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Hair Braiding Styles

Braids can be elegant or basic, and there are many hair braiding styles to suit every taste and lifestyle. Classic hair braiding styles bring to mind a school girl look with braids at the sides and bangs at the top. This look never goes out of style, and can look a bit striking and sassy on a grown woman. Hair braiding styles also include elegant twists and curves. There are even hair braiding styles for men, and some of the toughest guys can be seen sporting braids.

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Hair braiding styles depends on the way the braids are created and what direction they tend to go. A French braid will seem to move inward toward the inside of the head. The French braid works well with layered hair. The Dutch braid looks as if it is sitting on the top of the head. Both French and Dutch hair braiding styles can be quite versatile; You need not confine yourself to the typical "up down" braided look, but you can create braids that go out toward the sides. You can create a braid on top of hair that is hanging straight, or create tiny braids swept across medium to short hair.

Unusual hair braiding styles include Bo Derek style cornrows, which are tiny braids that are made all over the head and decorated with beads. Although this style can be time-consuming, it is meant to last. Other very intricate braiding styles use seven or nine strands. Men are discovering hair braiding styles, with Viking braids, and some bikers can be seen with small braids underneath leather head bands. Some add braids to their mohawks. As more men opt for longer hair, more hair braiding styles for men will surely evolve.

Hair braiding styles require, first and foremost, excellent braids. If you are new at braiding hair, you can pick up this skill with some time and practice and with a partner. There are many illustrated handbooks that will guide you step-by-step through the process of braiding hair, and will give you some great ideas for hair braiding styles. This is a basic technique for braiding hair:

  • Clean and dry hair. Straighten hair with a styling gel and blow it dry
  • Divide hair into three sections. Hold the left side between the left index finger and thumb, leave the middle section free, and take the right side between the right index finger and thumb
  • Take the middle section with the middle finger and pull it behind the right section. Use your right thumb and index finger so this part becomes the middle section
  • Using your left middle finger, pull the middle part behind the left part. Stretch the left index finger and thumb to make the left side the middle.
  • Repeat this process until you have braided the hair.
  • Pull the braids tight by pulling down on sections of the hair.

Once you have braided your hair, you can experiment with various hair braiding styles. One hint is to smooth beeswax on the braids to keep them from coming loose. You can twist your braids into a braided bun, arrange them into a circle with bobby pins, or transform them into rope loops with another piece of elastic.

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If you arrange your braids on the top of your head, you might consider decorating them with hair jewelry or small flowers. Braided updos make an excellent formal look for proms or weddings, and it is a great way to take your everyday hair braiding styles and dress them up by arranging the braids and add special highlights.

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