40+ Half Braided Hairstyles You Can Master In Minutes

Eunice Lucero | 11 August 2017
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Give a new meaning to high-low with these braided styles.

Can’t decide whether to put your hair up or leave it down? Half braided hairstyles help you do away with actually having to choose either. These versatile looks also straddle the line between boho and fierce, depending on the weave you choose to take, making it one of the more democratic hairdos we’ve come across this year.

Whether you’re a fan of the fishtail or a die-hard cornrow gal through and through, you can rely on half braided hairstyles to take you from day to night without missing a beat. These fun, unusual looks are equally at home during power hour as in happy hour and can be recreated in the short span of time you have before work—meaning yeah, you can totes legit tell the haters that thanks, you so did wake up like this. That’s not all: We’ve broken down some of our fave looks into four categories that speak to braid level and aesthetic, so literally all you have to do is scroll on down and be prepare to be inspired.

44 Head-Turning Half Braided Hairstyles to Ace in Minutes

SIMPLE

Chic, straightforward stitches reminiscent of the minimalist 1990s, like the French and three-strand braid, are the stars of this category. These are ideal for when you’re short on time but looking for something not-quite-basic, or need a more conservative plait to wear everyday for work. They also score major hair-off-face points, making these half braided hairstyles the perfect go-to for the gym or the outdoors.

half braided hairstyles loose waterfall
Use a skinny, snippable hair tie for easier removal. Photo credit: Verity Jane Smith

1. Loose Waterfall

Gently pull fresh hair from the top with every other chain to attain that “fall” effect.

loose dutch half braided hairstyles
Start the stitch on majorly texturized hair.

2. Loose Dutch

Leave the ends free, but texturize and/or spray with hairspray (we like TRESemmé TRES Two Extra Hold Hairspray) that works to keep ends from unraveling.

TRESemmé TRES TWO EXTRA HOLD HAIRSPRAY
side french half braided hairstyles
Downtime at your work desk? Start braiding! Photo credit: Verity Jane Smith

3. Side French

Part your hair, then start a French braid at the partline downwards till the ear. Secure behind the ear with pins. An instant crowd-pleaser!

side french three strand hairline half braided hairstyles
This neat plait is ideal for gym and athletic activities, where you need unobstructed vision.

4. Side French/Three-Strand, Hairline

Start with a French braid at the hairline, then switch to a loose three-strand braid after the temples for a look that’s as cute as it is snug.

french three strand back half braided hairstyles
Work at an angle (or with a mirror behind you). Photo credit: Verity Jane Smith

5. Side French/Three-Strand, Back

Extend the French stitch till your ear, then switch to a three-strand afterwards so that your hair falls behind the ear, and not in front of your face.

side french short half braided hairstyles
Jazz up that crop with an easy sidewinding braid.

6. Side French, Short

Even bobs and shorter crops can enjoy a French braid, as long as the hairline and front fringe strands are at least five inches in length.

half side french half braided hairstyles
Easy to recreate on the go!

7. Half-Side French

Make medium to large chains and stop right just above the ear for a barrette effect.

braided bun half braided hairstyles
Tie off the initial ponytail first for more control.

8. Braided Bun

Loop a three-strand braided ponytail into a bun. Hair hack: Secure your ponytail with a hair tie at the base to give you more control as you braid.

french half pony half braided hairstyles
A classic for a reason! Photo credit: Dvora

9. French Half-Ponytail

Start with a French braid at the crown, then switch to a three-strand braid just below your skull bump.

simple three strand half braided hairstyles
A regular three-strand braid is the quickest look of all to master. Photo credit: Verity Jane Smith

10. Simple Three-Strand

…Or, you can also forego the French braid and go straight to a three-strand for a classic, elegant option.

simple three strand side half braided hairstyles
Pin your plait to the side for a hacked version of a side French braid. Photo credit: Verity Jane Smith

11. Simple Three-Strand, Side

No time, space or patience to create a French braid? Cheat around the look by simply pinning a regular three-strand plait off to one side.

twisted fishtail half braided hairstyles
Twist your half-pony first before beginning that herringbone stitch. Photo credit: Verity Jane Smith

12. Twisted Fishtail

One of our favorite looks is this ’80s-inspired twist, which features a crisp, proper fishtail till the ends of the pony.

SKILLED

Okay, so you’ve earned your Youtube/Pinterest chops and can literally braid in your sleep. Put that talent on display with half braided hairstyles that require a bit more skill level and ingenuity. Themes to play around are the two-in-one (braid-to-twist, braid-within-a-braid), as well as using a braid as an anchor for an entirely different style.

knotted accent braids half braided hairstyles
Use uniform-colored hair ties for more polish.

13. Knotted Accent Braids

This look is actually pretty easy when broken down: It features a couple of accent braids that are tied in the center, with the seam covered by a high ponytail. Great for festivals, outdoor BBQs or other kicky summer festivities!

half-up bantu knots half braided hairstyles
A high-contrast hair weave provides more punch. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

14. Half-Up Bantu Knots

These baby bantu knots or space buns are made of hair that’s been reinforced with extensions. Usually professionally done, they require the weave being attached to the real hair using a braid technique, which then turns into a rope twist once the real hair runs out.

celtic bun half braided hairstyles
Mint-colored ends add a nice, millennial touch.

