6 Easy DIY Braids

Stuck in a hair-down-every-day rut? Whether your hair is long, short, or somewhere in between, everyone should know the basics of hair styling. And the easiest hair style of all besides a tried-and-true pony? The braid, of course! Summer is the perfect time to step up your hair game and get a little whimsical with your style. So, we’ve broken down the basics for mastering some chic twists so you can change things up and have fun with your locks in no time!

3-Strand Braid

DIY Braids: 3-Strand Braid

 

When you think of braids, this is probably the first thing that comes to mind. Simple and easy, it’s a great go-to style to opt for on a busy morning and can be braided as tight or as loose as you want, depending on the aesthetic you want (sleek and clean? or boho? Your pick!)

How to:

  1. Divide hair into three equal sections.
  2. Cross the right section of hair over the middle section. The right section has now become the middle section.
  3. Cross the left section over the middle section. Now the left section has become the middle section.
  4. Repeat this until the braid reaches the desired length.

 

DIY Braids: 3-Strand Braid Steps

4-Strand Braid

 

DIY Braids: 4-Strand Braid

Once you’ve got the 3-strand braid down, why not go for 4? This braid is a little more challenging, but with a little mastery you’ll be able to craft a gorgeous hairstyle that’ll have people asking if you really did it all by yourself.

How to:

  1. Divide the hair into four equal sections (pictured below from left to right as natural, gray, pink, and purple).
  2. From the left, think of the sections as one, two, three, and four. Every time a section of hair moves, it will become a different number, but we’re still counting left to right as one to four. Take section one and cross it over section two and under section three, as if you were weaving. Now the natural section is section three.
  3. Hold sections one and two in your right hand. Now, the order of the sections is gray (one), pink (two), natural (three), and purple (four). With your left hand, take section four and weave it in the opposite way that you did section one. So, weave section four under section three and over section two.
  4. Repeat step two again. Take section one (gray) and cross it over section two and under section three.
  5. Repeat step three again by weaving section four under section three and over section two. Continue this pattern until you reach the desired length. Secure with a hair tie and voila!

 

DIY Braids: 4-Strand Braid Steps

 

French Braid

DIY Braids: French Braid

The French braid is timeless – classic and elegant all in one nicely-twisted package. Things can get tricky with this more advanced style, but practice makes perfect, and once you get the hang of it it’s so easy to create. This style goes well with layers or bangs, because it allows you to pull back all of those flyaways into a hairstyle without having to use dozens of bobby pins.

How to:

  1. Gather a small section of hair at the crown of the head and divide into three equal sections, like you would a normal three-strand braid.
  2. Follow the same steps of the three-strand braid for the first twist.
  3. After you’ve crossed each side over to the middle one time, continue the braiding process but start adding little sections of hair each time you cross over to the middle.
  4. Adding little by little with each crossover, you will continue to work your way down your head, gradually including all of your hair into the braid as you go.
  5. Use one hand to hold the two passive sections of hair while the other hand is free to add hair to the active section (the one that’s about to cross over).
  6. Continue this process until you run out of hair to add.
  7. Once you run out of hair to add and you’ve reached the base of your scalp, continue braiding in a normal three-strand braid fashion until you run out of hair. Secure with a hair tie.

 

DIY Braids: French Braid Steps

Dutch Braid

DIY Braids: Dutch Braid

The Dutch braid looks like an inverted French braid, and really stands out because of the backward weaving. It looks more difficult to create than it really is, which should get you a ton of compliments when you add this style to your arsenal.

How to:

  1. Divide the hair into three equal sections at the crown OR side of the head. Here, we chose to do the Dutch braid starting at the left side of the head, just above the ear.
  2. The same technique of adding little sections into the braid is used in the Dutch braid, but with one big difference. Instead of crossing strands over each other while weaving into the braid, cross the strands under each other. This way, the braid gets that signature pop-out effect. Take the section from your right (blue) and cross it under the middle section (purple).
  3. Take the red section and cross it under the blue (middle) section. Then, add hair to the purple section before crossing under the red (now middle) section.
  4. Continue this process, adding hair incrementally to each section prior to crossing–be sure to constantly remind yourself to cross under!
  5. If doing a side braid, gradually guide the braid over to the opposite side of your head (as shown) as you go. Once you run out of hair to add, finish the braid in a regular three-strand fashion, securing with a hair tie at the end.

 

DIY Braids: Dutch Braid Steps

Fishtail Braid

DIY Braids: Fishtail Braid

A fishtail braid is really the “it” braid of the moment. It’s gorgeous dressed up or dressed down, and it looks technically complicated, but can actually be achieved in a matter of minutes. Some people consider this type of braid more simple than the others because it technically only uses two strands of hair.

How to:

  1. Divide the hair into two equal sections.
  2. Take a small piece of hair from the right section, and cross it over onto the left section.
  3. Now do the same with the left section – take a small section of hair and cross it over to the right.
  4. Repeat these steps.
  5. Make sure you don’t accidentally add the piece of hair you just crossed over back to the side it just came from!
  6. When you reach the desired length or run out of hair, secure with a hair tie. Pull the braided strands apart slightly to give the fishtail braid a messy boho, relaxed vibe.

 

DIY Braids: Fishtail Braid Steps
Waterfall Braid

DIY Braids: Waterfall Braid

 

The summertime staple of braids, the waterfall braid gives off a free-spirited vibe and even works great with short hair. It combines the French braiding approach with its own specific technique.

How to:

  1. You’re going to be French braiding, but dropping a piece of the braid and picking up a new strand each time. Start with a small section of hair wherever you’d like the braid to begin. Here, we started at the crown, just off center to the right.
  2. Start French braiding like usual, but once you cross the top strand of your hair, drop that piece so that it hangs down.
  3. Once you let the top piece fall through, you will now be holding two strands of hair again.
  4. Cross the two strands over the fallen strand as you would a normal braid. Then, pick up a new piece of hair near where the dropped piece hangs down, and braid that into the rest like a French braid.
  5. Drop another piece once the top strand of hair is crossed again. Keep braiding and dropping like this until you reach the desired length.
  6. We stopped our braid halfway, once we reached the back of the head. Wherever you’d like to stop, braid the hair as a regular three-strand braid a little further past the last waterfall section. Then secure by cross-pinning the end of the braid to the scalp, underneath a large section of hair.
  7. Let the large section of hair fall naturally over the pinned braid, giving off the effect that the waterfall braid effortlessly disappears. Voila!

 

DIY Braids: Waterfall Braid Steps