When it comes to starting your journey with protective styles, braids tend to be a go-to choice. They’re effortlessly chic, and they give you free reign to explore a variety of styles. One braided hairstyle, in particular, that’s been gaining major traction in the beauty world is none other than yarn braids. This look is a unique take on the braid hairstyle trend, and it gives your mane a beautifully woven pattern with a touch of personality. If you want to level up your hair game, you’ve come to the right place. Below, we’re sharing everything you need to know about yarn braids, from what the basic style entails to a bevy of other hairstyle options.
WHAT ARE YARN BRAIDS?
Yarn braids are pretty much what the name suggests—a protective style that uses yarn instead of classic hair extensions to braid your hair. They can be done in a slew of colors, so you’ll be able to dabble with any hue you desire. It’s also no surprise that yarn braids have become a hot commodity as of late since they offer the same benefits of traditional braided looks, with the added plus of helping your mane maintain moisture. We also love that yarn braids tend to be lightweight, which works in your favor to create less tension on your scalp.
WHAT TYPE OF YARN SHOULD YOU USE?
Yarn comes in a variety of textures and colors, so it’s important to lock down the right option for you. Typically, it’s best to use acrylic yarn or synthetic yarn to get the style. Natural yarn or wool yarn is known to tangle your hair pretty quickly, which can leave you with dreadlocks. (Dreadlocks are a style in their own right, but if that’s not your goal, you’ll want to use the right type of yarn.)
HOW LONG CAN YOU KEEP YARN BRAIDS IN?
Since yarn braids are a protective style, you can expect to rock the look for a long time. If you make it a point to take good care of your yarn braids, you can expect this style to last anywhere from five to eight weeks. You’ll want to oil your scalp regularly, wear your braids down as much as you can, and protect your hair at night to maintain your look. Once you reach the eight-week mark, it’s best to remove your braids to keep your natural hair in tip-top shape.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO GET YARN BRAIDS?
It’s no secret that braiding hair can take some time and a lot of patience. Keeping that in mind, you can expect to pay between $75 to $200 for a set of yarn braids. Of course, this price varies depending on your location. With that being said, you should never let the price of your hairstyle be the sole determining factor. Always get your yarn braids (or any protective style) done by a licensed hairstylist that specializes in braiding.
15 YARN BRAID HAIRSTYLES TO TRY
Now that you’re well-versed on the topic of yarn braids, it’s time to see what hairstyles tickle your fancy. Below, find 15 yarn braid hairstyles that will surely make your new ‘do the talk of the town.
1. JUMBO YARN BRAIDS
Why we love them: Jumbo braids work wonders to cut down your styling time, and the yarn variation is no exception. They’re a chic way to add a playful and sassy vibe to your look. You also have the option of rocking one jumbo braid or splitting your style into two—it’s all up to you.
How to get the look: Split your hair down the middle into two even sections, and clip one side out of the way. Apply a touch of hair gel, like the L’Oréal Paris Studio Line Clean Gel, to your roots. Divide the section you’re working with into three equally-sized strands and weave a braid. After a few links, add thick pieces of yarn to your hair just as you would with the feed-in braid technique, adding it to your braids just a few inches from the start of your hairline. Be sure to add more as you go.
Once you reach the ends, secure your braid with a hair elastic. Repeat on the other side. Then, seal the deal with a spritz of the L’Oréal Paris Studio Line Mega Spritz to keep your braids neat.
2. YARN BRAID BUN
Why we love it: This look combines the trendy look of the classic bun with a gorgeous woven pattern for stylish detailing. As an updo style, it also helps you to keep your braids tucked out of the way.
How to get the look: Gather your hair toward the center of your head, and pull it into a ponytail. Roll the length around its base to form a bun, and your look is complete.
3. PASTEL YARN BRAIDS
Why we love them: Pastel yarn braids offer up a cool way to show off your creative side. You can choose to flaunt a solo shade or mix it up with various hues for an unforgettable 'do.
How to get the look: Simply ask your stylist to weave various pastel shades into your braids, or request they stick to a single color to knock this look out of the park.
4. YARN FEED-IN CORNROWS
Why we love them: Yarn feed-in cornrows are a modern spin on the classic look. They also don’t leave you with the tiny knots that come with most braided styles and give you a more natural, fuller finish.
5. DUTCH YARN BRAIDS
Why we love them: Dutch yarn braids are a timeless style that can easily transition from day to night, while also giving you the option to play with color.
