Colored Braids Guide for Black Women in 2024

Braids can be a fun and creative way to change up your hairstyle. Colored braids opens up even more possibilities when braiding, allowing you to weave together a rainbow of shades for a unique and eye-catching look.

From subtle highlights to dramatic ombré, mixed colored braids let you showcase your own individuality.

In this guide, I will walk you through the basics of incorporating multiple colors into basic braid styles.

I will also cover what colors are suited for your skin tone, dyeing and other nitty-gritties related to colored braids. So grab your combs, clips, and rainbow strands and let’s get braiding!

Do You Need to Dye Your Hair To Make Colorful Braided Hairstyles?

Whether you need to dye your hair to achieve a colorful braided hairstyle depends upon the style you want. Most people avoid dyeing their natural hair because such chemical treatments can cause your hair to become dry and brittle.

That is why when you feel like changing up your look by adding a pop of color to your hair, you can simply opt for dyed hair extensions. This way you can still protect your natural hair from hair damage, promote growth, and experiment with a new look.

Can You Wear Lighter Colors If You Have A Darker Skin Tone?

I get this question often and honestly, I don’t really understand why. Whether you are light-skinned or dark-skinned you should experiment with different hair colors until you can find your perfect match. I always ask my clients to choose their hair color depending upon their profession and their clothing, which makes it easier to style and accessories their hair.

How Long Do Colored Braids Last?

In my experience, the longevity of colored braids depends upon the type of hair used to achieve the look. For instance, natural hair extensions tend to lose their shine and start to fade out anywhere between 4 to 8 weeks after installation.

On the other hand, synthetic hair extensions have an even shorter lifespan than natural hair and can be easily damaged if any heating tools are used. 

What Colors Look Best on Dark and Light Skin Tones?

The best way to decide which hair color looks best on your skin tone is by getting a color analysis. Color analysis is a popular method of ascertaining what hair color, makeup style, and type of clothing match your personality, face shape, and hair.

Aside from getting a color analysis, you can also wear a wig to test whether a certain hair color will match with your overall aesthetic.

Generally, people with darker skin tones tend to opt for colors that have earthy and warm undertones whereas people with lighter skin tones opt for cooler shades, even pastels.

Does a Colourful Hairstyle Look Professional?

Anybody and everybody who has not been living under a rock is aware that Black people are often discriminated against in professional spaces and even in academic institutions. The Legal Defense Fund defines such discrimination to be rooted in systematic racism.

According to an article published in the Harvard Business Review titled ‘How Hair Discrimination Affects Black Women at Work’ by Janice Gassam Asare, hair discrimination is a common issue that many Black women still face at their workplace.

The article cited a study that was conducted over a 2-month period in 2022 which indicated that natural Afro hairstyles were perceived as unprofessional by many people. Many participants even reported that they were sent home and even reprimanded for wearing their hair naturally. It also reported that many Black women prefer wearing their hair straight to a job interview as it improves their chances of getting a job.

These reports and studies clearly indicate that despite being in the 21st century, race-based hair discrimination is still pretty common in America. Many organizations such as CROWN are working tirelessly to educate people and raise awareness on this issue.

To answer the question of whether color braids are seen as professional, the answer is no but also yes. Acceptance of your hair color and hairstyle varies from profession to profession and also the employer.

Every industry has different standards regarding its clothing and hairstyle. For instance, an airline will consider pink or purple hair unprofessional because it will not match their uniform code but on the other hand that color will be considered normal if you were in the makeup industry.  

Can You Mix Different Colors of Braiding Hair To Make My Braids?

Of course, you can mix different colors of braiding hair to make your braids. Ombre braids are an extremely popular hairstyle amongst Black women. To achieve the look we feed in the lightest braiding hair first and then incorporate more darker shades to the braids. You can even get your hair braided with a variety of different colors.

How to Install Colored Hair Extensions?

If you are planning on braiding your hair or somebody else’s hair with colored hair extensions then follow my advice. After you have prepared your natural hair, prepare your workstation. You’ll need hair spray, moisturizer, hair clips, hair gel, and a comb like in general. Now, lay down your colored hair extensions properly on the work surface.

If you are going for a multi-colored braid situation, then I recommend using different-colored braids alternatively for a more blended look. Feed in the hair extensions as you normally would in the braids.

Since colored hair extensions are chemically treated, they can be a little frizzy and dry. So, use a hair oil or a moisturizer to get a better hold of the braid and for a cleaner frizz-free look.

Want to Dye Your Natural Hair? Then, Follow This Guide…

Things To Consider Before Dyeing Your Natural Hair

So, you are considering dyeing your natural hair. But have you considered whether taking this tip suits your hair type and lifestyle? Let’s take a look at the aspects you must think through before dyeing your hair.

Are you ready to accept the hair damage that dyeing your hair will cause?

Even when you use the best hair dyeing products and follow a daily routine, you are still chemically altering the structure of your hair, which will leave your hair dry and brittle. Recent studies have also shown that hair dyes are among the many hair products that were targeted at Black women which leads to an increased risk of breast cancer.

