34 Easy Braids for Long Hair to Up Your Game in No Time

In the market for braids for long hair? Easy, quick and non-intimidating options abound. 

For those of us who missed out on those sleepover years in our youth, we might feel like we lack some crucial, formative braid skills that others seem to have in spades. A quick internet search doesn’t help our self-esteem either: We’re overwhelmed with photos of beautiful, almost unattainably complex looks, whose only purpose appears to be to scare us from even trying. Enter easy braids for long hair, which, as the phrase suggests, ask for nothing more but a few minutes of your time—sleepover skill light to none, even.

34 Easy Braids for Long Hair You Need to Try

We’re going back to the basics, ladies, and needless to say our inner child is super relieved! So, fellow braid novices, late-to-the-gamers, or basically anyone who’s fed up with having to live up to unrealistic Pinterest standards in real life, this one’s for you! Read on for our top simple braids for long hair:

1. Medium Accent Braid

easy braids for long hair medium accent braid
Peek-a-boo braids are so in style.

Nothing to see here, folks—or is there? A straightforward three-strand plait done in the middle of your mane, to be hidden or not as desired, is as low-key as it gets. To create this stitch, pinch a 2-inch section of hair and divide it into three strips. Cross the left strip over towards the right, then repeat with the right strip. Continue till the ends and secure with a small elastic.

2. Braided Chignon

Braided Chignon
This wedding-worthy hairstyle will trick everyone into thinking you’re a hair pro. Credit: Verity Jane Smith

Have a special occasion on the calendar but can’t think of any easy braids for long hair to do yourself? Then opt in for this gorgeous braided chignon hairstyle. This style looks more complicated than it actually is!

3. Milkmaid Braid

Milkmaid Braid
Rock this practical timeless and classic look.

When it comes to braids for long hair, easy and elegant should be top criteria. And with the milkmaid braid, you’ll have both in a pinch! Why? It’s pretty, practical and ready to make you have a good hair day, that’s why.

4. Fringe Accent

easy braids for long hair fringe accent
Start at the topmost part of your hairline, or right above your temple. Photo credit: Dvora

Similar to the above but done on the fringe or bang hairline, this look is certainly a more stylish option for keeping your hair out of your face—which makes it great for school, work or even working out.

5. Crochet

easy braids for long hair crochet
Use a sparkly or metallic ribbon for more oomph. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

Wrapping a string or ribbon around random sections of hair in a crisscross pattern is something almost everyone can do, and the payoff, as seen here, is a gorgeous cross between boho and West Coast cool.

6. Dutch Braid

Dutch Braid
Dutch braids are classic, timeless style. Credit: Rupert Laycock

Already nailed the French braid? This sleek Dutch braid is formed by crossing the strands underneath (rather than over) as you braid to create this 3D look that’s full of volume.

7. Dutch Pigtails

easy braids for long hair dutch pigtails
Also called boxer braids (’cause athletes love ’em!), these braids are also known as, yup, cornrows. Photo credit: Dvora

We’ll let you in on a secret: Those Instagram models repping this look all had to start somewhere—that somewhere is figuring out how to do an inverted braid. It’s not that hard, we promise: Instead of crossing the left over the middle to the right, you cross it under (yep, that’s it.).

Practice on a loose ponytail first, then once you get the hang of it, you can graduate to a built-in braid from behind each temple, pinching new sections from the sides with each new link. Once you run out of scalp, just continue the cross-under motion till the ends, and voilà, a ’gram-worthy look in minutes.

8. Three-Strand Pigtails

easy braids for long hair three strand pigtails
Easy braids for long hair? Behold, this simple pigtail set to the rescue. Photo credit: Dvora

If you were ever bored in class and started playing with your hair, you’re halfway there with this look, honey. Start with splitting hair in the back down the middle, then begin a regular three-strand (crossing-over stitch) braid on each section, tying each off with an elastic. Bonus points for pink anything.

9. French

easy braids for long hair french
As classic as it gets. Photo credit: Dvora

The OG of all braids! Granted, this takes a bit of maneuvering—perhaps even between two mirrors—but once you get the hang of it, this skill stays with you for life. Start by grabbing three separate pinches of hair at the hairline, then crossing the left over the right, but grabbing new pinches from each side as you go down the head. After you pass the scalp you can free-braid till the ends. Finish your braid with a texture spray like Suave Dry Texture Finishing Spray to add some staying power.

10. Fringe Waterfall

easy braids for long hair fringe waterfall
Flower crown optional, of course.

We like to call this the half-French, only in that you pinch new hair only on one side of the head (the back), and leave the forehead side of the link “closed.”

