Braids 101

For the holidays, we're revisiting some of our favorite festive articles from the Beautylish archive. Enjoy!
From the Archive
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From fishtails and waterfalls to dutch braids and milkmaids, there are a slew of different braid styles out there—and the options are growing by the day! Worn by celebrities such as Blake Lively and Uma Thurman and everyday girls heading to school, a plait is an easy-to-achieve look that anyone can perfect. The style has gotten so popular, there are even braid bars (at the John Barrett Salon in New York City and Nine Zero One Salon in Hollywood) for when you want to sport something extraordinary! To help you create your own hair masterpiece, we’ve put together a list of all the different braids you can try. Learn the basics, then let your imagination run wild!

Classic French Braid Tutorial

The basis of almost every other style you can imagine, the classic French is a simple, three-strand plait that picks up pieces of your hair as you move down your scalp, incorporating them into one braid. Whether you French braid your bangs or twist your plait into a low bun—this is one style you’ll want to perfect before moving on to more advanced techniques.

Dutch Braid/Reverse Braid Tutorial

The Dutch braid (also known as a reverse French) appears to be magic, as your plait seems to sit on top of your actual hair! Weave this spine-like wonder around your head as a crown, or create one long centerpiece.

Fishtail Braid Tutorial

One of the most popular braids to learn on Beautylish, the fishtail has been replicated at fashion shows, on bohemian brides, and spotted on Beauties around the world. This effect uses only two, thin strands of hair, and looks like a fish skeleton when finished! Easy to achieve once you have the know-how (check out Chloe’s easy tutorial above!), this is a style you can change from messy cool to polished chic.

Mermaid Braid Tutorial

Mythical creatures and fairy tales are endless sources of inspiration, and this mermaid-inspired braid would look right at home in the depths of Atlantis! A combination of a thin, plaited crown and a loose classic French braid, this look will require more practice than most, but when you perfect it, you’ll feel like an underwater princess.

Milkmaid Braid Tutorial

Inspired by traditional Swiss milkmaids, this popular braid is a staple for celebrities both on and off the red carpet, and works for any age or occasion. Constructed by wrapping two plaits over the top of your head, the end result is also the classic storybook character, Heidi’s favorite style. Whether you’re heading out for a girlie lunch or looking for a flirty prom style, this playful look is incredibly easy to master.

Multistrand Braid Tutorial

You may feel like an octopus while creating this multi-dimensional, rope-inspired look (it’s almost a hair sculpture!) but the outcome will have people asking for instructions on how to re-create your style. Whether you construct a braid with five strands or eight, it will seem as if you have extra thick, luscious hair and phenomenal braiding skills!

Cascade Waterfall Braid Tutorial

A French braid with strands left out, the waterfall is a romantic favorite. Also known as a cascade braid, this look has a hippie vibe to it, but the whimsical style (which works best on Beauties with longer hair) would be the perfect choice for a relaxed, outdoor wedding.

Conch Shell Braid

Inspired by the fluid, swirling shapes of a conch shell, this underwater wonder is created by plaiting multiple braids (just like Evelina did below) and then twisting them together into a braided bun. Let your imagination and your fingertips take over when creating this ethereal masterpiece and remember, more braids are always better!

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