Looking for inspiration with a new braided hairstyle? Here are six ideas for a variety of hair types and lengths that you can do yourself at home with just a bit of practice!
Double French braid
It's not the easiest braiding technique, but once you've got the French Braid mastered you'll never go back to regular braiding again, and one day you might even be able to do a double! Just as you would with pigtails, separate hair into two sections, and each section into three parts. French braiding is only slightly different to the standard technique: every time you move one part over, you add it to the other side, and take a new section of hair from the head to add to the braid, weave it back over and repeat all the way down.
One of the most romantic hairstyles around, the braided crown is also an easy style to create at home if you go for a simple version. Your hair needs to be at least the length of a long bob in order to wrap around. Just plait two braids either side of the forehead (thickness is up to your preference) and wrap them around the back of your head, securing together with an elastic.
Loose side braid
We love a thick messy side braid for any kind of occasion. It's perfect for long, naturally thick and even occasionally rebellious hair, as the flyaways are part of the laid-back hippie vibe. If you need to give your hair some oomph before braiding it, apply a volumising mousse before drying (we recommend ) and use a comb to gently tease the hair down the lengths before braiding loosely. A velvet ribbon can be a retro alternative to a regular elastic.
Mini braids for short hair
Having a bob or even shorter hair doesn't prevent you from wearing a braided hairstyle. Mini braids, behind the ears for example, can be cute and add some unexpected texture. Avoid getting carried away and creating lots of braids on short hair – it's a look that can quickly veer from beach babe to beach bum – just a few thin plaits is enough. As a bonus when you take them out, you'll be left with a faux-crimped effect, a trend that we are seeing more and more of this season.
Goddess braids are thicker than cornrows, and are used predominantly on black hair types. Like cornrows, they can last from a few days to several weeks. If your hair isn't naturally long, you'll need to add in some hair extensions when braiding.
Popular styles of wearing the hair with goddess braids include in a high bun on the top of the head (this really showcases the texture in the braids), 3-4 long goddess braids over the shoulder, and the integration of different colours down the lengths (not just variations on the same colour – think blues, reds, metallics and pastels!)
A recent trend that has its fair share of Insta-fans, Havana twists are similar to Marley twists, but have less of a rough, dull texture. This is down to the quality of the extensions, called Havana Hair (hence the name of the twists), although the twisting technique can also be achieved on natural hair.
It's recommended to apply a smoothing product before starting to braid. This helps remove any tangles, and thereby prevents you damaging the hair when styling. We recommend the , an intense smoothing product which is the ultimate 24 hour frizz tamer.
What are you waiting for? It's time to get creative with your braiding techniques this season!