Can You Braid Coily Hair

Fashion is anything but simple. Trends change every now and done and you’re left wondering how to stay hip as times change. That is why braids are one of the safest styles to rock. This timeless style is fit for any occasion and instantly ups your fashion. Provided of course that your hair is fit for braiding.

That begs the question: can you braid coily hair? The answer is a resounding yes. Coily hair is uniquely suited for braiding. In fact, this is the type of hair that is typically associated with braiding. Your hair’s volume and texture make it perfect for most braided styles. With the right products, these braids will hold for a really long time.

Not only will the braids look really good with your hair, but this style also offers some unique benefits that will help your hair in the long term. This article is going to cover everything there is to know about styling coily hair into braids.

A Crash Course On Coily Hair

A Crash Course On Coily Hair

Before you know whether or not braids are right for your coily hair, you need to understand your hair a little better. What even is coily hair? What makes it different from other styles?


Generally speaking, coily hair is exactly what it sounds like: hair that is bunched up in coils. It is also known as afro-textured or kinky hair and it appears far denser than any other type.

You can divide coily hair into three types: 4A, 4B, and 4C. 4A is springy and dense, the coils are packed together but they have a little bit of distance. 4B is much tighter, looking like sharp bends rather than springs. 4C is the tightest type with a zigzag shape. Because of this tightness, it is the most fragile type. 

Coily Hair Vs Curly Hair

Coily Hair Vs Curly Hair

Curly hair and coily hair are often mistaken for each other, but there are some distinct differences between the two.

As I mentioned, coily hair tends to have more volume and tighter, denser ringlets than curly hair. In fact, coily hair often forms small, springy curls that can sometimes resemble corkscrews.

One of the main differences between curly and coily hair is in the shape of the hair follicle.

Curly hair usually has an oval or asymmetrical shape, while coily hair has a more rounded shape. This rounded shape can contribute to the tighter curls and greater volume of coily hair.

Another difference between curly and coily hair is in the texture.

Coily hair tends to be drier and more fragile than curly hair, which means that it requires more moisture and gentle handling to avoid breakage.

Additionally, coily hair can be more prone to tangling and matting, especially if it is not properly detangled and cared for.

Despite these differences, both curly and coily hair can be stunningly beautiful when properly cared for.

With the right hair care routine and styling techniques, anyone can embrace and celebrate their unique hair texture, whether it’s curly, coily, or somewhere in between.

Why Coily Hair Is Awesome

Why Coily Hair Is Awesome

Coily hair is a really nice hair type to have. What makes us say that? These 3 benefits can be found nowhere else.

1. Versatile Styling

You can style your coily hair into various different styles with little to no manipulation. This hair is fit for trying wild and unique styles.

2. Perfect Summer Hair

Coily hair protects your scalp from the sun’s harmful rays. Since you can’t apply sunscreen on your scalp, this is the next best option. 

3. Total All-Round Protection

Aside from protecting your hair from the sun, it acts as a natural barrier to the elements. Foreign substances will struggle to get into between your dense coils.

Issues With Coily Hair

Issues With Coily Hair

Unfortunately, with those amazing perks, you’ll be faced with some unique challenges if you have coily hair. Be on the lookout for these 4 problems.

1. Cautious Styling

Coily hair is the most delicate hair type. It doesn’t like to be meddled with so be extra careful with the products that you are using on this hair.

2. Lack Of Hydration

The aggressive bends tend to stress the outer layer of your hair. This causes the hair to dry out and so you need to add moisture to your hair.

3. Shrinkage

Coily hair tends to shrink when it dries, which can be frustrating for some people.

It can make the hair appear shorter than it actually is, which can be discouraging. To prevent shrinkage, it is important to stretch the hair during the styling process.

This can be done by using hair bands or twists to elongate the hair. Using a hair dryer with a diffuser attachment can also help to stretch coily hair and prevent shrinkage.

4. Tangles

Coily hair is prone to tangles, which can be a nightmare to deal with.

