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50 Hottest Types of Braids Illustrated and Explained

It can be really frustrating to regularly stumble upon various types of braids without having a clue how they all differ from each other. Even photos are often useless, as they don’t show details and explain how the braiding is done.

We are going to fix this by providing you with a guide on 50 different types of braids with all illustrations and clarifications included.

1. No-Frills 3-Strand Braid. A three-strand braid is among the most common braid styles, with the hair sectioned into 3 parts and its outer sections put over the middle piece in turns. It is any type of braid with three strands!

2. Dimensional 4-Strand Braid. This type is a bit trickier since you need to not only manipulate 4 sections but also flip the outer parts over and under the inner parts.

3. Intricate 5-Strand Braid. One of the most popular braiding techniques used to get a 5-strand braid requires placing an outer section over and under the two inner sections and then repeating the same movements on another side.

4. Diverse 6-Strand Braid. This braid type comes in multiple variations which differ in the braiding techniques and final looks yet do have one thing in common — the hair is split into 6 pieces.

5. Classic French Braid. Sometimes called an outside braid, it is basically a 3-strand braid but runs from the top of the head and adds a piece of hair from each side to every new stitch.

6. Raised Dutch Braid. It is known as a reverse French braid or an inside-out braid for a reason: instead of putting the side sections over the middle section, the braid has them flipped under it.

7. Textured Fishtail Braid. Divide your hair into 2 sections and take small pieces from the outside of each section to cross them over the same section and arrive at the fishbone type of braid in the end.

8. Defined Box Braids. This is an umbrella term for different braid styles distinguished by square partings made throughout the head to create tight 3-strand braids, usually with the help of hair extensions. Read a guide on the box braids plaiting.

9. Natural-Looking Knotless Braids. We have different ways to braid hair with extensions, and the knotless method implies infusing thin hair pieces without tying the knots around the base. For more details, read here.

10. Authentic Tribal Braids. All braid types that incorporate some patterns, often created with cornrows and decorated with beads, fall into this culturally rich category. Read about tribal braids here.

11. Beyonce-Esque Lemonade Braids. Ever since we saw the iconic Lemonade looks, different kinds of braids cornrowed to one side have been called after the album.

12. Glamorous Goddess Braids. Although there is no consensus as to what exactly defines goddess braids best — their chunkier feel or loose pieces of hair —you’d better get both to hit the target.

13. Seamless Feed-In Braids. That’s another term that covers different types of braided hairstyles crafted with extensions. Feed-in braids are built with extensions from the ground up. You literally feed pieces of hair into the main braid. As a result, it grows in size progressively.

14. Distinctive Fulani Braids. Fulani braids can be viewed as a special case of tribal braids, with center cornrows and side strands braided in the opposite direction near the temples as their signature features.

15. Protective Crochet Braids. Crochet hairstyles expand our list of types of braids that can take many forms since they use a latch hook to install loose, twisted, or braided synthetic hair.

16. Easy Bubble Braid. Actually this type requires no plaiting at all, as you just need to tie your pony with elastics throughout the length to get the look.

17. Graphic Stitch Braids. What sets this category apart from other cornrowed braid types is more precise parting and neat lines which add drama to the design. Read more about the stitch braids type here.

18. Tight Cornrow Braids. Since cornrows are plaited very close to the scalp, you might have heard people calling them scalp braids, and their variations are truly endless.

19. Stiff Straight-Back Braids. Whether thick or tiny, different braids that are plaited tight and run strictly from the hairline backward are classified as straight-back braids.

20. Cute Micro Braids. This type sits among the self-explanatory names of braids hairstyles, describing any plaiting made with tiny strands of hair.

21. Bohemian Butterfly Braids. Here we use hair extensions to create faux locs with a looped texture resembling butterfly wings, hence the name. They can be also called butterfly locs.

22. Nordic Viking Braids. This is one of the rare types of braids for women borrowed from the stronger sex that includes dimensional braiding in the middle and the sides smoothed with shaving, cornrows, or flat plaits.

23. Parallel Boxer Braids. Any style based on two braids plaited tightly on each side of the head can be called so, be it French, Dutch, or cornrow braiding.

24. Beginner-Friendly Twist Braids. Also known as a rope braid, this style requires parting your hair into 2 sections and twisting them into a plait.

25. Relaxed Bohemian Braids. These braids fall into several types of braiding hairstyles since basically, they are box braids with pieces of hair very similar to goddess braids.

