20 Gorgeous Braid Styles You Can Easily Do Yourself

braid how tosHands down, braids have to be the most versatile of hairdos! They can be worn up, down, or on the side and can go fancy or informal. Not to mention, that every hair type can benefit from a braid. Plus, they're generally easy to do, and they look good even when they're messy (see: a zillion celebrities). It's safe to say that you can't go wrong with saving a bad hair day with a pretty braid. Say no more, right? 

Braids are perfect because a big one can be the entire hairstyle and get all your hair off your neck, or a small one can just be a nice little accent. Plus, braids are perfect for second day hair (or third, because let's get real, we're really busy), or basically whenever you just don't have time to wash or heat-style your mane. But if you already have a go-to style of braid, you might be tired of it.  

It makes sense that you might want to have a few braid styles in your lexicon, right? We definitely think so. 

For those of you who are stuck in a rut over at French braiding, look no further. Here are 20 braid styles you can definitely do yourself, no crazy braiding skills necessary -- we also made sure to include looks for a variety of hair types and lengths too. Enjoy your new 'do!

braid how tos

Image via Misheru/Flickr and Lucas Sevilla Garcia/shutterstock

More from CafeMom: 10 Cute & Easy Hairstyles You Can Do Yourself (PHOTOS) 

  • Waterfall Braid

    Image via LoveMaegan/Flickr

    Check out the tutorial for how to create this braid look, also known as a waterfall braid.  

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  • Messy Side Braid Bun

    That's me! In one of my favorite summer hair-do's. I just start with a side french braid, and then bundle it all into a bun on the other side. Since my hair is pretty thin (thanks Mom!) I only need a few bobby pins to keep it in place. If you need more, you're lucky!

  • The Messy, Yet Glam Ponytail Braid

    Image via LoveMaegan/Flickr

    Such a step above a regular old ponytail, but really not that much harder to create.

  • Fishtail

    Image via GMichael Salon/Flickr

    Fishtail braids are SO pretty and different. Here's a great post on how to create a fishtail braid

  • Classic French (With a Twist)

    Image via wickerfurniture/Flickr

    A classic French braid is a really pretty, beachy summery look. This one is oriented to one side, which is easy to do -- just build the braid using an off-center line rather than down the center back of your head. Add some spice to it with a colored hair extension or a little dip-dye!

  • The Five-Strand Braid

    Image via LuxyHair/YouTube

    SO. COOL. Doesn't seem too terribly hard to create a Five-Strand Braid, amazingly!

  • Simple, Messy Side Braid

    Image via ThatsHeart/YouTube

    This has been a celebrity favorite for a while now, and it's really easy to create a messy side braid on yourself!


  • Rope Updo for Short Hair

    Image via BeautyByAlyssaAndNic/YouTube

    Such a cute look for short hair! Here's how to create this rope braid updo.

  • Little Braid + PonyTail

    Image via WickerFurniture/Flickr

    Another easy-peasy twist on the pony tail.

  • Upside Down Braid Bun

    Image via Misheru/Flickr

    Woah. This one is SO pretty and different. I can't wait to try it!

  • Half-Up Loose Fishtail

    Image via sarahpotempa/Instagram

    Celebrity hairstylist Sarah Potempa has a plethora of amazing braid styles on her Instagram. This one is so pretty! Here's a great Easy Fishtail Braid Tutorial if you need some pointers. By the way, Sarah created that pretty, wavy hair with a tool she invented, a rotating curling iron called The Beachwaver ($199, ulta.com).

  • Dutch Fishtail Braid

    image via MissySue/YouTube

    A Dutch fishtail is also known as an "inverse" fishtail, which sounds really hard to do, but check out this easy-to-follow Dutch Fishtail Braid Tutorial! The key to the whole look is loosening it up at the end.

  • Stacked Topsy-Tail Braid

    The Topsy-say-what-now?! Melissa Cook of Latest-Hairstyles.com explains:

    This 'braid' is the perfect way to change up your typical French braid because it looks so intricate and detailed. The best part is that it isn’t actually a braid at all! This style is made by creating a bunch of topsy tails stacked on top of one another. The final look is created by gently pulling everything loose to create voluminous, romantic twists that are perfect for any occasion.

    Cool, right? Check out Melissa's Topsy Tail Braid Tutorial for all the details.

  • The Fishtail-Wrapped Bun

    Another great idea from Melissa Cook of Latest-Hairstyles.com, this is quick and easy (really!), once you master the fishtail braid part. Check out Melissa's Fishtail-Wrapped Bun Tutorial for the how-to.

  • The Rope Braid

    Image via Aveda.com

    Aveda Global Artistic Director for Hair Styling Allan Ruiz created this sleek, strong look for the Public School runway show. Once you have your ponytail, wrap a section of hair around it at the base. Then, it's just a matter of dividing it into two sections and tightly twisting both sections in a clockwise manner, then securing it at the bottom of the ponytail. Allan used Aveda Smooth Infusion Nourishing Styling Creme ($26, aveda.com) to prep hair before the ponytail, and then after to tame flyaways. Check out a bunch more photos, including ones that illustrate the step-by-step process, at this Aveda flickr set!

  • Half-Up Snake Braid

    Image via sarahpotempa/Instagram

    Another great idea from hair expert Sarah Potempa, this half-up look is simple to do. Watch this Snake Braid Tutorial to learn how to create the cool braided part.

  • Relaxed French Braid

    Image via LuxuryHair/YouTube

    This is such a chic, pretty take on a French braid! This Relaxed French Braid Tutorial is easy to follow along.

  • Knotted Milkmaid Braid

    Image via Kayley Melissa/YouTube

    This Knotted Milkmaid Braid Tutorial shows you how to create this super cool braid, and gives you four ideas for how to wear it!

  • Pull Through Braid Updo

    Image via Annies Forget Me Knots/YouTube

    This Pull Through Braid Tutorial is great! Don't worry if you don't get the concept right away -- just stick with it a little bit and you'll see how straightforward it is.


  • The 2-Minute Fancy Pony-Braid

    Image via MakeupWearables Hairstyles/YouTube

    Quick, easy, and pretty. Perfect! Watch this 2-Minute Fancy Pony-Braid Tutorial for the how-to.

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