Braided styles range from crazy-simple to intricate and complex. We found a mix of both for you to try! You can wear these braided hairstyles for a daytime outing, a special event, or just to wrangle your locks.
Looking for Braided Hairstyles?
Man, I love a good braid.
Braids have this incredible power to banish bad hair days and take basic or boring hairstyles to another level. Hair looking greasy or won’t cooperate when you style it? Try a classic French braid.
Ponytail looking kind of bleh? Just wrap a braided section around the base of the ponytail for an instant boost. You get it – braids can update, improve, and add an air of intricacy to any hairstyle.
Somehow, braids effortlessly fit into many different looks and styles. Keep them taut and neat for a polished, professional appearance. Fluff them out and vary the section sizing for a more free-form, boho look.
Embrace the flyaway, tousled look of slept-in braids for an instantly beachy vibe. Or wrap them around your head to channel your inner goddess.
You could literally wear a different braided hairstyle every day of the week without looking like you’re recycling the same look. There’s so much versatility here!
When it comes to the act of braiding, you probably fall into one of 3 camps:
- Beginner with no braiding experience
- Skilled at one or two types of braids
- Braiding expert with several braids mastered
No worries! There are braided styles on our list for all three groups. Some are easy enough for complete beginners to nail on the first try. Others are a little more intricate and require some serious skill to execute properly.
30 Braided Hairstyles You Need to Try
We rounded up the prettiest braid styles we could find for this photo guide. We’re completely obsessed with some of these!
If you see a braided style below that you love but don’t feel skilled enough to pull off, you can always head over to YouTube to check out step-by-step braiding how-to videos. You can always have a local stylist or braider do it for you, too.
1. Mega Pancake Braid
Gorgeous, long locks really boost a basic style like the French braid. This voluminous braid has been pancaked, or tugged on to add volume and loosen the braid. We love the larger-than-life look!
2. Festival French Braids
These no-fuss French braids are perfect for any casual setting, but they scream festival wear to us! Divide the hair into two equal sections and French braid each side before securing with a small elastic to copy this look.
3. Twisted Fishtail
This is one of those deceptively simple styles that looks a lot more complex than it really is! Start by taking a wide section from each side of your head.
Then, do a “topsy tail” (inverted ponytail) with each. Then, gather all your hair together at the nape of your neck and braid the rest into a fishtail.
4. Diagonal Dutch Braid
The Dutch braid is popular, but this diagonal twist on the normal vertical placement is so cute! In this example, you can see how she’s tugged on the braid after securing it to make it more full and voluminous.
5. Wide Braided Crown
A braided crown is clearly the perfect style for you, queen! This kind of style really works best with thick hair, but if your hair is fine, you can add some volumizing mousse before drying and a little dry shampoo for extra grip.
6. Braided Bump Bun
Remember BumpIts, the hair accessory to create a boost in volume? That’s what this bun with a fun braided section reminds us of. Separate a section as thick or thin as you’d like and braid it. Then, secure the braid and your hair into a low bun and pull a few tendrils out.
7. Mermaid Braids With Waves
Feel free to get creative with your braided styles, adding in different types of braids and textures for a cool boho look.
Here, a fishtail braid is done in the middle with two 3-strand braids on the sides. Tug on the 3-strand braids in random sections to create this controlled, chaotic look!
8. Waterfall Zig Zag Braid
This is the first time we’ve seen a creative waterfall braid like this! Waterfall braids are done by dropping sections as you French braid, leaving some pieces to hang down. With the cool zig-zag pattern, this is a head-turning braided hairstyle.
9. Ombre Messy Bun With Braid Accent
Level up your usual messy bun with a fun braid accent that joins into the braid. It only takes a few seconds more, but it adds a lot to the finished look! With ombre hair color, you get this cool two-tone effect.
10. Chinese Ladder Braid Ponytail
Doing a Chinese ladder braid is so much easier than it looks, we promise! Here’s a quick video tutorial if you want to try this fun ponytail braid.
11. Tucked French Braid
This style is classy and dressy enough for a special event or the workplace. It’s a traditional French braid done straight down the back of the head, then the ends are tucked and pinned underneath for a neat and polished look.
12. Half-Braided Pigtails
This is really similar to Dorothy’s iconic style in the Wizard of Oz, but it has a sporty twist thanks to the face-framing pieces and straight ends. You can do Dutch braids to mimic this, or try French braids for a softer effect.
13. Pancake Crown Braid
Pancake braids are so on-trend and work perfectly to help thicken out a thinner braid. This braid is wrapped around the head with face-framing pieces pulled out. It looks so feminine!
14. Icy 4 Strand Braid
The four-strand braid takes a little practice if you’re used to 3-strand braiding, but the results are stunning and so worth learning! A complete four-strand braid looks similar to the weaving of a basket.
