9 easy, beautiful braid how-tos for every hair type

The winter braid craze is an easy way to turn your natural locks into styles of crowning glory. No blow-outs required.

Imaxtree

The arrival of cold-weather can mean surprisingly good things for your hair. No more humid frizz. No more tangled beach hair. Now that the summer heat and humidity are gone, your hair might behave better naturally, and you can do more inspiring styles with it than just a quick ponytail or boring bun.

Our favorite new way to complement your holiday sweater? Braids! They keep your hair looking full, romantic, and held in place whether you’re in back-to-back meetings or outside raking leaves with your kids. Plus, they’re incredibly easy if you just choose the right style for your hair: You can use a wide pulled-out look for thin hair, or a tousled bun style if you’re prone to flyaways. So skip the expensive blowout, get out those elastics and bobby pins, and have at it! If you have daughters, you can even make an afternoon hair-braiding party out of it.

MORE TO READ: Celebrity stylists share their favorite Pinterest wedding hairdos

Here are the most beautiful but manageable braided hairstyles trending on Pinterest right now—and how to do them for yourself.

Make your long hair look thicker

This ‘do looks complicated but is deceptively simple—and oodles of fun to conjure! The best part about it, though, is that it creates the illusion of more hair, all you need to do is tug outwards on each wrung of the braid gently to create fuller looking locks. (Also, note that while long hair is ideal, it doesn’t need to be as long as the model’s mane below.)

Bring effortless beauty to your bun

Can’t choose between a braid and a bun? Sometimes it’s OK to be indecisive! This “double dutch” braid-bun hybrid hairstyle lets you combine your favorites, so you can look elegant without worrying about your tresses swinging in your face. Just make roughly a one inch braid from your center part down one side of your head to your ear so you can pull it into a pony. Then create a second braid of similar size at the back of your head that can be used to loop around the bun you’ll create. The added texture will make your hair look fuller.

MORE TO READ: De-frizzing secrets for every type of hair

Add carefree charm to your down-do

This fishtail style lets you upgrade your regular look without any fuss at all and can be employed at almost any hair length. It pulls your hair back off your forehead, but leaves plenty of your locks unrestrained. Just pull two medium-thick sections of hair off the sides of your head (not the top), and twist them inward, securing with a small elastic. Now grab the pony as well as two sections of hair right underneath it to start fishtail braiding straight down. Think of it as the epitome of gorgeous “casual Friday” hair.

Create a romantic, tousled up-do

If you have curly or wispy hair, you often think never fair! But this romantic style embraces your flyaways rather than trying to tame them. The beautiful thing about braids is that they can be gorgeous even when they’re not done meticulously. The beauty is in the messiness of it. This tousled up-do is the perfect example.

Go for ski bunny braids

Rejoice! Snow is soon to come. Depending on where you live, it may be here already. If you and your brood plan on going skiing, ice skating, snow-shoeing, or doing any number of other winter sports, try this sweet, youthful look (that won’t leave you looking like you’re playing at cowgirl). The key to this look is that there isn’t a harsh center part down the back of your head: just soft swoops that start from a center point. It works best if you have thick hair, at least an inch or two past your shoulders.

Give yourself a crown

Great for medium length to short hair, this easy braid is just around the crown so doesn’t require a lot of length to look good. This waterfall type of braid will require you to work your way from the front of your head to the back on one side and then the other. And you’ll only need bobby pins at the end.

Turn your ‘do upside-down

By braiding from the nape of your neck up your scalp, you get an eye-catching effect with little work. Just flip you hair forward and brush it out. Then begin French braiding from the center-most pieces, working your way up and out until you’ve reached a good place for your high bun (above the tips of your ears). And don’t worry if your hair is a darker shade underneath, that color contrast will actually lend itself nicely to the look!

Wrap up a rose

There’s probably no flower more feminine and poetic than a rose. (That’s part of the reason we chose it as the For Her logo!) If you’re in need of a fancy style but don’t have much time, pay tribute to this botanical beauty by braiding your hair into the form of a rose. It’s perfect for grown-up Christmas parties and your daughter’s First Communion alike.

Keep it clean & simple

This traditional looking braid is actually a reverse fishtail style, which is just another simple variation on a French braid. Divide the hair into five pieces and then follow the fishtail criss-crossing motion outlined below. If you’re not a fishtail expert, practice on a friend or daughter first. This style will take time to learn, but once you become a pro at knowing where the pieces go, it only takes minutes.