Braided hairstyles provide endless options for creating intricate updos, elegant braided buns, and pretty plaited ponytails. The dimensional, interwoven texture of braiding hair immediately elevates any look. But mastering braiding techniques takes practice.
Don’t let intricate braided styles intimidate you. Braid hairstyles lend gorgeous dimension, shape, and visual interest when precisely parted and smoothly interlaced. Follow these tips to perfect braided hairstyles finally.
- Learn The Classic 3-Strand Braid.
Mastering the fundamental 3-strand braid forms the foundation for all braided hairstyles. Start by parting hair cleanly from forehead to nape. Split hair into three even sections. Cross the right strand over the middle, then the left over the new middle.
Keep strands tight and smooth as you continue crossing them in the same alternating pattern down the length of the hair. Add new hair to the sections as you braid to prevent thinning. Secure ends with a tie.
Practice daily until you have perfectly smooth, consistent 3-strand braiding. This basic braid teaches you clean parting, tight and even strands, and speed. Nail the technique before advancing to trickier braids.
- Step Up To Fishtail Braids
Fishtail braids take the classic braid up a notch by delicately weaving two thicker pieces into a pretty plait. Split clean, parted hair into two even sections. Take a slim piece from the outside of one section and cross it into the other.
Then, take a slim piece from the outer edge of the second section and cross it over into the first. Keep repeating, alternating which side you pull slim sections from to interweave the two bigger strands.
It helps to envision a fishtail in motion, gracefully crossing over itself in a fluid, intricate pattern. Work slowly and keep strands neat. Use bobby pins to secure the braid if needed.
- Get Romantic With Waterfall Braids
Also called cascade braids, these dreamy plaits incorporate loose face-framing tendrils seemingly “falling” out of the braid. Create a standard Dutch braid, leaving a 1-2 inch section free before restarting the braid pattern.
As you braid, gradually release thinner strands to create a cascading effect. Let them naturally drape and curl. Play with leaving hair loose on both sides or just one.
Focus on creating clean diagonal parted sections first for the braid base. The falling pieces beautifully frame the face. Leave tendrils loose, but keep the main braid tight.
- Experiment With Fancy Fishtail Types
Once you master the standard fishtail, try creative variations for gorgeous effects. The lace fishtail adds intrigue by incorporating new hair only from one side as you braid. Be sure to add hair neatly and evenly.
For a pretty crossover look, try the Dutch lace fishtail. Do a standard Dutch fishtail braid, but alternate the side you pull sections from instead of the same side.
- French Braid For Versatile Elegance
French braids remain a go-to for polished elegance. Use a tail comb to cleanly part hair from front to nape in three even sections. Begin a regular 3-strand braid a few inches down from the roots, adding new hair to each strand from the top as you braid.
When done correctly, a French braid appears seamless. Keep your focus on smooth, tight braiding with no stray hairs escaping. Letting the braid fall casually unfurls a romantic, tousled texture.
According to LoveHairstyles, this versatile braid works for casual days when left loose or intricately styled for formal updos. Embellish with accessories like ribbons or pearls woven through the braid.
- Get Intricate With Ladder Braids
Ladder braids involve braiding two separate braids, then gently weaving them down the back in a criss-cross “ladder” pattern. Part hair cleanly down the center. French braid on each side, braiding toward the center.
Once you run out of room, gently interlace the two completed braids over and under each other down the back. Work slowly and keep the woven braids tight.
- Create A Braided Crown
This regal updo incorporates four basic braids interlaced into a graceful braided crown. Part hair into four even sections. Braid each one traditionally using your best French braiding skill.
Leave strands loose to frame the face for an ornate particular event style. Or create an intricate braided bun by coiling the braid ends into a tucked bun shape. This intricate crown elevates any occasion.