These Unicorn Braids Are The Magic You Need To See Today

Photo via @aliciakeys.
The first time I tried out unicorn highlighter, my mom said that my face looked ashy. Sheesh. Since then, I've steered clear of the trend that's dominating lip colors, eyeshadow palettes, hair, and sugary blended coffee drinks. Not only because I wanted to avoid getting shaded by my mama, but because I've also been hesitant to experiment with rainbow-lite hues that don't always complement my dark skin tone.
Man, was I wrong. When Chanel Iman showed up to last year's Coachella in dreamy, multicolored pastel box braids, I immediately called my stylist for a consult. The look is bright, bold, and beautiful — and women (and even some little girls) are rocking it around the world. Even better, you don't have to bleach the living daylights out of your strands to get the effect; just grab some colored extensions and get to werk.
Sorry mom, but if you couldn't handle me at my highlighter, you may have to just deal with my whole head of colorful braids pretty soon. Check out 16 Black girl unicorns in all their glory, ahead.
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Photo: Via @vernonfrancois.
Amandla Stenberg wore knotted box braids in a color palette similar to her iconic rainbow wig, both done by Vernon François.
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A post shared by Chanel Iman (@chaneliman) on

Photo: Via @chaneliman.
The true queen of festival beauty: Chanel Iman.
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A post shared by Alicia Keys (@aliciakeys) on

Photo: Via @aliciakeys.
Marcia Hamilton, who styled Alicia Keys' fabric braids, said that they looked like sorbet. We think they look damn cool.
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Photo: Via @lotusley.
Pastel braids, jade eyeliner, lilac almond nails — allow me to introduce you to the look I will be wearing all summer.
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Photo: Via @chefgemneye.
The flowers are in bloom, and so are these rainbow-bright braids.
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Photo: Via @amarumusic.
Have you ever seen a bun so fun?
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Photo: Via @thehotcocoa.
When you're rockin' this hair, a fuschia lip comes with the territory.
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Photo: @africancreature.
For many, the look represents more than just a fun style. Susy, a popular braider, explains that each of the colors hold special meaning to her — including white for "the love of God... purple for justice... green for happiness," and more.
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Photo: Via @ronkeraji.
Stick to one color family — like blue, green and purple — for a subtler effect. And if you want braid jewelry like this beauty's, look no further.
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Photo: Via @glamourqueen89.
You can also intertwine multiple colors in a single braid for this stunning ombré effect.
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Photo: Via @studiomucci.
Yarn braids and neon lips make for a sweet combination.
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Photo: Via @aboutbrendalima.
Too cool for pool.
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Photo: Via @miryamlumpini.
If neon lips or eyes aren't your thing, you can always go with a no-makeup makeup look, which proves to be just as cool.
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Photo: Via @aboutbrendalima.
If we had these sick plaits, we'd be all smiles, too.
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Photo: Via @miccheckk12.
Possibly the raddest gradient braids known to man Instagram-kind.
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Photo: Via @unicorn.curls.
You're never too young to start slaying.

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