Are you ready to spend a lot of time daily to take care of your natural hair?

Dyed natural hair is high maintenance. Why? Well because to dye your hair in any color you must bleach it, a chemical process that strips protein from your hair and makes it dry and brittle. So after dyeing your hair you’ll need to deep condition and apply a protein treatment often. You can not miss a day without moisturizing and oiling your hair and scalp as well. Plus, you’ll need to trim your hair more often. If you are ready for this commitment then go for it.

You’ll require regular touch-ups at the salon

Be ready to visit the salon at least once a month to get a root touch-up. You’ll be chemically treating your natural hair as soon as it starts to grow. When you get fed up with your hair color and the damage you have done to your hair, you’ll have to shave your hair completely.

Are your natural hair in the best condition that they have ever been in?

You must make sure that your current hair has not been chemically relaxed or treated before. You must also make sure that your hair is in its healthiest state, that way you can sustain the damage caused to it during the hair dyeing process.

Preparation For Dyeing Natural Hair

I know that seeking professional help for dyeing your natural hair is expensive, however, a good hairstylist or coloring expert will ensure that the dyeing process will not destroy your curl pattern and that the damage caused to your natural hair is minimal. Now, let us take a look at how you should prepare your natural hair before dyeing it.

Get a pre-color treatment

A pre-color treatment isn’t mandatory but it can help your strands significantly and improve your hair’s ability to absorb the hair dye properly. You should get a pre-color treatment if you are worried about how dyeing will affect your curl pattern as the pre-color treatment will strengthen and deeply moisturize your curls.

Wash your days at least 2 to 3 days before dyeing

Do not wash your hair the day before dyeing your hair. The natural oils produced by our scalp act as a layer of protection between our scalp and the dyeing formula. The build-up of natural oils is also a great way to protect your curl pattern. 

Consult a Professional

Speak with a color professional before dyeing your hair. Hairstylists and coloring professionals should analyze your natural hair to ascertain whether your hair is strong enough to withstand hair damage.

Dyed Hair Maintenance Tips

Color-Safe Shampoo and Conditioner

Use a paraben and sulphate-free color-safe shampoo and conditioner made specifically to meet the needs of Afro Hair. Shampoo and condition your hair regularly but with at least 7 to 10 days between each wash. It is best to wash your hair with cold water and at most with lukewarm water as warm water can not only make your hair dry but also remove the hair dye.

Do Not Heat Style Your Hair

Do not use any heat styling tools on your hair. Instead, opt for protective styles like cornrows or box braids. This is because dyed afro hair cannot withstand the damage caused by heating tools and needs a break from manipulation.

Opt for a Deep Conditioning Mask or Hot Oil Treatment

You must apply a deep conditioning mask or a hot oil treatment at least once a week. Invest in a good hair treatment that can nourish your roots and restore your hair’s structure. Cover your head in plastic wrap after applying the mask and leave it on for at least 20 to 30 minutes before rinsing it.

Follow a Strict Daily Hair Regimen Before Sleeping

Depending upon the quality of your hair add moisture, apply a conditioner, and detangle your hair before styling it for the night and wrapping it in a silk or satin scarf. Do not sleep directly on a cotton pillow as the friction strips away the moisture from your hair.

Trending Colored Braids Hairstyles in 2024

Ginger Gypsy Braids

Ginger Braids
Ginger Braids (theodoraa.e)

Knee Length Knotless Braids with color (ginger)

This Knotless Braids below use color #350.

Dark Pink Color Box Braids

Dark Pink Colored Box Braids looks stunning

Purple Braids

Purple Braids
Purple Braids

Blue Braids

Blue Braids
Blue Braids

Maroon Tribal Braids

Ombre French Curl Braids

Ombre French Curl Braids
Ombre French Curl Braids (deesbeauties)

Crochet Blue Braids

Also Read: Easy Crochet Braids & Hair Styles

Brown Jumbo Knotless Braids

Platinum Blonde Cornrows

Grey Braids

Blonde Senegalese Twist Knotless Braids

Baby Pink Side Part Cornrows

Burgundy Braids

Burgundy Small Knotless Braids

Burgundy Knotless Braids

Freestyle Fulani Twists

Yellow Braids

Yellow Bohemian Tribal braids with Ponytail

Yellow Bohemian Tribal braids with Ponytail
Yellow Bohemian Tribal braids with Ponytail

Light Auburn Knotless Medium Box Braids

Colors: 350 & 30 have been used.

Knotless Blonde Box Braids

Light Blonde Knotless Braids with Mixed 613 & 27 

 Dark Red Small Goddess Knotless (Shoulder Length) 

Dark Blonde Medium Small Sized Knotless Braids

These medium knotless braids with color ooze classic charm.

Blonde Boho Braids

White Braids

White Box Braids Glow in the Dark Braiding Hair

Violet Braids

Orange Braids

Dirty Blonde Braids

Orange Bohemian Small Knotless with Barrel Ends

Orange Feed-in Pony Tail

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