The Braided Baldie Is the Coolest Way to Fake a Buzz Cut

The idea of shaving off all your hair into a cool buzz cut (a la Willow Smith or Saweetie) might pique your interest…but the execution is daunting. The braided baldie trend, on the other hand, lets you achieve a similar ultra-cropped look—without a drastic chop.

With this look, your scalp is the canvas and your hair becomes a work of art. The trending protective style takes average cornrows up a notch (or three): Your braids swirl into intricate designs like stars, zig-zags, and flowers.

Picture of braided baldie trend

Monteria Johnson

Los Angeles-based braider Monteria Chisholm (known for her intricate freestyle braids) is the artist who came up with the name “braided baldie” after a client asked her to spice up her cornrows. Chisholm thought, “What if we do designs but keep all [the hair] off the neck?” So, to achieve that, Chisholm tucked the ends of each braid in using a crochet-like method for a seamless finish that mimics the look of a super-short haircut. A video of the style quickly went viral—right now, it’s up to over 182K likes and over 3 million views—and the new “trend” was born.

In this era of TikTok and Instagram, we’ve noticed a seasonal pattern: One standout protective style captivates the Black community on popular braiding pages. The look slowly makes its way onto a few people walking down the street, and before you know it, the style is seemingly crowning heads everywhere. (Remember boho braids and freestyle braids last year?) Chisholm says the braided baldie is the “style of this summer.”

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