Why Braids Are Perfect For Coily Hair

Why Braids Are Perfect For Coily Hair

Braids are not only possible with coily hair but we strongly recommend them. For these 3 reasons, we are adamant advocates for braids on coily hair.

1. Perfectly Suited

If you are looking for a way to enhance the beauty of your coily hair, braids are a practical realistic option for you.

The coarse texture offers an extra grip which allows for easier installation. Once they are installed, you won’t have to worry about them coming undone due to their durability. You can put it into any braided style virtually: it has great versatility. You won’t even have to worry about volume. The density of your coils gives a fuller look.

2. Historic Significance

Braids have been a means of self-expression and a strong part of cultural identity for the African community.

As coily hair is usually exclusively found in this community, braiding has played an essential role for this type for centuries. Braiding is a way to honor an age-old tradition even if you are not part of that community.

3. Unique Look

The best reason why braids are great for coily hair is that they are a stylish way to stand out, they highlight your rare hair type. You can rock popular styles from all types of braids.

Are you looking to do the best braid-out ever? Bubble braids and two-strand braids are both tailor-made for coily hair. They are easy to make in comparison to other braids but they look just as great.

Are you most interested in twist-outs? Spring twists and flat-twist outs are the perfect hairstyles for you. The coils look elegant as they softly twist away from you.

Do you like wearing your braids differently every once in while? A side-swept cornrows hairstyle allows you to switch between braid-outs and twist-outs effortlessly. This takes some time and effort but it is totally worth it.

Why Braiding Is Good For Coily Hair

Why Braiding Is Good For Coily Hair

Braiding is good for hair in general but what makes it particularly better for the health of your coily hair? These 3 features help your hair greatly

1. Moisture Lock

As I mentioned, coily hair tends to lack a bit of moisture. This makes braids the perfect match for this type of hair. Once your hair is tightly sealed up in a braid, none of the moisture can escape.

Ideally, if you are able to add enough moisture to your hair before making the braids, the style will lock this moisture up and stop your hair from looking dry. You need to use the right products to add this moisture, however. Don’t worry, we’ll go over them soon enough.

2. Less Breakage

When hair moves around, it tends to break apart more often. Tying it up tightly into braids stops this movement and in turn, reduces breakage as a whole.

You will be most benefited when you are asleep as tossing and turning in bed does a number on your hair.

To bring breakage to a minimal amount, make sure you wear a head covering such as a scarf, bonnet, or cap when you go to sleep.

3. Overall Protection

Remember how we mentioned that coily hair offers great protection? Braiding them down is like doubling up on that protection. Your hair becomes like the fortress of solitude. Nothing can penetrate this dome. Your hair will completely free from external pollutants.

Hair Products For Coily Hair 

Hair Products For Coily Hair 

Using the correct products for this type of hair is vital due to its sensitivity. You need to read every label and ensure that the product is right for your hair. Needless to say, you should try and opt for natural ingredients and avoid paraben and sulfates at all costs.

1. Shampoo

Shampoos clean your hair but they tend to strip it of natural oils. As coils are dry already, you need to minimize this effect. Get a deep-cleaning shampoo and use it infrequently. Every 2-3 weeks is more than enough.

2. Conditioner

This is arguably the most important part of your haircare routine. You need to add moisture to your hair. Spring for a root rejuvenating conditioner and use it infrequently. If you overuse it, your hair will weaken and that will potentially cause breakage. A pro tip is to use it every time you shampoo.

3. Leave-in Conditioners

You might be wondering: why do I need to use both a leave-in conditioner and a generic conditioner? Your hair needs moisture once the braids are already in place and a leave-in conditioner allows you to do that.

Simply, create a mixture of water, apple cider vinegar, and the leave-in conditioner of your choice and put it in a spray bottle. Spray it in your hair every few days when you see that your hair is lacking moisture.

It is near impossible to set a strict timeframe for this as your environment, exact hair type, and products greatly determine how quickly your hair loses moisture. Determining this is an intuitive process.

