The Easiest Tips For Rocking Bubble Braids
Updated: Jan 12
With all the time, energy, and money poured into it, it is only fitting that your hairstyles bring you joy and make you feel like the main character. In essence, hair should be fun. But between the long hours spent getting your hair done and the cramps you get from sitting down or raising your arms for too long, it can be easy to forget that your hair should not always feel like a chore. So let us introduce a hairstyle that has caught the eye of celebrities like Gigi Hadid and Olivia Rodrigo and can be styled beautifully on people with kinkier textures. Here's a clue: it's also called poodle puffs.
You guessed it: bubble braids. As Carol's Daughter explains, bubble braids are done using multiple elastic bands down the length of your ponytail to create hair bubbles. While the word 'braids' is in the name, they're not actual braids as they do not follow the three or four-strand interlocking technique. Our favorite thing about this arguably 90s-inspired hairstyle is that it is easy to achieve, unlike other hairstyles requiring fine hand skills. They are also super stylish, take very little time, and can be done on all hair types, with slight variations in the process. So, if you need a break from the long hours spent doing your hair, or you're in the mood for a 30-minute DIY, here are some of the best tips and ways to style your bubble braids.
Bubble braided ponytail
Move over, slick ponytail; it's time for the bubble braids. Bubble braids are an excellent way to spice up your ponytail, as they are easy to do and can be done with your natural hair or by adding extensions. With bubble braids, it's always best to start with dry hair. However, if your hair's still wet and you're running out of time, You Probably Need A Haircut says to use a texturizing spray for extra grip. We recommend the Color Wow Style on Steroids Color-Safe Texturizing Spray, which boasts 4.5 stars on Sephora. First, brush your hair into a high or low ponytail and secure it with a hair tie. Next, apply some gel to slick your hair down properly. After making your ponytail, go a few inches down the length, anywhere between two and five inches, and secure again with another hair tie. Finally, fluff up the newly formed bubble by pulling it gently on all sides to give it more volume (per Hair.com). Repeat the steps to make more bubbles and finish with hairspray.
We love the bubble braid as a ponytail, but not every one's hair is long enough. If you prefer to add extensions, especially on textured hair, here's how to achieve the look.
Bubbled ponytails with extensions
Your hair alone might not be enough to achieve the volume you want for your bubble braids, whether fine or kinky in texture. In this case, you can style yours using hair extensions. After brushing and gathering your hair into a bun, slick it down, and hold it with a hair-friendly scrunchie or a hair tie. Now you can prepare your extensions. You can use any texture of extensions you like, but for that seamless look, it's best to go for extensions similar to your hair texture.
To prepare your extensions, fold them into two parts for easy tying. Then from the bottom of the extensions or bundle, as Natural Girl Wigs explains, start tying into bubbles at intervals of your choice, gently pulling as you go to fluff them out and add volume. Do this until you get close to the top, and use the last hair tie to tie the extensions to your bun. Finally, wrap the excess extension hair around your bun and secure it with bobby pins and hairspray. A quick and easy way to use extensions to achieve your very own bubble braids.
Bubble braids on pigtails
And if you thought this hairstyle couldn't get any cuter, you thought wrong. Try bubble braids on each pigtail using a method similar to the ponytail. After parting your hair down the middle, you can choose to leave out small sections of hair on your hairline to frame your face. Next, brush each half into a ponytail and secure it with a hair tie. Create the bubbles by tying the pigtails with hair ties at regular intervals and fluffing them out to add more volume. For afro hair, All Things Hair uses the same method of creating a part down the middle of your head and securing it with hair ties to create two puffs. Attach extensions (or not) and tie them regularly to create bubbles in the pigtails. You can also make the bubbles smaller towards the end of the pigtail to create an asymmetrical water-drop look (per L'Oréal Paris USA). As the BabyCenter confirms, this is a toddler-friendly hairstyle, and you can style it using our next tip.
Style your bubble braids to perfection
Most people prefer to use clear hair ties or those closer to their hair color for the optical illusion of bubbled hair. However, if this differs from your goal, try adding color to your bubble braids for a whimsical and fun look. You can use colored hair ties for whatever aesthetic you're going for: pink or lavender if you're going the Barbiecore route, some browns or greys for neutrals or the clean girl aesthetic, or colorful sets if you're on the maximalist side of life. According to All Things Hair, butterfly clips like the set from EAONE are also a great addition to your bubble braids.
You can add beads for an even more whimsical edge by putting them between the bubbles before fluffing them up. Incorporate bubble braids into your Fulani braids by adding them as pigtails or multiple ponytails at the back of your head, and you can style them up using wooden beads from your local beauty supply.
Box bubble braids
Since you began reading, we're sure you've read many of our favorite things about bubble braids, but did we mention you can achieve this style with your box braids? According to Loving Kinky Curls, you can add bubbles at the end of your box braids. To do this, prep and divide your hair into boxy sections. With braiding hair, create your box braids and stop halfway, leaving half or more of the braiding hair for your bubbles. You can also plait the braiding hair down and loop some kinky extensions through the braiding hair to create bubbles. Once done with the box braids, secure them with a hair tie and create bubbles with the rest of the hair or with some added extensions. You can add as many fun elements as you want with this style by adding beads, colorful hair ties, or by making the bubbles with extensions whose color differs from the color of the box braids. The possibilities are endless, and the choices are yours.
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article written by Precious Umeasalugo for Glam