14 Styles From Box Braids to Fishtails (With Easy Tutorials!)

Braids have become a staple in hairstyles. They’re both classic and trendy, as well as protective. There are so many different types of braids that it’s hard to choose just one.

We’ve gathered the 14 most popular braided styles and added celebrity photos to help you visualize each one. We also spoke with celebrity hairstylists, a trichologist, and top celebrity stylists to gather tips, tricks, and tutorials.

Box Braids

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Box braids can be created by wrapping the hair extension around your natural hair at the base and creating a box knot. The ’90s were a big time for box braids. They have a cool girl vibe today. Lacy Redway is a celebrity hairstylist and Unilever Global Stylist. She also serves on the TRESemme Future Stylists Selection Committee. “Box braids are a protective style for textured hair,” she adds. It allows you to protect your hair for a long time, while still being able style it into various hairstyles.

Knotless Braids

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Gregg DeGuire

Knotless braids are gaining popularity as a lighter, more natural alternative to box braids. This style is different from traditional box braids because it does not have a knot at the top. It is done by feeding the hair in mid-braid. Kari Williams, a trichologist says that the knotless method (when properly done) prevents traction-alopecia. This is a form of hairloss common among women with braids installed too tightly and large knots. This technique may take longer to install but is worth it for the health of your hair and scalp.

Micro Braids

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The same as box braids, micro braids can also be made using the exact same technique. You guessed it, they’re smaller. Zoe Kravitz is, in our humble opinion, the modern poster girl for micro braids. She has worn the same style on many red carpets but with some hair color changes along the way. Redway says that the versatility of these hairstyles is what makes them so attractive. You can style them as you wish.

Cornrow Braids

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Cornrows, as you can see in Yara, is an actress and activist extraordinaire. They are braids that form parallel narrow strips on the head. She wore hers with a wired construction around them, a twist on the classic look. They are normally worn from front to rear. Kendall Dorsey recommends spraying the Dark and Lovely hair refresher for protective styles ($15) to maintain your style.

Crown Braid

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The crown braid is the next option. It looks complicated and time-consuming, but it’s actually the exact opposite. We like to make a crown braid by starting with a side braid, then wrapping it over the top of your forehead and securing it with bobby pins. Vanessa Hudgens’s face-framing pieces are always left out. Add a spray of stronghold hairspray to make it last all day. We suggest Ouai Texturizing Hair Spray ($28).

Fishtail Braid

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The fishtail braid has always been one of our favorite styles because it is playful and unexpected. The braid looks like a reflection of its own. It is easy to differentiate from other styles. Storm Reid shows how to do it by styling her box-braid, and fishtail braid off to the side.

French Braid

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Emily Blunt demonstrates a three-piece French braid. Add a section of hair from each side as you plait. This is one of the chicest and most versatile braids. It’s no wonder we see this style so often on red carpets. Style it the traditional way with a single braided strand that runs down the nape. Or, do like Blunt and place it to one side for a stylish updo.

It’s easy to do with practice. You can find some tips on YouTube if you want to refresh your braiding skills (don’t judge, it takes time and patience).

The Key Takeaways

Knotless box weaves are a huge trend right now and for good reasons. There’s less tension around the edges, so there’s a lower chance of traction alopecia.

Crown braids may look difficult, but they are as simple as wrapping a side braid around your crown.

Dutch Braid

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Dutch braids are created the same way as a French braid but inverted. You wind the hair underneath the other strands instead of over the top. This little change can make a huge difference. Instead of flowing inwards, the braid flows outwards, making the braid stand out slightly. Rita Ora, for instance. She wears her hair in Dutch-braided Pigtails. Ora’s French braided style is more visible and defined than Emily Blunt. A molding paste like Living Proof Texture Volumizer 30 will enhance the braid and provide hold.

Byrdie Tip

Imagine a Dutch braid as a more bold version of the French braid. It is as simple as reversing the French braid.

It may seem easy to do, but it’s not easy to achieve. We’ve put together a tutorial by celebrity hairstylist Anh Co Tran so you can easily replicate Ora’s style.

Milkmaid Braid

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The milkmaid is similar to the crown braid but it is pushed back to rest closer to the middle of the hair. For a more classic look, it’s more likely that the braid will begin with a central part rather than a side part. Redway says to divide your hair into two sections by the nape. Redway says to braid each section into two sections, then crisscross them and secure them with bobby pins and hair. Sarah Hyland demonstrated it best at the Fox Golden Globes Party. If you already know how to do this, try the reverse milkmaid style for a fresh take.

Waterfall Braid

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The waterfall braids may look complicated, but they’re not as difficult as they appear. Imagine them as a French braid where one side is woven, and the other cascades into your hair. Imagine you are starting a French braid to create a waterfall. Instead of pulling more hair out, let the section that is crossed over the middle hang down. Then, cross the remaining pieces. Grab a piece from the top to incorporate into the braid. Repeat the steps.

Braid 3 Strand

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The rest of this list is built on the basis of this braiding technique. The rest of the braids would not be possible without it. Try it yourself by dividing your hair into three strands. Cross the left piece over the middle to create the new middle. Take the piece on the right and cross it across the middle to create the new middle. Continue this process until you have reached the end.

Shay Mitchell shows you how to wear the style in a variety of ways. The three-strand braid is suitable for all hair types. It can be kept tight or deliberately loosened in order to add volume and body.

Rope Braids

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Redway says that the trick to this hairstyle lies in its ability to double as a different hairstyle. When the hairstyle begins to frizz, let it go and let your hair fall. You will have beautiful waves. The rope braid is different from many other styles in this list because it only uses two sections of hair. Twist the hair in one section until it spiralizes. Securing with a clear elastic. Repeat the process on the opposite side. Twist each section around. Securing at the bottom.

You can also check out our Tips

Rope braids can work for most hair types, but straight hair may have a harder time holding the style. Redway suggests using a few pumps ($8) of TRESemme’s Extra Hold Volumizing Mousse to help the braid stay in place.

Pigtail Braids

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Pigtail braids are easy to make. Simply pull the hair into two low buns and braid the ends. The elastic can be used to secure the braids. This style is reminiscent of childhood, but it can be easily made more sophisticated by using a flexible-hold product to smooth out flyaways.

Halo Braid

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The halo is a braid that looks like a crown. It’s made up of Dutch braids wrapped around the head, then fastened at the top to create a halo. Remove a few of the tendrils from the braid to keep it casual.

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