14 Fabulously Cool Braids for All Occasions

What better way to take your hairstyle up another notch than by using your own hair. How? By weaving your hair into some seriously gorgeous and cool braids, that’s how! Braids have been on trend for a while now and people have been getting more and more creative with them. Here are some super stylish ways to incorporate cool braids into your hairstyle!

#1 Braided Shell

Written by Shannel Mariano

This beautiful plait wraps around the hair, covering it with a beautiful accessory at the tip.

Long Hairstyle with Braid and AccessoryStyle by Irene Perla, Textures Hair Studio, Garden City, NY

How to Style:

  1. Start braiding a triangular section on the top of the head.
  2. As you get lower, add a section only from the hairline from each side of the face and continue braiding.
  3. As you get lower, add pieces continue adding sections from the hairline underneath the hair.
  4. Secure with an elastic.
  5. Attach a hair accessory to the end of the braid.
  6. Set with a finishing spray.

Recommended Products:

Soft Spray is a great finishing spray for braids.

Best Face Shape and Hair Type:

Oval and heart face shapes with hair that is medium in density and texture can easily pull off this style.

#2 Waterfall Curls

Written by Shannel Mariano

This look features super soft curls with an always beautiful waterfall braid.

Waterfall Braid with Curls HairstyleStyle by Hannah Johnson, The Brown Aveda Institute, Mentor, OH
hairstyles with cool braidsStyle by Hannah Johnson, The Brown Aveda Institute, Mentor, OH

How to Style:

  1. Apply heat protection to dry hair.
  2. Curl sections of hair using a large barrel iron.
  3. Set with a flexible hold spray.
  4. Do a waterfall braid on one side and temporarily secure it with a clip.
  5. Do the same on the other side and secure it with your hand.
  6. Unclip the other side and secure both sides together with an elastic.
  7. Smooth fringe area with a flat iron.
  8. Set with a finishing spray.

Recommended Products:

Hold Me Tight gives a hairstyle lasting touchable hold.

Best Face Shape and Hair Type:

All face shapes with hair that is medium in texture and density can wear this look well.

#3 French Nape

Written by Shannel Mariano

This look features a French braid going sideways on the nape. The hair above it is twisted and joined with the hair braided. The hair left loose is curled and worn over the shoulder.

Side Ways French BraidStyle by Alicia Rodriguez & Brittany Van Heuveln, The Brown Aveda Institute, Rocky River, OH
Side Ways French Braid Back ViewStyle by Alicia Rodriguez & Brittany Van Heuveln, The Brown Aveda Institute, Rocky River, OH

How to Style:

  1. Section the hair above the occipital bone up.
  2. Do a french braid sideways on the hair left out.
  3. Secure with a clear elastic.
  4. Loosely twist the hair above the occipital bone to the side.
  5. Secure with a bobby pin.
  6. Apply thermal protection to the hair left out.
  7. Curl sections of the hair left out with a medium-size barrel iron.
  8. Set with a finishing spray.

Recommended Products:

Hot Off The Press is a thermal protection spray that will protect hair from the heat of the iron.

Best Face Shape and Hair Type:

All face shapes with hair that is medium to high in density and medium in texture can pull off this gorgeous braided style.

#4 Waterfall Crown

Written by Shannel Mariano

This waterfall braid is worn higher up and resembles a crown. It is worn on beautiful naturally curly hair.

Crown Waterfall Cool Braid with Curly HairStyle by Donna Dewald, The Brown Aveda Institute, Rocky River, OH
Crown Waterfall Cool Braid with Curly Hair Back ViewStyle by Donna Dewald, The Brown Aveda Institute, Rocky River, OH

How to Style:

  1. Apply a styling product on wet hair.
  2. Diffuse or air dry.
  3. Wrap sections of hair that aren’t as curly around a barrel of iron similar to the size of the natural curl.
  4. Begin to do a waterfall braid on one side of the hair higher a few inches from where the hair is parted. Secure temporarily with a clip.
  5. Do the same to the other side but secure with fingers.
  6. Join both sides and continue to braid.
  7. Secure with a clear elastic.

Recommended Products:

Twirl Around is a crunch-free curl definer that makes curls look their best.

Best Face Shape and Hair Type:

All face shapes with naturally curly hair can rock this look!

#5 Side Cornrow

Written by Shannel Mariano

This style features a corn row that goes to one side and pretty curls hanging on the other side.

Cool Hairstyle with Side Corn Row and CurlsStyle by Chelsie Williams, Casal Aveda Institute, Youngstown, OH
Cool Hairstyle with Side Corn Row and Curls Side ViewStyle by Chelsie Williams, Casal Aveda Institute, Youngstown, OH

How to Style:

  1. Section out hair to be curled on one side.
  2. On the other side, do a French braid on one side. Instead of braiding under, braid over.
  3. Continue braiding until you reach the other side.
  4. Leave out a ponytail and secure with an elastic band.
  5. Apply thermal protection to the ponytail and the hair sectioned out.
  6. Curl all the hair left out.
  7. Secure with a finishing spray.

