The 'Braided Baldie' Is the Look of the Summer – Meet the Creator Who Took the Style to Viral Heights

Braiding hair in the summer is a culturally accepted tradition that Black people from all parts of the diaspora can identify with. During the summer, silk pressing, blow drying, and other heat-based hairstyles are virtually useless as temperatures rise, humidity increases, and water activities make their presence felt.

Traditionally, these hairstyles look like box braids, straight backs and cornrows, or the ever-popular knotless braids that have spawned so many under-styles so quickly that it seems like a new method comes along every day. While these hairstyles usually involve adding length for longevity and aesthetic appeal, the new hairstyle of the summer is free from slack.

That's right, the “braided baldhead” or “braided baldie” is the new protective style taking salons and social media by storm. There are hundreds of videos on TikTok under the hashtag #braidedbaldie and even more videos of people rocking their own version of the style. It is undoubtedly one of the hottest styles of the summer season.

As the name suggests, this editorial style involves braiding all of the hair down to the scalp, often incorporating intricate patterns like flowers, bows, stars, and more. What really makes this style stand out, however, is the fact that no hair hangs down and it's all braided up, hence the title “Baldie.”

the braided bald head
Image courtesy of Monteria Johnson.
the braided bald headthe braided bald head
Image courtesy of Monteria Johnson.

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

While Johnson admits she didn't invent the style, she put her own spin on it and breathed new life into an old classic. The term “braided bald” has helped create a sense of unity and recognition among those who have embraced the trend.

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

In addition to its fashion appeal, the braided bald head also has historical significance. It recalls the time when braids were used among black people as a form of communication and resistance. Johnson points out that the historical roots of the style give those who embrace it a deeper connection and meaning.

As the braided bald cut 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 the rebirth of a classic style that celebrates individuality and connection.

Whether you're wearing cornrows, knotless braids, or the latest braided bald head, summer is the perfect time to embrace the beauty and versatility of braided hairstyles. After all, the possibilities are endless when it comes to hair.