Protective hairstyles are so stunning. They protect your textured locks and look fabulous while doing so! One such beautiful protective hairdo is the Ghana braids hairstyle. These braids, resembling cornrows, can be styled in several ways and patterns. Ghana braids are a traditional African hairstyle passed down for generations. However, many black women put their personal twist to this braid style. Here are the top 12 Ghana braid styles and a little tidbit of information on everything you need to know about Ghana braids. Scroll down.

Before You Get Started

  • The key visual feature that differentiates Ghana braids from regular cornrows is how ghana braids start small in the front and grow thicker as they move back.
  • You should have at least two inches of hair growth to do these braids. But to be on the safe side, have at least 4-5 inches of natural hair growth.
  • Regular moisturization and scalp care are a non-negotiable part of maintaining these braids.

What Are Ghana Braids?

Ghana braids are a protective style that involves cornrow-like braids going straight from the front to the back of your head. The main purpose is to protect your hair from damage and help it grow out. They are also known as Banana braids, Cherokee braids, and straightbacks.

Though Ghana braids follow the same concept of braiding as cornrows, one fundamental difference between the two is that Ghana braids require you to add extensions into your braids to make them thicker.

The origin of Ghana braids can be traced back to 500 BC through African hieroglyphs and sculptures that depict braids done on people’s hair. Though initially Ghana braids were done up in a straightback style that depicted religious or social status, slaves started sporting curvy and zigzag patterns as a form of protest against their masters who wanted them to relax their hair. Thus, they were forced to shave their head off when they were sold.

Fortunately, in this day and age, you can sport Ghana braids in any shape or form without facing any sort of oppression. You can go for straight, zigzag, or curved patterns and accessorize them with beads or metal rings to make your Ghana braids completely your own.

What Hair To Use For Ghana Braids?

The best hair extensions to use for Ghana braids are ones that are synthetic based. Kanekalon hair seems to be the most popular choice among hair vloggers and bloggers.

How To Do Ghana Braids?

What You Need

  • Hydrating hair cream
  • Hair brush
  • Rat tail comb
  • Kanekalon hair extensions
  • Scissors
  • Boiling hot water in a mug/bowl
  • Edge control cream


  1. Start off by applying a hydrating cream to your hair to smoothen it down and make braiding easier.
  2. Brush out all the knots and tangles in your hair.
  3. With the tail end of your rat tail comb, part your hair neatly in sections in the pattern that you want your Ghana braids and clip them up with sectioning clips.
  4. Divide the corner-most section into 3 strands.
  5. Braid these strand for 2-3 stitches while adding more hair into the side strands with each stitch of braid.
  6. Pick up a thin section of kanekalon hair and fold it in half.
  7. Place the fold of the hair extension under middle strand of hair and combine its two halves with the left and right strands of your natural hair, respectively.
  8. Braid for a couple more sections then add a thicker section of kanekalon hair to your braid.
  9. Keep repeating this process of braiding for a few stitches and adding a slightly thicker section of hair extensions than the last until your Ghana braid has reached the very nape of your neck.
  10. Now simply braid the rest of the way down for as long as you want your braids to be.
  11. Cut off the excess extensions.
  12. Continue this process of braiding on all the sections of your hair.
  13. Dip the ends of the Ghana braids in boiling hot water to seal them.
  14. Finish off by smoothing down any flyaways in your Ghana hair braids braids or at your hairline with the help of edge control cream.

Now that you know how to Ghana braid your hair, let’s look at what kind of styles will flatter your face shape.

What Ghana Braid Will Suit Your Face Shape

  • Round face: Some simple straightbacks are the perfect ghana braids for round faces as it adds length to your face.
  • Oblong face: Go for a Ghana braids low bun to accentuate your oblong face shape.
  • Square/Rectangular face: Opt for Ghana braids in a curved pattern to soften the sharp angles of your face.
  • Triangular face: Horizontal Ghana braids all swept to one side will suit your triangular face perfectly.
  • Heart face: Well, you’re a lucky ducky because any Ghana braids style you opt for will flatter your face!

StyleCraze Says

Side swept weaving Ghana hairstyle holds the braid in place on one side and works best for an oval face.

So that’s that! Without further adieu, let’s look at images of Ghana braids hairstyles that you can sport right now.

12 Gorgeous Ghana Braids Styles

1. Basic Ghana Braids

Let’s start off easy, shall we? A great way to start off your protective hairstyle journey is to go for a basic style that is easy to maintain. These simple straight back Ghana braids keep your whole look light and easy without being too frilly and fancy. And the best part is you can easily pair this hairstyle with any casual or formal outfit.

2. Side Ghana Braids

If you want to level up your Ghana braids, try weaving them from one side of your head. The flat braiding stops right above the opposite temple, and the thick, blonde-brown braids fall over your shoulders, creating a stunning visual contrast.

3. High Ponytail

This is Ghana braids with a twist! The thick, green cornrows are weaved from all sides in a spiral pattern toward the top of the head and wrapped in a high ponytail. While it deviates from the traditional front-to-back Ghana braid pattern, it looks uber cool!

