beauty

20 drool-worthy reasons we're opening our arms to braided hairstyles.

From Khloe Kardashian to Iggy Izalea, braids have worked their way from primary school photo days onto the red carpet.

Whether it’s a sporty box braid or something pretty and relaxed, braided hairstyles are super versatile and work as both a formal or casual style.

Don’t know how to plait? Do yourself a favour and get among the hundreds of YouTube tutorials that will show you the basics.Here are our 20 favourite braid styles for the warmer months ahead.

1. The braided headband.

Part Disney princess, part German milkmaid; the braided headband is a classic style. Keep the braid loose and messy as your wrap it around your head, and leave a few strands to sit around your face to soften the look. Now sing after me: “High in the hills was a lonely goatherd…”

Brooklyn Decker. (Image: Getty)

2. Single braid decoration.

A cute single plait in a tousled 'do can add a bit of interest to a messy topknot. Remember when you used to absent-mindedly braid a plait into your hair during science class? Well, now you can just leave it there.

Sunday Bunday, top knot edition ???? cc: @brittsully

A photo posted by DREAMDRY (@dreamdry) on

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3. Bubble braids.

This is like all of our favourite '90s hair trends rolled into one! Sub out the standard plait by creating these 'bubble braids' with miniature hair elastics and puffed-up sections. Rainbow Paddlepop hair optional.

4. Multi-braids.

This style rocks if you have fine hair or are working with extensions. Don't lose the volume of a full and fluffy ponytail by pulling it all into a plait - just take a few sections and work them into braids of various sizes. Mermaid hair to the max.

Blake Lively. (Image: Getty)
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5. Fishtail braids.

It took me two years and a bunch of YouTube tutorials to try and figure out how the hell the fishtail braid works. But oh boy, was it worth it: I now look far more capable at beauty than I actually am. Next on my list? How to apply lipliner.

Ashley Tisdale. (Image: Getty)

6. Maxi braids.

This braid is on some kind of hair steroids, right? Wrong. All it takes is a magical combination of volumising product and a good dash of back-combing to achieve these pumped-up braids. The bigger, the better.

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7. Side-swept braids.

Ugh. This chick below has achieved braid Nirvana. A plait that moves across the head and down into a long braid below is every girl's princess-hair fantasy. Be warned: you need a lot of hair (and a lot of time) to achieve this look.

Braids & sunnies on point! ???? Love this mega cool look on @blankitinerary. Happy Sunday, everyone! ✨

A photo posted by Artifact: Creative Recycle (@artifactpdx) on

8. Princess Leia braids.

Okay, let's be honest here. Wearing two perfectly coiled braids on the side of your head might be a little bit weird, right? So unless you're heading off to a Star Wars convention, wear your side braids low and loose underneath your ears for a girly, no-fuss updo. May the force be with you.

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Diane Kruger.

9. Crouching tiger, hidden braid.

Apart from looking super cute, braids and plaits can really work to plump up fine or limp hair. Working with your natural waves to hide a really loose braid onto your updo to give it height and volume - much more effective than a boring old ponytail.

Loose braid & ponytail...#hairbyme #hairstyles #braidstyles #updo #bridesmaids #bridalhair #beyondtheponytail #wedding #weddinghair

A photo posted by D Ė N I T A ???? B R Ö W N (@denitamaebrown) on

10. Part up, part down, part braid.

If you love wearing your hair down but don't love it flying around your face, here's the style for you. Braid the top section around to the back, and let the remainder fall down loose. Just think of it as your very own hair crown. Yass, queen!

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11. Braid bun.

This '60s style updo is deceptively easy: think of it as a pimped-up ponytail. All you need is one of those creepy hair donuts, and a truckload of bobby pins. It's like I Dream Of Jeannie meets Princess Jasmine and we LOVE IT.

Kim Kardashian. (Image: Getty)

12.  Braid-ception.

It's a braid. Within another braid. Like a Turduckin or a Kinder Surprise, this style knows that the only thing better than a single braid, is a fishtail braid lurking inside a fat plait.

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13. The Shape-shifter braid.

The best thing about braiding hair is that you can switch it up any way you like. In this style, a traditional inside-out braid swaps style as it leaves the head, hanging into two cute fishtail braids. Like they say on the Old El Paso ad: porque no los dos?

It was a long day, but it was nice. #pinkhair#braidedhair#braidstyles#hair

A photo posted by Beauty_and_Fashion (@fashion_and_beauty_loves_you) on

14. Braid bun.

Under, over, under, over. Easy. Like a cheesey pull-apart bread, this style just requires you to cross over two chunks of hair over and over a few times until it looks delicious. Wait, no. Until it looks like this:

Braided bun. (Image via: Getty)
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15. Accent braids.

Like the braided crown, this style is awesome for keeping pesky strands off your face and out of your eyes. Also a great idea if you're growing out a painful fringe and are getting dangerously close to just lopping it all off. Persevere, girlfriend. The nightmare is almost over.

Accent braids. (Image: iStock)

16. Braid punk.

Have you always wanted to try a mohawk but couldn't really commit to the cause? Yeah, us neither. Experiment with different shapes by using slicked back or puffed up braids.

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17. The Kardashian Braid.

Yeah, we know: there's probably a more technical term for this type of braid. But seriously, who would have dared pair designer threads with a netball braid before the various Kardashians made it famous?

Sporty braids. (Image:Getty)

18. Braided ponytail.

This has been a red carpet staple for years, and it's easy to see why. A thick braided plait paired with a tousled side-part is flattering on everyone.

The braided ponytail

19. Sleek and simple.

Update the typical center part hairdo by pulling it back into braids instead. Keep it tight and slicked back for a look that's so polished, you could even rock it out at the office.

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Ivanka Trump. (Image: Getty)

20. The You'll-Never-Be-Able-Do-This-At-Home Braid.

Last but not least is a braid that is so complicated and impressive you're going to need a full week of intensive YouTube training and a team of six to pull it off. But hey, that's what #HairInspo is all about...right?

Perfection ???????? #longhairstyles #straighthair #braidstyles #healthyhair #allnatural #cloudninehair

A photo posted by Thelma De Klerk (@hairbythelma) on


Happy braiding, ladies!

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