There is a hairstyle that is making a comeback. People from different cultures have been using it for centuries. Now, the hip crowd cannot seem to get enough of it.
Lemonade braids are now considered as one of the fashion world’s hippest and trendiest hairstyles. So, what are lemonade braids and why are they growing in popularity?
An Overview of Lemonade Braids
Lemonade braids are a kind of styling that protects the hair from the many adverse effects of excessive manipulation. The traditional way of wearing braids was from a front-to-back orientation of the braids. Lemonade braids move from side to side. This is why people call it side braids.
When Beyoncé used it in her Lemonade visual album in 2016, people began calling the hairstyle as “lemonade”. They started asking their stylists to make them the same hairstyle as the “Lemonade” album.
Lemonade braids feature extra-long cornrows that start from one side of the head. They then work their way to the other side of the head and cascade over the shoulder on that side.
What’s Great About Lemonade Braids
Most people want to have lemonade braids because of the sophisticated look it brings. However, this is not the only reason why you should also consider having this kind of hairstyle. Here are a few of the benefits that you can get from lemonade braids.
Protects Your Natural Tresses
Hair protection is the most important benefit of getting lemonade braids. It keeps the ends of your natural tresses tucked within the weave hair. This protects it from environmental stressors and over-manipulation.
Requires Less Maintenance
The main objective of braids is to protect the hair. As such, it does not require that much maintenance. You do need to cleanse it every now and then to keep your natural tresses as healthy as possible.
One can never get too creative when it comes to lemonade braids. As if the sideways orientation of the hairstyle is not testament enough to its ingenuity.
You can accessorize your braids or use fascinating colors that will best reflect your personality. Take your cue from Nicki Minaj and her pink lemonade braids.
Enhances Your Personal Style
It is one thing to follow the hairstyle that A-listers wear. It is another thing to come up with your own style. Because lemonade braids are versatile enough, you can create the kind of style that best epitomizes your mood and personality.
Some Ways to Rock Lemonade Braids
If you are not sure where to start with your lemonade braids journey, let these 7 ideas inspire you.
1. Beyoncé Look
You will never go wrong with the classic Beyoncé look of lemonade braids. What makes this idea so popular is that many stylists are already very proficient with such a hairstyle.
You can go up to them, ask for the Beyoncé Lemonade look, and they already know what to do. Beyoncé’s look sports extra-long miniature braids with hints of gold. This is a surefire way to stand out.
2. Classic Lemonade Braids
If you are not prepared to apply gold dust on your tresses or to wear pink braids, then you can always go for the classic side braids look. You need micro braids that come with traditional cornrows.
Your long locks will sweep to one side of your head, framing your stunning face. It may be a subtle style. However, this will rock your world.
3. Small Lemonade Braids
Women with very thin hair often complain that they cannot get fabulous braids. It is now more than possible with lemonade braids. The secret is to make the braids as small as possible to give you a more delicate look. This style idea is also perfect for the summer.
4. Pulled back Lemonade Braids
Instead of sweeping your braids to one side of your head, you will pull them towards the back. Your sideways-oriented braids will make a dramatic right angle as they sweep to the back of your head. This is ideal for those who want to highlight their facial features.
5. Jumbo Lemonade Braids
This is a statement-making hairstyle that is ideal for women with thick and curly hair. It will be a lot easier to make jumbo-sized braids if one has thick locks. It is a great way to tame your thick tresses, while also protecting them from further damage. They look cool, too.
If it is hot outside, this is the style that you would want to wear. Gathering several braids and form them into a knot on your crown is sure to give you the comfort you need during exceptionally warm days. Leave a single lemonade braid up front and a few at the back. Knot the rest for an instant dose of cuteness.
7. Beaded Lemonade Braids
This has got to be the easiest way to perk up your lemonade braids style. The best part of this style idea is that you get to choose the kind of beads to put at the ends of your braids. You can opt for a girly look or a punk style. You can also go for a hippy Bohemian vibe if you want.
Tips and Tricks to Keeping Lemonade Braids as Stunning as Ever
Caring for your lemonade braids is crucial to keeping it as stunning as ever. Here are some tricks you can apply.
Focus on Cleansing the Scalp
If you take a look at images of women wearing lemonade braids, you will see that the cornrows create a section in between them. This is where you should focus your hair cleansing efforts. Use a gentle shampoo to get rid of excess oil and dirt that may be present on the scalp.
If you are worried about leaving shampoo residue on your hair and scalp, you may want to dilute the shampoo with equal parts water. Cleanse your scalp not more frequently than once a week.
Do Not Forget to Moisturize
Your natural hair can benefit from the protective nature of lemonade braids. However, they will still require additional help. Apply a good quality moisturizer on your natural locks as often as twice a week.
Make sure you drink lots of water and other fluids, too. If you do not have oily hair, then you can also apply a natural oil to keep its shine.
Protect Your Braids
Lemonade braids have the tendency to unravel, especially if they were not installed tight enough. As such, you should always minimize friction on your braids. Friction can create frizzing and make your braids unravel a lot easier.
Wrap your lemonade braids in a scarf made of satin or silk. The smooth surface of the fabric will not rub against the surface of the braids. It would also help if you change your pillowcases. Pick those made of satin, too.
Have Fun Styling Your Lemonade Braids
Lemonade braids are very versatile. If you are already tired with the same old look, you can always try to style it in different ways.
Turn it into a bun or curl it up into a side pony. Do not forget the value of hair accessories. These can make your lemonade braids as beautiful and stunning as ever.
