If you’re looking for a way to spice up your braids, creating butterfly braids is the way to do so.
In this styling guide, you will learn the basics of creating a butterfly braid, style inspirations, and tips on how to achieve them. I’ll also answer some of the most frequently asked questions about butterfly braids.
What are Butterfly Braids?
True to its name, butterfly braids are plaits with strands pulled out to resemble butterfly wings. They are also called passion braids and jungle braids. Whatever name you call this hairstyle, it’s a sure head-turner.
One of the best things about butterfly braids is their versatility. You can pretty much wear it to any event––formal or not. It has the casual vibe braids bring, but it has enough flair to be worn to formal events.
Butterfly braids also make your hair look a bit thicker than regular braids. So, if you want to keep a bit of that big, poofy hair, you might want to try out the butterfly braids.
Butterfly Braids vs. Butterfly Locs
Butterfly braids and butterfly locs are quite similar in styling techniques. Both involve creating loops on your strands, creating a distressed look. Both can be made with hair extensions to create longer and thicker locs or colorful hairstyles.
But the main difference between them is that butterfly braids use three strands of hair. Whereas with butterfly locs, you are working with two-strand twists to achieve the same result.
Butterfly braids are intricate hairstyles that can take some time to perfect. However, once mastered, it looks absolutely gorgeous!
Can you do butterfly braids at home?
Any hairstyle can be done at home with enough time and practice. Your butterfly braids would look more professionally done when you get your hair braided by a hairdresser. However, if you’re confident in your skills, are trying something new, or want to save money, you can always create your butterfly braids at home.
If you’re planning to DIY this hairstyle, you need a rat tail comb and hair extensions. A fine toothcomb with a thin handle would allow you to part your hair and help you work on smaller parts much easier.
On the other hand, hair extensions, or Kanekalon hair, lessen hair damage and create an illusion of thicker, fuller hair. Pre-stretched hair pieces may also be a great choice when you’re braiding hair. You might want to purchase five to eight packs of synthetic hair, depending on how thick you want your butterfly braids to be.
If you want to level up your butterfly braids, you can always add hair accessories like beads, hair jewelry for braids, and hair threads. You may also opt for colored hair extensions to make an illusion of dyed, vibrant hair.
Butterfly Braids Styling Guide
Wash your hair
There’s a chance you might not be thoroughly washing your hair for a few weeks, so make sure to scrub, massage, and do all your hair-washing routines before braiding. A clean scalp is the key to long-lasting braids.
Dry your hair completely
Wait until your hair has completely dried up before braiding. This ensures that your hair won’t get damaged from all the tension and pulling around. If you plan on using a hair dryer, make sure to apply a heat protectant first.
Part your hair into four big sections
With your rattail comb, part your hair into four big sections. This will make braiding your hair so much easier. Use clips or clamps to keep other parts away as your work on one section.
Part your hair into smaller sections
Once your hair has been parted into big sections, use your rattail comb to create smaller sections. This is when you will start braiding your hair. You may also create small triangular sections or box sections. There are a lot of parting patterns you can choose from. You can try cornrows, too, or create heart braids on the side.
Insert hair pieces
Grab a few inches of synthetic hair pieces and separate them into two sections. Use those sections to braid your hair. Keep in mind that you will pull out small sections of the braid to complete the look, so make sure the extensions you get are longer than what you would usually use.
In addition, braiding using a colored extension is an easy way to change your hair color without committing to it. Hair extensions or Kanekalon hair usually come in natural hair colors, but if you want to level up your hairdo, you can always opt for the more vibrant colors.
Braid your hair and hair extensions together. Try not to braid it too tight to avoid damage and breakage. On the other hand, try to keep your braid’s size uniform with each other.
Pull out “butterfly wings.”
Once your hair is braided, tightly hold the end of your braid. With either your fingers or a rattail comb, slowly and carefully pull out small sections to resemble butterfly wings.
Seal the ends
There are many ways you can easily secure your hair braids. The quickest way would be to dip the ends in hot water or by using a hair straightener to seal the ends. The synthetic material of your hair extensions would seal the end together without having to use tiny elastic hair bands.
You may also do an overhand knot, although this works best with thin strands of braids. If your plaits are on the thicker side, you might want to do the first two methods.
Finishing Your Butterfly Braids
Looking for hair inspiration for your butterfly braids? No worries. Here are some of the best butterfly braids hairstyles out there. Most of them are simple enough, so you can recreate them without much hassle.
Butterfly Braids in Ponytails
If you have an active lifestyle, letting your hair down may just not be an option for you. These passion braids can also be put up with a ponytail or an updo. You can also add a few strands on the side to frame your face.
Half Up Half Down Butterfly Braids
Jazz up your butterfly braids by adding colored extensions to some sections of your hair. You can also insert other colored pieces to make your hair a colorful masterpiece.
Scalp Butterfly Braids
This vibrant red-colored scalp jungle braid is another fierce fashion statement. And when it comes to braiding your hair to the scalp, there’s a variety of stylish options to choose from to tailor to your individual vibe. From hearts or cornrows to lemonades and Fulani, scalp braids can add a pop of color, texture, and personality to your style.
Sleek Butterfly Braid
The sleek top knot butterfly braid is a perfect hairdo for any on-the-go occasion. This style looks super chic and polished, perfect for a night out or an office setting.
It looks especially great if you have long hair and can be easily achieved by tying your hair into a sleek bun at the top of your head. The end result is a stylish, sophisticated look that’s sure to turn heads.
Butterfly Crown/Halo Braids
This aqua-colored halo braid is another braid style that is sure to grab the attention of everyone in the room. This hairdo consists of two braids that circle around your head, almost like a crown. You can add beads to accessorize and make this look truly your own—a great way to put your own spin on a classic style!
FAQs About Butterfly Braids
How long will it take me to finish doing butterfly braids?
This depends on your hair length and how fast you would work. On an average basis, braiding a medium to long hair length would take about 4 to 8 hours. It may take longer if you’re doing it by yourself.
It’s best to book an appointment with your favorite hairdresser if you want your hair braided faster. It will also come out clean and longer-lasting.
How long will butterfly braids last?
Just like normal plaits, passion braids can last 4 to 6 weeks, depending on how you take care of them. Do consider that since there are strands of hair sticking out, they’re more prone to frizz and damage.
Ultimately, how long your braids will last is entirely up to you. For starters, wearing a silk/satin bonnet to sleep will lessen hair movement, thus preventing frizz and damage. You should also wash your hair every two weeks to prevent dirt and product build-up.
Are butterfly braids damaging?
Not at all. Braids are meant to be protective hairstyles, so your hair won’t be susceptible to damage or breakage. Not only do braids keep your hair strong and healthy, but they are also great styles for when you want to grow your hair out.
Can I add accessories to my butterfly braids?
Yes. You can add beads, hair threads, and hair jewelry if you need to add more bling. When using beads on jungle braids, it’s best to place them at the ends of your hair. This way, you won’t ruin the “butterfly wings” on your braids.
Flaunt those New Butterfly Braids
Butterfly braids are one of the easiest and most unique ways to spice up your classic braids. These may need extra care and might take longer than your usual braiding time, but don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. It might just be the coolest hairstyle you’ve done yet.