Different Styles of Braids for Guys

by Mary Freeman

One of the most interesting ways to style men's hair is with braids. Braiding is not often seen on men, but it can prove to be an efficient, practical and good-looking style to sport. Men living an active life can get the most out of braiding, because it will keep your hair away from food, out of your face and from creating any other hazards.

Cornrows

Cornrows are worn very close to the scalp. It is the most creative braiding technique, above all others. Cornrows may be made in many different shapes and patterns, creating a swirling image over the scalp that borders on artwork rather than hair care. The rows are sometimes decorated with beads and shells. Cornrows are difficult to achieve and do require a long braiding process, however, when finished, they are easy to maintain for quite a long time. Historically, cornrows have been worn by Sub-Saharan Africans, who also employed the artistic geometric shapes and patterns, but for them they were signs of wealth, status and family lineage as well as other things.

Two-, Three-, Four- and Five-Strand Braids

By far, the easiest braid to make is a two-strand braid that is a twisting of the two strands together. This is a quick and easy way to braid long hair, and it hangs loosely, proving useful for those uncomfortable with tighter braids. The most common braid found on men is the three-strand braid. Start by dividing a section of the hair into three parts. The four-strand braid is slightly more difficult and achieved through either weaving or a twist-and-cross method. This style is less commonly seen on men as it has a feminine look to it. The same goes for the five-strand braid, which is commonly known as the "French braid." Mostly men begin braids at the nape of the neck when possible. A hat worn over braids can be a very stylish look

Why Braids?

Braids on men can be used to keep hair out of the face or they may be used to create another hairstyle. One way to dread hair is by using braids to begin the dreads. Braids can also be used to weave extensions into hair. Traditionally, Native Americans used braids to signify status and for religious purposes. The cutting of a braid could represent a great amount of shame or guilt. Controversy surrounds the topic of braiding and long hair on men in the Christian community. Some have interpreted the Bible's teachings that men and women must strive to look different to mean that these hairstyles are sacrilegious.

About the Author

Mary Freeman is a freelance writer. She has held several editorial positions at the print publication, "The Otter Realm." She traveled throughout Europe, which ultimately resulted in an impromptu move to London, where she stayed for eight months. This life experience inspired her to pursue travel writing. Freeman received a degree in human communication from California State University.