Recommended Products:

Hot Off The Press is a thermal protection spray and a hairspray in one!

Best Face Shape and Hair Type:

All face shapes with hair that is medium to high in density and medium in texture can wear this braided hairstyle.

#6 Bun Wrap

Written by Shannel Mariano

This chic bun is sleek, shiny and has a beautiful braid wrapped around its base.

Chic Bun with Wrapped BraidStyle by Salvatore Bosco, The Gallery Hair Design & Hair Spa, New London, CT

How to Style:

  1. Create a high ponytail.
  2. Lift the ponytail upwards and towards the face.
  3. Use a bobby pin the ponytail as close as you can to the hair above the ponytail base.
  4. Pin padding underneath the ponytail base.
  5. Pull the ponytail back and over the padding, leaving out a section to be braided later.
  6. Tuck and secure the ends under the padding using pins.
  7. Braid the hair sectioned out and wrap it around the bun.
  8. Smooth fly aways and set the style with a firm finishing spray.

Recommended Products:

Extra-Body Finishing Spray is great for updos. It adds shine and long lasting hold.

Best Face Shape and Hair Type:

Wide faces shapes with really long hair that high in density and medium in texture wear this style well.

#7 Braided Band

Written by Shannel Mariano

This style features a braided headband on teased curled hair worn to the side.

Long Curly Hairstyle with Cool Braided HeadbandStyle by The Brown Aveda Institute, Mentor, OH
Long Curly Hairstyle with Braided Headband Front ViewStyle by The Brown Aveda Institute, Mentor, OH

How to Style:

  1. Section hair around the face away from the rest of the hair.
  2. Tease the hair on the crown area and set it with a firm hold spray.
  3. Pull hair into a half ponytail and secure with an elastic band.
  4. Apply thermal protection to hair.
  5. Curl sections of hair with a medium barrel iron.
  6. Release hair that has been sectioned away from the rest of the hair.
  7. Create a side part.
  8. Braid each side, securing and tucking it underneath the curls.
  9. Wear hair to the side.

Recommended Products:

Extra-Body Finishing Spray is great at holding teases up.

Best Face Shape and Hair Type:

Wide face shapes with hair that is medium to high in density and medium in texture can easily achieve this style.

#8 Side Braided Bun

Written by Shannel Mariano

This beautiful wearable look has hair braided to the sides that join together in the back forming a gorgeous side bun.

Side Braided Bun HairstyleStyle by The Brown Aveda Institute, Rocky River, OH
Side Braided Bun Hairstyle Side ViewStyle by The Brown Aveda Institute, Rocky River, OH

How to Style:

  1. Apply thermal protection to hair.
  2. Curl sections of hair to add texture.
  3. Create a side parting.
  4. French braid the hair close to the hairline of one side toward the back of the head.
  5. Temporarily secure it with a clip.
  6. Do the same to the other side.
  7. Join on the hair together and secure it in a ponytail.
  8. Twist into a bun and secure with bobby pins.

Recommended Products:

Hot Off The Press is a thermal protection spray and hairspray in one.

Best Face Shape and Hair Type:

Oval and heart face shapes with hair that is medium to high in density and medium in texture work best with this look.

#9 Waterfall Side

Written by Shannel Mariano

This look features a waterfall braid starting high on one side and gradually getting lower as it reaches the other side. The hair is held together by a cute bow and worn over the shoulder.

Side Waterfall Braid with BowStyle by Briana Linnert Casal Aveda Institute, Youngstown, OH
Side Waterfall Braid with Bow Back ViewStyle by Briana Linnert Casal Aveda Institute, Youngstown, OH

How to Style:

  1. Create a deep side parting.
  2. Begin to do a waterfall braid on the heavier side of the part going lower and lower as you reach the other side.
  3. Secure with a clear elastic band.
  4. Gather the hair in to a low ponytail on the heavier side of the part.
  5. Secure with a ribbon and wear it over the shoulder.
  6. Smooth flyaways and set the style with a finishing spray.

Recommended Products:

Soft Spray is wet finishing spray and takes just a few seconds to dry making it great for smoothing fly aways.

Best Face Shape and Hair Type:

All face shapes with hair that is medium to high in density and medium in texture can wear this braided style.

#10 Half Side Braided Bun

Written by Shannel Mariano

This look is similar to the Side Braided Bun except that only on side of it is braided. It also features a fringe and some tendrils left out.