Like a regular three-strand braid, you cross the left over the right and incorporate new hair into the right before it crosses over to the left. Start by creating a side part, and start grabbing hair immediately after the part-line, working towards that ear. Free-braid once you pass the temple, and secure with a hair tie. Need more guidance? Peep our waterfall braid tutorial.

11. French Half-Updo

easy braids for long hair french updo
Ed’s tip: Tug the links apart to give your plait more heft. Photo credit: Dvora

This look starts out as a French braid on the crown, then becomes a free-standing regular plait afterward, in a manner of a half-updo. We love the ’90s vibe this look gives!

12. Mermaid Half-Updo

easy braids for long hair mermaid half-updo
You don’t need a standout color to work this unique plait to the hilt.

Similar to the French half-updo, easy braided hairstyles for long hair like the mermaid plait start off with a three-strand braid at the hairline, but then the links go on for two or three more chains until you incorporate new hair from alternating sides. Continued downwards, the pattern gives a fishtail-like effect, hence the name.

13. Classic Three-Strand Half-Updo

easy braids for long hair regular three-strand half-updo
Pancaking, i.e. tugging the links apart keeps each chain looking uniform till the ends. Photo credit: Verity Jane Smith

This is one of those easy braids for long hair to do yourself in like, 30 seconds. Start by gathering hair like you normally would for a half-pony, then begin a regular cross-over weave till the ends. Done!

14. Inverted Fishtail

easy braids for long hair inverted fishtail
Beginners can also clip off the top of the pony for more stability when braiding. Photo credit: Verity Jane Smith

Don’t panic, it’s just a twisted half-updo, with a kick! The look starts off with a half-ponytail gather that’s pulled through a space in the middle. Next, attempt a fishtail plait: Split hair into two sections, not three. Then take the outermost few strands on the edge of the left section, and pull those towards the right, which includes them into the right section. Then repeat on the right side, taking the outermost strands on the right edge, and pull and incorporate those into the left section.

Takes a bit of visualization, but eventually, you’ll end up with the herringbone-like pattern that all fashionistas and Pinterest experts know and love.

Tip: Clip off the top of the ponytail (just below your twist) to help you anchor your braid, or even tie the top off with an elastic as you’re learning this look.

15. Fishtail Braided Bun

Fishtail Braided Bun
Give a basic braided bun a stylish update. Credit: Verity Jane Smith

Breathe fresh life into your go-to messy bun by trying this fast and fancy fishtail bun. Ideal for both casual and more formal occasions, it’s a great all-rounder. Use just a touch of hair gel to slick down any loose flyaways.

16. Braided Bangs

Braided Bangs
No time to do your hair? This look takes just seconds to do. Credit: Verity Jane Smith

Simple and quick to do, braided bangs are one of the best ways to keep fringes out of your face as well as looking utterly adorable! FYI, It’s also a great style to have on hand if you’re looking to grow out your bangs.

17. Loose Weave

easy braids for long hair loose weave
Paired with the oversized blazer trend and you’ve got one stylish, season-savvy look.

One of those days? We got you, fam. This look is literally easy enough to complete in two subway stops (if that). To recreate this look, simply create a loose three-strand braid and secure the end with a hair tie.

18. French Pigtails

easy braids for long hair high french pigtails
A shine serum helps give darker hair more dimension.

Like #5, this is one of those braids you can do while half paying attention, but you need to take this a bit higher on your head. Start behind each eyeball with a French stitch, then free-braid after the nape. One side at a time, obvi. A light application of shine serum, like TRESemmé Keratin Smooth Shine Serum, helps give darker braided hair more definition.

19. Segmented

easy braids for long hair segmented
Use neutral-colored elastics on both ends for more polish. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

Gasp, you don’t have eyes at the back of your head? Well, thankfully, this foolproof look, which entails you just tying hair off in a low pony and free-braiding till the ends, ensures you don’t need anything other than two elastics.

20. Rope Twist

Rope Twist
Everybody do the twist! Credit: Rex by Shutterstock

Still finding it hard to braid? No problem, just do the twist by creating a rope braid! The trick to creating this three-dimensional look is to twist the braids in one direction and wrap them in the other!

21. Classic Three-Strand

easy braids for long hair regular three-strand
Sweep hair over one shoulder for easy maneuvering.

The champion of all braid beginners and saver of bad hair days. Welcome to your classic go-to braid for the rest of your life! Pull the braid over one shoulder as you plait your hair to create this sideswept look.

