The 18 best braided hairstyles, from neon Dutch braids to Beyoncé-inspired cornrows
There are so many fun things we love about getting ready to go out, from picking out an outfit while blasting your favorite Lizzo songs to creating fun beauty looks that will carry you through the night. Hair is undoubtedly one of our favorite things to play with (hello, blunt bobs!), and if there’s one hairstyle that’s here to stay, no matter the occasion, it’s braids. There are so many ways to style and wear them, from ballerina buns and ombré braids to fauxhawks and box braids, which is why we rounded up the best braided hairstyles to be your mane inspiration. Trust us, there’s a braided hairstyle to fit every personality and hair type.
Here are 18 fun, non-basic, braided hairstyles to try.
1Braided top knot
Some braids can be super time-consuming, so if you want the look but don’t have the hours to dedicate, a simple braided top knot may be the perfect style for you.
Celebrity hairstylist Lacy Redway added hoops to Ella Balinska‘s braids for an extra oomph.
3Braids with bows
Add a touch of feminine glam to a low braided bun with a giant bow.
This is the perfect introductory hairstyle if you’re new to braids because it doesn’t cause a lot of tension on the hair.
If you’re looking for a braided hairstyle that will last a while, Fulani braids are the perfect style for you. In addition to this hairstyle being super cute, it’s the perfect protective style if you have naturally curly or coily hair and wish to give it a break.
6Dutch braids with a twist
Whether you call them Dutch braids or simply cornrows, this hairstyle is a classic. A perfect way to jazz it up a bit is by adding smaller detail braids along the sides for a splash of personality.
Pro tip: The icing on the cake with this look is the baby hair. Use your favorite non-flaky hair gel and an edge styler, like this one by Baby Tress, to gently lay down your edges/baby hair without causing damage.
If you’re feeling a little adventurous, a braided fauxhawk lets you test out a mohawk without the hair clipper or commitment. Instead of shaving out the sides of your hair, you use braids to create the mohawk look with a cool pattern on the sides. To top it off, add in hair charms and jewels.
8Braided ballerina buns
Buns and braids are two easygoing but flattering hairstyles, and now you can have the best of both worlds.
9Half-up half down braided space buns
If you’re really looking to push the envelope, this glitter-infused hairstyle will be talked about for years to come. As if loosely braided buns didn’t already scream party, the glitter part totally elevates the look.
10Jumbo box braids
Box braids will forever be a go-to hairstyle, whether for aesthetics or to protect your hair. Opting for jumbo-sized braids makes installing them and taking them out a breeze.
11Beyoncé-inspired Lemonade side braids
Beyoncé may not have invented this braided hairstyle, but she definitely breathed new life into it. If you don’t have the patience for the small braids like Bey, opt for larger ones—they’re equally as stunning and party-ready.
12Loose braided pigtails
As you may be able to tell, braided ponytails are a top contender for the most popular festival braid. These loosely braided pigtails are carefree and exemplify the easygoing vibes of Coachella, Glastonbury, Tomorrowland, and more.
13Extra-long braided ponytail
If you want to go for the braided ponytail vibe without the upkeep of loose ponytails, you can achieve a similar look by having your hair braided into a ponytail. It’s still easy but with way less maintenance.
If you never play around with hair color and want to test it out with a low-maintenance dye job, ombré hair color is the way to go (and it’s Beyoncé-approved). Experiment by adding color to the ends (with hair extensions/synthetic braiding hair) that contrasts with your natural hair color. It’s oddly satisfying.
15Jumbo contrast dutch braids
This particular style combines a couple of our favorite braided hairstyles—larger than life Dutch braids and contrast hair color. If you’re feeling a little adventurous, try this hairstyle and coordinate some outfits around it.
16Tiny boho braids
Sneak in a few teensy braids for the ultimate laid-back-chic hairstyle.
If you’re looking to stand out, neon-colored hair is the way to go. Spice up basic braids with some neon flare à la Alicia Keys. You seriously won’t regret it.
One of the best things about wearing braids is that you can add all sorts of trinkets to spice them up. One word: laces.