Looking for the best braid ideas? In just a couple of minutes you’ll be rocking a sophisticated hairstyle that looks more complicated than it actually is. Braids are a timeless hair style that have been present through several cultures across centuries, combining both practicality and beauty.

Although braids are quite easy to make, it will be useful to keep a few things to keep on hand:

These styles can also be used to protect your hair against friction, besides looking extremely flattering, so don’t miss out on our top eight braid ideas. Choose the ones you like the most and get in front of the mirror ;)

Regular braid

Regular braid close up

“If it’s not broken, don’t fix it,” is a common saying, and one that can perhaps be applied to hair styles as well. If you are looking to know how to do a braid, why not an oldie but goldie?

In order to do your regular three strand braid take a section of hair and divide it into three. Then, cross the right side into the middle, and then the left into the middle as well, repeating until the whole section of hair is braided. If it is not very even the first time you try it, don’t worry, once you tie the ends of your hair the different parts of the braid will even themselves. Besides, as with everything, practice makes perfect.

French Braid

French braids are quite a statement and, despite their intricate look, quite easy to make! This is one of our personal favorite styles of braid. You can also wear it to sleep in order to protect the hair, as it is quite thin and easily breaks. If you want to get waves in your hair without any heat tools, this is also a great way to do so, as you only need to braid your hair while it’s still damp.

To make a French braid, start out with your hair combed, and decide where you want to start your braid (or braids). Then, section off the hair you want to start it with and divide it into three even pieces. Then, braid as usual, bringing the right piece into the center, and then using the left piece over that.

Add a few strands of hair in order to keep the braid going. This is what makes it differ from a regular braid, as by adding the hair you are making a new pattern and taking advantage of all of your hair. It also helps to protect your hair and it’s quite stylish too!

Tip: try to keep it as tight as possible, as once you finish the braid will even out by itself.

Dutch Braid

While on the topic of French braids, we have to mention the Dutch braid, also known as the “inverted French braid”. This one also has quite an interesting look, and is easy to make as well!

In order to make a Dutch braid, simply use the same method as the French braid. However, instead of crossing the strands one over each other, as traditional braids are done, cross them under each other.

While this style could prove tricky at first, don’t let that discourage you from trying it, as it is stunning and very flattering. Remember that practice makes perfect and that you need only a few tries to get it right.

Fishtail braid

This style of braid is perfect for summer and mermaid-y vibes. It’s fairly easy to do and you can also work in only a part of your hair or do a double fishtail braid.

To do this style of braid, divide your hair into two sections. Then, pick a small strand of hair from each section and move it to the other section, gently twisting them to consolidate their position, and repeat until the braid is made.

Milkmaid Braids

This style works better if you have longer hair, but don’t let that stop you from trying variations of it! I confess that this was one of my favorites when I was younger, but unfortunately my hair was never long enough to make it look as polished as I would like. I still tried my best, and I have fond memories of trying to braid my hair and trying it like this.

If you want to try it yourself, just know that you can either any type of other braids mentioned here in order to do this style, but I would recommend you do a regular braid, or a fishtail braid, as the other styles require you to use more hair, and are less flexible.

In order to get this style, do one of the suggested braids, one for each side of your hair, and then cross them pull them over to the other side of your head and secure them with a few hairpins and a bit of hairspray for extra hold.

Upside Down Braid

The name is pretty self explanatory – an upside down braid is a braid starting from the bottom and going to the top of your hair. For a simple hair updo, pair this hairstyle with a bun that plays up the neck with a lot of grace.

This style is also amazing as a protective hairstyle or as a new statement hairstyle either for everyday or for a special occasion.

You might want to skip this one if you get lightheaded easily, or ask for help, as the easiest way to get this hairstyle is to turn your head upside down. Then, take a section of your hair at the nape of your hair and part it into three, and braid it as you prefer. For this, you might want to do a French or a Dutch braid, as you will need to incorporate more hair as you work your way up (or down, if you are working upside down).

Once you reach the top of the hair, or where you want your braid to stop, secure it with a hair tie and bobbypins, if you feel you need extra security. Since this hairstyle can leave some extra hair once you are done, you might want to do a ponytail, a bun or another braid in order to tuck that hair and the transition from the braid seamlessly.

Waterfall Braid

If you love Lord of the Rings this style is perfect for you. While it won’t magically transport you into a realm of fantasy and whimsy (as far as we know at least, please do let us know if it does), it will still give you an ethereal and polished look.

You can do this style in many ways, although it will be conditioned by your hair length. In here, we are focusing in a halo-like waterfall braid, which will rest on your hair like a flower crown (if you want to put actual flowers in there, we recommend it too, let your heart be wild).

Take a big section of your hair at the front, on the side that you prefer. Separate that section into three, and then start braiding it, taking the strand on the back to the middle, and then the front strand to the middle. Then, take the now back strand and add a new, small section of hair into it, and cross these combined strands into the middle.

Without touching the front strand, take a section of hair from behind it, and cross this new section over to the middle. Repeat this process up to the back of your hair, and then do it again on the other side, tying the ends of the two braids together once you are done.

Rope braid

Rope braids are very versatile and look messy while still having adding a cuteness factor to your look. They can also look very punk rock and butch – it really depends on your personal style and how you accessorize it!

If you want a more structured look, we recommend starting with your hair in a ponytail.

In the rope braid you only need to divide your hair into two sections, rather than three. Once you have divided your hair, twist it in a counterclockwise direction, and, most importantly, do not take your fingers off the ends of the twist, because if you let them go, they will unravel and you will have to restart.

After that, cross the pieces over each other clockwise, in the opposite direction from the way you twisted your hair. If you twist and cross in the same direction, rather than a braid you will just have a large twist. Try to get a tight braid in order to keep it from unraveling, and tie it up at the ends.

Final tips

  • Braids are a great way to collect your hair without adding stress to it. Braid your hair whenever you apply hair mask or oil to your hair to make sure it absorbs it all;
  • If you’re having difficulties with keeping the strands of hair in your braid, practice a regular braid. But, to make it easier the first times around, collect your hair in a ponytail. Now that your hair is secure, go from there and start braiding. This will give you the practice you need. Once you get hang of it, you won’t need to do a ponytail anymore.

In case braids don’t come perfect the first times, don’t worry! You will get there. Messy hair is never out of fashion, so chances are no one will notice ;)

So, are you ready to try out these styles? Which one is your favorite, and why? Share your favorite braid hairstyles with us, and let us know in the comments which one(s) you prefer!

Want to make your braid hairdo look badass? Why not try a one side undercut.