There are countless hairstyles that can be enhanced by incorporating braids. Braids come in all shapes and sizes, like the Dutch braid, the French braid, the waterfall braid, and the fishtail braid, to name a few.
Braided hairstyles can be worn for literally any purpose—to exercise, to travel, to attend a wedding, or just to lounge around the house. The best part about braids is that they look great on every hair length and they turn common hair looks into intricate masterpieces! Check out this list of the hottest braided hairstyles for all hair lengths and start spicing up your everyday look!
Conjoined Dutch braids
Perfect for any hair length, this look is a beautiful semi-formal favorite that takes minimal effort. The Dutch braid is the same as the French braid except it appears to sit on top of the head rather than weaved within the surrounding hair. For a tutorial on creating Dutch braids, check out this video.
To recreate this look, avoid grabbing hair from just one half of your head when creating your first braid so that you get rid of the harsh part down the middle, as pictured below. This technique will feel sloppy at first, but the end product will be worth it! Once you’ve created both braids, pull out some hair from each braided section to add volume to each braid, and fluff the hair in your “part” so that your scalp disappears from sight. Lastly, curl or crimp the bottom layer as desired to complete this look!
2. Middle Dutch braid with fishtail accents
Ideal for long and medium-length hair, this look is much easier to recreate than it looks—so don’t be intimidated. This braided hairstyle is perfect for casual gatherings, brunch with friends, or an elf princess Halloween costume!
To start, create the two fishtail braids at the midpoint of your head. Leave 3 to 4 inches of space between each braid to leave room for that middle Dutch braid. For a quick tutorial on how to create a fishtail braid, check out this video.
Next, tease the top few layers to create some volume, then start creating a large and loose Dutch braid from the center. Grab each large piece from the very front of your face, and stop grabbing new sections of hair about two-thirds of the way from the top of your head to the base of your neck. Make sure this braid slightly covers the starting point of each fishtail. Once you reach this point, continue braiding all the way down to the desired stopping point, which is typically where your hair becomes too thin to continue.
Either straighten or curl the remaining hair depending on the occasion and the look you’re going for, and voilà!
3. Disappearing side Dutch braid
Perfect for short and medium-length hair, this semi-formal look is perfect for holiday parties, first dates, and even weddings! Simply part your hair to one side and create a 3- to 4-inch section from your part to the base of your neck. Try to angle this section so that it flows naturally with the curve of your ear.
Create a Dutch braid starting at the very edge of the part and try to follow that slight curve as you work your way down. Grab hair from the very front of your face and pull tightly with each section. If your hairline is a bit thin around your face, fill it in lightly with some eyeshadow once you’re finished. Once the braid reaches the base of your neck, tie it off with an elastic and bobby pin it in place to secure the shape of the braid along the side of your head. Gently tug at each section to create volume, and finish this look by lightly teasing and curling the surrounding hair.
Knotted double faux braids
Faux braided hairstyles are trending hard right now because they’re voluminous, bubbly, and super versatile. They look almost identical to Dutch braids, but they can yield even more volume because each section is tied off with an elastic, making the entire “braid” extremely secure. This hairstyle works perfectly for long to medium-length hair. First, check out this tutorial on how to create these faux braids.
Start by parting your hair down the side, then create your first section at the very top of your head. Work all the way down to the base of your neck and then secure the hair with an elastic. Wrap a 1-inch piece of hair around the elastic and then tuck it in to create the effect pictured below, and repeat the process on the other side.
Gently pull apart the hair in each section to create those “bubbles,” and style the resulting ponytails however you’d like!
Double faux braids
Almost identical to the previous braided hairstyle, these double faux braids are stunning on long to medium-length hair. Check out this tutorial to learn how to recreate this exact look with even more volume than what’s pictured below!
Ideal for short hair and A-line cuts, the side fishtail is perfect for when you want to look cute for a casual outing but don’t have a whole lot of time to throw together a complicated hairstyle. Spice up whatever your hair is already doing by dropping in a simple fishtail braid starting from your side part. Grab hair from the front of your face for a few sections until you reach the desired thickness, and then braid about two-thirds of the way to the bottom of your longest layer.
Either quickly crimp the remaining hair or leave it as is!
Formal side Dutch braid twisted into loose bun
This beautiful braided bun hairstyle is definitely on the formal side and can be worn to weddings, fancy restaurants, upscale parties, and even job interviews. Although this braided hairstyle will work on most hair lengths, it’s ideal for long to medium-length hair because longer hair means a thicker bun. You can also use a sock bun to add thickness if desired.
This particular style has many working parts, so check out this tutorial for the best possible chance of getting it just right!
Double top French braids and messy bun
This braided hairstyle has gained considerable popularity in the last few years and is perfect for casual outings, music festivals, and traveling! This hairstyle is actually easiest on short hair because the bun is the most difficult part to get just right.
First, part your hair into two 3- to 4-inch sections and secure the rest of the hair with an elastic to keep it out of your way. Either French or Dutch braid the two sections straight back along the top of your head, then secure each braid with an elastic at the desired stopping point, about where you would secure a mid-to-high ponytail. You can either leave the braids as they are or gently pull apart the sections to add volume.
Next, create a bun however works best depending on your hair length and texture. Lastly, style the surrounding hair however you’d like! To create the volume pictured below, tease a few layers in the back and on each side. Apply some hairspray, and you’re ready to go!
Sectioned French braids
French braids are great for all hair lengths because they’re secure, simple to execute, and can be styled in endless varieties. This bold braided look is great for going to the beach, music festivals, and casual outings. If you’re unfamiliar with French braids, check out this quick and easy tutorial.
To start, simply section your hair into four equal parts (or more, if more braids are desired) and loosely secure each section with an elastic to keep the sections separate. Then, French braid each section all the way down to the desired stopping point–simple as that!
Which of these braided hairstyles are your favorites? Comment below!
Featured image source: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/620159811162829127/
Jamie graduated from Cal Poly Pomona in 2016 with a Bachelor of Arts in English. She is an aspiring writer, professional editor/proofreader, and piano player. In her free time, Jamie enjoys reading classic literary works, composing music, and playing Xbox with her husband!