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3 Cute Braids, 3 Videos to Learn How to Do Them

BY: Editors | Jul 15, 2016

Braidsthe answer to so many of life’s problems: heat, humidity, and dirty hair. To celebrate our appreciation for braided hairstyles of all kinds, the The Guide’s beauty editors shared their go-to braid styles, walking us through (in 60 seconds or less) video tutorials breaking down how to plait the braid and how to wear it.

The Dutch Crown Braid

As plaited by Amelia Buzzell

How hard is it?

If I drop a strand in the crown braid, the only way around it is to start all over again, or at least back up to where the drop happened and reconstruct from there. This braid also gets a little tricky whenever I get a haircut, as I need to adjust the tightness of the braid to accommodate any fresh layers, so I can avoid leaving little spiky pieces sticking out a la Alfalfa.

Does it take long to learn?

When I first started this braid, after studying the tutorial in Rubi Jones' The Art of Hair, it took me about five minutes to complete, but now I tend to do it on my way out the door or while commuting on the train, all in about two minutes.

How do you wear it?

Whenever I wear my hair up, I like to balance it out with big earrings, or a peter pan collar and a bow, or a really bright lipstick. I think crown braids work everywhere, or at least they have for me—I've worn this style to a gym, to the office (surprise, coworkers, it's how I try to hide it when my hair is dirty), and to a wedding (but my hair was clean for that, I'm not an animal).

The Fishtail Braid

As plaited by Colleen Loggins

How hard is it to do?

The fishtail braid is really simple. I actually think it's easier to learn than a traditional three-strand braid. However, like any braid, it doesn't handle short layers particularly well. You can get around this by doing things like leaving the clear elastic at the base of the braid in, instead of cutting it, adding texturizing paste to your hair to give it more grip, and even braiding with wet hair to make the braid really tight. But there still may be layers that fall out. The good news is, a messy fishtail braid looks pretty cute.

Does it take long to learn?

I learned how to do this braid by watching YouTube, which meant watching the video a few times before attempting the braid and then pausing the video every so often to make sure I was doing it right. Now I can do this braid without a mirror. I could probably do it in about 30 seconds if my hair were wet and I didn't care about separating the strands into big chunks.

The Waterfall Braid

As plaited by Kayleigh Defenbaugh

How hard is it to do?

The tricky part of the waterfall braid is making sure you remember which strand to drop. If you drop the wrong strand, then the braid is ruined. Also, it is important to concentrate on the amount of new hair you pick up (always make sure it is the same amount as the hair in the other strands).

You can end the braid in multiple ways. The easiest way to end the braid is by taking your three strands and braiding them down into a regular braid and tying it off with a clear (or black, depending on your hair color) rubber band. You can also put the rubber band in at the top instead of braiding your three strands into a regular braid. The most popular (but most tricky) is using bobby pins to pin the braid behind a different section of hair.  

Does it take long to learn?

Since learning the braid, I have gotten significantly faster and more accurate—I'd say it took me about 20 times practicing until I got to the point where it became very easy for me to do (it takes me 1–2 minutes, and I love the way it looks).

Videos by Corey Willis, Groupon