The ‘Braided Baldie’ is the Look of the Summer—Meet the Creator Who Took the Style to Viral Heights

Getting braids in the summertime is a culturally recognized tradition that Black people from every corner of the diaspora can relate to. During the summer, silk presses, blowouts and other heat-based styles are rendered all but useless as the temperatures rise, humidity increases and water-based activities make their presence known.

Traditionally, these styles would look like box braids, straight backs and cornrows, or the ever-popular knotless braids, which have rapidly spawned so many sub-styles that it seems like a new method is coming out daily. While adding length is usually incorporated into these styles for a mix of longevity and aesthetic purposes, the new style of the summer is hang-time-free. 

That’s right, the “braided baldhead” or “braided baldie” is the new protective style on the block taking salons and social media by storm, with hundreds of videos under the #braidedbaldie hashtag on TikTok and even more videos of people rocking their own take on the style, its is undoubtedly one of the buzziest styles of the summer season.

As the name suggest, this editorialized style refers to braiding the entirety of the hair to the scalp, often incorporating some intricate designs like flowers, bows, stars and more. What makes it truly stand out though is the fact that no hair is left hanging down and is all braided up, hence the “baldie” title.

the braided baldie
Image: courtesy of Monteria Johnson.
the braided baldie
Image: courtesy of Monteria Johnson.

Los Angeles-based stylist Monteria Johnson, also known as Tookiedidit, is credited with popularizing the braided baldie style. What started as a spontaneous decision with a client turned into a viral sensation, with Johnson perfecting the technique and creating a look that has captivated the hair community.

While Johnson acknowledges that she did not invent the style, she gave it her own twist and breathed new life into an old classic. Naming the style the braided baldie helped create a sense of unity and recognition among those who have embraced the trend.

The braided baldie style has not only taken social media by storm but has also made its way worldwide, with people from countries like Nigeria and Ghana recreating the style in their own unique way. For Johnson, seeing the global reach of the braided baldie is a testament to the power of creativity and connection that hair can foster.

Beyond its trendy appeal, the braided baldie also carries historical significance. It harkens back to when braids were used as a form of communication and resistance among Black individuals. Johnson notes that the style’s historical roots add a deeper connection and meaning to those who choose to embrace it.

As the braided baldie continues to evolve and inspire creativity, Johnson is excited to see how people put their own spin on the style and make it their own. What started as a simple hairstyle has become a cultural phenomenon, symbolizing a rebirth of a classic style that celebrates individuality and connection.

So whether you’re rocking cornrows, knotless braids, or the latest braided baldie, summer is the perfect time to embrace the beauty and versatility of braided hairstyles. After all, when it comes to hair, the possibilities are endless.

Updated: June 7, 2024 — 9:01 am