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What are Some Braided Hairstyles?

A woman with a French braid.
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  • Written By: Jessica Ellis
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 01 October 2014
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Braiding your hair can be a fun way to dress up or embellish your daily look. There are many braided hairstyles to choose from, to create cute, pretty, and elegant styles. For most braided hairstyles, you will need hair at least to your shoulders as well as hair ties, clips, or bobby pins. Practice basic styles until you achieve mastery of the braiding techniques, or work with a partner to make difficult braided hairstyles considerably easier.

The most basic braiding technique involves dividing hair into three equal sections. This can be done in sections, to create multiple braids, or with all of your hair to create one big braid. Taking the left section of hair cross the hair over the center section. Then, cross the right third over the center. Repeat this process, crossing first the left, then the right pieces over the center until the entire length is braided.

To create a playful pigtail look, use the basic braiding technique to make two braids, one on either side of your head. For a relaxed version, braid only halfway down the length, securing with a pony tail elastic midway down the strands and leaving the bottom half loose. To make pigtails look elegant, braid them all the way to the bottom, then wrap each braid around the back of your head and secure with hair pins.

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A herringbone braid is a simple style that can make hair look spectacular. Be sure to use a styling product to sleek hair down, as the style looks best when smooth and well defined. To make a herringbone braid, divide hair into two equal sections. From the outside of the left side, take a small section, and cross it over to the inside of the right side, closest to the part. Then, take a section from the outer right side and cross it to the inner left side. Repeat this process along the entire length of your hair.

French braids can be difficult to accomplish on your own, so try to find a partner to give you an extra hand. Begin by taking a V-shaped section of hair from the front and top of your hair and dividing it into three parts. Cross the right strand over the center, then add a little hair to the new right strand. Cross the left over the center, then add hair to the new left strand. Repeat this process all the way to the bottom. Even basic French braided hairstyles are difficult to accomplish, and may take several practice tries to get it right.

To ease braiding, make sure hair is clean and brushed, and free from frizz. Using styling products such as gel, hairspray, and glossing crème is recommended, as most braids look better and are easier to deal with when hair is manageable. Braided hairstyles can spice up your daily look, or add drama to a special look. Practice and patience will soon grant you a whole new repertoire of hairstyles, ready for any occasion.

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