Bubble Braids – The Ultimate Guide for Natural Hair with Tutorials

bubble braids on natural hair
Photo Courtesy of: @aggie_hair Natural Hair Artist @Ralia__ Ralia Aminu

Imagine a protective and stylish hairstyle suitable for any occasion, from casual outings to special events. That is the first thought that comes to mind when I think of bubble braids.

I’ve tried many protective styles over the years, but this one remains on my to-do list. As a kid, my mom would always install box braids on my hair. Eventually, I graduated from box braids to crochet braids, Senegalese twists, mini twists, etc. Like those styles, bubble braids offer flexibility, making them a favorite among hair enthusiasts regardless of hair texture.

What are Bubble Braids?

Bubble braids, also known as poodle puffs and bubble plaits, are small or large ponytails with multiple hair ties along the section of the hair. You put a rubber band or hair tie every few inches to create a “bubble.” And, unlike traditional box braids, bubble braids add volume and texture, making them perfect for natural hair, which I love!

Because this style is so cute, I couldn’t wait to assemble this natural hair guide to help you achieve this effortless style on your own. By the end of this guide, you will know exactly how to create, maintain, and style bubble braids, transforming your natural hair into a work of art with ease and confidence.

Essential Tools and Products for Bubble Braids

Before we get into the tutorials, let’s discuss everything you need before you start. You can install this style on freshly washed hair or blown-out hair. It depends on the end look you want to achieve and the method you feel is easiest to accomplish. The best part is that you don’t need much to get started.

Selecting the Right Tools

  1. A rat-tail comb
  2. Hair ties/rubber bands

The comb will ensure you have clearly defined and straight parts for a clean look. The hair tie will create the actual bubble. Most women choose rubber bands, but if you want to avoid those due to potential breakage, choose a seamless fabric hair tie that will do the same job.

Best Products for Natural Hair

Moisturizing products are essential! A spray bottle filled with water is indispensable for starting your bubble braid journey if you’re installing it on freshly washed hair. Look for leave-in conditioners and natural oils (jojoba or castor oil). Using the LOC Method would be a great idea here.

If you start with stretched, blown-out hair, switch the water bottle with holding spray so any flyaways stay in place. For either option an excellent edge control is key for a sleek finish.

What hair to use for bubble braids?

If your goal is length and your natural hair isn’t cutting it, add some extra hair! There are many options to choose from when selecting synthetic or human hair for your bubble braids.

For my natural hair girlies the most popular choice is Marley Hair or Cuban Twist Hair. This synthetic hair will give you the most realistic look and appear as if the hair is growing from your scalp.

If you want a more sleek look, opt for a kinky blow-out texture or kanekalon hair with little or no curl pattern.

marely hair for bubble braids

How to Install Bubble Braids: Step by Step

  1. Section hair according to the look you want. This is where you want to use moisturizers and edge control.
  2. Wrap rubber bands/hair ties at the base of each section.
  3. Evenly distribute hair ties along the shaft of the section you made in step 1 to make the bubble foundation.
  4. Create the bubble by gently teasing and pulling the hair between each tie. This will allow the puff, also known as the bubble, to form.
  5. Depending on your hair texture and desired look, finish the style with shine spray, holding spray, or light oil. Add cute accessories like beads, hair jewels, hair strings, etc.

Bubble Braids How To Video Tutorials:

Bubble Braids with Marley Hair

This is by far my favorite look with bubble braids. By installing individual braid parts, you achieve an actual box braid look. This option could last longer than a sleek ponytail; however, it will take longer to install. For the tutorial below, it took her 2 hours to part the sections and another 3 hours to install the bubble puffs.

It’s definitely a time investment but absolutely beautiful!

What I love about this style is that it is a perfect protective natural hairstyle for kids. This style can easily last all week, which is great for busy moms. If you need ideas on which products to use, check out The Best Natural Hair Products for Kids.

Bubble Ponytails on Natural Hair

If time is not on your side and you need a cute look in about 30 minutes, this is the tutorial for you. This sleek ponytail look is easy to create on freshly washed or blown-out hair. Just remember to use a heat protectant if you choose to blow out your hair.

Who said pigtails were just for kids? This cute double bubble braid ponytail is a chic and effortless look can be done very quickly on natural hair. The best part is it only cost her $12!

Sleek Low Bubble Ponytail with Kanekalon Hair

Get red carpet ready with this low-sleek bubble ponytail. Great for thick natural hair or any hair texture. The length is giving and will definitely take your look up a notch!

Maintaining Your Bubble Braids

Daily Care Tips

Similar to box braids, protecting your scalp while protective styling is key. Use a DIY or store-bought hydration spray to refresh your scalp every other day, along with the oil of your choice. How often you moisturize your scalp is dependent on your lifestyle, but don’t skip this step altogether.

I love simple H2O and Aloe Vera in a spray bottle for a DIY refresher spray.

Refreshing Your Style

Refreshing your bubble braid look is very simple if you have a bubble ponytail. However, if you installed individual bubble braids, refreshing them will work. Not only will you have to remove all hair ties, but refresh the individual section itself. As a result, choose wisely.

Also, refrain from breakage and remove the hair ties by cutting the tie if it is a struggle. Your hair health will thank you later.

Bubble Braids for Special Occasions

Now this wouldn’t be a complete guide without a little Pinterst inspiration. Here are some bubble braid looks we love!

Wedding Styles

Festival Ready Looks

Casual Chic for Everyday


How can I make my bubble braids last longer?

Protect your hair at night while sleeping to avoid friction. Sleep with a satin scarf or bonnet. Refresh your scalp every few days with hydrating sprays and natural oils.

Are bubble braids suitable for all natural hair types?

Yes, bubble braids work on all natural hair types. Install them on your natural hair or add extensions that match your hair texture.

Can bubble braids cause damage to my natural hair?

Bubble braids can cause damage to your natural hair if you do not properly install or remove them. Be careful not to tie the rubber band too tight in your hair, and use caution when removing the style.

How can I accessorize my bubble braids uniquely?

Hair jewelry like gold hair stings to wrap around each bubble and braid charms is the perfect accessories for bubble braids!


Charlene Walton
Charlene Walton

Charlene Walton McCraney is a Dallas beauty and lifestyle blogger. After years of styling her and several friends’ hair as a hobby, offering advice and tips, she decided to combine two of her favorite things…writing and talking about natural hair!

TexturedTalk.com was created to promote healthy hair care for women of all textures and has since evolved into other beauty and lifestyle topics. Charlene loves teaching other aspiring bloggers on how to take their passion and turn it into amazing content to provide value.

Charlene is a previous beauty contributor to NaturallyCurly.com, CurlyNikki.com, and 21ninety.com.

When she’s not blogging she is probably crunching numbers as a Senior Financial Analyst, dancing or figuring a way to meet Beyonce in person. :)

Find me on: Twitter/X | Instagram | Facebook

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