Try Them Now: Best Braided Hairstyles for Thick Hair

The best braids for thick hair - plus how to do them.

Anyone with thick hair can attest to the fact that it can be both a blessing and a curse. Practical styles aren’t always easy to come by and some hairstyles that finer-haired girls can rock with ease can be a bit trickier on thicker strands. But if you’re searching for inspired hairstyles for thick hair, braids are absolutely perfect. Pretty yet practical, they’re a quick and easy way to keep your hair out of your face for work or the gym.

So, if you’re considering a braided hairstyle to help manage your thick locks, check out our edit of the best examples you can easily recreate at home below.

French Plait

Brunette with a classic French braid
Credit: Rupert Laycock

Creating braids for thick hair doesn’t have to be a cumbersome task. The French plait is a good case in point of a classic that packs the same punch as more complicated styles.

Here’s how to achieve this classic ‘do:

  1. Start by taking a 2-3-inch section of hair from the top of your head.
  2. Divide it up into three equal sections, and begin to cross the strands once like a typical braid (left over middle, right over middle).
  3. Pick up hair from the sides and add to your sections before repeating the weaving motion. Continue to add hair and plait until you reach the nape of the neck.
  4. After this, you can braid the remaining hair in a standard three-strand plait until you reach the end – then secure with an elastic.
  5. Finish with a spritz of VO5 Invisible Firm Hold Hairspray to help keep your braid secure.

Fishtail Braid

Close up of a brunette with a fishtail braid
Credit: Rupert Laycock

Rather surprisingly, the fishtail braid is easy to do – and it works particularly well on thick hair since it amplifies the pleated effect. Learn how to create your very own fishtail braid here:

  1. Bring all of your hair together at the nape of your neck and divide into two even sections.
  2. Take a small piece of hair from the outside edge of the right section (roughly half an inch), and cross it over the left side. Then take a piece of hair from the outside of the left section, and cross it over the right.
  3. Repeat step 2 throughout the length of your ponytail. When you reach the end, secure with an elastic band.
  4. Apply some TONI&GUY Finishing Shine Spray for an added shine boost!

If you’re after a unique twist on the fishtail braid, check out more of our favourite fishtail braid hairstyles.

The Milkmaid Braid

Woman with dark brown hair with a milkmaid braid updo with wispy strands
Credit: Rupert Laycock

Want a braided hairstyle that’s quick, easy and works well with thick hair? Then this option is for you; by doubling the number of braids, each plait will have less fullness (a pain thick-haired girls will know only too well when it comes to braiding their hair!). Here’s how to achieve double milkmaid braids:

  1. Start by creating a middle parting.
  2. Divide the right side into two horizontal sections and create two standard three-strand plaits, securing each with a clear elastic at the end. Repeat the same process on the left side – you should have four braids when you’ve finished.
  3. Next, take your first plait on the right side, place it over the top of your head towards the front, and secure with bobby pins. Do the same with the right side, bringing your first braid across your crown and tucking the ends of under your first plait.
  4. Now repeat step 3 with the two remaining plaits, securing them snuggly next to your first set.
  5. To complete your milkmaid braid, pull a few strands of hair loose around your face to give a wispy and romantic feel.

Dutch Side Braid

Close up of a brunette with a side Dutch braid hairstyle
Credit: Rupert Laycock

This braid is probably one to try out when you have a little more spare time on your hands, but don’t let that put you off. The end result is stunning on thick hair and would look great on the beach, at weddings, or even festivals. Here’s how to create a Dutch side braid:

  1. The Dutch braid is also known as the reverse or inside out French plait, so it’s not surprising that the techniques are closely related. Begin by creating a side parting on the left, then take 1-2 inches of hair from the top of the right side.
  2. Divide this section into three parts; take the right section and cross it underneath (not over!) the middle section, then take the left section and do the same.
  3. Pick up hair from the sides and add to your strands before you repeat this process, working your way around the side of the head.
  4. When you get the to the bottom of your left ear, continue to plait the rest of your hair in a standard three-strand plait.
  5. Finish by spraying your mane with some TRESemmé Extra Hold Hairspray.


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