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Pop Smoke Braids - Protective Hairstyles You Should Try

Last updated Jan 17, 2024

On social media, the traditional Pop Smoke braid is the most popular and extensively worn hairstyle for dark-skinned women and men. Pop Smoke braids are an excellent alternative to Afro hair because they provide protection, are often low-maintenance, and can be done in a variety of ways. If you want a quick and low-maintenance solution, or if you just want to attempt a new look, these braids are ideal!

What are Pop Smoke Braids?

What are Pop Smoke Braids

"Pop Smoke braids" is a hairstyle that was popularized by the late rapper Pop Smoke. It is a variation of the classic cornrow hairstyle, where the hair is braided closely to the scalp in straight lines. Pop Smoke braids are distinguished by their unique pattern, which consists of four or five thick cornrows braided in a slanted or diagonal direction on one side of the head, while the other side is left with smaller cornrows or no braids at all. The braids are often accessorized with colorful rubber bands or hair cuffs. This hairstyle has become popular among both men and women and has been adopted as a fashion statement in the hip-hop community.

How to Do Pop Smoke Braid?

1. Start with clean, detangled hair. You can use a wide-tooth comb to remove any knots or tangles in the hair.

2. Divide the hair into sections. You can use a tail comb to part the hair in a diagonal or slanted direction, leaving one side with larger sections and the other with smaller sections.

3. Begin braiding the larger sections of hair in cornrows, using the underhand technique. Take a small section of hair from the hairline and divide it into three equal parts. Cross the right section under the middle section, then cross the left section under the middle section. Add hair from the scalp to each section as you braid.

4. Braid the smaller sections of hair in cornrows on the other side of the head. You can also leave some hair unbraided if desired.

5. Secure the ends of the braids with small rubber bands or hair cuffs.

6. Repeat the braiding process until all sections of the hair have been braided.

7. Apply some hair gel or edge control to smooth down any flyaways or frizz.

8. You can accessorize the braids with beads, rings, or any other hair accessories you like.

Remember, creating Pop Smoke braids takes practice and patience, especially if you're new to braiding. You can also ask for assistance from a hairstylist or someone who is experienced in braiding hair.

How Many Buns of Hair Do I Need for Pop Smoke Braids?

Pop Smoke Braids

The type of hair you use and the hairstyle you want will determine how many bunches of hair you will need. If you will be using the UNice hair extensios, you can use up to 3 packages of hair.

How Much Will It Cost to Braid My Hair into Pop Smoke Braids?

100-$250 depending on the stylist, your city, and the hairstyle you choose.

Five Pop Smoke Braids you should Definitely Try

Pop Smoke Braids with Beads

pop smoke braids with beads

Pop Smoke Braids Front and Back

pop smoke braids front and back

Pop Smoke Braids Short Hair

pop smoke braids short hair

Pop Smoke Braids with Dreads

Pop smoke braids with dreads

Pop Smoke Braids with Color

pop smoke braids with color

Will Pop Smoke Braids Damage Your Edges?

Pop smoke braids are known for their trademark cornrows close to the edges, therefore if installation and maintenance techniques are not followed correctly, this style can harm your edges because it puts a lot of strain and tension on the hairline.

To avoid damaging your edges, make sure your braids are not installed excessively tightly, since this can severely tug and break the hairs on the edges. When removing Pop Smoke Braids, be delicate when removing the hair around the borders, as this is a common mistake, pulling too hard and yanking out the fine hairs on the hairline.

Do I Need to Straighten My Hair Before I Get the Popular Smoke Braid?

Many people believe that you must straighten your hair to complete the braid. However, this is completely unneeded. When your hair is braided in its naturally curly state, it will be sleek and frizz-free, and straightening it will just expose it to a further risk of potential heat damage. It also grabs the braid extensions better when the hair is kinky, making the hair longer, so you don't need to iron or straighten your hair before doing Pop Smoke Braids.

If you believe that braiding your hair in a shrunken state detracts from your appearance, a better alternative to straightening your hair is to utilize a heatless stretching method such as the taping method or simply putting your hair in a thick braid after 4-6 washes.

Can I Wash Pop Smoke Braids?

Can I wash Pop Smoke Braids

You can wash your hair while wearing Pop Smoke Braids. However, hair can quickly turn frizzy when washed protectively, like a Pop Smoky Braid, therefore only do this 4 weeks after braiding.

When you do decide to wash your hair, use a dry shampoo that is concentrated on your scalp to reduce the probability of frizz. If you use a standard shampoo, make sure to focus all the shampoo on your scalp and massage your braids gently with your fingertips. After rinsing, apply a conditioner or leave-in conditioning spray and hair oil to your style to restore hydration and shine.

How Long Do Pop Smoke Braids Last?

As with any other cornrow, this style can last up to 6-8 weeks depending on your natural hair type, how you care for your hair, and how it is braided.

If you want to retain this hairstyle for at least a month, cover your popular smoky braids with a silk or satin cap before going to night. This will prevent the braids from causing damage or frizz by rubbing against cotton sheets and pillowcases.

To keep your hair looking fresh, apply some foam mousse to your braids once a week. Then, for a fresh new look, put some edge control gel around the edges.

More braids article:

Best Zig Zag Braids for Your Next Look

A Guide to the Best Thick Braid Hairstyles

Slay with Jayda Wayda Braids and Get Some Hairstyle Inspiration

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