How to Make Lemonade Braids
Side braids are regaining popularity because of the hairstyle’s appearance on Beyoncé’s “Formation” music video. While the process of making lemonade braids can be time-consuming, it is worth it. You can get gorgeous braids that you can show off to your girlfriends. Here’s how.
Prepare Your Tresses
Any protective type of styling the hair requires adequate preparation. The key thing to understand is that the natural hair will be left almost untouched throughout the time that the braids are in place.
Moreover, one will be manipulating the natural tresses during the actual process of installing these braids. You want it to be in peak health before you begin “touching” it.
Clean and condition your tresses. It is important to remove any oil, dirt, and other particles that may be present on your scalp and tresses. When applying conditioner, focus more on the tips of your hair. These are often the driest part of one’s tresses.
If your shampoo happens to dry your locks, apply it only on your scalp. The shampoo will move along the length of your tresses as you rinse. This will cleanse the hair strands without stripping all of their moisture.
Deep condition your locks for about 20 to 30 minutes. This should be enough time to allow the conditioners to penetrate the layers of the hair shaft. There are also conditioners that contain additional ingredients. These can prevent water from evaporating through the hair strand.
If your hair is prone to breakage, it is wise to use a conditioner with amino acids and peptides. This will strengthen your locks in preparation for the installation of lemonade braids.
The last step to preparing your locks is detangling. Braiding requires the sectioning of natural hair. It will be very challenging to section and braid your hair if there are tangles. Always start with the detangling process near the ends of your tresses.
Part Your Hair
The first step to installing lemonade braids involves the sectioning of your locks in the front. Use the tip of a rattail comb for this to make sure you will have an even part. Using the teeth of the comb can result in some strands going in one side of the part.
The next step is to part your locks from one temple to the other. This will create a U-shaped hair part. It will form your side bangs later on. Get a scrunchie and tie this section. Secure the rest of your tresses with hair clips.
Use the rattail comb’s tip to part a section of your hair at the nape in a horizontal manner. This section of hair should have a width of about 1 inch from the part to the nape.
Apply a styling cream on this section of your hair prior to braiding. It will help moisturize the hair strands, while also facilitating the easier braiding process.
Grab a section of hair from the leftmost part of the horizontal section. Divide the section into three smaller sections or strands. Start braiding by crossing the strands. Keep on making braids until you get about 9 or 10 stitches. This will serve as the base for your lemonade braids.
It is often wise to start with small stitches. Make sure not to pull on your tresses too tight. You will get headaches if you do; not to mention the risk of hair breakage.
Add hair extensions or weave hair in your braid. When adding hair extensions, make sure to hold the middle of the strands and not the tips or ends. You want to create two strands or two legs out of the hair extension. Continue braiding. It is often wise to practice the feed-in braiding method first on a doll to get the feel for it.
As you continue making cornrows towards the rightmost side of your horizontal part, keep on adding hair extensions. You can add weave hair every 2 to 3 stitches that you make. You will have to use thicker weave hair bundles as the lemonade braids thicken. Secure these using an elastic band.
Keep Making Lemonade Braids
Use the same steps we mentioned above to make another lemonade braid. Make sure to position the new section about an inch above the first braid. Also, always tart from left to right. When you get to the side of your head, it would be best to keep the braid sleek instead of bulky. You can add hair extensions every 7 to 8 stitches.
Focus on your bangs. Work with one section on the right side of your head and secure the rest. Keep the braiding sections small and neat. You do not want the front of your face having braids as thick as the Great Wall.
Add hair extensions only when you are done with 10 stitches of the starter braid. You can then add weave hair every 2 to 3 stitches.
Keep on creating cornrows until you have completed your bangs. Finish it up by securing the ends with an elastic band. An alternative is to dip the ends of the braids in hot water.
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Frequently Asked Questions
• I like to have lemonade braids. Unfortunately, I have very fine, slippery hair. What can I do?
Braids often work best on hair that has a thicker and coarser texture. This allows the sections of hair to adhere to one another and minimize unraveling. However, if you have slippery hair, there is one trick that you can do – braid your hair while it is still wet.
The hydrostatic forces of water will keep the hair strands together. This allows you to create weaves with less effort. You can always adjust the braids after drying to make it more stunning. You can also try applying hairspray at the hair roots. Applying pomade on your hair should also make it “rougher”.
• I feel tightness in my scalp. Is this related to the lemonade braids?
It is normal to feel a little tightness on your scalp during the first few days of installing lemonade braids or any other type of protective styling. This feeling of tightness should go away after your head has grown accustomed to the tension.
However, if the tightness persists or if it becomes painful, there is a good chance that your lemonade braids are tighter than necessary. Another telltale sign of a braid that’s too tight is the formation of little bumps on your hairline.
• What kind of shampoo should I use on my lemonade braids?
A gentle shampoo is best. It would be ideal to use one that is sulfate-free, too. You do not have to shampoo the braid itself.
Focus more on the scalp as dirt and oil tend to build up in this section. If your shampoo leaves residues, try diluting it with equal parts water. Spritz this on your scalp and rinse with a moist cloth.
• What kind of weave hair should I use for lemonade braids?
You have two choices. One is to use natural human hair. This will give you a more natural look. It also tends to last a lot longer than synthetics, given proper care. Human hair extensions are also heat-friendlier than synthetics.
They are best for those who cannot stay away from hot styling tools. The second option is synthetic hair weave. These are less expensive and are a lot easier to maintain than natural hair extensions.
There are plenty of reasons why lemonade braids are making a successful comeback. With the likes of Beyoncé, Nicki Minaj, and other celebrities rocking such a hairstyle, it is not surprising that people want it, too.