4. Horizontal Blonde Ghana Braids

If your sense of style sways more towards unconventional and unique, here’s a Ghana braids style that will go with it perfectly. These horizontal Ghana braids follow a curved pattern and are all swept to one side to create a totally badass hair look. And if that wasn’t enough, the blonde coloring makes this style look even cooler.

5. Twisted Ghana Braids

Here’s what happens when you decide to break the trend and follow the beat of your own drummer – you start infusing your own sense of style into classic hair looks. These thick twisted Ghana braids are the perfect example of that. Add to them the golden blonde highlights and you’ve got something special on your hands.

6. Beaded Ghana Braids In A Ponytail

Sport this style and you’ll surely give off some serious Lara Croft vibes. Just go for some alternating thick and thin Ghana braids all around your head and tie them up in a high ponytail. And to kick the cool factor up a notch, accent the braids with some gold beads.

7. Halfway Ghana Braids

If you’re someone who likes the flowy, open hair look, then here’s a Ghana braids style that you’ll definitely love. These thin straightback Ghana braids end halfway down her head and transition into long flowy braids that look oh-so-feminine. You could also pull a couple of braids to the front on either side of your face to give yourself the perfect elven look.

8. Ghana Braids Low Bun

Style meets sophistication in this Ghana braids bun that no one will be able to take their eyes off of. This look involves thick Ghana braids neatly tied up in a low bun at the nape of your neck. This simple Ghana braids updo updo looks uber classy and is perfect for anyone who has to wear formals to work every day.

9. Angled Ghana Braids Top Bun

Now here’s what I call a futuristic hair look. The beauty of Ghana braids in this style has been accentuated with the help of thin cornrows running perpendicular to them. Finish off the look by twisting the loose ends of the braids and wrapping them up in a super high top knot.

10. Chevron Ghana Braids

A great way to experiment with your Ghana braids is to play around with quirky patterns. This chevron patterned look is edgy and yet has a feminine vibe to it. Tie up the loose ghana braids to the back in a simple low bun to finish off this stunning hair look.

11. Understated Ghana Braids

Keep things subtle and simple with this Ghana braids look which is as understated as it gets. With all the braids done up in a straightback style and accented with a couple of zigzag braids, this Ghana braids look is exactly the hairstyle you need if you have a million places to be in a single day.

12. Spider Web Ghana Braids

And to finish this list off on a high note, here’s a look that’s one for the ages! These silvery lilac Ghana braids have been done up in an awesome spider web pattern to create a truly mind-blowing hair look. Tie up the braids in a top knot to finish off this amazing hair look.

Now that you’ve picked out the Ghana braids of your dreams, let’s look at how you can maintain them.

How To Maintain Ghana Braids

The best way to make your Ghana braids look gorgeous and make them last as long as possible is to add some simple steps into your hair care routine. Here are a few ways that you can maintain them properly:

  • Tender loving care at night: Sleep on a satin pillowcase or wear a silk hair bonnet around your braids at night to prevent the synthetic hair extensions from getting damaged and to maintain the neatness of your braids.
  • Moisturize: Pat some almond oil into your scalp and rub some lightly on to your braids to gently moisturize them.
  • Maintain your edges: Apply some edge control cream all along your hairline every morning to keep your do looking fresh and neat.
  • Trim flyaways: Since synthetic hair extensions tend to develop flyaways over time, carefully trim them away with a small pair of scissors to prevent your braids from looking unkempt.
  • Wash once a week: Lightly wash your braids with water and a conditioner diluted in water once a week to remove the oil buildup and dirt that you may have accumulated.

StyleCraze Says

The best way to extend the life of braids is redoing the edges and then redoing the entire braid from the roots.

How Long do Ghana Braids Last?

As with any protective hairstyle, Ghana braids last as long as you maintain them well. Typically, you can keep them in for anywhere between 2 to 5 weeks.

Infographic: Ghana Braids Hairstyle Ideas

When it comes to styling the Ghana braids, the options are never too many. You can flaunt this protective hairstyle in different stylish and intricate patterns. Check out the infographic below for some more Ghana braids hairstyle ideas.

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

If you have always wanted to try Ghana braid hairstyles for a while, or if they’re a top contender for your next protective style, now is the moment. Ghana braids not only have a plethora of style options, such as chunky braids and zig-zag parts but also can be done in a short time, depending on the complexity of the style you are going for. Ghana braids are similar to cornrows, but by braiding hair, you can play with the shape, thickness, and colors to match your mood.

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of hair to use for Ghana braids?

Kanekalon synthetic hair extensions are best suited for Ghana braids.

How long do they last?

They last for anywhere between 2 to 5 weeks.

What is the difference between Ghana braids and regular cornrows?

While cornrows are done only with your natural hair and lay completely flat against your head, Ghana braids make use of hair extensions, are thick, and have a more 3-dimensional look.

Do Ghana braids break your hair?

Although Ghana braids are a protective hairstyle they may break your tresses if pulled back very tightly. They may pull on your roots, causing breakage and shedding, and may affect the scalp too.

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