Braided hairstyles have been around since the dawn of time, and whether they’re fishtail, waterfall, milkmaid, or the tried-and-true French braid, it’s clear they’re not going anywhere, like, ever. Braids are chic, simple, and a commitment-free way to change up your style — or even just look put together when you don’t have time to wash your hair.
To provide you with a serious playbook, we’ve rounded up 101 braid hairstyles with plenty of new ideas. It doesn’t matter if you have short, long, thick, or fine-hair, everyone can be inspired by a new braid (or two) from our gallery and learn how to braid them at home. Plus, with tips on how to get each braid just right, you’ll have every resource you need to pull of the look. How can you beat that? (Spoiler: You can’t.)
Why have two braids running along the side when you can combine them as one giant basket braid in the back? Cheat by leaving a length of hair down the center, then just braid the two side braids together for spectacular style. Image via Pinterest. From yourmagemerson.com.
We love a good box braid style, particularly when you can wrap them into a giant bun on top of your head. Be sure to use snag-free elastics and tonal bobby pins and to keep hair hydrated with plenty of oils for health and shine. Image via Pinterest. From picstopin.com.
Honestly, we love bangs as much as the next girl, but it's nice to get them off our foreheads once in awhile. This gorgeous waterfall braid keeps your hair looking cute and styled in all weather. Image via Pinterest. From bangstyle.com.
We're kind of obsessed with this bohemian glam braid swooping over the front of this long style. A touch of dry shampoo at the roots will help give the style lift, while a touch of styling pomade on your hands while you braid will ensure the braid has staying power. Image via Pinterest. From weheartit.com.
Try this curly waterfall braid style for a romantic look with plenty of impact. Be sure to use heat protection spray on your mid-lengths if you're reaching for the curling iron. Image via Pinterest. From weheartit.com.
Weddings and special occasions are the perfect time for updos, particularly braided chignons with jeweled pins. Extra hold hairspray on the actual pin itself can help the accessory stay in place. Image via Pinterest. From trendybride.net.
We love the wild and free texture of this long, braided style, especially the crimped ends running through the lengths. Braid wet hair with a touch of pomade before you sleep, then shake braids out when you wake up for amazing waves and texture. Image via Pinterest. From m.pinterest.com.
A good angled waterfall braid is a great braid to add to anyone's hairstyle arsenal. Learn how to get a waterfall braid for any occasion, and make sure you bring a clear hair elastic on your finger to secure the braid on the go. Image via Pinterest. From lovemaegan.com.
You'll turn plenty of heads with this zigzag waterfall braid, if you can master the look – clearly a step up from the more common waterfall braid. A touch of styling paste rubbed on your hands will help this look last. Image via Pinterest. From imgur.com.
Fishtail braids were made to be rocked for girls with long hair, particularly when you pair them with fierce retro eye makeup, as seen here. Be sure to pull the ends out so they can fly away, lending a rocker edge to the style. Image via Pinterest. From hercampus.com.
Longer hair means you can rock a great goddess braid. This one, secured in the front with pretty wildflowers, is the ultimate look for any music festival action. Image via Pinterest. From forums.longhaircommunity.com.
We also love this pin-braided curled style with lovely volume along the sides. Perfect for medium-length hair, this is a great option for summer and/or for those who are growing their hair longer. Image via Pinterest. From kookhair.com.
We are obsessed with this giant, coiled braid piled into a mohawk formation on this girl's head. If you have the length, go for it, but extensions are an easy way to cheat on this attention-getting style. Image via Pinterest. From midwestblackhair.com.
Is there any style that says "cool girl" more than a fishtail braid? Leave a bit out along the front and sides, then pull apart the braid a bit for that slightly disheveled plait. Image via Pinterest. From stylelist.com.
We live for braided updos, particularly one that has the romantic texture of this beautiful, upswept style. Be sure to secure with tonal bobby pins and spray flexible-hold hairspray on the hair before you braid to help give this style staying power. Image via Pinterest. From orangefish-makeasplash.blogspot.com.
Sometimes a braid is a means to a free, wavy style. Twisting side braids and running a flatiron in the direction of the twist can result in flowing waves once the braids are released. Smart trick! Image via Pinterest. From ohsoprettydiaries.com
This is so cute, and the fact that it's so easy gives it bonus points. Make a ponytail, braid the lengths, twist the braid around itself so it coils around the base of the ponytail and secure with an elastic. Pin a bow just underneath the bun and you're set! Image via Pinterest. From makeup.com.
How amazing is this pin-braided hairstyle, pulled into a mohawk? Be sure to keep your scalp nourished with oils so it stays hydrated and stimulated while in this beautiful braided style. Image via Pinterest. From kookhair.com.
