Fashion and braids go hand in hand, or just plain old versatility and function. It depends on what you want it for. There may be some braids you enjoy using for everyday use, and then others you would prefer to keep for more formal events. Either way, braids are versatile for any occasion; it’s just a matter of how you dress them up or down.
There are so many types of braids out there. Depending on the type of hair you have, it could be different for you than for someone else on how versatile you can be. It’s good to note here that women of color have braids they use for protecting their hair that may not work for non-BIPOC individuals.
Types of Braids
1. Accent Braids
These are smaller braids put into your hair that accent or accessorize your hairstyle. Many people will weave in strands of pretty garland or other colorful accessories to liven it up a bit. This makes them attractive no matter the occasion.
2. Partial Braids
Partial braids are ones that only go down part of the way and not all the way to the end of your hair. These are usually used in other types of hairstyles like french braids. Styles that end in a ponytail, lace braids, or any other braid that might have loose ends for the style would benefit from these.
3. Cornrows or Box Braids
These braids are usually for those who want a style that’s closer to the head and involves dividing the hair into very small subsections. Many of these braids require a professional to do because of the amount of time put into them. Depending on your style, you can wear these pinned up, wear them down or wear them any way you like for a fabulous style.
4. Lemonade Braids
Lemonade braids were made famous by Beyoncé on her album Lemonade. The style isn’t your typical braid where it goes straight back, but rather cornrows that go from left to right. They’re incredibly versatile and can be worn with other cornrow styles or adding accessories to spruce it up a bit.
5. Braided Buns
A favorite with many women, this versatile style with 90s vibes has many options. Combining a bun with braids such as a double braid and double bun will make you stand out while looking cute and on-trend. To do this, start two Dutch braids at the nape of your neck and work up. Secure your hair at the top of your head on each side. Don’t finish the braid all the way, and leave some room for a loose ponytail at the end. Secure and twist into two buns, and there you have it!
6. Waterfall Braids
This version of the French braid is on-trend and beautiful for special occasions. Doing a waterfall braid takes a little time, but it’s well worth it. Plait your hair, only braiding across the top part of your head. This will leave a cascade of hair, creating a waterfall look to turn heads. Add a few accessories, and you’re looking at an elegant addition to your hairstyle rotation.
7. Crown Braid
One for special occasions, or when you want to put it up to look nice for the day, crown braids have become pretty popular. The style needs a little texture to get it right. A pomade made for giving texture or not having washed your hair for a few days would be perfect for this style. Plait your hair into two Dutch braids on either side and then pin them on opposite sides to get this beautiful style.
8. Fishtail Braid
Bedhead fishtail braid, fairy tail braid, there are so many ways to style this particular type of braid. It’s so versatile for so many occasions that it’s one of the more popular ones out there. Not to mention it has a boho vibe that makes it unique, and it’s easy to style, giving you an elegant or casual option for any occasion.
Microbraids are so small that they can almost be mistaken for thick strands of hair. These are usually done by a professional and take quite a bit of time. They can be thin enough to style as if it wasn’t braided at all. Only a few strands of hair are used to make these braids making them easy to style into other hairdos that will get people talking.
10. French Braid
A classic French braid is one that’s recognized almost anywhere. This easy-to-do style is versatile and can be elegant or casual, depending on what you do with it. Do a bun at the nape of your neck, or start at the crown of your head and braid down for a Mohawk look. Or do two french braids on either side for a more casual look.
11. Halo Braid
Another version of the crown braid, this one is a little more complicated. The halo braid sits much higher on your head and sweeps all of your hair into a halo at the top of your head. To do this, dutch braid your hair after gathering it all to the side, braiding from left to right. Start at your temple, and the halo will start to form the further you braid along. Tuck the remaining pieces away within the braid, and voila! You’re looking fantastic!
Chignon is a fancy way of saying bun in French from the phrase “chignon du cou,” which means nape of the neck. This elegant style is a version of the traditional bun that is a bit looser. In its versatility, it can be dressed up or down. You usually see these a lot with a-listers and influencers as it’s a pretty popular style for special events.
13. Goddess Braids
Essentially thicker cornrows, these braids are higher than your typical braid and closer to the scalp. Typically, this is used as a protective hairstyle for BIPOC women, but many other women can use it as a style. Goddess braids can be styled in many ways. They can take you from work to special occasions or heading out the door to work out for the day.
FAQ’s About Braids
What are the most popular braids?
Cornrows are the most popular out there, especially for both BIPOC men and women. Its versatility and the ability to get extremely creative with them make them an excellent style to sport around town. They are also the base of other braids such as Lemonade braids, crochet braids, and goddess braids. These also have cultural significance and have been around for centuries.
What is the most effortless braid to style?
Your simple three-plait braid is usually the most straightforward braid to style. It’s quick, easy, and you can do it yourself without much help. It doesn’t have much in the way of versatility, so it’s limited that way. However, it doesn’t add additional hair or other accessories to it that is necessary to make the style pop.
What types of hairstyles can I do with braids?
There are so many kinds of hairstyles you can do as braids are so versatile that they make them a fantastic addition to anyone’s rotation. You can get creative with them, going anywhere from half-up styles, tying them up in ponytails, pigtails, updos, or even upside-down braids. Waterfall, crown, and fishtail braids can be a great way to be versatile as they can be styled in many ways.
Whether you’re going out on the town, going to work, or going to the gym, all of these braids are versatile, beautiful, and great for any occasion. Once you find a few, you like you’ll likely never go back to wearing your hair down again. Try a few to see how you like them, and tell us in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you!