20 beautiful hair braids that are deceptively easy to create

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Sarah Biddlecombe

Do you ever gaze in envy at a friend/colleague/stranger's awesome hair braid and think, "how did she do that?" 

We're always on the lookout for new and exciting ways to style our hair and although they often look complicated, most braids are a quick (and easy!) way to update your look.

From twists on the classic French Braid to a whole host of new ways to plait, we've tracked down the ultimate 20 braided looks that you can do at home. 

Happy braiding!

  • Upside Down French Braid

    This look turns the traditional French Braid on it's head (literally). All you need to do is braid your hair upwards from the nape of your neck rather than downwards from your scalp. The Merry Thought has a good tutorial.

  • Knotted milkmaid braid

    A fresh take on the traditional milkmaid braid, this look requires loosely knotting the hair rather than plaiting it. See the tutorial from Blair Badge for more information.

  • The Macrame Braid

    This messy braided look is perfect for summer festivals. It's brilliantly easy to achieve too - see the tutorial from The Beauty Department for the full details.

  • Loose Braid

    For a pretty summer look, you can't go wrong with this loose braid accessorised with a simple bow. See the tutorial at One-O.

  • French Braid Bun

    For a twist on the French Braid, work the plait around the side of your head and secure your remaining hair in a messy bun. See a great photo tutorial from The Merry Thought.

  • Mini Fishtail Twist

    The perfect look for the second or third day of a festival, the Mini Fishtail Twist looks best on slightly messy, greasy hair. Head to The Merry Thought for a simple tutorial.

  • The Halo Braid

    I plait my hair back and forth... Recreate this elegant look by splitting your hair into two sections and plaiting all the way round your head, before securing at the nape of your neck. Wedding Chicks have an excellent tutorial.

  • The Zig Zag Braid

    Upgrade a classic plait with a zig-zag pattern. All you need to do is section your hair into three parts and and plait downwards, joining the sections to create the zig (and the zag!) See the full tutorial from Jada Beauty

  • Cascade Braid

    This braid takes less than five minutes to do but looks stunning. Get the tutorial from Love Maegan.

  • Hidden Heidi Braid

    This sweet look is a four-stranded Heidi Braid that appears to "disappear" beneath the rest of your hair. There's a simple tutorial by Ducklings In A Row.

  • Tucked Under French Plait

     Bored of your French Braid? Take 30 seconds to tuck the ends under the plait and create a whole new look. Learn how with You Beauty.

  • Twisted Ladder Ponytail

    Spruce up an everyday ponytail by braiding it from top to bottom. Get the full tutorial Abella's Braids.

  • Headband Braid

    A perfect braid for when you're growing out a fridge, the headband braid is a plait for the front sections of your hair. See the simple video tutorial from Makeup Wearables for a step by step guide.

  • Fishtail Braid

    The fishtail braid is the cooler, edgier sister of the traditional plait. The look is achieved by braiding two strands of hair rather than three - read a full tutorial by Makeup Geek to master the look.

  • Flower braid

    This sweet look is perfect for summer weddings. Get the full tutorial from Yet Another Beauty Site.

  • Hot Cross Bun

    The excellently named Hot Cross Bun is a variation on the Heidi Braid. Simply pull your hair into a side ponytail and cross two small sections of hair over the ponytail from the top to the bottom. Then twist the ponytail over your head and secure with bobby pins. The Duckings In A Row tutorial is an excellent guide.

  • Twist Donut Bun

    Fans of the donut bun will love this sweet take on the look. See how to get it with this Join The Mood tutorial.

  • Boho Updo

    This glamorous look is ridiculously easy to achieve. Simply separate your hair into two sections and plait them both, then twist them at the back of your head and secure with a trusty bobby pin. Et voila! For more inspiration, beauty blogger One-O has a great tutorial.

  • Plait party

    The plait party was invented for the ultimate braid fans. Combining one French Braid, two Unicorn Braids and a mini Fishtail Braid, it requires a little time to create! See the tutorial from The Beauty Department.

  • Twist Braid

    To get this sweet look, you simply need to twist two sections of your hair backwards and join them in a long plait. Read the tutorial from Join The Mood to see how it's done.

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Sarah Biddlecombe

Sarah Biddlecombe is an award-winning journalist and Digital Commissioning Editor at Stylist. Twitter

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