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The 4 Trendy Lil Tjay Braids and Hairstyles You Can DIY

aida turner

Published by Aida Turner

Fact checked by Annie

Key takeaways:

  • Lil Tjay is a famous American rapper who wore a unique braided hairstyle that was eventually called Lil Tjay braids.
  • The Lil Tjay hair is a combination of cornrows and box braids. The look is partially cornrowed and braided in horizontal rows.
  • The Lil Tjay braids work well with curly and textured hair. It’s a great low-maintenance hairstyle to protect hair from loss of moisture and breakage. 
  • To make the Lil Tjay braids, you need to partition your hair into small squares. From the middle, partially create a cornrow, and braid the rest. You can incorporate both braids and twists into your look, whichever you prefer.

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Tione Jayden Merritt, a.k.a Lil Tjay, is a famous American rapper and singer who became popular in 2018 with his song “Resume.” 

He became a rising star after he published his song on SoundCloud and promoted it on Facebook, where it blew up overnight. 

All these successful feats happened after he returned home in late 2017 from juvenile detention.

In 2019, Lil Tjay signed for a music label with Columbia Records. Soon after, his fanbase grew, and his music became known to many people across America. 

But, aside from his rap creations, his fans also loved the hairstyle he wore during his stage performances, and many liked to imitate it. 

If you’re one of the Lil Tjay fans who want this look, keep reading! This article will tell you more about the Lil Tjay hair and how you can achieve such a style.

What is the name of the Lil Tjay haircut?

Lil Tjay’s unique hairstyle takes inspiration from a protective, braided hairdo. This style picks up a combination of cornrows and box braids

Cornrows are a traditional type of braid sported by the people on the Horn and West Coast of Africa. 

These protective styles are meant to safeguard textured hair from loss of moisture and breakage. The technique used in this braided hairstyle follows a zigzag pattern on the scalp. 

Similarly, box braids were worn traditionally by the Namibia people of Africa and were first called Eembuvi braids. 

The style is called box braids because of the parting technique on the scalp. 

For African communities, cornrows and box braids communicated one’s identity. Yet, for non-Black people, it’s been widely used as a fashion statement.

A braided hairstyle became widely popular, not only for the black community. 

Many people liked such a style because of its prominence among celebrities. One of which is the Lil Tjay braids. 

This braided hairstyle is worn best by people with curly and textured hair. It can also work for those with straighter hair, but it won’t be as defined as the former. 

The best part is it’s low maintenance and will last you up to 6 weeks with proper care. 

Check out these trendy Lil Tjay braids, and pick the best style!

Lil Tjay Box Braids

The first Lil Tjay braids we’ll show you are the classic Lil Tjay box braids. 

Lil Tjay’s braided hairdo is partially cornrowed. A portion of the braided hairstyle is sewn tight to the scalp, while the rest are loose braided ends. Twists and braids are alternately used in this hairstyle.

This is different from the traditional box braids that are only braided straightforwardly. Yet, the square patterns are still prominent in this braided hairdo. 

Lil Tjay Without Braids

To nail the Lil Tjay braids, you must have medium-length hair (at least 2-inches). This is the perfect length to create the cornrows plus braids combo. 

The cornrows accentuate the box patterns more compared to normal braids. 

Aside from doing basic three-strand Lil Tjay braids, you can also incorporate twists depending on your preference. 

NOTE: Twists are a great alternative, but ensure that you secure the loose ends. 

Lil Tjay Braids Short Hair

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You can still make your Lil Tjay braids stand out while having short hair.

The solution to this is braiding hair extensions. You can add this to your short hair to add volume and length. This will allow you to do things easily and achieve the Lil Tjay braids.

To install the braiding hair extensions, you must incorporate them with each cornrow as you do the braided hairstyle.

Who is the Lil Tjay hairstyle suitable for?

Lil Tjay braids are perfect for those with medium to long hair. This allows you to create each cornrow better. 

