Decorate your braids with beads

If you want to finish your braids with beads, you need special hair beads with large enough holes to fit over the braid.

All the hair beads for braids have holes of around 3-4mm. Any less and you won't get them onto your braid.

Pony beads

Plastic, barrel-shaped pony beads are the easiest beads to find for braids with beads.

These beads come in many different colours and finishes.

You can buy plain colour beads, or ones with neon, frosted, transparent, glitter, pearl or glow in the dark finishes.

Plain pony beadsPearl pony beadsGlitter pony beadsTransparent pony beads
PlainPearlGlitterTransparent

Neon pony beadsFrosted opaque pony beadsFrosted transparent pony beadsGlow in the dark pony beads
NeonFrosted opaqueFrosted transparentGlow in the dark

There are metallic hair beads available. These are usually plastic beads with metallic paint on them. They work fine if you only plan to keep the braid in for a few days, but over time the metallic colour washes off and you are left with a rather unattractive dull white bead.

Metallic pony beads
Metallic

You can sometimes find glass pony beads with transparent or frosted finishes. They don't come in such a large range of colours.

Heart-shaped beads

Heart-shaped pony beads look great on the end of braids. They come in a wide range of colours and finishes including plain, neon, frosted, transparent, glitter, pearl or glow in the dark finishes.

You can buy these beads in mixed colour packs or in single colours.

I have occasionally seen glass heart-shaped hair beads, but mostly they are plastic.


Heart shaped pony beadsPearl heart beadsGlitter heart pony beadsTransparent heart shape pony beads
PlainPearlGlitterTransparent

Neon heart shaped pony beadsGlow in the dark heart beads
NeonGlow in the dark

Star-shaped beads

Star-shaped pony beads are another good option for braids. They come in the same range of colours and finishes as the heart beads.


Star shaped pony beadsPearl star beadsGlitter star pony beadsTransparent star shape pony beads
PlainPearlGlitterTransparent

Neon heart shaped pony beads
Glow in the dark

So far, I haven't come across star-shaped hair beads made of anything except plastic.

Other shaped beads

You can sometimes find other shapes of pony beads such as butterflies, animals and flowers.

Butterfly shaped pony beadsFlower shaped beads
ButterfliesFlowers

To use these beads for braids, first check which way the hole runs. When the animal is the right way up the hole should run from top to bottom. If it runs from side to side the bead will hang the wrong way.

Beads with side to side holes can be used to decorate hair in another way.

Wooden beads

You might prefer to decorate your braids with beads made from wood rather than plastic ones.

Wooden hair beads are available in several colours, mostly in just the barrel pony bead shape.


Wood pony beads
Wood pony beads

You might find cheap packs of colourful round beads designed for hair decoration. These beads can work for braids, but check what the hole looks like. Sometimes the inside of the hole is very rough. You will have trouble getting these beads onto braids unless you are prepared to smooth off the inside of the hole by running a sharp scissor blade or a small round metal file around inside them.

Unusual beads

You can make braids with beads look very individual by adding unusual beads to the end. If you want to try different kinds of beads, the most important thing to look for is that the hole is at least 3mm diameter.

Also think about comfort. Very large or spiky beads on braids may be very uncomfortable if you lie on them while sleeping.

Unusual hair beads
Unusual hair beads


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