Hairstyles that involve braiding hair can look really amazing.
Plaiting hair is an ancient technique that involves twisting and weaving strands of hair to form plaits.
There are two core element that you should be aware of when braiding hair. The first is knowing which method you are going to use to intertwine your locks: how many strands of hair and how you are going to criss cross the hair.
The second thing to consider is how to combine different widths and lengths of braids with each other and with other hairstyles such as hair buns, top knots, front bangs and the like. As you might have guessed the options are limitless.
There are three main ways you braid your hair:
- Simple braiding: take three separate strands. Cross the right strand over the middle strand. Now cross the left strand over the middle one. Repeat until the end. It really is as simple as that!
- French braiding: It’s exactly the same as simple braiding except every time you cross the hair over the middle you add some hair from the scalp to it. E.g. if you are lifting the right strand add some hair to it and then overlap the middle strand. That’s it!
- Dutch braiding: exactly like a French braid except instead of going over the middle strand you go under it. Like with French braiding you add hair to the outer strands except you underlap the middle strand instead of overlap.
I hope you agree that it is super easy to braid. Practice makes perfect so try out some of the hairstyles below. Each has step by step instructions that you can follow.
25 step by step braiding tutorials that will make you a pro at plaiting
#1: Braiding a big side plait tutorial
It’s super easy to plait a side braids like the one in the pic below. It’s also a really cool look.
Start by separating 3 strands of hair on one side.
Start French braiding and continue until you reach the neck and then bring in the rest of the hair at the back to join the braid.
This is a great look for college and easy to do when you are in a hurry.
#2: Braiding a crown braid tutorial
Courtesy of Makeupwearables, this superb crown braid is probably best suited for a couple of days after you have washed your hair.
You will need to invest some time in learning this hairstyle but it will look amazing in a gown or dress.
Follow these steps:
- Comb your hair and part the front bangs
- Separate three thin strands of hair to start your braid. The trick here is to add hair to the strand closest to the face as you are braiding the three strands. So before you weave in that third strand you make sure to add some hair to it. This is essentially a half French braid or lace braid. If you don’t know what a French braid is then this is an excellent video.
- Continue braiding until you reach your neck.
- Next, group all remaining hair into two sections and start a fishtail braid. If you don’t know how to a fishtail braid then this video tutorial is excellent at explaining it.
- Repeat the process for the other side of your head.
- Phew that probably took a while! Ok so now all you need to do is take those long plaits and wrap them around your head to form the crown.
- You now look stunning! You might need to take a curling iron to any side or front bangs if you have thin straight hair.
#3: Braiding a crown with step by step instructions
Braiding this hairstyle is pretty straightforward.
The result is a super cute braided band at the back of the head.
The long side fringe gives the look a sexy edge to it.
Follow these steps:
- Start by plaiting three strands into a traditional French braid. This means that as you braid you add hair to the outer strands of hair before they go over the middle strand.
- Stop once you reach the center of the back of your head.
- Do this on either side of your head.
- Now fold one braid over the other and secure with bobby pins
Voila! You are good to go.
Be prepared for some admiring looks.
If you want to add another dimension to spice things up you can try adding highlights to your hair beforehand. This will add more texture and contrast to the braids and overall hairstyle.
#4: Braiding a Dutch braid step by step pics
Looking at the images in this tutorial you are probably wondering: “What on earth is up with all those numbers?”
Hopefully I can shed some light: Dutch braiding is like French braiding: you add hair to the outside strands and you plait. The only difference is that with French braiding, the outer strands are going over the middle strand whereas with Dutch braiding it is the opposite; the outer strands are going under the middle strand.
So when French braiding you overlap and when Dutch braiding you underlap.
With a little bit of practice you will become a pro.
Hopefully this explanation will have you braiding this Dutch side braid in no time. This would be a perfect hairstyle for a saree and college.
It keeps hair out of the way and looks cute at the same time.
#5: Braiding a fishtail braid step by step
Braiding a fishtail plait takes some practice. If you haven’t tried one before be prepared for a whole new ball game.
The technique is slightly different to traditional braiding but the result is pretty cool. The trick here is to take hair from one strand and weave it into the other.
Follow these steps
- Part you hair at the back and in the middle
- Take a thin strand of hair from the outer section of right parting and cross it over the right strand to join the left one.
- Do the same for the left side.
- Keep repeating.
Don’t get confused by figure 4. This is what will happen as you keep repeating the action above. If you are still finding it hard you can take a look at this video.
For a more disheveled look use a hair pin to loosen the braid. Use some hairspray to keep things in place.
#6: Braiding a four strand braid tutorial
Don’t be afraid of trying to braid a four strand braid.
While it might appear complicated a first the process is in fact super easy.
- Start by splitting your hair into four strands
- If you are going sideways, like in the pick, then you will want to separate those strands on the side (duh!)
- Now take the strand on the side closer to the center of your head and start weaving it through the other strands i.e. take it over the first strand then under the second then over the third.
- Keep repeating that action. Remember to always start weaving on the same side.
- You can stop once you reach your nape and secure the braid with an elastic band and some bobby pins.
