Update Consent

Types of Braids

A Comprehensive Guide to Every Gorgeous Braid From Pinterest

Grab your teasing combs and your dry shampoo — Braid 101 is in session. There are so many different plaits out there, and we admit we can only do half of them. Browsing our Instagram feeds, we often run into two emotions: total braid envy and plait perplexity.

Seriously, just looking at some of these styles makes our brains hurt (over then under, or under then over?). It can be as simple as a basic dutch version or as complex as a five-strand plait. No wonder "braids" is one of the top searched topics on the Internet. Everyone wants to master the new trendy style before a new one is invented. So, we've broken down every plait (with gorgeous real-girl pictures and tutorials) to inspire you to go back to beauty school.

Image Source: Instagram

Inside-Out Braid

The inside-out braid is a cross between a typical three-strand plait and a dutch braid. By folding hair outward, the braid is much more open and easy to stretch. This technique is easy to master, and it's the key to achieving all those messy braided styles you admire on Pinterest.

Tutorial: How to Do an Inside-Out Braid

The dutch braid is an inside-out plait anchored to the head. Think of it as a french braid exposed! The finished look creates a plait that sits on top of the hair.

Video Tutorial: Learn the Basic Steps to Creating a Dutch Braid

Watch This!

Pop Quiz

The Cast of I Know What You Did Last Summer Play a Scary Game of Would You Rather

Image Source: Instagram user mox_ie

A milkmaid braid may look complicated, but really it's just pinned-up pigtails. This updo can be dressed up for a formal event or made casual with a pair of cut-off shorts. The key to making it chic is the face-framing fringe!

Tutorial: How to Achieve a Milkmaid Braid

Now that you've got the basic braids down, the fishtail is the first plait in the intermediate level. This technique slowly weaves smaller outside sections over a central base, creating a tight fishbone pattern.

Tutorial: Master a Fishtail Braid

The waterfall plait is the laissez-faire way to braid. It's more like a twist because you let one strand fall through the cracks, creating a cascading look.

Tutorial: An Easy Waterfall Braid

The milkmaid and the crown braid can look very similar from the front. However, the top view clears up any confusion. This braid pulls from a central area on the crown of the head. The final result is a twisted wreath.

Video Tutorial: Crown Braid 101

This mermaid style is for the advanced (and ambidextrous). This particular plait starts with a regular three-strand braid then adds small sections from the very outside of the hair. This leaves a middle portion of straight hair that remains unbraided.

Tutorial: How to Make a Mermaid Braid

What do you get when you layer two waterfall braids on top of each other? A ladder. This style takes those extra cascading pieces and creates second plait. Don't be surprised if you have to talk to yourself while you practice this one.

Video Tutorial: Learn to Do a Ladder Braid

A carousel plait is like a ponytail wrapped in a braid. We promise it's easier than it looks! The plait uses hair from a free-flowing pony to create a merry-go-round pattern.

Video Tutorial: How to Create a Carousel Braid

Remember those push-pop popsicles from elementary school? This braid is just like that! You create a regular three-strand plait. While holding one section in place, you push the remaining two pieces upward.

Video Tutorial: How to Get a Snake Braid

We've spotted this bohemian five-strand plait at music festivals and on the runway. While it takes tons of concentration to create, the final basket-weave effect will wow all your Instagram followers.

Tutorial: How to Do Five-Strand Braid

Cornrows are actually tiny dutch braids lined up in a linear pattern. The plaits can be arranged in an intricate design or straight back.

Tutorial: How to Cornrow

Want More?

POPSUGAR Would Like To Send You Push Notifications.