It’s also usually worn by people with curly and kinky hair. This is a great style to protect their hair from breakage and moisture loss. 

People with straighter hair can also imitate the hairstyle. But, it may not look as defined and polished as the former hair type. 

How to get the Lil Tjay haircut?

Ready to do the Lil Tjay braids?

If you have no idea how to do this Lil Tjay braided hairstyle or don’t have the time to visit a professional, don’t worry. We’ll teach you how to recreate the look Lil Tjay way!

Follow this short guide:

  1. Clean the sides of the head. You need to cut the sides of your hair to make it appear short, as seen on Lil Tjay. Use your hair clippers, and start with a clipper guard that’s just right for your hair length and the results you wish to achieve.
  2. Wash. Before doing the Lil Tjan box braids, wash your hair with a hydrating shampoo and conditioner. Using these hair products, ensure that your hair and scalp are squeaky clean and your hair is moisturized. 
  3. Comb and detangle. Grab your hair dryer and detangling comb. Dry the hair and try to unknot all the tangles. Getting rid of these knots is an important step to make your styling experience easy. 
  4. Part and section. Using a rattail comb, part your hair starting from the center of the head and make a middle parting. Create four sections of hair: two in front and the back. Within your big sections, you can also create smaller subsections by parting them in the middle. Secure your sections with hair clips or ties, and apply ample hair oil or butter in every partition.
  5. Braid. Start working on each cornrow and braids at the back sections in the middle of your head. We suggest doing the back sections first while the hair on the front is still kept in place. While doing the cornrow and braid, apply a good amount of laydown lacquer. This step is important to keep the hair neat as you follow through each section. Repeat the process for the rest of the sections until you’re happy with each cornrow and box braid.
  6. Finalize. Once you’re done with all the twists and braids, trim the ends and dip them into hot water. This will lock and seal the braids and twists and keep them from unraveling. 

NOTE: Straighten your hair using the hair dryer’s nozzle first if you have kinky hair.

How to maintain Lil Tjay braids?

If you want to keep your braids long, you must take care of them properly. Follow these tips for quality results:

  1. Cleanse your braids using gentle products, like co-wash products or a good shampoo for hydration. Do this at least once a week for curly hair or twice a week for straight hair. 
  2. Moisturize using hair oil, leave-on treatment, or other conditioners. Also, make sure that your braids are dry to keep bacteria away.
  3. Cover the braids when you sleep at night using silk scarves. This protects the hair from unraveling in your sleep at night, and from friction that ages the hair. 

REMEMBER: Care for your twists and braids often, and keep them healthy. Take vitamins that would help supply nutrients to your hair.

Former hairstyles of Lil Tjay

Before the Lil Tjay braids became a thing, the hairstyle sported by the American is a short Afro cut.

This is another way to style hair that is naturally kinky or curly, wherein medium-length hair appears bushy due to its texture. 

The front, on the other hand, has sharp edges that cut the forehead down to the sides and back.

This short hairstyle was his everyday hairstyle back in the day in 2017. Yet, there were also times when he grew his coils to medium length.

You also notice that Lil Tjay’s hair has a longer top and shorter sides, almost like a burst fade.

Final Words

Lil Tjay is a rapper from the Bronx who’s known not only for his rap creations and stage performances, but also his unique hairstyle.

One reason why the Lil Tjay box braids became prominent is it deviates from the traditional braids and twists. It’s a combo between two braid styles that leave a signature look.

The Lil Tjay braids are a simple style to do, and we bet you can do it by yourself too! It’s a great protective style you can sport any day.

aida turner


Founder & Hair Beauty Specialist

I’m Aida and this is my blog where I write mostly about beauty and make up related stuff, but I like to spice it up a bit with lifestyle and photography posts. Or with whatever that comes to my mind. Hope you will enjoy the reading enough that we will ‘see’ each other more often!