10 Ways to Braid Your Hair

The tradition of braiding your hair dates back nearly 5,000 years and has roots in many different cultures. In old times braids were both functional, and sometimes used as a status symbol in tribes around the globe.

Today, the art of braiding is taken to new heights. With inspiration on the internet, including easy to access how-to videos on social media sites like Pinterest and Instagram, it's easier than ever to create beautiful, intricate braided designs.

Here we showcase 10 ways to braid your hair that range from simple to complex to give you a few ideas just in time for summer.

1. Double Braids with a Bun

This gorgeous up-do is perfect when you're heading to the great outdoors in the hot summer months. The double french braids will hold in any medium to long length hair, and the bun is an easy twist. You can make your braid big and chunky like in the photo, or opt for a tighter look depending on the thickness of your hair.

2. Half Up Fishtail Braid

The fishtail braid is surprisingly easy to do even though it looks incredibly intricate. To get this half up style, start by drying your hair and curling it in loose waves with a large-barrel curling iron. You can choose to leave out a few pieces in front to frame your face like the model has in the photo, or you can pull it all back for a sleeker look that gets your hair off your face.

3. Mohawk French Braid with a Bun

This is another surprisingly easy braided style with gorgeous results. You can start by styling your hair in loose waves, or simply leave your lower layers natural. Taking the top half of your hair, french braid your layers back and secure at the crown of your head with an elastic. Then, take the remaining length of your braided hair and twist it around your hair tie, pinning it into a bun as you go. This look is designed to be carefree, so looser and messier it is, the better.

4. French Braid Pigtails

This pretty twist on the pigtail french braid is a chic way to sport a favorite childhood look. Start by applying a light hair oil and some styling product to your tresses to give them hold and shine. Part your hair down the middle, and braid each section from the top down to the nape of your neck. Secure each side with a hair tie.  Next, separate out a few stands of unbraided hair and use it to wrap around your elastic. Secure it with a bobby pin to finish the style.

5. Wrap Around Crown Braid

The crown braid is the perfect solution to make any girl feel like a princess.  The whimsical style can be done a variety of ways, and all it requires is two braids and a few bobby pins.  Be sure to design the rest of your hair in soft curls or waves to make this romantic look really pop.

6. Simple Fishtail Braid

The fishtail braid is a great casual style for everyday wear.  Pull your hair back and throw on a ball cap to hit the game, the gym, or head outdoors for a picnic or festival.

7. Fishtail Side Braid

This twist on the classic fishtail brings the braid to the side and adds some pretty twisted curls up front to make this braid look more elegant and refined.  All you'll need is two hair ties, a few pins, and a good styling product so that your look holds all night long.

8. Double Dutch Braids

Dutch braids look lovely, and they are just as easy to do as a French Braid. The only difference is, instead of taking sections of hair and pulling them over like you do in a French Braid, if you use the Dutch technique you'll pull them under other strands. Here the stylist has doubled up on the braid, working with six pieces instead of three to create this intricate and beautiful up-do.

9. Bohemian Braided Up-do

This soft and sassy braided look is perfect for anything from a wedding to prom. The loose waves that fall around your face and neck have a very bohemian feel, while the beautiful braid is held securely in place to give you a style that will let you dance all night long.

10. French Braided Pigtails

Tightly braided French pigtails that run the entire length of your hair are an excellent choice for athletes, or anyone looking for a very secure style. The French braid will hold all of your hair securely in place, even layers, and bangs, making it the perfect choice if you're heading to the gym, the pool, or out for a swim in the ocean. It will keep you from getting tangles in your locks and looks great at the same time. Just don't forget to apply sunscreen to your part if you're going to be outdoors.