in similar ways? Then it’s worth mentioning the proper care and hair regiment routine to use daily and weekly! Braids are a protective hairstyle but still require maintenance to ensure they stay healthy.
- Ensure your moisturizing your scalp
- Sleep with a Durag or Headscarf to keep them neat throughout the night or use a silk Pillowcase
- Wash your braids frequently
- Avoid wearing tight braids, this can cause hair loss over time
- Don’t wear your braids for too long
- Go to a professional to style your hair correctly.
Now that we have covered some of the most popular rappers with braids, check out some of the most popular rappers with dreads! Dreads being one of the most popular hairstyles in rap culture.
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