Boho, goddess, and boho goddess braids are the current trend for the summer. All are equally beautiful, but are they a practical hairstyle for those looking for a protective option that lasts? Many may be shocked to learn that although many use the terms “boho” and “goddess” braids interchangeably, they are three different styles.

“Goddess braids are thicker than boho braids and the end with curlier ends. While boho braids look ‘undone’ due to only part of the braid being completed and the rest undone. And free-falling curly pieces. Boho goddess braids are the lovechild of both boho and goddess braids. Clients are able to get best of both worlds,” explained hairstylist Keayoni Whittaker explained. “Clients are able to use human or synthetic hair for any of the styles.”

Whittaker works at Sass n’ Class Salon of Beauty in El Cerrito, CA. The Bay Area stylist specializes in braids, color, extensions, and wigs. She says she prefers the boho goddess braid look the most.

“Your hair is in a protective braided style, but you also get a curly-haired look. It’s like having a sew-in with curly hair and braids without constantly blending your hair with the weave hair. Most of my clients request this look during the summer because it’s just a fun vacation and everyday style,” Whittaker stated.

As popular as each style is, a lot of people new to the styles who are considering trying them for the first time wonder if they are worth the investment. Depending on the length of the braids and if you choose to use human hair, there’s a chance your final payment could be up to $1,000.

Another issue that is often raised for those who decide to go with less expensive, synthetic hair to complete the look is if the hair will get matted or tangled.

Whittaker spoke with 21Ninety to give some guidance on maintenance including ways to combat against matting. And she weighed in on whether or not human or synthetic hair is better for these braided styles.

Human Hair vs. Synthetic Hair

The choice between human and synthetic hair for your boho, goddess, or boho goddess braids has long been a subject of quiet contention in the Black hair community. This unspoken battle is not just about aesthetics but reflects deeper considerations of budget, maintenance, and personal preference.

“I personally like to braid with the synthetic hair for these styles due to it being a fuller look. You can get a full look with human hair; however, you have to use more hair which is why it is more expensive,” Whittaker explained.

Human Hair

Many women choose human hair extensions for a more natural look and feel. The pros of human hair include seamless blending with one’s natural hair, the ability to dye or color it without damage, and a more genuine texture that synthetic hair often can’t match. Human hair also allows for the use of heat styling tools, providing flexibility in creating diverse looks. However, there are cons to consider. Human hair extensions tend to be pricier compared to synthetic alternatives. While they offer a premium look, the initial investment can be substantial.

“Boho goddess braids typically are high maintenance style [in general] since you’re not just tending to braids,” Whittaker said. “Human hair is easier to detangle.”

Additionally, even though human hair can provide a more authentic appearance, it requires regular maintenance and care, similar to natural hair. As for longevity, with proper care, these braided styles that use human hair can last anywhere from 6 to 8 weeks. However, the duration can vary based on factors like hair quality, aftercare routine, and personal habits.

Synthetic Hair

Synthetic hair has emerged as a popular alternative for crafting your boho, goddess, or boho goddess braids. Originally introduced as an economical solution, synthetic hair has undergone significant advancements. Today’s high-quality synthetics remarkably mimic the look and feel of natural hair, making them a competitive option even for those who can’t afford human hair extensions. Synthetic hair also comes in different colors and textures. But there is a downside to the more affordable option.

“Synthetic hair tangles more easily. You would need to constantly detangle the synthetic hair by combing or brushing out,” Whittaker advised.

Dealing with Matting and Tangling

Matting and tangling is one of the biggest concerns for people wearing these styles.

In a TikTok video, user Shanise Heaven showed followers how her braids had become extremely tangled.

@shaniseheaven taking these out ASAP #bohemianbraids #fypシ ♬ original sound – J̾o̾r̾d̾y̾n̾

“Listen these braids cute but they get tangled,” the text read over her video.

In the caption, Shanise wrote that she was “taking these out ASAP.” Commenters mentioned similar frustrations.

“I ended up cutting off the curly hair but it left my braids looking crazy so I just took it all out,” one person wrote.

Another suggested mousse as the solution, writing that the use of the product could help extend the life of the braids by a month. For many people familiar with the style, it really does seem to come down to maintenance. Content creator, Jalyn Baiden, recently posted her maintenance routine showing followers how she keeps her boho braids looking fresh.

“I like to give my boho braids a refresh once a week, sometimes more if I’m going somewhere,” Baiden wrote.


Replying to @peytonjada i like to give my boho braids a refresh once a week, sometimes more if I’m going somewhere. #bohohairstyle #bohobraids #bohobraidsmaintenance #tribalbraidstyle #tribalbraids #braidmaintenancetutorial

♬ original sound – Jalyn Baiden
Credit: @jalynbaiden/TikTok

Whittaker says matting really depends on the curl pattern of the hair you choose and the types of products you use to maintain the look.

“Some great products most use is Lottabody Coconut Oil and Shea Wrap Me Foaming Curl Mousse or Mielle’s brand. I think matting is just gonna happen . Let’s be realistic some clients don’t do much, but maybe put it in a bun and keep it moving,” she said.