It’s time to embrace your inner Rapunzel.
Braids are a tricky hairstyle to pull off past your teen years without looking like you’re trying out for the local netball team. But they’re also a really practical style to wear when you’re short on time or want to experiment with your hairstyle without resorting to something permanent, plus, they’re the hottest style of the moment.
And contrary to popular opinion, it is possible to rock them well into your thirties and forties if you do it right. Just try these nine oh-so grown-up ways to get braided…
1. Milkmaid braids
Don’t let the name fool you, this hairstyle can be worn long after Oktoberfest has passed. Spritz your hair with some texturising spray to give it some bounce, then divide into two sections. Secure each braid with a few bobby pins (if you can ever find your missing stash), and tug at the shorter layers for a lived-in look.
2. Mini fishtails
Make like Blake Lively and try a few tiny fishtail braids, which are so quick and easy if you have the routine mastered. Long story short: take a small section of hair from the left side and cross it over the top half of the right side and repeat. That’s it, no need to stress! Plus your hair will have some seriously beachy waves by the end of the day.
3. Half ponytail, half braid
This modern hairstyle combines both braids and an easy ponytail for a truly textured look. Section your hair down the middle, then work on a reverse french braid, keeping as close to the hairline as possible as you plait to pull off this head-turning look.
4. Messy braids
Don’t you hate those days when your hair is between washes and dry shampoo just won’t cut it? Messy braids are the perfect way to deal with that dilemma. Simply take messy, unbrushed hair and loosely toss into a low plait, pulling a few wisps out as you go for a rough-luxe finish.
5. Braided up-do
Anyone with long, layered hair will know the pain that comes with recreating any hairstyle. Thankfully, the braided up-do is surprisingly breezy to master. Simply pull your locks into a high ponytail, then loosely plait the pony into a messy braid, lightly teezing over the top of the plait at the end with a bristle brush to create texture.
6. Dutch braids
Dutch braids require a little more effort than your standard braid, especially if your hair is long and thick, but are well worth the patience. To get this do, grab three sections of hair and braid them underneath one another (instead of over, like in a traditional braid), drawing in more hair from the sides as you work your way down the back of your head. Once you’ve braided to the very end, secure the look with a thin elastic then tuck the plait back underneath itself and secure with bobbi pins.
7. Wrap-around braid
Ideal for girls with shorter locks, the wrap-around braid should take no longer than two minutes of your morning routine – lucky you. Start from the front of your crown, creating two french braids and pinning them behind your ears before grabbing the rest of your hair and securing into a ponytail. Now twist everything together and loop into a low, loose bun, securing with more bobbi pins.
8. Chignon with a twist
Look a little bit fancy for the office with a modern twist to a classic chignon. Tie your hair into a low ponytail, then braid, and wrap it around the bun. That’s it! No bobbi pins, no hairspray, and absolutely no heat required. #TooGoodToBeTrue
9. Bold braids
Keep it simple like Khloe Kardashian and try this modern take on traditional cornrows. The subtle style suits all women, and the bobbi pins and elastics can be hidden discreetly behind your ears. Simply divide one side of your head into three or four sections, then work each section into a mini braid b y re-dividing into three sections and looping the sections under each other, working close to the head and pulling it tightly for a neat look. Repeat with each section, securing the end of each plait with a thin, clear elastic as you go.
Images via tumblr.com, lefashion.com, Lucas Dawson, barefootblonde.com, popsugar.com, abeautifulmess.com, fashionising.com, gloss.com, hairstylespage.com, byrdie.com