22. Scarf Braid

easy hairstyles for long hair scarf
Use a thinner scarf for less bulk. Photo credit: Dvora

Who needs an expensive scarfed purse when you can achieve the same look on your hair at a fraction of the cost? Tie your fave scarf around your ponytail, then treat it as part of one of your three sections to create this chic, super-Frenchy look.

23. Skinny Accents, Random

easy braids for long hair skinny accents random
The tinier, the better! Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

Great for festivals, poolside parties, and just general chillaxing, this no-brainer of a braid can live solo or in multiples around your head. Seal the ends of these tiny braids with a quick mist of hairspray to secure the ends without bothering with a hair tie.

24. Skinny Accents, Pigtails

easy braids for long hair skinny accents pigtails
Use thicker strips for more impact. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

For a more uniformed look, grab two equidistant strips of hair and begin a three-strand plait on each. Leave the ends loose to unravel as they wish, or tie off with an invisible elastic for the full effect.

25. Loose Side Braid

Loose Side Braid
Create an effortless look with a loose side braid.

Everyone needs a quick, messy braided hairstyle in their mane dairies, right? If you’re yet to fill your pages with one, take a look at this textured, loose side braid.

To get the look, all you need to do is bring all of your hair to one side and weave it into a regular 3-strand braid. Yep, that really is it. And guess what? It works best with bedhead hair (hooray!).

26. Crown Braid

Crown Braid
This look will be your crowning glory. Credit: Verity Jane Smith

Before you write this look off as too difficult, hear us out. While total novices might need a little practice, those who are more confident with their braiding will ace this crown braid.

27. Romantic Braid

Romantic Braid
Create an out of the box romantic hair look. Photo by Keena Hall

If you want to make your plait choice look romantic televison-worthy, try adding a dainty look to your braid. This ultra-thick plait extends past the waist for a royal princess-inspired look.

28. Unicorn Braid

easy braids for long hair unicorn
The unicorn row! Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

Basically a standalone cornrow, this look features a Dutch (inverted, or crossing-under) stitch on the entire width of your crown. Finish off at the back of your head with a tiny elastic, then cover with a barrette for more polish.

29. Inside Out Braid

easy braids for long hair inside out braid
Switch up your braid style with an inside-out technique.

If you’re tired of all the standard braid variations, then we’ve got an easy braid you can switch to! The inside-out braid is basically a French braid, but instead of pulling the new pieces over, pull them under. It’s as simple as that! Once you get the hang of it, you’ll have this highly voluminous and bold braid to add to your arsenal.

30. Braided Headband Low Ponytail

easy braids for long hair side braid low pony
We love how a side braid looks when it flows into a low ponytail.

Want to add in a braid to a chic low ponytail? Try a French braid on one side of your head and adding into a low ponytail for a new look. Amp up the sophistication by wrapping a strand of hair over the hair tie to conceal your work.

31. French Braid Updo

French Braid Updo
With a little practice this braided bun will become your new go-to. Credit: Verity Jane Smith

Braided updos always look amazing and you don’t have to be a braiding whizz to get to grips with this French braided ‘do. Braid a French plait from your temples down to the nape of your neck, then twist your lengths into a low bun, keeping it messy for a lived-in look.

32. Braided Ponytail

easy braids for long hair mini braid ponytail
Add a chic accent braid to a sleek, high ponytail.

A small accent braid is a great way to change up your look in a more subtle fashion. French braid a small front section and lead it around the top of your head for a more lifted look. Keep frizz at bay by spraying the finished look with some Bed Head by TIGI Get Twisted Anti-Frizz Finishing Spray.

33. Braid from the Back

easy braids for long hair braid from the back
This braid looks complicated but it’s not, we promise.

We know this braid might look complicated to create but it’s not, we promise! If you’ve got your French or Dutch braid mastered, just flip your head over and start the braid from the nape of the neck and work your way up. Once you get to right before your head ends, tie it off and then gather the rest into a messy top knot.

34. Headband Braid

easy braids for long hair headband braid
Create a faux headband with just a simple braid!

If you can’t create a French or Dutch braid on your own you can still create a headband braid. Make a loose-ish three-strand braid going in the direction of the headband so that the braid will follow over your head nicely. Once you’ve finished the braid, bobby pin it to the other side to complete the headband.

Now that we’ve given you a range of easy braids for long hair, you have no excuse to not switch up your style! All of these braids are easy to learn and super quick to create, so you can count on having your hair on point, no matter how much prep time you have. Happy braiding!

Sign up to our newsletter and get exclusive hair care tips and tricks from the experts at All Things Hair.


All Things Hair on Instagram