15. Celtic Bun

This look is actually three loosely braided buns (left, middle, right) linked to each other with pins. To recreate, split hair into three sections and braid each halfway, then coiling each braid to form a circle. Pin the loose ends together for that knotted look.

curly dutch half braided hairstyles
Pancake only half of the links for a scallopped appearance.

16. Curly Dutch

On your hairline, create a Dutch braid (split hair into three slivers, then cross the side sections under the middle). Stop when you reach the ear and pin. Next, gently tug or pancake only the upper part of the chain for a faux “curly” effect, then curl the rest of your hair to finish.

dutch pigtails with bump half braided hairstyles
Use a fishtail comb to split hair for a more precise part. Photo credit: Verity Jane Smith

17. Dutch Pigtails with Bump

Create two Dutch braids on the top half of your head and gather them together into one ponytail (leave the ends unbraided). Next, split the upper layer of the ponytail and loop it into the gap between your pigtails, pinning where it falls against your scalp to secure.

dutch flower buns half braided hairstyles
So ‘gram-worthy!

18. Dutch Flower Buns

Split your hairline into two to create feeder Dutch braids from each side. Braid till the ends, then coil each around itself to create a small bun, making sure to flatten out the coil on your head so its layers resemble petals. Pin till secure.

infinity braid half braided hairstyles
Ensure the rest of your hair is detangled before creating knotted braids to avoid any damage. Photo credit: Faraz Essani Photography

19. Infinity Braid

Similar to the Celtic knot, this also employs a trompe l’oeil effect. Start with one regular three-strand braid on each side, then create a figure-eight to connect both, pinning the seams. Enlist a friend!

side dutch half braided hairstyles
Gathering hair just from one side results in a cool basket-bottom effect. Photo credit: Verity Jane Smith

19. Side Dutch

Look closely and you’ll see two plaits: one on the hairline from partline to above the ear, and the main one, which features hair being taken from the right only.

split crown half braided hairstyles
The split-crown braid is an awesome festival look.

20. Split Crown

Simpler than it looks, this starts with stitching a main braid in the center, then splitting the hair from that into two once you reach the forehead. Check out our tutorial for more details.

STREET

Edgy and a bit intimidating, these half braided hairstyles have a sense of grit and roughness to them—not everyone can pull them off, much less construct them to begin with. These plaits are awesome as accent pieces that add a bit of interest to an everyday polished look (as in the case of hidden side cornrows or skinny festival braids), or as a statements in themselves, as seen in the kick-ass unicorn variation.

cornrows with bun half braided hairstyles
Section off the top half, leaving the sides loose.

21. Cornrows with Bun

Create three cornrows (or tiny Dutch braids, for non-natural-textured hair types) on your front hairline, then gather them all into a high pony. Swirl around to form your bun, and pin at the seams.

braids with curly mohawk half braided hairstyles
All of the looks! Photo credit: @studio91nhs

22. Braids with Curly Mohawk

This intense look features some feeder cornrows on one side that are tied off in the center of the skull, which then burst out into curls from forehead to nape.

cornrows with pony half braided hairstyles
Match with equally fierce eyeliner. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

23. Cornrows with Pony

Another cornrow trio, this look ends in a chic low ponytail rather than a chignon.

double three strand half braided hairstyles
The trick is to treat the plait itself as regular hair. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

24. Double Three-Strand

This two-step look entails first creating a regular-sized three-strand braid from the crown to the ends, then using that same plait as one section in a larger three-strand braid. So yeah, braidception.

jumbo three strand half braided hairstyles
This meta look is easily recreated on a base of box braids.

25. Jumbo Three-Strand

The same concept goes for this iteration, which uses a full head of box braids to create an oversized three-strand braid on one side.

loose cornrows half braided hairstyles
A sombré punctuates this edgy look. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

26. Loose Cornrows

Part of the base of the scalp is sectioned off as if to prime for rope twists, but instead hair is left braided and loosely flowing, while the rest of the hair is gathered into a ’90s-inspired high pony. Slapdash, but it works!

braid with undercut half braided hairstyles
A punky hair color adds to this look’s style.

27. Braid with Undercut

Showcase your shaven side with a braid that delineates the undercut from the rest of your locks.

faux side shave half braided hairstyles
The trick is creating a deep-enough side part. Photo credit: Suzanne Cohen Photography

28. Faux Side Shave

And for the clipper-shy, a tight sidewinding braid gives a similar effect.

side accent half braided hairstyles
No need to French braid the sides to make an impact. Photo credit: Allyson Alapont

29. Side Accent Braids

Triple the fun, with zero effort!

gelled unicorn half braided hairstyles
Run any leftover product over the rest of your lengths. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

30. Gelled Unicorn

A wet look complements this fierce, runway-worthy version. Apply a firm-hold gel, like TRESemmé TRES Two Mega Sculpting Gel, for a shiny yet non-sticky finish.

