The beauty of braids lies in their infinite possibilities, and freestyle braids give you an opportunity to express yourself in a whole new way. Want to switch up your braid game? Say goodbye to strict rules or set patterns; it’s all about doing what you feel with your hair.
Freestyle braids give the freedom to experiment and get creative with regular braid hairstyles and there are endless ways to achieve that. Designs and patterns common to freestyle braids include zigzag lines, abstract patterns, heart designs, and curved lines, and many more.
Whether you’re aiming for a subtle touch or a show-stopping design, freestyle braids make it easy to express yourself through your hairstyle.
Are you ready to level up your braid game? Join us as we explore 20 stunning freestyle braids styles in this article.
1. Freestyle Stitch Braids
Stitch braids usually have consistent and well-constructed patterns, characterized by horizontal lines. But you can switch it up by freestyling the way you part them. You can incorporate different designs while still keeping the neatness of stitch braids. To achieve maximum neatness and precise parting, you may need to mold with some braiding gel. It can also be helpful to pre-part, so the stitch lines are straight. Freestyle stitch braids can be made into different styles like all back, braided updos, and more.
2. Freestyle Tribal Braids
Tribal braids involve making straight cornrows at the top section of the hair and individual braids at the back section. Freestyle tribal braids follow the same process but add your own twist to the regular patterns. One way you do them is by making some cornrows facing both sides of the head instead of having all the cornrows flowing back. Or you can try one bold cornrow on each side. Get creative and curl the ends of the braids, using any color of braiding extensions to make them pop.
3. All Back Freestyle Braids
Regular all-back braids are pretty basic. You can freestyle the pattern to make it look different. Freestyle braids to the back involve making various cornrow and design patterns from the crown of the head down to the nape of the neck. Instead of all straight lines, curve some lines and intertwine some braids to create beautiful designs. When making freestyle braids to the back, you may want to avoid thick braids. This allows for more visible designs.
4. Freestyle Ponytail Braids
The freestyle ponytail braids hairstyle is a stylish option that keeps hair entirely away from the face. Freestyle ponytail braids involve making different patterned cornrows that meet at one point on the head. You can create a high, center, or low ponytail. To simplify the process, divide the hair into four sections and braid one section at a time in a freestyle pattern. You can curl the braids to add razzle-dazzle.
See more styles like this: Braided Ponytail Hairstyles
5. Freestyle Lemonade Braids
Lemonade braids feature straight cornrow braids from one side of the head to the other. Freestyle Lemonade braids replace the straight cornrows with different patterned cornrows flowing to one side. Individual braids can be added underneath the cornrow direction. Curling the ends and adding dramatic baby hairs with edged out styles can enhance the look. These freestyle Lemonade braids work in any color, or combine two colors for an ombre effect. If you have thinning hair on one side, freestyle lemonade braids are a great option to help cover it.
6. Freestyle Braids with Human Hair
If you love bohemian looks, you’ll love freestyle braids with human hair. However, human hair extensions are far costlier than regular braiding hair. So prepare to splurge if you’re going for it. You can do the full head with human hair. To save some cost, also incorporate regular braiding hair in parts. The human hair can be added at the ends, throughout the braids, or both. Experiment with mixing and matching colors too. When styling freestyle human hair braids, keep the braids small or medium-sized to maximize the look. After considering these tips, embellish as desired and choose curly, wavy, or straight human hair extensions.
7. Freestyle Fulani Braids
Freestyle Fulani braids let you switch up regular Fulani braids by changing the traditional patterns. You still make individual braids at the back, but can add zigzag, crisscross, or other designs to the cornrows on top. You can also add some individual knotless braids on both sides, allowing you to flip them over for versatility. Curling the braids creates a boho vibe. Freestyle Fulani braids work in any color or length.
8. Freestyle Braids with Heart
Show some love in your hair by getting freestyle braids with a heart design. This style involves creating a heart-shaped pattern combined with other cornrow designs. The heart can be added to various styles like braided updos, straight backs, or individual braids. Position it on your preferred side. To achieve a flawless heart, patiently section out the shape and define the parts well before braiding.
9. Freestyle Two Braids
Regular two braids? Basic stuff. You know you can freestyle and switch up two braids to look extra fly. Usually two braids got two sections slicked back into cornrows. But freestyle two braids let you combine curves and designs to make it unique. Whether you place patterns in the middle, on one side, or on both sides, you can level up plain old two braids. Get creative with the parts and show off your braiding skills. Freestyle two braids let you make a basic style totally your own.
