Alexandra C. Ribeiro, Tim Robberts, Westend61, Getty Images
There are so many fun things we love about getting ready to go out, from picking out an outfit while blasting your favorite Lizzo songs to creating fun beauty looks that will carry you from day to night. Hair is undoubtedly one of our favorite things to play with (hello, blunt bobs!), and if there's one hairstyle that's here to stay, no matter the occasion, it's braids.
Apart from having endless styling possibilities, they're a godsend when you have a bad hair day. Instead of dealing with frizz, lack of volume, and other hair care woes that happen after waking up on the wrong side of the bed, you can put your hair in a braided hairstyle and call it a day. Not only can specific styles keep your hair up and out of your face, but they can also elevate any hairstyle, such as a ponytail, half-up half-down style, and so much more.
Whether you have long hair, short hair, naturally textured hair, fine hair, or anything in between, everyone can find a braided hairstyle that works for them-see for yourself! Here, we gathered 31 braided hairstyle ideas that are so good they'll be your mane inspiration next time you change up your look.
Best braided hairstyles for short hair:
1. Braided pigtails
The pigtails you remember from childhood just got a major upgrade. Part your hair down the middle and create a french braid on each side of your head for this grown-up version. It's a cute style that looks great on all hair lengths.
2. All over braids
When in doubt, braid your entire head. The braiding process might take a while, especially if you have a lot of hair or extensions, so grab thick sections of hair to make the styling process go a little faster.
3. Peek-a-boo braids
If you're having a good hair day but want to make it feel a little more effortless and boho-inspired, try these peek-a-boo braids. These single braids are showing up all over Instagram and TikTok as they're cute, subtle, and easy to recreate. To do it yourself, grab a piece of hair anywhere on the sides of your head and do a simple braid.
4. Wrap-around braid
If you have short hair and struggle with loose hairs falling out of your braid, try this option that wraps halfway around your head. The shape helps make sure every strand is tucked in nicely.
5. Accessorized braids
Add hoops to your braids for extra oomph.
6. Half-up, half-down braided space buns
Depending on the length of your short hair, doing an updo can be tricky. Instead, do this half-up, half-down space braided bun style that allows you to keep the rest of your hair out. Glitter is optional.
7. Braided bangs
For those with face-framing bangs, part them in the middle and braid them on each side, pinning them behind your ears. The finished results look like you're wearing a pretty headband.
8. Raver braids
Take your pigtails to the next level by throwing in braids and hair accessories-you'll be ready for your next music festival in no time.
Best braided hairstyles for medium-length hair:
9. Loose braid
Sometimes less is more when it comes to braids. This simple hairstyle is the messy bun of braids: It's easy to create, will look great on multiple occasions, and can be dressed up by interlocking a scarf in it for an additional accessory.
10. Tiny front braids
Take a page from Ariana Grande's book and give yourself two face-framing thin braids at the front of your hairline. We love how she pairs it with a half-up, half-down hairstyle, too.
11. Workout braids
Braids are the perfect hairstyle to keep everything in place while working out. From a braided ponytail and single French braid to two French braids on each side of your head, the possibilities are endless.
12. Braided space buns
Buns and braids are two easygoing and flattering hairstyles, and now you can have the best of both worlds with this fun look.
13. Jumbo box braids
Box braids will forever be a go-to hairstyle, whether for aesthetics or to protect your natural hair. Opting for jumbo-sized braids makes installing them and taking them out a breeze. Plus, it adds additional length if you want down-to-there hair.
14. Low braided bun
End your Dutch braids at the nape of your neck and tie the remaining hair into a low bun for a look that keeps hair completely away from your face.
15. Pull-through braids
Braiding requires technique, skill, and, sometimes, serious arm strength. If you haven't yet mastered how to braid or want an easy alternative, try these pull-through braids, which mimic the look of a French braid but are so much easier to create.
16. Multi-braided bun
Create a mix of thin and thick Dutch braids all over your head and secure it together with a low bun.
Best braided hairstyles for long hair:
17. Braided ponytail
Rocking a slicked-back ponytail with a braid is a total power move. It's the perfect updo for when you don't want your hairstyle to compete with your makeup yet still want to make a statement. It also effectively pulls all your hair off your face and neck to keep you feeling and look cool this season.
18. Top half cornrows
Yara Shahidi is serving us major hot girl summer vibes with this braided hairstyle. While we know cornrows likely enlist the help of a professional, it's worth it. We love the mix between the clean tight hairstyle that pulls your hair out of your face and the loose ends.
Cornrows are a classic hairstyle that makes having good hair days easy because it lasts up to eight weeks. You can customize the size of your braid to be thick or thin, depending on your style preferences-they're all beautiful.
20. High pigtails
To make this style feel edgy and fun, take out small pieces of hair from the front to frame your face and mimic the look of shaggy bangs.
21. Low side braids
On those mornings where you hit the snooze button one too many times and need to get ready ASAP, opt for these side braids. Divide your hair into two parts and braid each section for a quick hairstyle that will save you from your bed head. Bonus points if you accessorize it with a fun hat or headband.
22. Dutch ponytail
This half-braided ponytail will look stunning on special occasions or a casual date with friends. Pro tip: Gently tug the hairs in the braid to give it more volume and definition. Now, imagine this look at your next summer wedding-absolutely stunning!
23. Fishtail braid
If you want to upgrade your hairstyle, try doing a fishtail braid. It looks way more intricate than a traditional braid, doesn't create tension on your head, and is super easy to do.
24. Fulani braids
25. Dutch braids with a twist
A fun way to jazz up Dutch braids or cornrows is by adding smaller detail braids along the sides. Take it up a notch by gently laying down your edges and baby hairs for an even fiercer look.
26. Loosely braided pigtails
As you may be able to tell, braided ponytails are a top contender for the cutest and easiest hairstyle. These loosely braided pigtails are carefree and exemplify the easygoing vibes of Coachella, Glastonbury, Tomorrowland, and more.
27. Ombré braids
If you never play around with hair color and want to test it out with a low-maintenance dye job, ombré hair color is the way to go. Experiment by adding color to the ends (with hair extensions/synthetic braiding hair) that contrasts with your natural hair color and braid your hair to make your dye pop.
28. Chunky braids
While we typically see braids being placed on the back of the head, we also love these chunky braids that sit right at the temples. It's an alternative that gives us major cool-girl vibes.
29. Looped braids
When it comes to hair care and styling, Tracee Ellis Ross is a force to be reckoned with. We love these Dutch braids that are looped at the ends for this unique look.
30. One big ole braid
Turn your hair into a masterpiece by creating one massive braid. We recommend using one hair tie at the ends to wrap up all the interconnected braids so it looks like one, big style.
31. Four-part braid
Divide your hair into four equal sections throughout your hair to create this badass braid. It's an effortless style that will look fierce on all hair types.