In 2023, the global hair braiding market witnessed substantial growth, soaring to an estimated value of USD 529.3 million and projected to reach around USD 625.30 million by 2032, with a steady three percent annual growth rate. The growth gives credence to the fact that braided hairstyles are on a tear, capturing the attention of men, women, and children worldwide.
This phenomenal expansion can be attributed to various factors, including cultural significance, celebrity endorsements, innovative hair products, and a surge in demand for natural hair care. As the market thrives, the demand for braided hairstyles has skyrocketed, with certain styles emerging as clear favorites. Take a look at what’s trending in 2023.
The Top 10 Braid Trends of 2023
Here are the top braided hairstyles people are seeking in 2023:
Bob Box Braids
The bob box braid has emerged as a trendy haircut style. Unlike traditional box braids, this variation involves cutting the extensions shorter to create a cropped effect. A rubber band is added to determine the desired length, and then the ends can be either burned for a sleek look or cut for a more blunt appearance. Customers also add color or accessories to take the style to the next level.
Peekaboo braids offer a surprise element, perfect for those seeking a touch of color without committing to a full head of colored braids. These versatile braids can be knotless, box braids, or boho styles, with the only difference being a row of colored extensions underneath the ear.
This pop of color is visible when the hair is up or parted, allowing for creative choices, including transitioning from dark to vibrant colors or even rainbow peekaboo braids. Blended color extensions can save time and money, while having each braid in a different color is also an option.
The process of fully maturing locs can take time. Butterfly locs offer a soft, distressed style right after leaving the salon, serving as an excellent alternative. They allow people to experiment with new hair lengths and colors.
Additionally, butterfly locs provide a versatile canvas for adding beads, charms, or rings to adorn the hairstyle. Recently, this style was observed in various forms, ranging from sky-high pineapples to long and flowing tresses.
Boho braids, or goddess braids, feature loose, wavy, or curly strands seamlessly integrated into box braids for an effortless appearance. Celebrities like Michelle Obama and Zoë Kravitz often flaunt this look, and it’s currently the most requested style among clients.
To rock these braids in the summer, hair stylists recommend using human hair for a lightweight and durable finish, making maintenance a breeze. Human hair also minimizes tangling, allowing for more relaxation and less fuss with hair care.
Celebrity stylist Erinn Courtney notes that knotless braids represent an evolution from traditional box braids. This sleeker finish has become a favorite choice for her clients, including singers Willow Smith and Goapele.
Before 2010, box braids with thick knots at the top were the norm, but feeding the hair further down the braid offers a more chic and healthier option, avoiding the hair being weighed down around the roots as it grows out.
“Jayda Wayda” braids, popularized by the titular actress, are essentially the oversized braids many know from childhood, resurfacing with a new name.
Created by parting the hair four or five times and using extensions, these larger braids are now made knotless for a sleek and mature look. The style is versatile, allowing for creativity with different colors or boho vibes. Although they may not last as long, the upside is that they can be done in a fraction of the usual time.
Bright and Warm-Toned Box Braids
This style is relatively simple, as it’s just your traditional box braids, but they’ll all be one color that stands out. People have been choosing warm tones like strawberry/caramel/honey blonde, ginger, and chestnut brown.
Or, individuals have chosen to go bold and choose bright colors like red, blue, rainbow patterns, and more. It’s definitely a fashion statement that many are turning to for the summer!
French Curl Braids
French curl braids, distinct from Western French braids, use pre-curled braiding hair with loose ringlets at the end. Smaller braids are preferred to achieve the look inspired by the ’90s “pick and drop” style. The result features extravagant wispy ends, typically braided to the tips. This style works best with synthetic hair extensions, producing a uniform ringlet appearance.
Straight-back cornrows have an everlasting coolness and appeal. Beyond aesthetics, this style offers practical benefits by keeping hair pulled back and allowing the scalp to breathe.
To add a twist to the classic look, consider incorporating curly pieces or experimenting with geometric patterns. For a bold statement, such as attending a coastal wedding, you can elevate the style further by incorporating fabrics and metals, taking your look to the next level.
Two-strand twists, particularly Senegalese and passion twists, are highly requested this year, especially during the summer months. Though twists aren’t technically braids, they’re grouped into this category because of how similar they are and their purpose as protective styles outside of the aesthetic benefits.
Stylists are interlocking two strands of hair instead of three, as they do for braids. Consumers can add colors, wear accessories, get them small, medium, or jumbo, wear them curly, and almost anything imaginable with braids can be done with twists.
Why Braids Are Becoming the Go-To Style
There are a variety of reasons that braids are becoming increasingly popular throughout the world:
Braids hold deep-rooted cultural significance. They have been an essential part of traditional hairstyles for centuries, symbolizing identity, heritage, and personal expression. As people increasingly embrace and celebrate their cultural roots, braids have become a powerful means of connecting with their ancestry and sharing their unique stories.
Celebrity and Social Media Influence
A-list stars frequently showcase stunning braided looks on red carpets, social media, and public appearances.
Social media platforms, such as Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest, have become influential in shaping beauty and hairstyling trends.
Many hairstylists and influencers showcase their intricate braided hairstyles on these platforms, inspiring and influencing others to try similar looks. This digital exposure has done wonders for the growth of the hair braiding market.
Innovative Hair Products
Advances in haircare technology and the development of high-quality synthetic hair extensions have made braided hairstyles more affordable to a broader audience. The industry has also witnessed a significant boost in products designed to enhance and maintain braided hairstyles.
Specialized braiding oils and gels have been introduced to ensure durability, longevity, and ease of maintenance for braided looks. These innovations have encouraged more people to experiment with braids, as they can confidently achieve and sustain intricate styles with the help of these products.
Natural Hair Care Movement
In recent years, natural hair care and embracing one’s natural hair texture has become a movement. Hair braiding provides a versatile and protective styling option for individuals with natural hair, allowing them to showcase their hair’s unique beauty while maintaining its health and strength. These styles can also help reduce damage caused by excessive heat styling and chemical treatments.
Convenience of Professional Services
The trend has boosted the need for professional services that specialize in various braiding techniques. Expert braiders, with their skill and creativity, are now sought after, offering clients a diverse range of styles to choose from. The convenience of these services make the styles more popular and accessible.
Diverse Styling Options
Braids offer an incredible range of styling options, from classic to contemporary, bohemian to chic, and everything in between. This versatility allows individuals to experiment with different looks, suiting various occasions and personal tastes, making braids an appealing choice for fashion-forward individuals looking to express themselves through their hair.
As the world becomes more interconnected, there has been an exchange of cultural ideas and traditions. With increasing ethnic diversity and globalization, braided hairstyles have transcended borders and gained admiration from people of all backgrounds, leading to a universal appreciation for their beauty and versatility.
Small Business and Entrepreneurial Opportunities
The growing demand for braids has opened up numerous opportunities for entrepreneurs and small business owners. Braiding studios, online tutorials, and hair product lines have flourished, empowering individuals to turn their passion for braiding into successful ventures. This flexibility and potential for self-employment have attracted many individuals to enter the hair braiding industry.
Onwards and Upwards
The increasing demand for braid styles has also greatly impacted pricing in salons and professional services. Moreover, the emergence of DIY trends has also affected the market, as more individuals opt to create braided hairstyles at home, influencing the desire for hair products and tutorials.
The growing success of the hair braiding industry indicates its potential for future expansion. Embracing these braid trends goes beyond fashion; it becomes a powerful statement of personal style and cultural connection.
This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.