10. Freestyle Braids With Beads
Freestyle braids with beads, they’re not just braids – they’re like a personal entrance anthem. Freestyle braids alone? Showstoppers. But add some beads? Now you’re the main event. From colors to textures, there’s a world of beads choices out there. Just a tip: match them with your braid color to keep it cohesive. And maybe, just maybe, keep those braids a tad shorter. You don’t want that extra weight slowing down your strut. Keep it cute, keep it comfy.
11. Freestyle French Braids
French braids use that technique where strands overlap to form an inverted braid. Freestyle French braids let you get creative with patterns using the same method. If you’re not into the flat French braid look, feed in some extensions to thicken it up. Instead of straight lines, curve those babies, zig zag it, combine some cornrows – go wild! Freestyle French braiding is about making the technique your own and doing you. Don’t be afraid to switch it up – you got this.
12. Freestyle Stitch Braids in a Bun
Freestyle stitch braids in a bun is a minimal, clean look to protect your natural hair while you are on the go. All you have to do is stitch up those braids however you want, then wrap them up in a cute bun. Secure that thing tight with a hair tie or needle and thread. Make it a messy bun, or slick bun, or add curls – get creative. This style keeps your hair off your neck and shoulders. Perfect for when you need a break from hair care but still wish to stunt.
13. Freestyle Zig Zag Braids
Zig zag designs are timeless and always look great with braids. Regular zig zag braids curve side to side in a pattern. But you can put your own spin on it to stand out. Zig zags usually take up quite some space but you can still get creative by playing with different shapes and sizes. Instead of plain ends, knot them up or add curls. Patience is key with these too – precision parting and hand movements take focus. But trust me, the results are so worth it.
14. Freestyle Flat Twist
Freestyle flat twists will turn heads no matter where you go. Flat twists involve twisting two strands of hair over each other, adding hair as you extend the twist. With freestyle, you add your own designs and styles using the same method. Flat twists are close to the scalp, not loose like regular twists. And they can be tricky, especially when making designs. So if you’re not a pro, it’s best to have a stylist hook it up neat. It might take a few tries to get it right. But hey, practice makes perfect – you can totally learn how to freestyle flat twist like a real pro! Once you get it down, you’ll have some serious style in your arsenal.
15. Freestyle Pop Smoke Braids
The OG Pop Smoke braids have cornrows flowing opposite ways on each side – late rapper Pop Smoke’s signature look. It’s a simple hairstyle, so if you want to do more, freestyle and add your own designs to the hairstyle. Work some criss cross patterns between braids, or go for layers – two, or three. Get creative with it, make it your own. Freestyle Pop Smoke braids are fire for guys trying to grow out their sides too.
16. Freestyle Criss Cross Braids
The criss cross design gets used a lot for freestyle braids, and it’s great as its own style too. To freestyle crisis cross braids, divide hair vertically into two sections, then horizontally into halves. Start braiding diagonally from one half to the bottom of the other – crisis cross. Repeat on the other side so they cross. Avoid adding too much hair when they intersect – don’t want no bulky braids! You can add other designs around the crisis cross to make it unique.
17. Freestyle Men’s Braids
Men can also get creative with their braids by incorporating some freestyle designs into them. These designs and patterns should be arranged to fit the head shape. To make men’s freestyle braids, it is advisable to blowout the natural hair to make it easier to braid and also enable the braids come out neater. Some braiding hair extensions can also be used to give the braids more volume but remember to keep it minimal. Freestyle men braids can also be done on men with a taper cut and all you need to complete the look is to trim the sides and hairline after braiding.
18. Freestyle Feed In Braids with Sew In
Can’t decide between a sew-in or braided hairstyle? Girl, you can have both! Get freestyle feed in braids with a sew-in for the best of both worlds. Use braiding hair to feed in those freestyle braids. Then pick your favorite weave – straight, curly, whatever you want – and sew it in a U shape to avoid weave tracks showing under the braids. Finish it off with some curly pieces up front if you want to frame your face. This combo style lets you change it up and get different looks in one install. Get the length and flow of a weave with the edginess of freestyle braids.
19. Freestyle Individual Braids
For individual braids, most think they all look the same, but you’d be amazed at how you can switch up their look by adding some freestyle designs. Want those designs to pop? Go for those larger-sized braids. Pro tip: Map out your designs before you start braiding. And the best part? Even with those designs, you can still do those braids in lots of different ways.
20. Freestyle French Curl Braids
French curl braids are so popular right now, but did you know they can be used for hairstyles other than individual braids? Think again. You can switch it up and make all kinds of braid patterns with that French curl braiding hair. Separating those French curl extensions can be tricky. But rubbing a bit of oil on your hands will make it easier. Plus, don’t forget to knot the end of that braid to keep it tight. Also, you can create some bangs at the front so your curls fall nicely at the sides.