Time to Put "Layered Braids" on Your Summer Mood Board

The versatility of Black hairstyles never ceases to amaze. Just when you think you've discovered a new look, someone takes it and flips it on its head. Prime example? Box braids.

We all know and love them. Box braids were a staple style that got many of us through middle and high school, and the look has continued to evolve to give us spin-off trends like goddess braids, knotless box braids, and more. Still, there's nothing like taking an old style and making it new again, which brings us to a new protective style to put on your radar: layered braids.

"Layered braids are a protective hairstyle that consists of different layers and lengths throughout the entirety of the style," Brooklyn-based hairstylist Martika Cogdell tells POPSUGAR. The look was popular in the early aughts but is making a fierce resurgence thanks to the Y2K-ification of fashion and beauty. Layered braids are just as cute now as they were in the '90s and '00s, so if you want to get the look for yourself, Cogdell breaks down everything you should know about the style including styling options and how to protect your hair underneath, below.

What Are Layered Braids?

Layered braids essentially consist of braids that stop at different lengths. Many of the styles typically feature a "french braid" (where the ends are left undone and given a slight curl), but there are numerous iterations that feature fully-completed braids that simply stop at different lengths to get the look.

"The shorter versions of this trend normally have layers framing the face ending and end at about mid-chest area," Cogdell says. "The longer ones consist of more lengthy, fluffy layers that have lots of body and volume throughout for a more dramatic look."

Types of Layered Braids

The beauty of this hairstyle is that it is as customizable as you want it to be. You can cut your layered braids to more closely resemble a bob á la Brandy circa 1999, or you can get your own version of an "octopus" cut — the world is your oyster. "I've seen multicolored layered braids, bumped ends, flipped tips, and everything in between," Cogdell says. "We've clearly stepped back into the '90s and '00s time capsule, but we also have the added benefit of knowing about new haircuts like "the wolf," so the possibilities feel even more vast."

Cogdell does note that you should be gentle when styling these braids, as they can cause damage to your real hair if not properly handled. "Be mindful of your scalp while wearing these," she says. "Being that this look consists of smaller braids remember to keep your scalp well oiled to reduce the possibility of breakage."

Now that you have another look to add to your hair styling arsenal, take a closer look at some of the few-layered braiding styles that you can get at your next salon visit here.

"Layered Braids" With Bangs

Long "Layered Braids"

Blond "Layered Braids"

Extra Long "Layered Braids"

Curly "Layered Braids"