10 Braided Hairstyles To Try This Year

back of a blonde haired girl who is standing on a beach at sunset, wearing a braided hairstyle and lifting her arms up

by Sarah Joan Ross

In the summer, it’s all about the plait! There are regal halo plaits, punky under side braids, pretty fishtails and the off-duty simple Dutch and French braid styles. Each option has their USP, but they do have one thing in common — style longevity that lasts from morning to night. Plus they run the gamut from being loose or slicked down and schoolgirl straight. Not to mention these natural hair braids and super plaits mean you keep a cool head in the summer heat.

1. French braid styles

Closeup Of Hairstylist's Hands Braiding Client's Hair

Some find the prospect of French braiding their own hair daunting. Still, with a bit of practice it becomes super simple. Start by brushing your hair back – if your hair is prone to slipping, help it stay put with a smoothing crème. Gather your hair into three even sections and start with braiding the front, gathering hair from the sides as you go. How far down you want to start is up to you, but if you’re trying to French braid short hair, we recommend starting nearest to the top, so you have more room to work.

Upgrade the schoolgirl go-to with our Frizz Ease Original Serum to help aid frizz control and protect your hair from humidity. It makes it much easier to weave if you have unmanageable frizzy hair. Once the plait is complete, a touch of hairspray on your finished look can also keep everything neatly in place.

2. Pull-through braid

blonde woman with braided hair

The pull-through braid is a great way to spice up traditional long braided hairstyles. Although this looks like you might need a beauty school qualification, it’s surprisingly easy. Why? The pull-through effect is actually an illusion achieved by ponytails. Secure your hair into separate ponytails first to keep everything under control. Split the top pony, then simply pull the bottom through it and repeat.

The braid looks better on well-conditioned, glossy hair, so invest in a straightening spray. It tames frizzy hair and gives you silky smooth hair for days.

3. Fishtail braid

beautiful woman with braided hair

The tightly woven fishtail hairstyle is far less complicated than it looks., The trick is to secure your hair into a low pony first to prevent the plait from unravelling. Part the pony, take a small section from outside it, and weave the four sections as you would with three. When the braid is complete, cut off the elastic.

Finish your style with our touch-up crème to camouflage flyaways. For even more neatness, use a baby toothbrush spritzed with some hairspray to anchor the flyways down.

4. Dutch braid hair

two thick braids of artificial hair, a youth hairdo, colored hai

The basic principle of a Dutch braid is that it’s a reverse French plait, so it sits on top rather than being weaved underneath. Like the French braid, a lot of people balk when it comes to braiding their own hair, but find it becomes easy with practice.

As with the French plait, brush your hair and separate it into three sections from the top. When beginning to braid, cross the strands under instead of over, as you would with a standard plait. Continue braiding in this fashion, gathering more strands from the side as you go. The good thing about this hairstyle is that, for those trying to Dutch braid short hair, the braid is much more defined than the French plait, so it shouldn’t matter too much where you start.

If you’re in any doubt of the popularity of this style, then check Instagram – there’s more than 257k posts dedicated the neat braid! The only decision to be made? Will you go with a single plait down the middle or one on each side?

5. Waterfall braid

Young woman with beautiful hairstyle on white background

Romantic and whimsy, the waterfall works especially well as a braid for long hair, and is ranked among the most popular for festival hair braids. Waterfall braids look best when the hair has body and movement, so before you start, use a blow drying spray to amplify crown volume, while thickening the fine hair strands.


If your hair is super fine, it might be worth breaking out the hot rollers – although be sure to protect from damage with a heat protector spray.  This style shows off highlights and ombre braiding hair too.

6. Messy Braid

woman with messy braid

Simple, romantic braid that will work perfectly for a date night! This is the easiest braid - you literally can't mess it up! Start braiding lower down and pull strands free with your fingers for a spontaneous, bo-ho look.
To pull off the messy style, your hair has to be in good condition. Use a deep conditioner to repair any damage and ensure your hair is lustrous and healthy-looking. Make sure you add some texture and volume.

7. Mermaid braid hair

Brunette woman with long and shiny curly hair-min.jpeg

The mermaid braid is also known as the rib cage braid. It does take practise, but once perfected, it looks enchanting. This ranks as one of the best holiday hair braids – especially suitable for the beach, it will stay intact in the surf and make you look ever-so mermaid-like at the same time. Tie a ponytail at the top and braid a simple plait all the way down. Section off a small strand from the front, twist, and tuck the twisted lock into the braid. Repeat on the other side, then plait all the way through to lengths or half-up-half-down.

The key with this style is to create some volume, so try a mousse to add lasting fullness without a crunchy feel.     

8. Box Braids

African braids are gathered in the tail with a pattern from the cornrow on the temple, an original youth hairstyle

Box braids are a brilliant long-lasting hair solution for summer, as it saves you time (no need for hot air and flat iron styling) and means you won’t break out into a frizz. Before any box braid styling session, you’ll need to get hair in tip-top condition. Weekly deep conditioning treatments are a must before a stylist weaves their magic. Jazz up with hair cuffs, or go bold with extensions for colourful hair braids.

9. Halo braid

Portrait Of A Beautiful Young Blond Woman With Braid Crown Hairs

Channel your inner Greek goddess with a beautiful halo braid. This look keeps hair entirely away from the face so you can work or play in style. Simply begin like you would a Dutch braid, and weave it as one long plait along your hairline. This simple braid hairstyle works just as well for long and short hair, regardless of hair type.

The golden rule? Shine. So don’t forget a spritz of glossing mist on the finished ‘do. A few gold leaf accessories wouldn’t go amiss either. 

10. Side braids

Commonly known as “viking hair braids”, this look is another great festival option, supplying a ready edgy-cool. There are many directions to take side braids from a modern-day spin on the classic cornrow to super casual and loose. Want an instant way to upgrade this hair-do? Add hair cuffs for braids, or some jewellery-esque charms.

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