Women have worn braids for thousands of years all over the world. The style is one of the most versatile, running from incredibly intricate patterns to simple plaits. Braids are also perfect for almost every occasion. Whether you’re in the office, at school, in the gym or even a wedding, there’s a braided hairstyle that’s ideal for you. Even better, depending on your hair type, braids can protect your strands from damage and help you grow your mane longer. Keep scrolling to discover all the different braided hairstyles for women.
You can do almost any hairstyle with braids. Tie them up into a ponytail, high bun, cute space buns, or rock them as a pony. Half-up styles that use additional twisting look incredible, and you can get really creative. When it comes to more Eurocentric techniques such as French and Dutch braids, you can also style these as pigtails, as part of updos, or even upside down. Waterfall, crown, and fishtail braids are a great way to mix these up as well.
How do you make a braided hairstyle?
The basic technique for braids involves dividing a section of your hair into three parts and crossing those around each other. You’ll gradually add more hair in as your progress down. French braids are done overhand, bringing the strands over, while Dutch and cornrow braids are done underhand, bringing additional hair underneath. Of course, the more intricate you get, or the different styles you try, the technique will vary.
What is the easiest type of braid?
A simple three-strand plait is the easiest braid to do. It uses all of your hair divided into three parts and pulled over each other to create the braid. It doesn’t add additional hair, but can be more limited in its versatility for styling.
Here are 10 different braid styles to try out…
- Senegalese Twist Braids.
Senegalese twists are also called rope twists because of the thick, rope-like braids that form using this technique.
2. Ghana Braids.
Ghana braids are a versatile and intricate hairstyle. While the term ‘Ghana braids’ can apply to a wide variety of different braiding patterns, each one starts with micro braids which slowly taper back, getting wider and fuller as more hair is added.
3. Side Braids.
Side braids are the easy way to create a faux undercut or take a side-swept wavy hairstyle to the next level. These braids start at the hairline and move up towards the crown of the head instead of straight back. As a result, they have an unusual and striking appearance.
4. Triangle Box Braids.
Triangle box braids get their name from the shape of the hair sections. Instead of the classic square – or box – each one forms a triangle. It’s a unique twist on the usual box braid style and is a fun way to shake it up if you want a fresh look.
5. Cornrow Braids.
Cornrows are one of the most on-trend hairstyles right now. Hair is braided close to the scalp using the underhand technique to create raised plaits. Each one is formed in neat rows – which is where the style gets its name.
6. Lemonade Braids.
Lemonade braids were made famous by Beyoncé, who wore them on the cover of her smash hit album Lemonade. The style involves creating neat, even and close cornrows that go from left to right, rather than straight back. Lemonade braids are a versatile look as they can be any size or thickness, and you can also combine them with other cornrow styles like zig-zag, or add accessories like rings and beads.
7. Box Braids.
Classic box braids are one of the most iconic styles for Afro-textured hair. All your hair will be sectioned into squares and worked into individual plaits to get this look. You can use your hair or have extensions braided in, which will give you head-turning long, full locks.
8. Micro Braids.
As the name suggests, micro braids are tiny and delicate. But while it may seem like they are the most gentle braiding style because they don’t weigh down the scalp, they can cause more breakage than bigger plaits. The reason is that they have to be braided very tightly and close to the head.
9. Crochet Braids.
One of the simplest and easiest ways to get extra-long braids is with the crochet technique. Similar to a weave, crochet involves first braiding your hair into loose cornrows. This cornrow pattern forms the foundation for your crochet braids. Next, hair extensions are threaded through and secured using a crochet hook before being plaited into your braid style of choice.
10. French Braid.
A timeless and feminine style, the French braid is a classic for a reason. You can wear this versatile braid for a casual brunch, the gym or the office. Keep it super smooth for a more professional look, or pull a few face-framing pieces out for a soft and romantic vibe.