Two braids along the front part pinned around the base of an updo makes for a stunning style. Be sure to apply anti-frizz pomade to keep the style sleek all day long. Image via Pinterest. From junebugweddings.com
Box braids are perfect for those with natural hair who want a no-fuss style. Rinse braids and apply a touch of conditioner for an easy style that will look fresh forever. Image via Pinterest. From getfiercestyle.com
We live for rocker styles with attitude, and this side-braided mohawk style had us at "hello." Adding tiny rings within the braid gives this style added punk allure, while the flyaway texture at the center keeps it soft and feminine. Image via Pinterest. From becomegorgeous.com
This is quite possibly the coolest half-up braided hairstyle ever. Tonal bobby pins will help this amazing style stay put without revealing any style secrets. Image via Pinterest. From mybrownboxblog.com
What's better than a waterfall braid? How about two waterfall braids, one underneath the other? A touch of styling pomade will help secure this magical look. Image via Pinterest. From endlessbeauty.com
You know we're big fans of pastel hair, and this style takes it to a whole new level. Use a braid to disguise grown-out color as an "I meant to do that" style with plenty of attitude, or use hair chalk or temporary color along the mid-length and ends for hair your friends will want to Instagram. Image via Pinterest. From lovelyish.com
Honestly, how beautiful is this gorgeous undone braid with flowers? We love this romantic style, particularly if you add a volumizing mousse to keep some lift at the crown. Image via Pinterest. From percyhandmade.com
We love this runway style, with two French braids that are twisted, pinned and bejeweled. Surf spray will help give the hair the texture needed for this style to last from day to night. Image via Pinterest. From Imaxtree
We love a good messy fishtail braid, but this runway-ready style takes it to a whole new level. Prep with a texturizer or surf spray, then braid and use the end of a long-tailed comb to pull ends loose for a seriously fabulous braid. Image via Pinterest. From theyallhateus.com
Looking to get hair out of your way without pulling all of it up? Try this side-braided style, the easy (and commitment-free) way to get the feeling of a half-shave. Image via Pinterest. From hairromance.com
We live for mini crown braids and this ethereal style is just the thing you need to turn up the heat. Secure the braid behind your ear with a tonal bobby pin, the seal the look with flexible-hold hairspray. Image via Pinterest. From fashionbased.com
Wrapping your own hair around the base of your ponytail adds instant polish, but weaving colored extensions into your ponytail and into a fishtail along the lengths adds drama. Seal with extra hold hairspray to prevent slippage. Image via Pinterest. From braidblog.wordpress.com
Honestly, is there anything easier than pigtail braids? Carry clear elastics with you on the go for a breezy look that can be achieved anywhere in no time at all. Image via Pinterest. From glamour.com
This gorgeous, one-sided braid is a fabulous way to add instant drama to your look. Add braided extensions to the side if your hair is shorter, then be sure to secure with tonal bobby pins. Image via Pinterest. From saralynnpaige.com.
We love the breezy appeal of this French braided style knotted at the nape of the neck. Face-framing pieces left at the front give it ease, while a simple elastic secures the look in the back. Easy and done. Image via Pinterest. From Cupcakesandcashmere.com
Go with synthetic flowers you can reuse or feel free to pick flowers where you're going to add some feminine flare to your braid. Any way you go, this look positively blossoms. Image via Pinterest. From endlesssummer.com
We love the neat appeal of this fishtail braid for days that require a bit more polish. A smoothing shine serum is the perfect way to keep this look sleek all day long. Image via Pinterest. From retrodivasbeauty.com
This multi-braided crown is so dramatic and amazing for any day and every day. Use braided extensions to add volume and length for a look that bound to get you noticed. Image via Pinterest. From arabellamag.wordpress.com
If there's ever been a braid that's gotten our attention, this might be the one. Be sure to add styling pomade to your hands while you braid to help the style stay put. Image via Pinterest. From glamour.com.
