How to braid hair

Ah, braids—there’s something so summery about the hairstyle. Not only do they make hair look good, but they also keep it off our faces when it’s sweltering outside. Braids are a great way to hide greasy hair or bad hair days, or for when you just want to go for something different. What we’re saying is that there’s a plait for every occasion. Whether you’re [heading to a wedding] or just hanging around the house, there’s always a braid that suits the occasion.

Now, before you start saying you’re not a fan of them because you find them too fiddly, fear not: We’ve also got a great guide for [how to braid hair]. So head there to test your ability, and then come back and check out our indulgent braid gallery. Oh, and if, on the other hand, you the hairstyle to be too quaint, prepare to have your mind changed. Here are the 24 incredible plaits for both the braid obsessive and the novice. Keep scrolling to see them all!

The Mega-Braid

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We’re under no illusion that we’d be able to whip up this intricate braid from the Jil Sander S/S 18 show ourselves, but it’s so satisfying to look at, at least.

Sectioned Braid

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The key to nailing this sectioned-off braid from Piccione S/S 18 is a tail comb like the GHD Tail Comb ($25) and plenty of hair serum.

Cornrows

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Want to know how to do cornrows? We’ve hunted down one of the most-watched video tutorials on [YouTube] to help you do this style with ease.

Messy Plait

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There are two ways we’d do this: either sleep in a tight plait, or wake up, don’t reach for a brush, and loosely braid your hair. Either way, it’s a win-win.

Front Plait

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This front plait is much trickier to do, but it’s the perfect pairing to that wedding-guest dress you’ll be wearing this summer. Turn to trusty [this tutoria]l by Missy Sue for a great guide.

Double Inverted Braids

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If you’ve mastered a basic braid, you can totally handle a Dutch braid—just reverse the direction you’d normally go in to make the braid sit on top of the hair. Confused? Take a look at this cute [double Dutch braid tutorial] and try out one braid on either side of your head for double the fun.

Half Dutch Braid, Half Pony

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Okay, we haven’t eased you in gently here, as this is two hairstyles in one, really, but this is for the indecisives among us. It requires knowing how to do a Dutch braid, which is essentially a reversed French plait (great tutorial here). Once you know how to do that, split your hair in two (horizontally), and then take the top half and create a plait in the middle, leaving bits on the side. Once you’ve finished your plait, take the remaining hair on the sides and tie in a pony.

Halo Braid

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The halo braid has fallen out of favor, but we predict it’s set to make a welcome return this summer. It’s a) easy to do and b) keeps your hair off your face during the humid months. For the look, you’ll need a decent load of bobby pins and a tutorial.

Dutch Crown Braid

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Start your part toward the middle of your head and bring the hair forward to braid into a dutch braid along the hairline. When you’re done, you can fasten into a ponytail like the model above.

Twisted Braids

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Can’t braid? Cheat! We won’t tell anyone (promise). These twists look seriously cool and give the feel of a braid without the fuss. It’s worth adding in some[ texturizing spray to style] in the same way and keep hair in place. Plait the ends to secure it further.

Tucked Side Braids

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No incredible dexterity is needed for this look. Simply grab a small section of hair from the bottom and get plaiting. Fix with a small elastic band. Honestly, we’re obsessed with this braid style right now for a quick and easy hair upgrade

Woven Plaits

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This is i[deal ] [for festivals]. Put the flower crown down. All you need to do is part your hair in the middle (or to the side like this model) and grab some hair ribbons (or just normal ribbons). Free People does an exceptional range of [different hair accessories] that are perfect for this boho style.

Half Fishtail, Half Pony

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Don’t fret over whether or not you can do a full fishtail; you only need to do half of one and then leave the rest as a pony. Fix with a [minimalist hair barrette] to give your hair that cool Scandi vibe.

Swept-Away Side Plait

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What could be easier than plaiting a loose braid and leaving all your flyaway hairs to be, er, flyaway?

Classic French

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Maybe this style won’t give us [French Girl hair] but the French plait is classic for a reason—and it’s one we always go back to time and time again. Yes, this one takes a while to master, but once you get it down, you can impress friends by how you can do it with no mirror or help (just like this smug Byrdie editor).

Messy Double Plaits

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These are SO easy. And they look super chic, non ?

Half Fishtail, Half Down

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Only want to dip your toe into braiding? Then perhaps this [half-up, half-down] fishtail is the one for you.

Loose Plait

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If you just want to do a really cool braid, almost as if your hairstyle was an afterthought, we love this one for its insouciant style. Back-comb your lengths and ends to give your hair[ some extra body]( before braiding.

Half Fishtail

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This one starts as a fishtail and then ends up as plait. What could be easier?

Tucked-Under French Braid

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Know how to do a French braid but want to switch it up a bit? Try this slightly messy twist—just make sure you tuck it in underneath to get the full look (yes, you will need [bobby pins] to secure it).

Headband and Simple Braid

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Or [the Blair Waldorf], as we like to call it. While this is all about getting a chic headband in place, you’ll need to braid your hair. Try one plait or two for variety.

Double French Plait Tucked Under

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Yes, this one’s a bit tricky, but it’ll get easier with practice. PS: It’s totally okay if you let this one get a bit messy—it looks better that way. Such is life.

Reverse Halo Braid

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Much like the halo braid, this one will take a bit of practice. However, you could always try two classic braids rather than the more advanced Dutch braid, and fix them at the bottom for a quick hack. Voilà!

Double French Braid