Half Side Cool Braided Bun HairstyleStyle by Merritt Starr, Carmen Carmen Salon, Charlotte, NC
Half Side Cool Braided Bun Hairstyle Side ViewStyle by Merritt Starr, Carmen Carmen Salon, Charlotte, NC

How to Style:

  1. Section the fringe away from the rest of the hair.
  2. Section out the hair on the crown area away from the rest of the hair.
  3. Braid the hair left in between both sectioned out pieces. Braid the hair starting from the parting to the side and towards the nape area.
  4. Secure with a clear elastic band.
  5. Release the hair sectioned out in the crown area.
  6. Tease the hair and secure it with a firm hold spray.
  7. Gather all the hair together in a low side ponytail.
  8. Wrap into a bun and secure with bobby pins.
  9. Release the fringe area and pull out some shorter hair around the face.
  10. Smooth these pieces with a flat iron.

Recommended Products:

Extra-Body Finishing Spray is great at keeping teases up and is perfect for updo styling.

Best Face Shape and Hair Type:

All face shapes with hair that is medium to high in density and medium in texture can wear this braided updo.

#11 Mane Accessory

Written by Shannel Mariano

This beautiful teased and curled half ponytail is accessorized by a fishtail braid and a few lavender pieces.

Teased and Curled Half Ponytail with Fishtail BraidStyle by Adela Ghaffoori, Victoria Station Salon & Spa, Vienna, VA

How to Style:

  1. Spray thermal protection all over dry hair.
  2. Curl sections of hair using a medium barrel iron.
  3. Tease the hair on the crown area.
  4. Secure the tease with a firm hold spray.
  5. Pull and secure the hair into a half ponytail.
  6. Do a fishtail braid on a random section of hair.
  7. Set the style with a flexible hold spray.

Recommended Products:

Super Clean Spray gives hair long lasting hold and adds texture to it.

Best Face Shape and Hair Type:

Wide face shapes with hair that is high in density and medium in texture can easily rock this fun style.

#12 Side Braid

Written by Shannel Mariano

This pretty look features bouncy curls that are held away from the face by an adorable side braid.

Medium Curly Hairstyle with Side BraidStyle by Jane Parr Victoria Station Salon & Spa, Vienna, VA

How to Style:

  1. Create a deep side part.
  2. Apply thermal protection to the hair.
  3. Curl sections of hair in different direction using a medium barrel curling iron.
  4. Set with a flexible hold spray.
  5. Braid the hair on the hairline of the the heavier side of the part toward the back.
  6. Secure with a clear elastic band.

Recommended Products:

Hold Me Tight gives the hair long lasting touchable hold.

Best Face Shape and Hair Type:

Longer face shapes with hair that is medium to high in density and medium in texture wear this pretty style well.

#13 Messy Braid

Written by Shannel Mariano

This look features a messy yet stylish braid worn to the side.

Long Messy Braid HairstyleStyle by Ashley Lewis, Kenneth Shuler Schools, Columbia, SC

How to Style:

  1. Tease the hair on the crown area.
  2. Secure with firm hold spray.
  3. Secure all the hair into a low side ponytail.
  4. Braid the ponytail and secure with a clear elastic band.
  5. Loosen parts of the braid with fingers.
  6. Loosen pieces from the rest of the hair.
  7. Set with a flexible hold spray.

Recommended Products:

Super Clean spray is a flexible hold spray that adds texture to the hair.

Best Face Shape and Hair Type:

Wide face shapes with hair that is medium to high in density and medium in texture can easily rock this sexy style.

#14 French Side Bun

Written by Shannel Mariano

This stylish look has most of the hair pulled back, then loosely French braided to one side and secured into a messy bun.

Loose French Braid BunStyle by Jamie Shaffer, The Brown Aveda Institute, Rocky River, OH
Loose French Braid Bun Back ViewStyle by Jamie Shaffer, The Brown Aveda Institute, Rocky River, OH

How to Style:

  1. Create a side parting.
  2. Begin to loosely French braid one side backward to the opposite side of the nape.
  3. Temporarily secure it with a clip.
  4. Pull hair on the other side back and join it together with the temporarily secured braid. Make sure to leave out some pieces to be left hanging by the face.
  5. Secure the joined pieces with an elastic band.
  6. Wrap the ponytail into a messy bun and secure with bobby pins.
  7. Wrap the pieces left out near the face around a medium barrel iron.
  8. Set the style with a firm hold spray.

Recommended Products:

Extra-Body Finishing Spray is great at holding updos with cool braids like this one!

Best Face Shape and Hair Type:

All face shapes with hair that is medium to high in density and medium in texture can achieve this style.

Braids are definitely beautiful. Some may look intimidating and hard to do, but they all simply take practice. Just make sure to have fun with it! Start with something simple and  you will be mastering all of these cool braids before you know it!