Traditional Ethiopian hairstyles are diverse and deeply rooted in the country’s rich cultural history.
These hairstyles have been passed down through generations and serve as a means for self-expression and creativity while showcasing Ethiopian heritage.
Two iconic Ethiopian hairstyles are Albaso and Shuruba braids, often worn by Habesha women in Ethiopia and present-day Eritrea. Albaso braids are generally five to seven thick cornrows alternating with thin ones and a voluminous front hair section. Shuruba braids are tiny, intricate twists or cornrows, usually heading straight back. These braids are typically half-up styles, ending in loose, curly hair.
In this article, you’ll learn about 15 traditional hairstyles that highlight the distinctive artistry of Ethiopian hair culture.
15 Traditional Ethiopian Hairstyles
1. Traditional Albaso Braids
Albaso braids are thick, prominent cornrows created by braiding or weaving the hair over rolled hair tubes.
Traditionally, Albaso braids feature five to seven thick cornrows alternating with thin cornrows and ending with loose hair enhanced with extensions or a weave.
2. Traditional Shuruba Braids
Shuruba braids are a cultural hairstyle worn by Habesha women in Ethiopia and Eritrea.
This braiding technique focuses on small, intricate patterns tightly woven to the scalp.
3. Eshem Braids
Eshem braids are similar to Dutch or double Dutch braids.
This hairstyle is low maintenance and easy to achieve, making it an ideal choice for daily wear.
4. Natural Curls With Hair Accessories
Embrace your natural curls by adding traditional Ethiopian hair accessories.
These embellishments can include vibrant beads, colorful thread, elaborate combs, or bold headbands, adding a cultural element to your look.
5. Cornrows With Hair Accessories
Adding hair accessories to cornrows adds a personalized touch to this stylish look.
Be creative with your accessories and incorporate beads, shells, or colorful threads to elevate this classic style.
6. Albaso Braids With Hair Accessories
Albaso braids can also be enhanced with various hair accessories, including beads, threads, crowns, rings, and cuffs.
Adding these elements allows you to showcase your originality and express your personal style.
7. Crown Braid
The crown braid is an elegant hairstyle with a large braided updo resembling a crown.
Crown braids are often adorned with accessories, such as combs, beads, cuffs, or colorful threads, to create a polished, ethereal look.
8. Shuruba Braids With Forehead Braid
Add a striking touch to your Shuruba braids by incorporating a forehead braid.
This additional braid can be worn straight across or styled in various ways, generating a unique and eye-catching look.
9. Small Albaso Braids
Small Albaso braids are a delicate and intricate variation of traditional Albaso braids.
Smaller Albaso braids maintain cultural significance while offering a more lightweight and manageable hairstyle.
10. Albaso Braids With Colorful Extensions
For a modern touch, consider adding colorful extensions to your Albaso braids.
These extensions can be woven into the braids, producing a bold and captivating look.
11. Half Rubber Band Braids
Half rubber band braids mix small, box braids held together with rubber bands with free-flowing hair.
This hairstyle strikes a balance between traditional braiding techniques and contemporary fashion.
12. Jumbo Albaso Braids
Jumbo Albaso braids feature prominent, thick braids that definitely make a statement.
These oversized braids are dramatic and voluminous, creating a look that stands out.
13. Half Cornrows
Half cornrows combine traditional braiding techniques with a half-up, half-down hairstyle.
This style is less intricate and time-consuming, suitable for both casual and formal occasions.
14. Middle-Part Shuruba Braids
Middle-part Shuruba braids are characterized by a defined center part, with the intricate braiding pattern on both sides.
This hairstyle offers a balanced and symmetrical look for those wanting a refined and sophisticated Ethiopian hairstyle.
15. Albaso Braids With Forehead Braid
Incorporating a forehead braid into your Albaso braids can create a visually stunning and unique appearance.
Combining the Albaso technique and forehead braids showcases the versatility and creativity of Ethiopian hairstyling.
Table of Contents
- 15 Traditional Ethiopian Hairstyles
- 1. Traditional Albaso Braids
- 2. Traditional Shuruba Braids
- 3. Eshem Braids
- 4. Natural Curls With Hair Accessories
- 5. Cornrows With Hair Accessories
- 6. Albaso Braids With Hair Accessories
- 7. Crown Braid
- 8. Shuruba Braids With Forehead Braid
- 9. Small Albaso Braids
- 10. Albaso Braids With Colorful Extensions
- 11. Half Rubber Band Braids
- 12. Jumbo Albaso Braids
- 13. Half Cornrows
- 14. Middle-Part Shuruba Braids
- 15. Albaso Braids With Forehead Braid