Braids are hairstyles created by combining sections of hair and crossing them over each other to create a pattern. There are several types of braids, and from these, you can create lots of braided hairstyles—from a single braid cascading down your back to intricate updos.
Braiding is an art and it’s an art worth mastering. But first, you need to know the basics. We put together a list of the most popular braid types, which you can put together to create a look that’s 100% you. Learn how to do each one and when you’re ready, you can start combining two or more types into one single hairstyle!
Basic Types of Braids You Must Know About
1. Three-Strand Braid
This is the simplest type of braid. When you know how to make this, you can easily make other types of braids.
To make a three-strand braid, divide your hair into three equal parts. Then, cross the left section over the middle section, then cross the right over the new middle. Repeat. Continue doing this until you reach the tips of your hair and tie the ends with an elastic or a hair tie.
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2. French Braid
The French braid is the next most common type of braid, and while it is a bit more complex than the regular kind, it’s not that very difficult to learn. It’s similar to a simple three-strand braid, but instead of starting just above your nape, you start braiding from your crown.
To create a French braid, gather a section of hair from your temples up to your crown. Divide this into three equal sections, cross the left section over the middle one, then the left over the new middle section—like how you would in a three-strand braid. When you proceed, add more strands to your braid and continue until you reach the tips. Then, secure the braid with an elastic or hair tie.
Check out this tutorial video to learn how to create a French braid.
3. Dutch Braid
This type of braid is similar to the French braid. The only difference is, instead of crossing each section over the middle one, you pass it under. The result is a braid that stands out from your head.
Here’s an easy Dutch braid tutorial for you.
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4. Fishtail Braid
This looks more intricate than the first three types. To make a fishtail braid, separate your hair into two sections, take one lock of hair from underneath one of the sections and pass it over to the other. Do the same thing with the other section and repeat until you reach the ends.
5. Waterfall Braid
If you’ve mastered the French braid, you shouldn’t have too much of a problem learning how to do this style. Create a center part and take three strands of hair near your hairline and start French braiding, but drop the middle strand down so it blends with the rest of the hair, creating a waterfall effect. Pick up a piece about the same size to be your new top section. Cross it over to the middle to continue braiding, repeating the steps all the way around your head. Secure with a bobby pin.
6. Rope Braid
This one’s pretty easy. First, tie your hair into a ponytail and create two sections out of the tail. Twist each one in the same direction, then, cross the two sections over each other and secure the ends with a hair tie. Couldn’t get any easier than that!
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Now that you know the different types of braids and how to make them, feel free to experiment with different looks.