A braid can make your new hairstyle look incredible, and some people have taken to referring to it as the “new blowout,” the hottest new hair trend sweeping the nation. This is especially true because they can take almost as little effort as just a loose ponytail. Additionally, braids are seen as protective styles for many Black women, who may use styles like cornrow braids to keep delicate natural texture healthy.
No matter what braiding techniques you’re interested in, there are plenty available, from box braids hairstyles to micro braids and boho goddess box braids. While “Braid Bars”, similar to “Blowout Bars“, are rapidly coming into existence across the country, not everyone has a salon owner running a braid bar nearby. Here are a few types of braids you may be able to try out without a salon chair.
1. Fishtail Braid
The fishtail braid pattern is simple and elegant. Take your hair into a low ponytail and split it into two sections. Take a piece from the outside of one section, pull it into the inside of the other section, and repeat all the way down. A version of this braid with a loose ponytail works extremely well to create some boho-chic charm.
2. Crown Braid
You may have seen people refer to this braid style as “milkmaid braids.” For this popular braid pattern, put your hair into two individual braids at the nape of your neck, then pin one all the way up to the top of your head. Overlap the second on top to hide loose ends, then tuck the remaining loose ends underneath.
3. Braided Updo
If you’re looking for a more formal style that incorporates braids, a braided updo is perfect. Braid your hair into two French braids, then pin them up together at the nape of your neck. Alternatively, you can also make two braids using a bit of your hair on either side of your head, gather the rest into a bun, then wind the braids around the bun to frame it. This is one of the most elegant styles for braiding.
4. Double French Braid or Dutch Braid
A single French braid or Dutch braid can look uniquely beautiful, so what about adding an extra braid to the process? Part your hair down the middle, creating a crisp part with a comb. French braid or Dutch braid one side, either tying it into a ponytail once you’ve gathered all the hair or braiding it all the way down to the end, then do the other side. You can also curl the hair in a ponytail for even more elegance.
5. Snake Braid
The snake braid is an interesting and unique addition to any existing braiding style. Braid the hair like you normally would, keeping a fairly loose hold. Then, hold one of the strands in place and slide the other two strands up toward the root. This will create exciting braids in a woven style. Pin the braid in place to make sure it stays.
6. Braids With Beads
Beads are a great way to add a bit of style to your braids. Just braid the hair into slim braids, small enough to fit a bead, and thread a bead onto it. Pull it up until it stays stuck at a certain point, then tie the braid off with a chunky elastic to make sure the beads don’t leave the braid. Try different bead color variants, including multicolored beads, golden beads, and all unicolor beads. Slim braids, including micro braids, generally work best for this style. But with larger beads, you can also create larger braids.
7. Five-Strand Braid
A five-strand braid hairstyle looks incredibly intricate, but with a little practice, you can make it look perfect every time. While it adds a nice touch to your style, a five-strand braid is a bit more complicated and requires some weaving, so check online to get video and written tutorials so you can up your braid game. Recruit friends to sit for the five-strand braid so that you don’t have to practice on yourself, which can be much more difficult.
8. Goddess Braids
Goddess braids are a type of cornrow braids used for Black hair. They’re very blocky braids, and the ends can be styled in many different ways, including box braids and beaded braids. This braid style works best for many African-American women, as Black hairstyles, including box-braids styles and cornrows styles, are predominantly focused on keeping hair protected. Black women have also been flocking to this braided style since many celebrities, such as Beyonce and Janelle Monáe, have shown the public how beautiful these specially braided braids can look on Black hair.
9. Tips for Braiding Shorter Hair
As long as your hair is long enough to twist, you can likely braid it, even if you don’t have an especially strong braid game. French braids are a great option for shorter hair, and mini-braids that are fastened with elastics can give you a chic braided look even if you don’t have a lot of length. Additionally, give your hair a bit of a curl or spray some dry shampoo to give it a bit more body.
It’s also a good idea to pay close attention to your edges when braiding all hair, but especially when braiding shorter hair. With a bit of edge control, you can tame delicate edges and wispy edges. If you have wispy baby hairs, you can use a moisturizing edge control product to tame those baby hairs and lay them nicely.
From elegant to understated and edgy to sleek, there are several braided styles that you can use to create the look you’re going for. There are an array of styles out there, including basic braids, accent braids, double-braided braids, and boho braids. No matter what style you’re interested in, from the sweetest styles for elegant events to traditional box braids that have been around for centuries, you can find a signature style that works for you.
While some cornrow styles and casual updo styles might be doable on your own, many of them need extra braid help. This is especially true if you have delicate edges and wispy edges. Handling wispy baby hairs isn’t for everyone, and even the best moisturizing edge control can’t make up for skill. If you’re looking to get a more labor-intensive hairstyle that you aren’t prepared to do yourself yet, schedule an appointment at an Ogle School salon in your area so you can get a hairstyle that suits your needs.