A gorgeous crown braid, like this one from the runway, is just the thing to get your hair out of your way in style when you're on your third day after shampoo. Use flexible hold hairspray on your hair before braiding so hair stays in place. Image via Pinterest. From woohair.com
You don't need to have long hair to get in on braided hairstyles. Take a top section of your hair and braid it into a French braided spiral for a fun shorter style. Image via Pinterest. From new-hair-style.com
We love a good rock and roll hairstyle, and this amazing long braid embedded with spikes is one of our Hall of Fame styles. Use individual charms or a spiked ribbon to get the look. Just use caution: this look is a little dangerous! Image via Pinterest. From mylittleponyhair.tumblr.com
This sectioned, knotted style has tons of '90s-inspired attitude and could be the perfect music festival hair. Use clear or tonal elastics to secure each style. The theatrical makeup is up to you, but we're into it. Image via Pinterest. From hairstyles-emakeup.com
This oh-so-pretty hairstyle is the crowning glory to any day or night look. Braid a top section of your hair over one ear, then secure with a bobby pin under a chignon in the back if you have long hair. If you have short hair, pin the braid behind one ear and you're done! Image via Pinterest. From glamour.com
This cool girl style is a reverse fishtail braid with beautifully colored ribbon. Secure the ribbon at the base of the braid where it starts, then just hide it under the braid and, voila, bohemian beauty is yours. Image via Pinterest. From cutegirlhairstyles.com
Can we talk about how cool this style looks? Make sure the hair stays sleek and smooth with an anti-frizz shine serum, then work your magic with tonal elastics and bobby pins. Image via Pinterest. From anon-imox.blogspot.com
What's better than one fishtail braid? How about two of them looped together as a super cool updo? Pin the ends underneath the bases at the opposite sides of your head, then secure with flexible hold hairspray. Image via Pinterest. From Imaxtree
We love this raised French braid as a perfect option for cool hair. Keep the base of the ponytail high over the nape of the neck for a touch of added panache. Image via Pinterest. From modstylelounge.blogspot.com
This luxe, loose, reverse braid is incredibly glamorous. Spread your thumbs over the completed braid to loosen the look, then secure the it with hairspray for an edgy, glamorous look. Image via Pinterest. From wantthatwedding.co.uk
This dramatic braided bun is super easy to achieve. With smaller braids included in a ponytail, then curled around the base with other loose hair, secure with a clear elastic then spray with hairspray for a top knot with staying power. Image via Pinterest. From seventeen.com
If you have red or vibrantly colored hair, this braided look is a must. Add brightly colored flowers along the base of a low bun with a crown braid across the front for visual impact and high style. Image via Pinterest. From favim.com
Braids combined into a twisted ponytail make for a dazzling style. Rub styling pomade with medium hold between your palms before braiding for a look that will last. Image via Pinterest. From repinly.com
Vividly colored hair is begging for a gorgeous braided updo. Leave curled pieces out along the sides and add flowers in the loose chignon at the base for a romantic look with edge. Image via Pinterest. From dailymakeover.com
This romantic, heart-shaped braided style from the runway seems like it was plucked from Game of Thrones. Use tonal bobby pins to secure the smaller braids, then wrap the side braids around and underneath the ponytail at the base for a gorgeous plaited style. Image via Pinterest. From Imaxtree
Tired of using a boring old headband? Try a braid across the top of your head, then secure the look into a top knot for a summer hairstyle that's cool and easy. Image via Pinterest. From weheartit.com
How sweet is this bow braid? We can't get over this inventive, romantic style. Secure with a good flexible hold hairspray for a look that will last. Image via Pinterest. From m.pinterest.com via Morgan McDaniel
For those with longer hair, this twisted low chignon is ultra feminine. Be sure to twist hair into itself and secure with a few elastics for a style that will last throughout the day and night. Image via Pinterest. From weheartit.com
This teased updo is made even better with French braided bangs. Tease, then secure the look with a maximum hold hairspray to ensure the style stays lifted. Image via Pinterest. From funnybabypictures.biz
How awesome is this beach-ready braided style? Just braid hair along the top along with two tiny braids at the sides, then secure the whole look into a high bun at the crown of the head. Genius, easy, done. Image via Pinterest. From hairstyles123.com
This loose and easy braid is perfect for lazy summer days. Braid all hair along one side of your head, secure at the base with an elastic, and call it a day. Image via Pinterest. From mediumhairstyleupdate.com
This low and easy messy fishtail braid is the perfect it-girl style. Blow hair with a rounded brush for volume and bend, then use a flexible hold hairspray for a chic summer look. Image via Pinterest. From newhairstyles7.com
We love the rocker-warrior look of this fishtail braid. Anchor the look behind the ear with a tonal bobby pin (or four), then seal the look with a strong hairspray. Image via Pinterest. From shexists.com
Nothing's better than an easy French braid! Simply braid both sides of your hair, twist the ends together at the base, then secure with pins — or flowers, for some extra flare. Image via Pinterest. From amillionlives.net
This romantic look is perfect for date night. Make two French braids along the sides, then gather them in the back at the base of your head with an elastic. Use a volumizing spray for lift at the crown and you're done! Image via Pinterest. From shexists.com
This romantic style has us dreaming of Medieval times...in the best way possible, of course. Use extensions at the base if your own length isn't there, then secure with a good number of tonal bobby pins for a gorgeous look. Image via Pinterest. From celebforhairstyles.com
This Grecian braid has added interest with colorful fabric woven through the crown. Use a thin scarf or beautiful ribbon to get the style for your own fantastic hairstyle. Image via Pinterest. From woohair.com
For amazing cornrows, keep your scalp moist with regular conditioning and nourishing oils for an easy styling alternative that's amazing for your hair's look and feel. Image via Pinterest. From thirstyroots.com
We love this messy fishtail with tons of volume at the crown. Spritz plenty of dry shampoo at the roots, tousle and braid from mid-lengths to ends and you're done. Image via Pinterest. From picstopin.com
We love a good multicolored style, especially when it's highlighted with a fishtail braid. Hair chalk or colored extensions make the style easily achievable. Image via Pinterest. From originalpiecemag.com