15. Fishtail Ponytail With Accent Color
Fishtail braids have this intricate look, but they’re much easier than you think to do. We love a good fishtail on its own, but add in a pop of color (with extensions, a colored stripe of hair, ribbon, or yarn) for a pretty twist.
16. Voluminous Dutch Braid
There’s something so chic about single braid styles like this. We love how much volume this braid has – it makes the hair look so thick!
17. French Braided Fringe
If you’re growing your bangs out or just want to keep your hair out of your face, a braided style like this is just perfect. French braid a small section at the front of your head.
By bringing it back toward the ponytail, you can inject tons of volume and look instantly polished.
18. Faux Undercut Bun
Fake an undercut with strategically placed braids at the nape of the neck. Create a small triangle section, then divide it into two sections to create small French braids. Then crisscross the braids and secure each on the side with bobby pins.
19. Multi-Braid Mix
Why choose one type of braid when you can mix in several? This multi-braid style includes fishtail and French braids to create lots of interesting texture.
20. Double Dutch Pancake Braids
We absolutely love the double Dutch braid look, so why not try this twist on it by pancaking the braids and adding a cute accent braid down the middle?
21. Half Cornrow Ponytail
Cornrows that run from the hairline to the nape of the neck and transition into a polished ponytail? Yes please! This edgy look looks best with a few face-framing tendrils pulled out.
22. French Side Braid
Side braids are always pretty and are one of the easiest styles to try. Here, the side braid starts as a French braid (so you know it’ll stay secure!) and wraps around the head to rest on the opposite shoulder.
23. Braided Space Buns
Space buns transport us right back to the 90s in a good way. Update the look by doing two upside-down Dutch braids, then securing them into two space buns on top. Make sure to pin the buns in place.
24. Loose Boxer Braids
Double Dutch braids, also known as boxer braids, can look severe if pulled tight. But we love this loosened-up look!
25. Pancake Rope and Bubble Braids
You can pancake (tug on the braid to increase volume) any kind of braid, including rope braids and bubble braids. Here, a small section from each side is rope-braided and gathered at the back. Then, the ends are secured into a bubble braid before pancaking for volume.
26. Ombre Double Dutch Buns
Here’s another cool twist on double Dutch braids! The key is braiding toward the center or nape of your neck so you can achieve this look. Secure the braids, then coil into two buns and pin in place.
27. Spiral Crown Braid
This crown braid looks like a perfect spiral and would suit any special occasion! It’s done by creating a French braid that diagonally wraps around the head. The braid crown starts in the front and is secured in the middle with pins.
28. Wrapped and Plaited Ponytail
Starting with full-length small cornrows, the hair is gathered into a high ponytail and secured. Then, a few small braids are taken from the ponytail to wrap around the base for a more finished look.
29. Ultra-Long Rope Braids
If you have super-long locks, you can copy this look with ease. Rope braids are just two sections of hair twisted in the same direction, then twisted around each other in the opposite direction. Keep the braids loose for this laid-back look.
30. Hanging Three-Strand Braids
Braided Hairstyle Tips and Tricks
You’ve seen tons of cute braided hairstyles, and you’re probably ready to give a few a try. Before you start braiding, check out these quick tips and tricks that make braiding a little easier:
- Fake fullness for fine hair with products: Fine hair doesn’t create a very full braid, so if that’s the look you’re going for, you’ll need to call in some reinforcements. Try starting with a volumizing mousse before drying your hair to give it the illusion of thickness. Then, spritz a little dry shampoo (or volumizing powder) right at your roots and massage it down the shaft a bit to give your hair the grit needed for braiding.
- Experiment with different types of braids: It’s easy to learn one or two braids and stick with them. But don’t be afraid to experiment with different types of braids – even the more intricate ones that are kind of intimidating. A few minutes watching a YouTube video is all it takes to learn a new braid.
- Avoid frizz with a little prep: If your hair tends to get frizzy in braids, you can avoid the problem by detangling first with a leave-in conditioner or moisturizing product of your choice. Then, avoid brushing or combing through the hair excessively as you braid (it causes frizz).
- Never braid wet hair: You should only braid hair that is dry or damp, never wet. Wet hair extends in length, so as it dries, it physically shrinks up. If it’s locked into a tight braid, the hair begins pulling on itself as it shrinks up and dries. That results in unavoidable breakage and snapping.
- Customize the look when you’re done: After finishing your braids, you should always take a moment to make some adjustments to your style that really set it off. You might pull a few face-framing pieces out, adjust sections of the braid, try pancaking/flattening the braid, or tug on it to loosen it up.
You just can’t go wrong with braided hairstyles. There are so many options that range from casual to classy and neat to messy. Whether you’re a beginner starting off with 3-strand braids or an expert venturing into more intricate braids, there’s always an appropriate plaited style for any occasion.
Next time you’re frustrated with your hair and don’t know how to style it, opt for a braided style. You might find that it becomes your new go-to look!