Are you fed up with heat-styling your hair all the time? Tired of hair looks that don’t last the whole day?! Do I have the solution for you, my friends. Braided hairstyles are practical, long-lasting, perfect for summer (or any time of the year, really), heat-free, and they look incredible, which understandably, makes them a classic go-to style. But if “classic” has begun to mean boring because you feel like you always stick with the same ol’, same ol’, you need a little braid inspo, and we’re here to give it to you.
Below, we’ve rounded up 23 of the best braided styles. But since some of us are more gifted in the hair department and can give themselves box braids in the time it takes others to google “how to braid,” we made sure to include something for every skill level. So whether you consider yourself a beginner braider or an expert, you’ll definitely find something on here to try—or ya know, you could always beg your talented friend to do it for you.
1. Box Braids
These super-long box braids are amazing enough to wear on their own, but if you want to add a little somethin’, take a few long bejeweled hair pins and slide them vertically along a few braids for a little extra sparkle.
2. Half-Up Braided Hairstyle
If you’re looking for ways to style your box braids, aside from wearing them down in all their glory, a scrunchie is always a good idea. Leave a few braids down around the face, then gather half of the braids up to the very top of your head and tie them in a half-up, half-down hairstyle.
3. Braided Ponytail
Not your average three-strand plait, this ponytail braid stands out from the rest, thanks to the perfectly laid edges, dramatic length, and the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it tiny braided detail wrapped around the base of the pony.
4. Two-Tone Braids
Braids are a really easy way to try out a bright, bold hair color without needing temporary hair dye. As you braid, just weave in some hair extensions in whatever shade you want for a little pop of color.
5. Baby Braids
If you can do a three-strand braid, you can pull off this look yourself, no prob. Hair tendrils around the face are here to stay forever (or at least they’re still trending for fall 2020), and this braided version is nice little twist on that look.
6. Fulani Braids
One of the best parts about braided hairstyles are the never-ending options for how to wear them. Case in point: these Fulani braids on a lob or bob haircut, which are just one example of how to wear this braided style.
7. French Braids
8. Dramatic Braided Ponytail
9. Cropped Braided Ponytail
This braided side ponytail hits that sweet spot of being a ’90s-inspired hairstyle and a cool, modern look. Go with a style like this for when you want a bit of both.
10. Knotless Braids
If you love the look of box braids but not the feel, go with knotless box braids for a similar effect but with less tension on the scalp.
11. Fishtail Braid
Once you’ve figured out how to fishtail braid, incorporate it into all your favorite hairstyles or just wear it simple and down your back like the one shown here.
12. Cornrow Braids
Another extremely versatile braided hairstyle, cornrows can be worn a million different ways, but the example shown here features alternating straight-back braids of varying widths.
13. Pigtail Braids
Say it with me: simple is not boring. Styling the hair tight and slicked to the head gives this braided pigtail hairstyle a sleek finish that doesn’t read too young.
14. A Braided Bob
The length, the colors, the part—everything about this braided bob feels cool. A side part would help keep the braids from falling in your face, but tossing them over to the side like this gives it an effortless feel.
15. Pierced Braids
Piercing your ears? Kind of a commitment. Piercing your braids, though?! You get the feel of stacked jewelry without all the fuss. Looping a few metal hoops through your braids instantly up the edge factor.
16. Braided Braids
Braided braids sounds redundant, but once you get a look at this style, you’ll see what I mean. One quick way to temporarily switch-up your braids is with larger three-strand plaits all over, like the ones shown here.
17. Crown Braid
One classic braid choice for longer hair is the crown braid. Although the braid style may vary, the one shown here features a fishtail braid wrapped across the crown of the head.
18. Braided Bun
Even if your hair wasn’t originally styled into a braided bun, you can still create the look with box braids by wrapping them into one yourself. Whether you decide to leave a braid or two down to frame your face is up to you.
19. Cornrows Into a Ponytail
Instead of wearing the cornrows all the way down your head, stop them half way and gather the rest into a loose ponytail and add extensions if you want a little added length, why not?!
20. Infinity Braid
Picture an infinity symbol. Now, imagine creating that figure-8 shape with your hair, and you’ve got yourself an infinity braid like this one, which is similar to a fishtail braid but has a tighter, more polished look.
21. Embellished Braids
Sometimes all your braided hairstyle needs is a little color. Grab some string or thread in whatever shade you want (and use a crochet tool if you need to) and weave or wrap the string around and across your braids however you want.
22. Lemonade Braids
23. Boho Braids
Boho braids are all about keeping the look organic, easy, and not too perfect. Instead of braiding all the way down to the ends, leave some braids undone at varying lengths for a really effortless, easygoing vibe.