A side braid is a braided hairstyle of any design that either runs at the side of the head or down to one shoulder. Switching up your hairstyle doesn’t always mean a visit to the salon! Change your look in a snap with multifunctional side braids.
Braid artist Jessica Keife from SoCal designs Rapunzel-inspired braid styles and recommends wearing hair extensions to achieve thick and long braids on the side.
When it comes to products, Keife uses Kenra Professional Dry Texture Spray 6 and Big Sexy Hair Powder Play Lite. She tells us, “both of these products give a grit to the hair that forms a beautiful texture when braiding to the side.”
Go French or Dutch, updo or Queen Elsa style! Side braids are a handy yet super stylish way to up your hair game any time of the day. From 3-minute quick looks to intricate braids, there’s absolutely a unique style for you to try!
Before your next hair appointment, check out these inspirational photos of the trendiest side braid hairstyles!
Side Braid for Black Hair
A protective hairstyle gives an instant glam finish, yet a side braid for black hair can ginger it up! Add hints of blonde to your long hair without damaging your natural locks. Finish off the look by adding hair accessories such as small beads or a hair tie.
Side Braid Hair Down
Ideal for your long and blonde locks, wear this side braid with beach waves down your back. This classy style with a side braid is perfect for formal events.
Side French Braid
A bold move moving your loose French braid to the side! Creating this kind of statement is a revolutionary take on your normal braids.
Simple Side Braids
Put those braids in a side ponytail and wrap them around the periphery of your head, resembling a crown. You can opt to have tight or loose braids, like this one, for your desired texture.
Side Loose Braid
The perfect do for brides out there, loosen those braids and secure them to the side for a textured braided bun. Add accessories like these mini flowers for a very feminine touch.
Side Braid with a Bun
Delightful for formal occasions, big, loose braids twisted in a low bun works perfectly, keeping everything in place while exuding elegance. Also, it’s a great way to show your striking make-up and accessories.
Side Braid for Long Hair
Put your hair to one side in a low ponytail, braiding it as you go. Loosen up the braids to create volume.
Side Braids for Short Hair
You still can do side braids with short hair! The blanket weave side braids add so much to this bob while creating volume.
Lemonade Braids to the Side
Made famous by Queen Bey, lemonade braids shifted to one side are your typical cornrows that go from one side to the other. Weight and volume are packed onto one side while the braided pattern is highlighted on your scalp.
Side Ponytail Braid
Long hair is the perfect canvas for this side ponytail braid. Your typical ponytail is revamped to this elegant style that maintains volume and texture through the various patterns.
Side Fishtail Braid
Fishtail braids can look intimidating at first, but they’re actually super easy to do! Wearing a side fishtail braid can be the main fashion item that completes your whole look.
Side Cornrows Braid
Cornrows braid is the most popular way to protect and display those exquisite African-American locks.
Side Braid with Curls
How divine is this side braid with curls? The fishtail side plait can add flair to your long, blonde hair.
This is a boho fairy chic look created by stylist Michele Zerda of Tampa, FL. “We used her natural curls (just made more of a structured curl with a 3/4 Hot Shot Curling Iron). The fishtail braid was just the icing on the cake for her perfect look,” she notes.
Although these pictures show the back of the head and are lovely, the most important angle is the front. Whatever style you pick, make sure it flatters your face shape and enhances your hair type.
Side Braid Updo
A side braid updo is nothing but stylish! Its messy texture creates an undone finish—and yes, style doesn’t always need to be sleek! A more gentle look is still striking like this diamond blonde hair on a low bun.
“This style is a low, undone bun with a loose twist,” says stylist Tamara Holden of Camas, WA. “What I love about this style is that it’s soft, romantic, and can be worn casually or with a formal gown. It’s not supposed to look perfect and can be modified for different hair types and face shapes.”
Holden explains, “To break up the waves before styling, I ran my fingers through while spraying Moroccan Oil Dry Texture Spray which provides definition and grit. I created a low bun with a clear elastic, so it could be loose but stable. I used bobby pins to spread out the bun shape and pin-up various loose ends. Then, I loosely twisted back the sides, and secured above the bun, leaving out the hairline for later.”
The goal of this style is to look light and airy. Holden pulled on the crown for textured volume, carefully pulled on the twist to soften, and tugged on the bun for more volume. “As you do that, add a bobby pin or two to make sure you’re securing your style in place,” she adds.
👉 See more braided updos hairstyles.
Side Messy Braid
This is a textured boho Dutch into fishtail braided style created by hairstylist and salon owner Shannon Tait of Atherton, QLD. “The best thing about this style is all the texture and movement and that the bottom part of this style is created by threading the hair through a simple fishtail.
Tait says that clean dry hair works best with this style using light/medium hold hairspray and volume powder. “I highly recommend curling the hair first and backcombing the roots to have max volume. Having the hair curled first helps give the softness and that romantic boho look,” she explains.
This side braid hairstyle is best suited for medium to long highlighted hair, but having so much texture, it would also suit brunette hair beautifully. Face-framing layers will also work great to create softness in the front of the style.
Side Dutch Braid
Consider a half updo formal style for a wedding event that can also be worn casually as well like on vacation to the beach. This hairstyle, which is braided to the side, was created by hairstylist and colorist Tara Capone of Webster, TX.
The best results for this look are when you prep the hair first. Start with a volume shampoo and conditioner, an uplifting foam to blow-dry the hair. Then, curl all of the hair before beginning on the braid. Start with a deep side part and begin the dutch braid on top of the head. As you continue with the braid, expand the braid slightly.
“You can also spray a volume or texture spray on the braid to help expand it,” she explains. “As I got behind her ear, I started pulling from the top sections and leaving a piece out each time I grabbed a new section. The piece you let go of hangs down, that is the waterfall piece. I tied it off with a clear elastic and a few bobby pins to secure it. And finally, spray everything with a medium hold hairspray to lock in the style.”
You can also add in florals or hair jewelry it will take this look up a notch! This updo is ideal for any type or texture of hair. If you have super fine hair, Capone recommends strongly prepping with volume products.