These pretty braids are the pick-me-up your mane needs

Because who doesn't want to have pretty braids?   

You know it, we know it, almost every person on the planet knows it: braided hairstyles are seriously hot to rock right now. Thanks to their non-commitment appeal, and ability to be worn in all hair types and textures, pretty braids are on everyone’s mind.

But with such a hype around a style that comes in so many shapes and sizes, we understand you may be feeling a little dizzy over it all. So if you’re keen to show off your styling skills, yet need a little nudge in the right direction, come take a look at our hand-picked selection of braids from Instagram – who knows, this could be the hair overhaul you’ve been dreaming of.

back view of woman with brown balayage hair with centre braid half-up bun
Take your braid down the centre for style points. Credit: Instagram.com/taylor_lamb_hair

Unicorn braid

Centre braids, or more magically known as unicorn braids (because who doesn’t want to be a unicorn?!), are the latest styles taking over our social feeds.

From long woven ponytails to this half-up braided bun variation, now’s the time to make all your mane fantasies a reality by styling yourself into a mythical creature! Glitter optional but suggested.  Credit: @taylor_lamb_hair

side view of woman with dark brown cornrow braided ponytail
Get your Ariana Grande look on with this braided ‘do. Credit: Instagram.com/the_braid_bar

The ‘Ariana’ braided pony

We like to think Ariana Grande has contributed as much to the hair industry as she has the music scene. While her endless array of fancy hairstyles are a constant source of updo inspiration, we think it’s this braided pony that steals the show. Credit: @the_braid_bar

woman with dark brown hair in crown braid wearing multi-coloured fur jacket
Crowning glory. Credit: Instagram.com/dr_kami

Crown braid

For anyone looking for pretty braids inspiration, you can’t go wrong with a crown braid. From Dianna Agron to Jennifer Lawrence, crown braids have been given the A-list seal of approval, so you will be in good company when following suit. Credit: @dr_kami

Editor’s tip: For a gorgeous sheen and frizz-free finish, we recommend applying the TIGI Catwalk Camera Ready Shine Spray all over your mane after blow-drying for long-lasting frizz-protection, as well as providing a major gloss boost.

back view of woman with brown ombre curly hair with waterfall braid
Chase waterfalls with this braided ‘do. Credit: Instagram.com/carrigan.designs

Waterfall braids

When TLC said don’t go chasing waterfalls, they clearly hadn’t seen this braided hairstyle. Perfect for showing off the lengths of your hair and your braiding skills, a waterfall braid is the most hypnotic way to wear your tresses this year.

Bonus points if you also pair it with a beautiful balayage and curled ends! Credit: @carrigan.designs

back view of woman with very long blonde hair in single french braid sitting on bedroom floor wearing cream jumper
Picture perfect braid. Credit: Instagram.com/okevaaa

Single French braids

There is an endless supply of pretty braids for long hair, but it doesn’t get much better than a classic French braid, no matter how you style it.

Take a good look at the simplicity of this Instagrammer’s style and you’ll see why we’re so enamoured with it. The perfectly-weaved style has been kept loose for a full and carefree finish, so it’s no wonder she had to snap a pic of it. Credit: @okevaaa

Editor’s tip: Not blessed with gloriously thick tresses? Add oomph to fine strands with a plumping powder, like the TONI&GUY Root Lift Sculpting Powder, sprinkling from root to tip for instantly fuller looking tresses.

back view of woman with multi-coloured box braids in high space buns wearing denim jacket taking photo on phone
Coloured braids = pretty braids. Credit: Instagram.com/hairrcastleby_cshami

Box braid space buns

Live your life in bright colours and bold outfits? Then you need to try box braids space buns!

As if box braids and space buns weren’t cool enough on their own, combining the two together will make your mane look out of this world. And if you really want to get those IG likes, a few pops of pastel here and there wouldn’t go amiss! Credit: @hairrcastleby_cshami

back view of woman with very curly long golden brown hair in double dutch braids in salon
Curls goals. Credit: Instagram.com/braidsgang

Double Dutch braids

Thought braided styles were only for those with straight hair? Think again. Getting the best of both worlds, this Instagrammer manages to show of her gorgeous curls with double Dutch braids, neatly secured at the nape of her neck.

With a sleek wrap detail to conceal the headband, this style then transitions into an incredible curl fest with tonnes of definition. Credit: @braidsgang

Editor’s tip: Keep your curls looking their best by prepping them with the TONI&GUY Prep Curl Lock OilFor best results comb through damp hair to help smooth and tame rebellious curls, for more manageable tresses.

back view of woman with long blonde straight hair with 5 strand braided ponytail wearing camouflage jacket
Braiding pros – this 5 strand style is for you. Credit: Instagram.com/n.starck

5-strand braids

Calling all braiding pros! It’s time to up the ante with a 5-strand braid (yes, we said 5 strands). When it comes to pretty braid styles, this intricately weaved ‘do will turn more than its fair share of heads. Credit: @n.starck

woman with blonde cornrow and box braids wearing red sunglasses and sheer black top
Join the braids gang with this pretty style. Credit: Instagram.com/leveluphairstylez

Cornrow & box braids combo

This Instagrammer is having plenty of fun with her blonde braids. Teaming her cornrows with box braids is pretty fabulous alone but with her beaded tips, she takes this combination to the next level! Keep slaying, honey. Credit: @leveluphairstylez

back view of woman with long blonde balayage hair with half-up braided bun wearing white t-shirt
Have fun with a half-up braided style. Credit: Instagram.com/n.starck

Braided half-up bun

Want to show off your braiding skills even further? Then this half-up bun might just do the trick. But rest assured that if you’re a braiding rookie, this style will look equally cute with a 3-strands braid, so no need to panic. Credit: @n.starck

side view of woman with bronde coloured hair in low bun and headband braid wearing large dangling earrings
Ditch the headband and make your hair your best accessory. Credit: Instagram.com/emmachenartistry

Headband braid

We all know that hair accessories are trending right now, but why not make your hair your best accessory with a headband braid? Worn neat this look will ensure all your tresses are tucked safely away, or rock it loose for a more bohemian vibe. Credit: @emmachenartistry

Editor’s tip: As always, keep your pretty braids in place with a good hairspray. We suggest trying the TRESemmé Extra Hold Hairspray to achieve a strong but not stiff hold, especially for updos like this.