Have you seen the latest protective style that’s exploded in popularity lately—long butterfly braids? As a Black woman who relishes switching up my hairstyles as often as I change my nail art, I’m always scouring the internet and gossip mags for the newest trendy styles that complement my 4C hair texture and oblong face shape. Lately, style icons like Megan Thee Stallion, Saweetie, and Beyoncé have been flaunting waist-length butterfly braids adorned with beads and cowrie shells. I was mesmerized.
Butterfly braids are a type of knotless braid created by twisting two strands of kanekalon hair together to mimic the vivid “V” or butterfly wing shape. Unlike conventional box braids that graze your shoulders, these bohemian locs cascade far down your back for a tropical vibe reminiscent of the islands. The juxtaposition between the tight neatness of braids against the carefree flow of locs creates an alluring aesthetic.
After obsessing over pictures of the glamorous style on Instagram, I contemplated whether I should book an appointment to get jumbo butterfly braids installed down to my hips. But after assessing my unique hair needs and facial attributes, I still had reservations. As sublime as these playful locs appeared on my favorite celebs and influencers, I worried the style might not complement my hair density or facial proportions.
I also considered trying out the trend of braided wigs with flowing goddess faux locs or pixie knotless braids that allow more versatility. The main advantage of opting for a pre-braided wig is convenience – you can switch up looks with ease by popping on a new wig whenever you want a change. Braided wigs with flowing goddess faux locs or pixie knotless braids are all the rage lately for offering styling versatility. The braided hair blends seamlessly with your natural roots and allows your own hair to rest underneath, protecting it from manipulation.
For those wary of braiding tension, the lack of pulling on your strands makes braided wigs ideal. You also don’t have to commit to one look for months or deal with time-consuming installation and takedown appointments. While I adore the natural, customizable appearance of braided wigs, eventually I decided that getting my own loc install would be more economical in the long run. But wigs are still a fabulous protective style option with minimal maintenance that I may try in the future!
As someone with tight 4C curls prone to aridity and fragility, I was apprehensive about the tension that waist-length braids could inflict on my delicate strands, potentially causing devastating breakage. And having an elongated, oval-shaped face, I fretted that ultra-voluminous locs surrounding my cheekbones might overwhelm my narrow features like a lion’s mane engulfing a gazelle.
So before impulsively sashaying into the salon and requesting 30-inch butterfly braids, I decided to meticulously research the advantages and disadvantages of this intricate style on various hair types and facial structures. Here is what I learned during my loc excursion down the rabbit hole of YouTube tutorials and hair care forums.
Upon deeper analysis, I realized that while butterfly braids are undeniably stunning, they aren’t suitable as a one-size-fits-all style. The best approach is customizing them carefully to complement your unique facial features and hair needs. While rocking waist-length jumbo locs may be the trendy move, it isn’t necessarily the wisest for every head and face shape. At times, restraint leads to greater elegance than following trends blindly.
For instance, oval faces like mine may suit smaller, shaped locs better than voluminous ones that overwhelm delicate features. And fragile type 4C hair can suffer traumatic damage from the weight of extremely large braids. Seeking an experienced stylist and selecting the right braid size and shape is paramount.
Rather than chasing clout by emulating celebrities’ butterfly braids without considering your own attributes, the smarter decision is getting a customized loc install that flatters you. The details matter when it comes to protective styling. Enhancing what makes you unique should be the priority over mimicking what’s trendy online.
At the end of the day, I believe butterfly braids can complement nearly anyone with the right customization and hair care regimen. Don’t be afraid to deviate from what’s trendy online and choose braid shapes and sizes or alternate goddess braids styles like Havana twists that enhance YOUR exquisite attributes! It’s not about chasing trends – it’s about learning what makes you feel gorgeous.
As I continue my personal hair journey figuring out which protective styles best complement my natural locks, I’m always on the lookout for high-quality braided wigs that deliver both style and comfort. In my research, I came across the brand FANCIVIVI, which specializes in braided wigs designed specifically for black women. What interests me about FANCIVIVI is their focus on celebrating black hair in all its versatile glory. Their wigs are designed to make statement-making, protective styles accessible for everyday wear. As a busy career woman, I appreciate that FANCIVIVI allows me to easily switch up my look without the maintenance required for real braids.