Instagram offers endless beauty inspiration, from makeup artists who turn their faces into works of art to product smashers with videos you just can’t look away from. Another Instagram niche that deserves the spotlight is the braiding community—braids have been around forever, but the photo-sharing app offers a whole new platform by which to see them. Here, 10 Instagram accounts ranging from a a stylist who pays homage to the diaspora to salons that specialize in rainbow braids.


Jahmai Lumpkin

The Los Angeles-based braider has been on our radar since 2016, but has taken her game to the next level in 2017. With both a salon in Los Angeles on Fairfax and celebrity clientele like Rita Ora and Queen Latifah, Lumpkin’s Instagram feed is stacked with the some of the sickest plaits on very famous scalps.

Baby Mama and her braids ????? @mstr_of_disguise  #HairByJahmai

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Shani Crowe

Interdisciplinary artist Shani Crowe uses her braids to tell a story. Recently, Crowe held an exhibit entitled Braids at the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts in Brooklyn. Her creative work is focused on the cultural beauty ritual in relation to the African diaspora and her Instagram is full of gravity-defying braids like the crown she did for Solange’s SNL performance.



Braids Gang

The Braids Gang account originally specialized in ombre-colored braided hair to create incredibly vibrant looks. The account has expanded to a community of braiders who use color in their work as well a blog that provides helpful tips to those with protective styles like braids.


Ancestral Strands

Ancestral Strands is a braid studio that specializes in tribal, eclectic, and cultural braiding. The salon does traditional African hair art and gives you an herbal tea infused with stimulants to promote hair growth. The salon takes linkage between hair and identity seriously: their motto is “Hair Story Is Her Story.”


Nikki Nelms

Nikki Nelms, aka Hair MacGyver, is the hair guru behind Solange’s “Don’t Touch My Hair” looks. She counts also Janelle Monae, and ELLE cover star Zoe Kravtiz as clients.



You might recognize Guingui from ELLE’s Braid Star series. She’s also the founder of the hair platform, Strand Addict. Guingui has been braiding for over 15 years and offers both appointments and lessons on top of jaw-dropping work on her Instagram.


Melek Ustunluk

Mimisbraids boasts some of the most intricate designs in the plaiting community. The account owner and founder Melek Ustunluk started creating braiding videos in 2007 and her braiding precision caught the eye of a few very famous celebrities like Allen Iverson, Travis Scott, and Wale. She specializes in men’s hair but can do women’s as well as box braids and other protective styles. Follow this account to see how the guys are doing braids.

Dream With me What do you think? #MensBraids #FreestyleBraids

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Susy of Hair by Susy is the powerhouse braider who not only created one of the top braiding salons in NYC but also counts both Knowles sisters as clients. Follow her personal account here and start getting as close to Beyonce-level hair as humanly possible in no time.


Jahra Remy

Micro braids, Havana twists, cornrows, and yarn twists are all featured on this diverse braiding Instagram account. Come for the variety, stay for the intricate designs and precision.


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Protective Styles

Protective Styles is an Instagram account that features the best of braiding and other protective styles on Instagram. A go-to for the natural hair community, the company also provides hair for both braiding and weaves.