When life gives you lemons, serve lemonade braids.
Lemonade braids, formerly referred to as cornrow braids or side braids, were made famous after our icon and larger-than-life queen Beyonce wore them in her 2016 citrusy-titled visual album, Lemonade. The album—basically, a love letter to black women—had nearly a dozen visual award nominations (although, she was snubbed the Best Album Grammy), and led an entire movement around her black hairstyles featured in the video.
She rocked lemonade braids during her song, “Formation,” and during her 2017 tour of the same name. They have been a trendy black hair staple ever since!
What are lemonade braids?
Glad you asked. Lemonade braids are side-swept long cornrows, typically ending past your chest or waist. They’re low maintenance, long-lasting (usually up to 4 weeks), and can be done with just your natural mane or with extensions. It’s a perfect choice for a glamorous, show-stopping look at any time of year.
Thinking about giving them a try? Make your hairstyle even sweeter with the style inspirations below!
Thin, medium, and large
From big to small, spice up the style with different braid sizes. Neat and refined, thin lemonade braids offer more intricate patterns for a classy, elegant hairstyle. Medium lemonade braids can reduce the time you’re in the chair while still looking sleek and stylish. Large braids offer more texture and a dramatic statement. Because lemonade braids are so versatile, you can also mix and match between the three.
Glam up the braids with beads, cuffs, yarn, or string. Beads add a stunning accessory twist that can work for all ages. You can elevate your plaits with more natural brown and black beads or amp up the look with more flashy colors like fire-red, green, or blue. Mixed-metal cuffs come in an array of colors, sizes, and designs, and you can easily add this gorgeous hair jewelry after your stylist is done braiding for an edgy, royal finish.
You can also ask your stylist to weave in yarn or string into a few (or a lot) of your braids. This added styling allows you to slay beautiful colors and textures with your own personal touch.
Pro-tip: Not sure how much hair you need to buy for your lemonade braids? Our Braiding Hair Guide breaks down how much hair you need to achieve this flawless hairstyle.
Pastel and unicorn
Here at Un-ruly, we absolutely love color—it adds originality and playfulness, and it’s an effortlessly cool way to stand out and show off your personality. Flaunt pastel colors that remind you of a summer sunset or an opal mermaid, or try unicorn lemonade braids that look like a rainbow. You can ease into using bolder colors by using ombre-colored hair or having a few braids with a pop of color.
Whether it’s cotton candy pinks, cherry reds, or even lime greens, have fun with your braids by incorporating your favorite shades into the style.
Curly and wavy
We all love a good boho vibe. Curly or wavy ends are a casual, free-spirit option to sport this particular style. With the added texture and volume, these lemonade braids give a beautiful, flowing contrast to the neat cornrows at the top. The beachy look will also give you that wow factor, especially in the summer months.
Pro-tip: Want to make sure your lemonade braids last? Check out our must-know tips for taking care of this hairstyle.
Goddess lemonade braids
Lemonade braids allow you to combine your other favorite braided hairstyles into your own unique look. Goddess lemonade braids are one part goddess- large cornrows that lay flat on your scalp, and one part lemonade- long and swept to one side. The result? A thicker, bolder version of lemonade braids that are incredibly easy to maintain, and will complete any look.
Ready for something sweet? Lemonade braids come in all shapes, sizes, and colors, and you can dress them up however you like! With all the style inspirations we’ve covered, there are more than enough ways to achieve the perfect style that fits your personality.