26. Feminine Half-Up Half-Down Braids. If the top of your hair is braided and the bottom is left loose, you wear a half-up, regardless of the plaiting technique.

27. Partially Plaited Tree Braids. This kind of braiding resembles a tree with unbraided pieces branching off tightly plaited roots. Tree braids mean tiny braids near the roots and loose ends.

28. The Heart Braids Type. It is all about parting here: make it heart-shaped, and you get cute patterns for your braids to shine out.

29. Universal Individual Braids. Often called single braids, this term refers to any technique that results in multiple braids scattered throughout the head.

30. Fun Jumbo Braids. Size also matters, as by dividing your tresses into larger sections and adding thicker strands of extension hair, you reduce the time required for braids installation and enjoy a fun jumbo look.

31. Piquant Criss Cross Braids. This type of braids offers a cool way to level up your braids by crisscrossing either cornrowed strands or conventionally plaited pieces.

32. Colorful Peekaboo Braids. Adding hair extensions of vibrant colors to the bottom of box braids land you in the peekaboo look.

33. Dainty Side Braid. Side braids may come in many versions, from simple 3-strand plaiting to double French braiding, since the key feature is their placement on one side of the head.

34. Africa-Born Ghana Braids. Ghana braids combine the direction of straight-back braids with the installation method of feed-in braids, where the hair is fed into the top of the braid as you go along.

35. Striped Fishbone Braids. Contrary to popular belief, this type goes beyond fishtail braiding and embraces African cornrows plaited diagonally to mimic the fishbone silhouette.

36. Bold Mohawk Braid. Mohawk braids are similar to the Viking type in terms of placement on the top of the head but they can be less brutal and chunky.

37. Delicate Waterfall Braid. The airy feel of this braid type is conveyed through its alternative name (the feathered braid) since it leaves the bottom sections of hair loose when you do side French braiding.

38. Fancy Crown Braid with Hair Jewelry. Started on a side or at the nape, this braid accommodates various plaiting techniques and runs around the head to create a crowned look.

39. Twisted Marley Braids. This type comprises all hairstyles crafted with the help of Marley synthetic hair, usually by tightly twisting two strands of kinky extensions.

40. Gorgeous Pull-Through Braid. Here you need to do a ponytail, split it above the elastic and pull the tail through. Repeating this step, you get a fancy braid.

41. Eye-Popping Dragon Braid. To resemble the dragon spine, the braid should sit along the centerline of the head and have plenty of bumps to mimic the scaled skin.

42. Accent Headband Braid. Just like the name suggests, this braid type flows parallel to the hairline, just where you would place a headband to decorate your style.

43. Mesmerizing Mermaid Braid. No matter what plaiting techniques you would use, the main thing about mermaid braids is to pile lots of textures together as if your hair is tangled and knotted by the play of sea waves.

44. Playful Milkmaid Braid. Basically, it’s enough to make a center part, plait two pigtails on the sides of your head, and then pin them up to get the traditional milkmaid look. These chunky braids are of the rope braid type.

45. Provocative Upside-Down Braid. Start French or Dutch braiding from the nape towards the crown and style the rest of the hair into a top knot or pony.

46. Modest Accent Braids. Unlike styles that are built around braiding, accent braids are infused into your hairdo just to bring in a little extra something.

47. Voluminous Bushel Braid. The banana bushel braid looks like a bunch of bananas and is made with a stack of intertwined ponytails and pulled-out petals of hair.

48. Scientific DNA-Braid. You are sure to recognize the DNA pattern in this braid, which is crafted from only three strands of hair although weaved intricately.

49. Mysterious Infinity Braid. If you see a highly textured plaiting job with a bunch of stitches that seem to have no beginning and ending, you are likely looking at an infinity braid.

50. Ethereal Halo Braid. The halo braid is very similar to the crown braid, and the two terms are almost always used as synonyms. However, most halo braids are in a form of one Dutch braid wrapped around the crown and pinned in place. Crown braids very often include French braids.

Now you have learned 50 names associated with different types of braids and, obviously, there are at least several options suited for you. As the Web is full of DIY tutorials, you can try and recreate the hairstyles of your choice to share your experience with us. Stay in touch!

by Editors
We are a creative team of "hair maniacs" who can't live a day without surfing the Internet in search of new hairstyles and haircuts, stunning hair shades, innovative coloring techniques, and life-saving hair hacks. To share them with you, of course. Feel yourself at home!