The look is perfect for sarees, gowns and dresses. It’s also a great hairstyle for when you are attending a wedding reception or farewell event at school or college.
#7: Braiding a messy fishtail braid
Hey, I know you are fishtail braiding pro now that you have done braid number 5.
Basically, here it’s about having a lot of hair and plaiting a fishtail braid over it.
To get that messy disheveled look you will need to pull and tug to loosen the braid.
#8: Braiding a reverse braided bun step by step
This is a super cool way to do a top knot.
You don’t see reverse braids that often in India. I first saw it when I went to San Francisco and I feel it perfectly suits the sultry weather and heat of Madras and other Indian cities.
To braid this updo you will need to follow these steps
- Comb your hair from back to front
- Start French braiding from the nape of your neck. You might need the help of a friend or sister here
- Once you reach the top of your head tie the remaining hair with an elastic band
- Twist remaining hair into a top knot bun and keep in place with bobby pins
- You might need to loosen the braid with a hair pin a little. If you are feeling that it’s too loose consider using some hairspray.
This top knot and reverse braid will look particularly good in jeans and a simple top.
#9: Braiding a side braid with donut bun step by step
The steps to do this hairstyle are pretty easy and the result is stunning. Basically you need to do two things:
- Make a French braid along the side
- Use a donut bun maker: pull you hair through it and then back over it
- Use your French braid to wrap around the root of the bun and secure the hair.
It’s a pretty funky hairstyle that can look formal but cute at the same time.
You could easily wear this to work or equally for going out to party!
#10: Braiding a triple French braid updo with detailed steps
If you like ancient Greek goddess looks then this is a great hairstyle to try. It is also going to involved a lot of braiding. I hope you will agree that the result is worth it though.
#11: Braiding an easy fishtail braid: how-to
This another excellent example of how to braid a perfect fishtail braid.
If you have long silky hair like the model in the pic, you should totally try this braiding technique.
For the specifics of how to do this take a look at tutorial #5 above.
#12: Braiding four braids guide
You better enjoy braiding if you are going to try this one out.
Also you are going to need some time on your hands and possibly some good friends to help you out.
The result is going to be super impressive and it’s a great hairstyle if you have long hair. It can also work for when you have put oil in your hair so keep that in mind.
You will need to make five fishtail braids. Make sure they are of equal size that you braid tightly. Once you have the braids you can start interlacing. Start from the outer braid and weave it through the rest. Then repeat always starting with the outer braid.
The resulting entwined braids are quite impressive!
#13: Directions for braiding boxer braids
When it comes to braiding hair Missy Sue is a pro.
Boxer braids have recently become viral on Instagram and they look super cool. They are perfect for working out or running at the gym but can easily be worn on any other occasion too.
They do have something more hipster-ish and casual about them so I will leave to you to decide wether this is a hairstyle that is appropriate for your workplace.
- Start by adding some mousse to your hair for extra texture and grip. This is totally optional of course so don’t fret if you don’t have any on hand right now.
- Part you hair in the middle and separate the hair into two strands on either side.
- Start knitting a Dutch braid on one side. Remember, to make a Dutch braid you take three strands and then start weaving the outer strands under the middle one. Add new hair to the outer strands each time you weave.
- Tie the ends with and elastic brand.
- Repeat on the opposite side and you are good to go.
Awesome stuff! I hope you are a pro at braiding by now and ready to hit that gym!
#14: Easy braided updo instructions
Braiding this hairstyle is easy if you know what you are doing.
You are going to braid 5 simple plaits for this hairstyle. You need a lot of hair to do it but there is no fancy French braiding or Dutch braiding involved.
- Start by making a ponytail at the back
- Make a simple braid on one side and bring it over the ponytail and secure with bobby pins.
- Repeat on the other side.
- Now you need to have left some extra hair on either side so that you can make an additional braid on either side.
- Wrap everything around the ponytail.
- Now braid the ponytail and then fold it in in order to create a low chignon style bun at the back.
And voila! You are done.
As you can see the hairstyle is not as complicated as it looks. The results is a sophisticated look that will look excellent if you are attending a wedding or mehndi party or basically any occasion where you need to look decent.
#15: Fishtail braid for long hair tutorial
To do this fishtail plait you start braiding right at the top. Add highlights for more texture.
Day old hair will work better and most likely you will need some help from someone to get this done.
- If you have straight hair then start by backcombing the hair to get some volume and stickiness. If you have thick curly hair no need to worry about this.
- Separate the hair into two sections beginning from the crown
- Start fishtail braiding: take a strand from the right and cross it over to join the left.
- Now do the same for the left
- Keep repeating till the end.
- If you are a going for a messier look you can use a hair pin to loosen the braid a little.
#16: Guide for plaiting French braid tie back
Back to Missy Sue for this French braid tie back.
This is a really cool braid that hardly needs any guidance. Perfect for a day at college or school and good for when you are in a rush.
To do this hairstyle you need to start plaiting a French braid on the side.
Once you reach the back of your head secure it with a bobby pin.
Then just bring your side fringe on the other side and loop through the braid at the back.
