Half braided hairstyles are all the rage right now. Can’t decide whether to put your hair up or leave it down? Half braided hairstyles help you do away with having to choose. 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 versatile hairdos we’ve come across.
45 Head-Turning Half Braided Hairstyles
Whether you’re a fan of the fishtail or a die-hard cornrow gal, you can rely on half braided hairstyles to take you from day to night without missing a beat. This fun, unusual looks work during a happy hour and can be retouched in the short span of time you have in the morning 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 faves looks into four categories that speak to braid level and aesthetic, all you have to do is scroll on down and prepare to be inspired.
1. Loose Waterfall
Gently pull fresh hair from the top with every other chain to attain that “fall” effect. Comb through the portion of your hair outside the braid so that the finished look is smooth and cohesive.
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. We like this style best on air-dried hair to allow your unique texture to shine through.
3. Side French
Part your hair, then start a French braid at the part line downwards till the ear. Secure behind the ear with pins. This style is an instant crowd-pleaser!
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. We love this look for a gym workout or outdoor run!
5. Side French/Three-Strand, Back
Extend the French stitch to your ear, then switch to a three-strand afterward so that your hair falls behind the ear, and not in front of your face. This look is great for the workday as it keeps your strands out of your face.
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.
7. Half-Side French
Make medium to large chains and stop just above the ear for a barrette effect. Use your fingers to pull the braid apart for an undone finished look.
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.
9. French Half-Ponytail
Start with a French braid at the crown, then switch to a three-strand braid about halfway down the braid. Finish off with a hair tie in the same color as your hair to ensure a fully blended style.
10. Simple Three-Strand
Or, you can also forego the French braid and go straight to a three-strand for a classic, elegant option. This look is classic and super easy to create.
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.
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.
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 summer festivities!
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 is attached to the real hair using a braiding technique, which then turns into a rope twist once the real hair runs out.
15. Celtic Bun
This look is actually three loosely braided buns (left, middle, right) linked to each other with pins. To recreate, split the 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.
16. Curly Dutch
On your hairline, create a Dutch braid (split the 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.
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.
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.
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!
20. Side Dutch
Look closely and you’ll see two plaits: one on the hairline from part line to above the ear, and the main one, which features hair being taken from the right only.
21. 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.
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.
23. 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.
24. 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.
25. Accent Braids
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!
26. Braid with Undercut
Showcase your shaven side with a braid that delineates the undercut from the rest of your locks. This will draw major attention to your cool haircut.
27. Faux Side Shave
And for the clipper-shy, a tight sidewinding braid gives a similar effect. This is a great way to test out an undercut without going all in.
28. Side Accent Braids
Triple the fun, with minimal effort! Create three tiny three-strand braids as another quick and easy way to test out the undercut trend.
29. 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.
30. Skinny Unicorn
This graphic version employs a clever little touch at the forehead: The ends are split up and hidden underneath the fringe.
31. Dutch Unicorn
Playing with grown-out roots? Try a bumpy solo Dutch braid, which helps give a two-toned effect.
32. 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.
33. Dutch Crown
Following the same principle but with an inverted/Dutch stitch this time, the hairstyle ends in a bumpy, headband-like look.
34. 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.
35. French Pigtails
Just as you would in sleepovers of yore, enlist a friend to help you recreate this fun dual-braided look.
Easier than you’d think, a mermaid braid is a lazier version of the French stitch. Check out our tutorial for the complete step-by-step guide.
37. Half-Braided Crown
Keep dark locks shiny and healthy-looking to provide some dimension to a braid. We like the shine-enhancing properties in Suave Professionals Sleek Anti-Frizz Smooth & Shine Cream.
End the French stitch at ear level and leave the ends messy and texturized for a modern touch.
39. 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 part line to just above the ear, then remove your previous clamped plait to bun them together.
40. 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.
41. 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.
42. Temple Feeders
Affix two skinny braids from each temple and gather them into a tiny ponytail at the back of your head. Instant #festbest!
43. Fringe Waterfall
There will always be a place in our hearts for a cute, snug, straightforward waterfall braid that snakes neatly down your hairline.
44. Traditional Waterfall
And just in case you needed to know how exactly to master this stitch, here’s a step-by-step tutorial.
45. Basket Waterfall
Wider-spaced feeder sections mimic the underside of a basket weave, lending to this braid’s name.
Are you thinking about trying out one of these styles? Be sure to grab a picture and tag us over @AllThingsHairUS!