As beauty trends have evolved, your hair has consistently undergone a metamorphosis. There was the period where you fried your hair into stick-straight oblivion, months when you wore nothing but messy topknots, and don't forget all the bottles of crunchy gel you slicked on. But one hairstyle has remained a constant — the braids.
No matter how much time goes by, braids are always cool. Whether you are all about the simple three-strand or have since graduated to Dutch and inside-out braids, you will find new inspiration here.
Peekaboo braids: If your braid skills start and stop at three-strand plaits, add visual interest by pairing them with messy-on-purpose texture. Start by parting your hair down the middle (imperfection is encouraged). Then, spray a texturizing spray all over dry hair and scrunch with your fingers. Next, create 2- to 3-inch sections of hair from the top of your ears toward your face on each side. These sections will be your peekaboo braids. For a bit of contrast to your beachy waves, use a fine-tooth comb and a spritz of water to smooth down the tops of these two sections only. Starting just above your ear, tightly braid to the end of each section. Tie off with clear elastics. If you are a bit volume-challenged (or you are in the ‘big hair don't care’ spirit), finish with more texturizing spray. Otherwise, shake out those waves.
The mohawk ponytail: This dutch braid hairstyle can be a little challenging. A huge help when creating any braid is texture, because it gives your hair some grip and hold. So to start this style, use a curling iron to wave 2-inch sections of hair. Spritz your waves all over with a texturizing spray and let the product air dry. Then, use a tail comb (or a bobby pin) to section off the top of your hair. A good guideline is to part from the arch of each eyebrow.
To keep things tight and together, you will want to braid in three different sections, tying off each section with an elastic as you go. For section one, braid from the front of your hair back to your crown. Next, braid to your occipital bone (that little knot you feel at the back of your head). And finally, braid to the ends of your hair.
You can do a simple three-strand braid here, but if you want this more raised, chunky effect, opt for a Dutch braid. The main difference with a Dutch braid is that you place each bit of hair under the middle section, versus over it, says Taylor. So to start, place the outer section of your braid under the middle section, and then place the inner section of hair under that middle section. As you continue down the braid, keep adding more hair into each outer and inner section before you place it underneath the middle one.
When your braids are complete, gather the rest of your hair into a low ponytail at the nape of your neck. Use a clear elastic to secure your pony to your Dutch braid. Add more grip with a final spritz of texturizing spray. Then, finish the look by lightly pulling apart each section with your fingers for a lived-in, cool-girl vibe.