When it comes to easy hairstyles, everyone has their favorite fix; and one of them are braids. Depending on your preferences, you have free reign to make it as simple or as complex as you want, and the pickings aren’t slim- not to mention they are real life savers when you’re running late for work or have nothing else that can save your frizzy, oily nightmare. Braids are probably the most versatile hairdo out there, and knowing the right techniques can really add to your already gorgeous getup. Simply put; if there ever was a gift god bestowed upon hairkind, braids would be it. Because no one knows hair better than the professionals, we’ve scoured the interwebs and tracked down the top 5 braided hairstyles for anyone to test out.
Top 5 braided hairstyles (as chosen by the pros):
1. The Regular Braid
Try as they might, no can beat this classic look. It’s simple, versatile, and the basis for pretty much any other braid out there. Wear it off to the side, down the back of your head, keep it clean or sleep in it during the night for more of a bead head appearance- we won’t judge. This three-strand knot has been used since time out of mind, and it isn’t going away anytime soon (in fact, the romantic-era braids have just recently hit the runways for a comeback).
2. The Mermaid Tail Braid
Taking things up a notch, we have the mermaid tail. It’s similar to the regular braid, but this time instead of making one three-stranded braid, you’re going to make two separate braids, twist them together, and tie them off at the end. This technique is perfect for those with thicker hair that needs some extra taming, but it may take one or two practice rounds before you’re ready to hit the streets depending on the look you’re going for.
3. The French Braid
Oh, yes- the famous French Braid. It may seem like an impossible task to even consider using this one, but it’s not as complicated as it seems. It isn’t all that different from the regular braid, only instead of using one set of isolated strands, you add on to them as you go further down. This technique makes the hair cascade and look as if it’s growing in your head- and it’s perfect for both casual outings with friends or a fancy get-together such as weddings or cocktail parties.
4. The Braided Bun
You’re going to need some pins for this one. Parting your hair in three different sections- two on the sides and one down the back- you simply braid them like normal and twist them one by one at the base of your neck, pinning as you go. This trick is a little more difficult than the others, and may require a helping hand when you can’t really see your work. If done the right way, this look is perfect for when you have to go to a meeting and are required to dress a little nicer than the yoga pants and oversized t-shirts we know and love. This type of braid is pretty common wedding hairstyle.
5. The Half Crown Braid
This technique is simple, fast, and doesn’t require a degree in cosmetology or engineering to accomplish. All that is needed are two small braids on either side of your head folded over one another and wrapped around the back. Secure them with a couple pins and you’re all set for that hot date! Take it up a notch (literally) by wrapping the strands on top of your head to make it look like a headband and keep the rest of your hair tucked away with a cute hair accessory you can take wherever you go.
Icing on the cake:
Mastering your favorite braid is like getting a gold medal in the Olympics- okay, maybe not that great, but it does feel pretty satisfying. It doesn’t take a lot of effort, either. You don’t necessarily need curling wands or hot rollers for them. After all these braids are the most used (and loved) for a reason. Of course, once you master these must-have techniques, there are countless others that can add some life to your look and give the finishing touches to any outfit- but these basic go-to hairdos can get you started in no time. Whether it’s casual, formal, something special or just because, braided hairstyles can really set you apart from the crowd and add some spring in your step.