We’ll be the first to admit that we are totally bonkers for braids! They’re pretty, practical, and lend an effortless boho charm to just about any ‘do. But as if that wasn’t enough of a reason to love hair braids, then know that they’re also ideal if you want a look that will stay in place all day long!
But before you get lost in the sea of online plait hairstyles, we’ve come up with an edit of the very best braid ideas to try for the season ahead, all of which are fun, fuss-free and sure to turn some heads.
Beautiful braids: The plaits you need to know about
Strike the perfect balance between sporty and stylish by working your braids into a high ponytail. Now we know what you’re thinking, a ponytail? Yawn, right? Well, in case you hadn’t heard, ponytails are no longer simply a lazy girl’s go-to!
While it’s true that it’s still one of the most foolproof ways to style your hair in a flash, stars like Teyonah Parris have elevated this style to VIP status by donning the look on the red carpet!
Delicate braided headband
Braids vary greatly depending on the look you’re going for, as well as on what type of hair you have. So as you can imagine, this can cause a little confusion when deciding how to weave your mane!
What you really need is a plait that can work for all hair, as well as being universally appealing. And we think we have just the thing…
We love this youthful twist (pun intended) on the uber-feminine halo braid. Not only is it perfect for just about any occasion, but it works a treat on almost all hair lengths and textures, too!
Confession time: our love affair with the classic high bun still burns bright! And since Sister, Sister star Tia Mowry styled her braids into a slick high bun for an A-list event (combining it with dramatic lashes and a swipe of red lipstick), she proved just how chic this ‘do can be!
Editor’s tip: Blessed with baby hairs? Smoothing them down around your hairline with the help of the VO5 Mega Hold Gel Spray, which will help give you a sleeker, neater look.
Half-up, half-down fishtail
In fact, the fishtail braid needs extra grip to be woven properly, so it’s actually beneficial to do this on locks that aren’t squeaky clean. Now if that isn’t an excuse to skip the daily lather, we don’t know what is!
Give your mane a dose of the royal treatment by styling your plaits into pompadour bangs! First made famous by Madame de Pompadour in the 18th century, this look has truly stood the test of time.
And with stars like Brandy (above) and Janelle Monae both spotted rocking this vintage style on the red carpet recently, it’s become a top look to try for the season ahead.
French plait pigtails
We know what you’re thinking: pigtails, really? But hear us out. Pigtails are one of our favourite hair braids and are thankfully making a major comeback this season!
To get the look, master the French braid with our step-by-step guide, here, and remember finish with a good misting of hairspray – you’ll be surprised at how well this modern plaited style holds its place.
If ‘subtle’ isn’t your style, and you’re looking for braid ideas that will really turn heads, take inspiration from Glee star Amber Riley and her heavenly halo bun! Using pre-braided strands for this style provides an added level of height and texture, giving an unbeatable crown effect.
Editor’s tip: Although this braided ‘do is protective for your natural hair, don’t forget to keep your mane nice and moisturised. How? Turn to the TIGI S Factor Papaya Leave-In Moisture Spray, which helps detangle, strengthen and fight frizz – plus it can be applied on the go!
Low braided bun
Think hair braiding ideas lack elegance? Think again, because a low bun at the nape of your neck is perfect for tucking your hair away, giving your ‘do an air of refinement.
To recreate this look at home, simply plait your hair into a standard 3-strand braid, then twist the braid around itself to form a bun. Secure it in place with a few bobby pins – et voilà! Credit: @amberfillerup
The braided half bun
You’ve heard of the hun (AKA the half-up bun), now meet it’s plaited counterpart. This is one of the best braid hairstyles for naturalistas who want the effect of undone hair, yet you don’t want the hassle of maintaining it.
To get the look, section your hair horizontally in line with your temples, and tie the top half into a high ponytail on your crown. Next, create a classic plait and secure with a clear hairband, before wrapping the braid around itself to create a bun. Secure this in place with bobby pins.
Elegant side tuck
Prefer to go for a look with a more understated and sophisticated finish? Say no more. Opting for elegant plait hairstyles, like Eva Marcille’s chic side tuck, are the perfect way to take your braids from blah to beautiful in a matter of minutes!
Our favourite thing about this look, is that it allows you to play around with this season’s on-trend bob braids, all the while growing out your mane. Ah, you really can’t beat a good styling hack!
If you want a style that’s sure to get all eyes on you, try out the chunky twist look that’s so versatile and oh-so pretty! One of our favourite hair braids, as not only does it look super sleek, this protective style will help to hold your tresses away from your face, while also maintaining your length.
Loose French plait updo
Got an elegant soiree to attend? Then your hair dilemma ends here, as this is the style you should try out. It’s a laid back version of a classic French plait, where each section of the hair is loose.
Start by braiding at the top of your head and work your way down to the ends of your locks. Next twist the end of your plait up into a relaxed bun and secure with bobby pins, for the perfect-party hairstyle. Credit: @lenabogucharskaya
Undone French plait
If you’re a bit of a newbie when it comes to braiding, you’ll be pleased with this look.
To achieve this achingly cool and effortlessly glam ‘do, simply create a super loose, almost undone French plait… the messier the better! If you’ve got long locks, this style will really give your tresses the ‘wow’ factor. Credit: @thassianaves
Chunky colouful fishtail
If you’ve got colourful locks, what better way to show off your vibrant tresses than with a chunky fishtail braid?
Not only does this style look incredibly intricate, but it will also bring focus to the varying shades within your vibrant hue. Plus, it’s one of the simplest hair plaits to master, so there’s nothing not to love about this look! Credit: @thehairstylish
Bridal crown braid
This ethereal hairstyle will transform your locks into fairytale worthy tresses – ideal for a special occasion. We love how chunky the double braids are and the fresh white flowers that bring the entire look to life. Credit: @michaelgrayhair
Suspended infinity braid
Mastered the French braid and a dab hand at the fishtail? Then perhaps it’s time you put your braiding skills to the test with this unbelievably cool, suspended infinity braid!
This cute style proves that you don’t need to have Rapunzel-esque locks to sport plait hairstyles and is definitely one for the braiding whizzes to try out. Credit: @lettileipuri
Dutch braids and bows
Can we just take a moment and imagine how cute this style would be at a festival! We’re loving the different elements that are at play here, working together to make this look oh-so-sweet.
First there’s the upside down double Dutch braid, the adorable bows and the ombre hair colour that takes the entire look from charming, to just a little bit edgy. All we can say is, brush up on your braiding skills now and you’ll be nailing this look come festival season! Credit: @n.starck
Loved our hair plaits round up but hankering for more fishtail styles? Well, we can help you out with that. Get ready to clasp your eyes on the fishtail hairstyles that are guaranteed to catch everyone’s attention!