Looking for braided hairstyles for toddlers? You’re in the right place. We’ve rounded up 30 unique examples of toddlers’ braided hairstyles from around the web to inspire your little one’s next back-to-school look.
Looking for Toddlers’ Braided Hairstyles?
When it comes to hairstyles for toddlers, there are so many options, but few match the unique character of braids. Braided hair is a classic look for little girls, and there are several types of braids to choose from. You can go for small braids, big braids, double braids, beaded braids, box braids——the list goes on!
Braids are so versatile and look good no matter what. They’re also low maintenance, so after the initial braiding, you don’t have to do much to them. If that weren’t enough, you can also opt for extensions for your little one.
We’ll be looking at all kinds of toddlers’ braided hairstyles in this article. We’ve handpicked 30 different styles to give you a healthy dose of inspiration, and hopefully, you can find your little one’s next style.
The Different Types of Braids
If you’re not familiar with the different kinds of braids out there, here’s a brief glossary. (We’ll look at these styles later on in the article.)
Three-strand braid: Perhaps the easiest type of braid to get, this is (as the name suggests) hair braided simply using three even strands.
Box braids: A traditionally African style, box braids also consist of three strands, but the difference is that the hair is first sectioned off into boxes and then braided, resulting in a neat headful of plaits. This style can be achieved either completely naturally or with the help of hair extensions.
French braid: This is a classic three-strand braiding technique that uses hair from both sides of the head to create large plaits. Traditionally, this style consists of one large braid that begins at the crown, but many people opt for two French braids, one on either side of the head.
Dutch braid: Similar to the French braid, the Dutch braid is a simple three-stranded plait. However, instead of braiding the hair over itself, you go underneath the strands. This causes the hair to stick out much more than a French braid. Classically, Dutch braids are worn one on either side.
Fishtail braid: This impressive two-stranded plait is made by alternating bits of hair from the strands.
Pull-through braid: A big, loose plait, the pull-through uses multiple ponytails to create a French braid-esque look with a unique twist.
Milkmaid braid: This fancy style consists of creating a traditional three-strand braid on one side (or both sides) of the head and then wrapping the braid(s) up across the top of the head, securing everything with bobby pins as needed. While three-strand braids are most common, you can use any type of braid. (Side note: If you place the braids lower and closer to the forehead, you’ll get a crown braid instead. Milkmaid braids are more diagonal.)
Micro braids: These are small braids created in box braid fashion.
And, finally, here are a few terms you’ll want to know:
Protective style: Any style of braiding that guards the hair against split ends and damage from the elements. Box braids and braid buns are two examples of protective braid hairstyles.
Crochet braids: Also called latch hook braids, these are hair extensions used to create all sorts of braided hairstyles. These allow for versatility, reduce potential damage to your natural hair, and provide a low-maintenance way of sporting braids.
Toddlers’ Braided Hairstyles: Our Picks
Now that you’re a certified braid expert, it’s time to get some inspiration! Here are 30 of our favorite toddlers’ braided hairstyles.
1. French Braid
You can’t go wrong with a classic French braid. This simple plait looks great with straight, wavy, or even curly hair, and you can get nice results without needing super long hair. A bonus is that it doesn’t take long to make a French braid, so it’s great for rushed mornings.
2. Box Braids
Here’s another classic style that you pretty much can’t go wrong with. Box braids are both protective and stylish, and you can opt for crochet braids if you so choose. Either way, box braids are easy to get, and of course, you can decorate the braids with colorful beads.
3. Box Braids With Bow
Dig the standard box braids but feel like they could be spruced up a little more? Say hello to this beaded and bow-topped box braid style (say that five times fast). The matching bow and beads add a ton of fun to an already kid-friendly style.
4. Twisted Fishtail
This take on the fishtail involves the standard braid with a slight twist—literally. The hair at the top of the braid is twisted to form the start of the braid. This allows the braid to pop, making the distinctive fishtail pattern even more recognizable.
5. Diagonal Pull-Through
Another relatively simple style, this pull-through braid looks a lot more complicated than it actually is. The hair is pulled out far enough to curl, resulting in small upside-down-heart shapes. The plait itself is symmetrical, but you can pin the braid to one side of the head, as shown here.
6. Braid Updo
Braids normally hang down, but you can also tie or pin them up for a bun-like style. Here, the box braids almost look like they’re circling into themselves, resulting in a satisfying and tidy hairstyle that’s ready for play.
7. Braid Bun
Here’s another braid bun option for straighter hair types. This large braid is arranged into two layers and pinned to the crown of the head. You can do this with just about any braid type, but it’s best suited for larger braids, as the texture will be more visible when it’s tied up.
8. Knotless Braids
If you want an extra protective style that’s even easier on the hair than normal braids, you might want to try knotless braids. Knotless braids use a looser knot and also incorporate extensions, so you get the look (and the length) with less tension on the hair itself. And, as you can see, they look just as great.
9. Three Strand Pull-Through
Here’s another simple style that looks far more intricate than it really is. The large sections of hair pulled through the braid result in this large and distinctly shaped plait with a satisfying and symmetrical locking pattern.
10. Long Decorated Braids
There are all sorts of fun ways to add bling to braids. You can use beads, bows, stones, and even pendants on the hair for some pops of color and texture. We really like this look with a big pink bow and two sets of decorations.
11. Short Braids
Of course, braids can also be worn short if that’s what you’re looking for. Short braids have the added advantage of being even lower maintenance, and unlike longer braids, these will never get in the way. You can get this style either completely naturally or with extensions, depending on your needs and preferences.