TRESemmé TRES TWO MEGA FIRM CONTROL GEL
skinny unicorn half braided hairstyles
The split-section detail at the forehead is a unique touch. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

31. Skinny Unicorn

This graphic version employs a clever little touch at the forehead: The ends are split up and hidden underneath the fringe.

dutch unicorn half braided hairstyles
Work those roots to your advantage with a tough, street-smart plait.

32. Dutch Unicorn

Playing with grown-out roots? Try a bumpy solo Dutch braid, which helps give a two-toned effect.

SWEET

These classically charming looks are always #hairgoals, and are what Pinterest dreams are made of. Whether they’re stealing the show with a perfectly constructed herringbone stitch or are all about nailing that pancaked result, it’s never run-of-the-mill with these looks, which always seem to evolve with the wearer and the latest trends. Prepare to feel like hair royalty: Crowns, halos, milkmaids—though usually complex, they’re always thoughtful, and once mastered you can rest assured that these pretty, gram-worthy plaits will never go out of style.

french crown half braided hairstyles
Style the rest of your lengths in loose waves to complement your crown braid. Photo credit: Verity Jane Smith

33. French Crown

Start from above one ear and French braid till you reach the opposite ear, then secure with pins or a tiny hair tie.

dutch crown headband half braided hairstyles
Start atop one ear and weave all the way across the head to the other ear. Photo credit: Dvora

34. Dutch Crown

Following the same principle but with an inverted/Dutch stitch this time, the hairstyle ends in a bumpy, headband-like look.

frizzy fishtail half braided hairstyles
A fuzzy texture keeps the braid from looking too “perfect.”

35. Frizzy Fishtail

This hairstyle has a deliberately staticky finish. To recreate, first start with a side fishtail braid and finish by gently pulling the links apart for that flattened feel, then rub the surface with a cotton shirt for a slight fuzz.

french pigtails half braided hairstyles
Half braided hairstyles: The tapered braid is so in. Photo credit: Verity Jane Smith

36. French Pigtails

Just as you would in sleepovers of yore, enlist a friend to help you recreate this fun dual-braided look.

mermaid braid half braided hairstyles
Make a splash with a fun, easy-to-do mermaid braid.

37. Mermaid

Easier than you’d think, a mermaid braid is like a lazier version of the French stitch. Check out our tutorial for the complete step-by-step guide.

half braided hairstyles half crown
Start the plait a few inches behind the hairline for a helmet effect.

38. Half-Braided Crown

Keep dark locks shiny and healthy-looking to provide some dimension to a braid. We like the shine-enhancing properties in Bed Head by TIGI Blow Out Cream.

BED HEAD BY TIGI BLOW-OUT GOLDEN ILLUMINATING SHINE CREAM
half pigtails half braided hairstyles
Try to tuck in the hair ties under the last chain. Photo credit: Allyson Alapont

39. Half-Pigtails

End the French stitch at ear level and leave the ends messy and texturized for a modern touch.

waterfall bun half braided hairstyles
A skinnier waterfall is more unusual. Photo credit: Verity Jane Smith

40. Waterfall Bun

This popular hairstyle starts with a waterfall stitch. First go from right to left, then clamp it off to hold. Next, create another braid on your minor partline to just above the ear, then remove your previous clamped plait to bun them together.

side dutch half braided hairstyles
Make sure the pancaking is uniform for a similar effect.

41. Side Dutch

Such precision! Create a Dutch braid from your hairline to behind the left ear, then secure with a pin. Tug the links apart to pancake and flatten.

side waterfall half braided hairstyles
Lopsided, yes, but oh-so-cute! Photo credit: Verity Jane Smith

42. Side Waterfall

A fun, super-boho version of the traditional waterfall braid, these half up braided hairstyles involve taking new hair from just the left side and leaving the plait deliberately messy.

temple feeders half braided hairstyles
Use a transparent or hair-colored elastic for best results.

43. Temple Feeders

Affix two skinny braids from each temple and gather them into a tiny ponytail at the back of your head. Instant #festbest!

fringe waterfall half braided hairstyles
Ain’t nothing wrong with a textbook hairline waterfall!

44. Fringe Waterfall

There will always be a place in our hearts for a cute, snug, straightforward waterfall braid that snakes neatly down your hairline.

traditional waterfall half braided hairstyles
We love how this particular braid looks on a ombré or an unconventional shade.

43. Traditional Waterfall

And just in case you needed to know how exactly to master this stitch, here’s a step-by-step tutorial.

basket waterfall half braided hairstyles
Switch to a three-strand braid immediately as you reach the opposite side. Photo credit: Verity Jane Smith

44. Basket Waterfall

Wider-spaced feeder sections mimic the underside of a basket weave, lending to this braid’s name.

Enjoyed these half up braided hairstyles? Check out our full compendium of braided looks, perfect for any season.

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