Braids are ancient hairstyles and seem to have existed throughout. They are probably the most convenient hairstyles and therefore several women still take recourse to them. If you have really long hair, braiding is an effective way to manage it by keeping it clean and tangle-free.
It is a convenient hairstyle that will never go out of fashion due to several reasons. One, it protects the hair and keeps it secure. Second, it is a very good hairstyle for people who have uneven or damaged hair. And third, a braid helps to give the hair a wavy appearance, especially if it is done while the hair is wet, which means you need not go for a curling iron in order to flaunt the wavy look. What’s more, braids are good for formal occasions as well.
Initially, it might take a while to master the art of braid-making, but once you have developed enough practice, you will be able to create braids within a few minutes. The braiding of the hair has been a popular hairstyle all over the world and different countries have lent their own innovation in creating unique braids. As a result, there are plenty of braiding styles and techniques which you can experiment with. Read on to know about a few.
In recent times, long tresses have been in demand. Women blessed with long-flowing hair have the advantage of styling their hair into a variety of hairstyles. But most often, they end up weaving their hair into the classic ponytail or leaving them loose with a small clutch to keep them secured in place.
Then why not give yourself a makeover by trying out new and different hairstyle-plaits? Emerging as a trendy braiding hairstyle, making plaits in the hair provides an elegant and funky look, depending upon the different types of braid hairdos available to try on.
Whether it’s a casual party or a formal occasion, a small child or an elderly woman, medium-length hair or extremely long curls, scorching summers, or chilling winters, braids easily spice up the look with a gorgeous looking hairstyle. Take a look at some of the most popularly used braids, which are both stylish and convenient.
This is the most common braiding style that you will get to see. The braid starts at the nape region of the neck and extends down. The hair has to be parted into three different segments. You need to make the braid by crisscrossing the left over the middle parting first, followed by the right parting over the middle. The braid is tied at the bottom by an elastic band.
Classic English Braid
The most common braid around, an English braid is the easiest and fastest to make. Also referred to by the name common-or-garden three-strand plait, this basic braid is made by dividing the hair into three parts at the nape of the neck.
By following the left-over-middle and right-over-middle action, you can easily get this classic braid in a matter of a few minutes. Start off by crossing the left strand over the middle strand, followed by the right strand over the middle strand. Follow these simple steps until you reach the bottom of the hair. Leaving some hair at the end, secure the hair with an elastic hairband, hair clip, or ribbon.
The French braid is quite similar to the English braid. But unlike the English braid, the French braid starts at an upper section of the hair. In this braiding style, the hair is not divided into three sections as such. You rather start with a small section of the hair and leave the rest of it hanging. Then, a small part of the hair is added from each of the sides when you cross over the middle section. If you wish to, you can start right from the forehead and make a tight braid. You can also create a loose one by starting from the back of the scalp region.
Also known as Coda Lucia Dubini, a French braid is similar to the traditional English braid, the difference being that it starts from the hairline at the forehead instead of starting at the nape of the neck.
To make a French braid, you have to take smaller sections of hair at the hairline and form a braid, traveling down the back of the head, incorporating strands from either side of the head, weaving them into a braid, thereby securing all the hair until the neck. The remaining hair can either be left open or braided until the end, similar to the English plait. Secure the hair with an elastic band, hair clip, or ribbon. French braids are of different types, such as twists, fishtails, side braids, French braid crowns, and Dutch braids.
Better known as the Heidi braid, often worn by models on the catwalk in high fashion shows, a Swiss braid is formed by crossing two braids from the nape of the neck and bringing them around the head, to the top to resemble a crown.
To make a Swiss braid, divide the entire hair into two sections in the center and plait each section into an English braid at the nape of the neck. Secure the ends with an elastic band. Bring the left braid to the right and curl it around the head from behind the right ear and back to the start. Similarly, curl the right braid in the opposite direction. Join both braids and pin them to form a crown.
The Swiss braid is a very popular hairstyle. It often forms the hairdos of models walking down the ramp. Two braids are crisscrossed at the nape of the neck and then are pulled to the top of the head. The style looks much like a crown on top of the head.
A Dutch braid is also called an under braid or an inverted French braid, due to the way it is created. The method includes a left-under-middle and right-under-middle technique instead of the traditional left-over-middle and right-over-middle pattern.
The weaving of the strands under the center rather than over the center gives the braid an embossed look, as it stands out from the head. Keeping the hands close to the head gives a more secure and neat braid while placing the hands farther will create a relaxed and casual plait.
Much like the Swiss braid, with the only exception that it is quite difficult to make, the crown braid style looks very elegant and beautiful. The crown braid is supposed to be woven around the head in the manner of a French braid. When managed well, this particular style looks the most stunning of all.
Even though it is similar to a Swiss braid, a crown braid gives a more beautiful and stylish appearance and is even difficult to create. Unlike the Swiss braid which is woven by wrapping English braids around the head and pinned to create a crown, a crown braid is created around the head, but in a French braid style. When created correctly, a crown braid provides excellent and stunning results.
The Schoolgirl Braid
This consists of braids formed at both sides of the hair after dividing the hair into equal parts. The hairstyle is common among schoolgirls. It is a simple hairstyle that helps in creating an innocent look. Not only school kids, adults too sometimes wear this hairstyle.
Originally formulated by Afro-American women, the hairstyle has become popular amongst several women as it is associated with the tourist areas of Jamaica, Bahamas, etc. Similar to French braid, this form of braiding is created in small rows throughout the head. The style though looks good, can make the hair brittle. So, if you have decided to go for them, make sure that you undo them every 2 to 3 months.
Multi-strand braid hairstyles have no limit to the number of strands used to create them. However, 5-, 7-, and 9-strand braids are the most commonly created hairdos. The more strands the braid includes, the harder it is to keep the hairstyle neat and the wider and shorter the result will be. The simple technique of left-over-middle and right-over-middle is used in weaving any of these multi-strand braids.
Choosing a Style for You
People have different preferences. While some women prefer English braids, others like the French style of braiding. Women of Afro-American origin love to go for micro braids. Consider the following factors before you choose a particular style for yourself:
- Will the hairdo complement your face shape? Braids expose the full face by pulling hair off the face. So the shape of your face should be kept in mind before going for a particular braiding style.
- Do you have the time for making a particular type of hairstyle? While some braiding styles are quick to make, there are others that take time. So, if you want to create multiple braids, make sure you have sufficient time, else it won’t come out well.
Braids are great hairdos. They can help you to sport a casual look as well as a stylish one. Choose your pattern wisely!
Apart from the above-listed braids, there are several other braid hairstyles that give the mane a chic and trendy look, like biker’s braid, square 4-strand braid, rope braid, herringbone braid, lace braids, cascade braids, microbraids, invisible braids, and cornrows. Devoting some time and care can give you a gorgeous hairstyle.