4. Styling Products

If you want to style your braids, go for styling cream or curl creams instead of hair gels. They are more delicate and don’t use harsh chemicals that force your hair to set like gels. Even if you do use gels, go for ones that are softer.

5. Sprays

Lastly, if you don’t want to create that leave-in conditioner mixture, you can always opt for off-the-shelf moisturizing sprays. They are a bit more expensive but they do the trick. The only downside is that you can’t adjust it to perfectly suit your hair type.

popular braid styles that can be created with coily hair

Coily hair can be challenging to style, but braids are a great way to manage the hair while also creating beautiful looks.

There are various braid styles that coily-haired individuals can try, from simple two-strand braids to intricate cornrows. In this article, we’ll explore six popular braid styles that can be created with coily hair.

1. Braid-Out


A braid-out is a popular style for coily hair. It involves braiding the hair while it’s wet, leaving the braids in overnight, and unraveling them in the morning. The result is a defined and elongated curl pattern.

To achieve this style, start by washing your hair and applying a leave-in conditioner. Then, section your hair and braid each section.

The size of the braids will determine the size of the curls. The smaller the braids, the tighter the curls. Once the braids are dry, unravel them and fluff your hair to achieve the desired volume.

2. Bubble Braids

Bubble Braids

Bubble braids are a fun and playful style that involves creating multiple “bubbles” in the braids.

This style is perfect for those who want a unique and eye-catching look. To achieve this style, start by parting your hair into sections and creating small braids.

Once the braids are complete, use hair elastics to create “bubbles” in the braids. Simply place an elastic around each section of the braid, creating a bubble effect. You can create as many bubbles as you’d like, depending on the length of your hair.

3. Two-Strand Braid

Two-Strand Braid

The two-strand braid, also known as a twist-out, is a simple and classic style for coily hair.

To achieve this look, simply divide your hair into two sections and twist each section around the other. Once the twists are complete, leave them in overnight and unravel them in the morning. The result is a defined and textured curl pattern.

4. Spring Twists

Spring Twists

Spring twists are a popular protective style that involves creating twists with synthetic hair.

This style is great for those who want a low-maintenance look that can last for several weeks. To achieve this style, start by sectioning your hair and adding synthetic hair to each section.

Once the synthetic hair is in place, twist it around your natural hair to create a spring-like effect. The result is a bouncy and voluminous look that can last for weeks with proper maintenance.

5. Flat-Twist Outs

Flat-Twist Outs

Flat-twist outs are a popular style for coily hair that involves creating flat twists and unraveling them to create a defined curl pattern.

To achieve this style, start by parting your hair into sections and creating flat twists. Once the twists are complete, leave them in overnight and unravel them in the morning. The result is a defined and elongated curl pattern.

6. Side-Swept Cornrows Hairstyle

Side-Swept Cornrows Hairstyle

Cornrows are a classic style that involves braiding the hair in a specific pattern. The side-swept cornrows hairstyle is a great way to add some flair to this classic style.

To achieve this style, start by creating cornrows on one side of your head, leaving the other side loose. The result is a unique and stylish look that is perfect for any occasion.

Final Words

Coily hairs can be tricky to understand and manage. This is not a very common hairstyle and so you are going to have trouble finding stylists that can work with it efficiently. That said, can you braid coily hair? Absolutely.

The only thing that you need to keep in mind is that just like any other hairstyle, this one needs a proper haircare routine. You need to keep tabs on your hair and ensure that you are regular with its maintenance. Otherwise, your locs will be dry and that isn’t a very flattering look.

The key to rocking the best braids is always consistency. Find a routine that is good for your hair and stick to it religiously. This is going to take some trial and error so remember, be patient and consistent.

By Cindy Mahlangu

Hey there! I'm Cindy Mahlangu, a pro hairstylist with a serious passion for natural hair care. My mission? To inspire and educate others on the beauty and benefits of protective hairstyles. Through my creative writing, aim to empower individuals to embrace their unique hair texture and confidently care for their locks. So, whether you're rocking locs, braids, or twists, join me on this hair journey and let's achieve healthy, fabulous tresses together!

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