12. Flower Crown
Here’s a simple version of the milkmaid braid that’s sure to delight. To get this look, simply make one long, thin milkmaid braid and attach flowers (either real or fake) to it. You can get creative with the size of the braid and the number/size of flowers. The result will have your little one looking like a floral princess!
13. Asymmetrical Box Braids
This fresh style is accomplished by braiding the hair to the side instead of all around the head. It’s a simple change, but it makes a big difference. Adding decorations will emphasize the asymmetry and help this hairstyle pop.
14. Double Dutch
A plait so nice you’ll make it twice! Making two braids on either side of the head is a common way to wear braids, and while you can use any type of braid for this look, the Dutch braid looks great because of how much it stands out.
15. Mini Waterfall Braid
The waterfall braid is a newer style of plait that’s become increasingly popular over the last few years. (You’ve likely seen it on Instagram or Pinterest.) This style is a mini waterfall that features two small plaits on either side from which small strands of hair cascade. It’s a cute braid style that looks nice while also not calling too much attention to itself.
16. Sparse Box Braids
With box braids, another option is to section the hair off into larger pieces, resulting in thicker plaits. This makes the boxed-off sections on the head more visible, which adds a nice twist to this versatile type of braid. You will have fewer braids, but the braids will be larger and more noticeable.
17. Pigtail Braids
What happens when you combine two classic kids’ hairstyles? You end up with a new classic! These pigtail braids pair the timeless pigtail look with the cool texture of braids. Plus, you can combine the decorations as shown here with bows on top and beads on the bottom.
18. Textured Braid
Here’s another simple style that looks impressive. This large fishtail-style braid creates a ton of texture thanks to the size of the braid and the looseness of the hair. If you want a slightly neater braid, you can just tidy up the hair a bit and make sure there are no stray strands.
19. Contrasting Beads
One way to freshen up any braid style is by adding decorations that contrast with the color and texture of the hair. Here, the silvery beads and pastel bow contrast with the dark braids. What’s nice about this technique is that both the hair and the decorations become more noticeable.
20. Fancy Updo
If you like the look of pinned-up braids, then you’ll like this fancy updo that features an explosion of braids alongside a big bow and colorful beads. You can get this style with any kind of smaller braid such as box braids and three-strands, and it’s a great choice for school, thanks to the bow adding a little bit of formality.
21. Hair Bows
But if regular bows aren’t quite enough, how about bows made from the actual hair? With this adorable style, the hair is fashioned into bows at the crown of the head, and the braids descend from there. While this is a more complex style, the results speak for themselves.
22. Pull-Through Crown
Crown braids are always eye-catching, yet they can be deceptively simple. For example, the crown braid displayed here is simply a standard pull-through braid that’s looped around the head and pinned. You get a lot of impact with a minimum of effort, and on top of that, it’s just a super cute look.
23. Double Milkmaid
This double-braid style features two milkmaid braids that intersect near the forehead for a unique look. The two braids are twisted across to the opposite sides of the head, one layered on top of the other so that both braids wrap around to the other side.
24. Fishtail Pull-Through
You can get really creative with braids, mixing and matching to create new and fun combinations. This braid is a mixture of a fishtail and a pull-through, but it relies on the hair being texturized first so that it stands out once it’s braided. This is a fairly intricate plait, so it’ll take some practice to master.
25. Triple Combo Braid
Okay, there’s a lot going on here, so let’s break it down. First, there’s a pull-through braid down the center of the head. Second, there are two simple three-strand braids on either side of the head. Third, there’s a fine fishtail braid that connects the hair from the two small braids. What a combo!
26. Double Braid Buns
Here’s a fun style that features two buns with both braided and unbraided hair wrapped up in them. The hair on top of the head is also braided for extra texture and a bit of a rustic vibe.
27. Circular Micro Braids
This funky and unique look uses micro braids to create two circular patterns on the top of the head. You get a nice symmetrical look from this style, and it’s a cool way to incorporate micro braids. If you’ve wanted to try out smaller braids, this is a fun way to start!
28. Side Braids
While braids can be their own style entirely, they can also be implemented into other styles. Check out this look that uses rows of braids on the side of the head to contrast with long and flowing (unbraided) hair. This creates a ton of visual texture and variety, and it adds a bit of edge to an otherwise standard style.
29. Woven Waterfall
This impressive braid is another combination braid that features elements of standard and waterfall braids. The hair on top is fashioned into a waterfall, while two standard braids are pinned together to create the thick braid that drops down.
30 Fishnet Braid
We’ve seen the fishtail braid, but how about a fishnet braid? These detailed plaits use a mixture of braids of different types and sizes that are pulled through each other to create this ornate net-like design. This one is by no means easy to create, but you can be sure your little one will be getting compliments all day long.
What Kind of Braid Is Best for You?
When you’re considering getting braids for your toddler, there are a few factors to take into consideration:
- Hair type: This will help you decide which kind of braid will be best.
- Formality level: Do you need a school-friendly braid, or do you want a wacky weekend plait?
- Natural vs. crochet: Choose this depending on the length of the hair and whether you need a more protective style.
Of course, these are just a few considerations, and there may be others specific to your situation. However, don’t sweat it. Choosing a braid should be fun, and if you don’t end up liking the results, you can always change things up.
It’s easy to undo most toddlers’ braided hairstyles and style new ones, so don’t feel like you have to commit to one style right off the bat. That wraps up our list of 30 great toddlers’ braided hairstyles. Which ones were your favorites?