And that’s it. You can look super cute within seconds with hardly any effort. Hope you try this one!
#17: How to braid a back braid band
This is a really simple braiding exercise. Alls you need to do is a loose braid on either side of the head.
Once you are done wrap each braid around the back of your head and secure with bobby pins.
#18: Mini braids and waterfall instructions
The process of braiding is relatively straightforward here.
You need to know how to do a waterfall braid before starting. If you’ve never done one then head over to this video which will teach you all about it.
Once you have weaved the basic waterfall braid you will need to start working on those mini braids.
You might need some time on your hands but the result is kind of cute. Happy braiding!
#19: How to make a reverse braided band
Here is just another example of a double braided band. It looks equally nice on curly hair too.
Like before, make a simple braid on either side of your hair and join them at the back with bobby pins.
You get that cute princess look. Good hairstyle when going out in a gown!
#20: How-to guide for plaiting French braid
If you want to start with the basics this is an excellent guide on French braiding.
Steps for a French braiding:
- Start from the crown and make a middle strand (use an elastic band to keep in place)
- Take two strands on either side
- Start overlapping outer strands over middle
- Every time you pick up an outer strand add some more hair to it.
- Continue plaiting all the way down
#21: Instructions for braiding a chic shoelace braid
The braiding here is somewhat different to what you are use to up until now. Basically you are going to loop braid along the side of your head by tying your hair up in little knots
- If you have fine or thin straight hair then you might need to use some volumizing mouse to make the hair stay in place.
- Middle part you hair.
- Take two strands of hair and tie them together into a knot.
- Repeat the knotting action along the side of your crown. The trick is to add more hair to the strands before you tie.
- Once you reach the back of your head secure with a bobby pin and replicate on the other side
- Now you are going to use the remaining hair to do a fishtail braid. Tie it up into a ponytail and start braiding
- Now wrap the fishtail braid around the crown and secure with bobby pins.
- Though you probably need some extra time to do this hairstyle the result can be really impressive.
Thanks Cosmopolitan for the awesome hairstyle!
#22: Mermaid plait braiding instructions
Mermaid plaits can look pretty spectacular and the braiding involved is quite easy to do.
- If you have straight hair you might need a curling iron to start off with. If you’re hair is curly then you are good to go from the start but it would still probably work better the day after you have washed your hair.
- Plait a simple loose braid starting from the crown and all the way down.
- Now take a strands of hair from the side of your face, twist, bring it to the back and loop it through the first section of the braid. Repeat on the other side.
- Got it? Good! Now repeat all the way down and secure with an elastic band at the end.
You might need to pull the braid a little loose once you are done. And that’s it!
#23: Rope braid tutorial
Rope braiding is very easy to do and is perfect for nonchalant looks. You don’t see them that often in India so it will be kind of cool to try one out. This hairstyle works best with thick wavy hair.
How to do it:
- You will need day old hair.
- Start with two strands of hair. The part closer to the face should be interweaved over the other strand.
- Now the trick is to repeat this action but each time you overlap the front strand over the back one, add a little hair to it.
- Use your hairbrush to smooth your hair out. After brushing, scratch the scalp with your fingers to get more volume.
- Now part your hair. Pick a rectangular section on the side of your preference. Split this section in two halves.
- Pull its front part over to the back part. Now make the front part fuller by adding more hair.
- Next, criss cross the front and back parts.
- Repeat points 4 and 5.
- Keep repeating this process as you go down.
- When you reach you neck separate two big parts of hair
- Now twist them until the bottom
- Once they are twisted start crossing them to make the last part of the braid.
- Secure with an elastic band and that’s it you are done. Most people prefer to loosen the braid at this stage.
If those instructions look complicated to read you are in luck because there is actually a video of this rope braid that will make the steps more comprehensible.
#24: Step by step plaiting of wide side braid
If you have been through all the braiding hairstyles above I am guessing you are pro by now.
This hairstyle is super easy to do.
It consists of three braids. The first two are side braids: one fat, one thin.
Then when you reach the ponytail at the back you braid it and pull it loose to form that flat angle.
And that’s it you are good to go with some awesome braids in your hair. Just follow the pictures and you will be done in no time!
#25: Tuck and cover French braid tutorial
Let’s wrap up this post with a final Missy Sue braid.
I love hairstyles that use a hair band. There is something retro and cute about them.
French braid one side and then tuck the remaining loose hair through the back of the headband.
On the other side just twist and tuck your hair through the back again.
Take the remaining hair at the back and fold it through the headband to create a French chignon effect.
This braid hairstyle can be done within minutes and it looks super cute. Give it a try!
Braiding braids is super easy to do once you get the hang of it. Hopefully once you try a few of these plaits you will have got the hang of it. I know people who are super fast when they criss cross strands of hair.
What’s really cool about braiding is that the variations are limitless. First of all you can do really interesting combinations just by playing around with the width of the braid. Secondly, braids are easy to combine with other hairstyling techniques such as hair buns and top knots as well as accessories such as hair bands. So I don’t think you will ever get bored
Hopefully these braiding exercises have inspired you to try some of them out.