How to get the look: Split your hair down the middle, and clip one side out of the way. Apply a small amount of hair gel onto your roots. Divide your hair into three pieces and build your braid. After a few braided links, add synthetic yarn and work your way down, just as you would with the feed-in braid technique. Once you reach the ends, secure your Dutch braid with a hair elastic and repeat on the other side.
6. YARN BRAID BOB
Why we love it: Bob hairstyles are a crowd-pleaser all on their own, and adding yarn braids into the mix gives them an extra touch of edge. This braided bob look is also a foolproof way to keep your braids on the shorter side for a manageable 'do.
How to get the look: Make an appointment with your stylist.
7. YARN BRAID LOB
Why we love it: This lob style is a variation of the braided bob hairstyle that provides you with a bit more length to play with, while still keeping your braids off your shoulders and out of your way.
How to get the look: Play it safe and leave this style to the hands of a professional.
8. OMBRÈ YARN BRAIDS
Why we love them: This sensational style is just what you need to liven up your strands with depth and dimension. Ombré yarn braids also have the bonus of rocking two hair colors at the same time.
How to get the look: Simply ask your stylist to weave a dark yarn color toward the top of your braids, then transition to a lighter shade to score the look.
9. KNOTLESS YARN BOX BRAIDS
Why we love them: This braided masterpiece is a cinch to style and can be created all on your own. They rely on the feed-in braid technique to add small amounts of hair at a time for a lightweight feel. You’ll also be able to limit tension on your scalp.
How to get the look: Click through to our article, What Are Knotless Box Braids?, to get the 4-1-1.
10. WAIST-LENGTH KNOTLESS YARN BRAIDS
Why we love them: These braids serve up the woven pattern you adore along with major length for a style that will surely call attention to your Instagram feed. And, you’ll be able to add movement to your mane.
How to get the look: A style this long can take a while to style, so your best bet may be to visit a stylist.
11. YARN BOX BRAIDS
Why we love them: Yarn box braids pair perfectly with all hair lengths, making them a solid hairstyle pick. This style also comes in handy to keep your braided look as classic as possible.
How to get the look: Grab your synthetic yarn and read through our article, How To Create Box Braids.
12. MEDIUM-LENGTH YARN BRAIDS WITH UNDERLIGHTS
Why we love them: This trend involves adding color to the bottom layer of your hair while leaving the top section of your mane its natural hue. It’s a clever option that allows you to experiment with various shades without the full commitment.
How to get the look: Ask your stylist to weave the braids at the back of your head with colorful yarn and keep your top section its natural color.
13. MICRO YARN BRAIDS
Why we love them: The look is a playful variation of the micro box braid trend. It gives you super-tiny braids that can be styled just like your natural hair.
How to get the look: This is another hairstyle that you should entrust to your stylist to create.
14. CENTER PART YARN BRAIDS
Why we love them: It’s a face-framing hairstyle that adds an edgy touch to your look while calling attention to your features.
How to get the look: Ask your stylist to incorporate different braid sizes into your mane for an intricate look.
15. YARN BRAID SPACE BUNS
Why we love them: Space buns are a popular hairstyle that bring the playful, cool-girl aesthetic to life. They also allow you to play with two buns for double the hairstyling fun.
How to get the look: Start by splitting your braids with a middle part, and clip one side out of the way. Gather one section, and fasten your braids into a ponytail toward the top back of your head. Repeat on the other side, making sure your ponytails line up perfectly. Finish up by twisting each ponytail around its base, and using a large hair tie to secure the style.
HOW TO TAKE CARE OF YARN BRAIDS
While you may think your work stops once you get your desired yarn braids, there are still a few things you need to do to keep your hair in shape. While washing your braids is a no-no, you’ll need to switch things up in your hair care routine to maintain a healthy-looking mane. Here are the musts.
STEP #1: APPLE CIDER VINEGAR RINSE
One of the easiest ways to keep your yarn braids and natural hair nice and clean is to rely on an apple cider vinegar rinse. Apple cider vinegar-based cleansers remove buildup and boost shine, which is great for cleansing without disturbing your style. Simply apply the apple cider vinegar rinse to your braids, leave it on for 10 minutes, and rinse out with lukewarm water.
STEP #2: LEAVE-IN CONDITIONER
Once you’ve removed all the dirt, oil, and product buildup from your hair, it’s time to add some moisture into the mix. Grab a leave-in conditioner, like the L’Oréal Paris EverStrong Break Proof Lotion, which moisturizes and provides your strands with luminous shine. Apply it evenly to your braids and let them air dry.