How to do Bubble Braids on Natural Hair

bubble braids

Sometimes, the only protective styling a natural wants to do is one that is simple yet chic enough to draw all the nice compliments to her. If that natural is you right now, then bubble braids are just that hairstyle for you. In this article, I will be discussing all you need to know about this hairstyle including how to DIY one in the comfort of your home so keep reading.

What are Bubble Braids?

Bubble braids, also known as balloon ponytails, are a playful deviation from the traditional ponytail and although they have the word “braids” in their name, they are not braids. So, rather than have the hair fall in a straight ponytail, with the aid of elastic bands, chunky puffs are created to give a look that resembles many bubbles. The best thing about this particular hairstyle is that it is great for all hair types – whether straight or curly, long or short.

Why Should You Do Bubble Braids?

Besides bubble braids being a simple yet chic protective style – as I mentioned earlier in this article – there are some other reasons you should do this hairstyle.

1. Quick and Easy

One common pet peeve many naturals have when it comes to installing a protective style is having to sit down for hours. With bubble braids, the long waiting time is eliminated as you can have this hair all ready in less than 30 minutes or less.

2. Low Budget

Don’t want to spend so much on a protective style? All you need to make this hairstyle are a few elastic bands (depending on how many bubbles you want to create), hair gel, a hand dryer, your silk scarf, and one pack of extensions. Apart from the hair extension, all other items you will be using are items you already have at home so you will not be spending much.

3. Low Maintenance

With bubble braids, you do not need to worry about using too many products to maintain the style. All you need is your cup of hair gel, a toothbrush you use for hair, a satin/silk scarf, and your shower cap.

Maintenance Tips for Bubble Braids

  1. Wrap the bubble braids around to form a bun and then cover with your shower cap when you want to sleep. This way, the water from your bath does not come in contact with the gel in your natural hair or your bubble braids themselves. Similarly, when you want to sleep, wrap your bubble braids into a bun and wrap your satin scarf around your head. This way, you do not mess up the sleek look of your gelled natural hair as you toss and turn in your sleep.
  2. If your edges or some strands of your natural hair start to come off from the gel, simply reapply a small amount of gel to that part to lay them back.

Bubble Braids Hairstyles

1. The Afro Puff Bubble Braids

The Afro Puff Bubble Braids

2. Bubble Braids Updo

Bubble Braids Updo

3. Fulani Bubble Braids

Fulani Bubble Braids

4. Kiddies Bubble Braids

Kiddies Bubble Braids

5. Pigtails Bubble Braids

Pigtails Bubble Braids

Frequently Asked Questions About Bubble Braids

Are Bubble Braids Good for My Natural Hair?

Yes, bubble braids are good and safe for your natural hair.

What Type of Extension Should I Use for My Bubble Braids?

While there is no specific brand of hair extension to use for bubble braids, you should consider the following when selecting the extension for your bubble braids:

  • Texture: the texture of the extension should be the same or at least close to that of your natural hair to enable a seamless blend.
  • Length/Hairstyle: The desired length/hairstyle choice of your bubble braids determine if you will use one or more packs of extension.

How Long Will It Take to Do My Bubble Braids?

This depends on you but the estimated time for you to get your bubble braids done is between 5 to 25 minutes.

Do I Need to Apply Heat to My Bubble Braids?

No, and yes. No, because you can leave it dry naturally overnight, and yes because you can use a hairdryer to get it dried.

How Long Will My Bubble Braids Last?

While bubble braids are a beautiful hairstyle, they do not last long. They usually last for a few days.

How to do Bubble Braids

Like I said earlier, you can either choose to have your bubble braids done at the hair stylist’s or you can DIY. If you choose to DIY, then watch this bubble braids tutorial video by Journey with Izy that I have selected for you:

What you need:

  • Hair gel
  • Toothbrush
  • Marly braiding hair extension (or any other hair extension)
  • Silk scarf (depending on the method you will be using)
  • Hairdryer (depending on the method you will be using)
  • Elastic bands
  • Bobby pins

Step-by-step Tutorial

Step 1: Apply your hair gel

woman applying gel to natural hair
  • Apply hair gel generously all over your natural hair until every strand is laid.

Step 2: Tie your natural hair in a bun

woman tying hair in a bun
  • Next, use an elastic band to tie your hair in a bun.

Step 3: Dry your hair

woman tying hair in scarf
  • Wrap a silk/satin scarf around your hair and leave to dry overnight. However, if you don't want that, you can use a blow dryer to dry your gelled hair.

Step 4: Create your bubble braids

woman creating bubble braids on hair extension
woman creating bubble braids on hair extension
  • Now, with your extension hanging lose and pinned to something firm, tie your elastic bands around it. Before using your elastic bands, cut them open. This way, you will be able to tie them firmly around your extension.
  • Wrap the elastic bands securely (one at a time, separated by space as you can see in the GIF) around the extension and then tie.
  • Trim off any excess.
  • Then use your fingers to fluff the extension into bubbles. The number of bubbles you get depends on what you desire.

Step 5: Attach your bubble braids

woman attaching bubble braids to bun
  • Tie an elastic band (do not cut it) firmly the end of your bubble braids (the end that you will attach to your bun). Make sure you have enough left to also tie around your bun as you will be using the same elastic band to connect your bubble braids to your bun.
woman tucking hair into bubble braids
  • After tying, use your fingers to tuck any stray hair into the bun.
woman using bobby pins on bubble braids
  • Finally, use your bobby pins to secure the bubble braids to your bun.
woman showing off finished bubble braids

Well done, girl! You have successfully created the bubble braids hairstyle!