Aside from the musical performances and photo ops, the best part of Coachella and festival season is the opportunity to put together out-of-the-box beauty looks. While most people may focus on creating bold, glittery makeup, hair is equally as important. One hairstyle that’s here to stay, no matter what festival you plan on hitting up, is braids.
With all that goes on during music festivals, braids are the perfect, cute-but-low-maintenance hairstyle to get you through it all. They’ll protect your hair from the harsh weather elements and keep your hair off your face when you’re dancing and sweating like crazy. From elegantly braided ponytails to Beyoncé-inspired Lemonade braids, there’s a braided hairstyle to fit every personality and hair type.
If you’re looking for some hair inspo this festival season, here are 18 fun, non-basic, braided hairstyles to try.
1Center-parted braided ponytails
Small braids can be super time-consuming. If you want the look but don’t have the hours to dedicate, two center-parted braids are the perfect style for you. You can even turn them into a ponytail at the ends by following this simple weave ponytail tutorial.
2Ombré fishbone braid
Fishbone braids are all about detail, and when you add a splash of color, the look comes to life. 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 awhile, 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 natural curly or coily hair that you wish to give a break during the music festival madness.
4Dutch 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.
6Braided ballerina buns
Buns and braids are two easygoing but flattering hairstyles, and now you can have the best of both worlds. If you want your hair out of your way during all of your festival activities, this is it.
7Half-up half down braided buns
If you’re really looking to push the envelope this festival season, this glitter-infused hairstyle will be talked about for years to come. As if loosely braided buns didn’t already scream festival, the glitter part totally elevates the look.
8Jumbo 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.
9Beyoncé-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 festival-ready.
10Loose braided ponytails with bangs
As you may be able to tell, braided ponytails are a top contender for the most popular festival braid. These loosely braided ponytails are carefree and exemplify the easygoing vibes of Coachella.
11Fully 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.
12Contrast ombré braids
If you never play around with hair color, festival season is the perfect opportunity. The best way to experiment with bold colors with braids is by adding color to the ends (with hair extensions/synthetic braiding hair) that contrasts with your natural hair color. It’s oddly satisfying.
13Jumbo 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.
14Ultimate festival braids
These braids are festival-inspired, organized chaos at its best. Whether you’re indecisive and just want a bit of everything or you want to reign as queen of festival season hairstyles, this braid is the one.
When it comes to fashion, neon is clearly the hue of the season, so neon-colored hair is major, too. Spice up basic braids with some neon flare. 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.