17 Cutest & Easiest Side Braid Hairstyles for Every Hair Length

Cindy Marcus
Cindy Marcus Hairstylist, Editor-in-Chief

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.

Regarding products, Keife uses Kenra Professional Dry Texture Spray 6 and Powder Play Lite. She tells us, “both of these products give a grit to your 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, you can try a unique style!

Before your next hair appointment, check out these inspirational photos of the trendiest side braid hairstyles!


#1: Modern Half Up Side Braid

Add a little flair to your hairstyle with a half-up side braid. This look can be easily created at home with a few bobby pins and hair ties. The best part? The more tousled the braid, the better!

Side Cornrows Braid
Instagram @shae.stylezz

#2: Popular Side Cornrows Braid

Cornrows braid is the most popular way to protect and display those exquisite African-American locks.

Glam Side Braid for Black Hair
Instagram @justnenee_

#3: Glam 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 your look by adding hair accessories such as small beads or a hair tie.

#4: Trendy 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.

#5: Easy Side French Braid

A bold move is moving your loose French braid to the side! Creating this kind of statement is a revolutionary take on your normal braids. Side braids hairstyles as big as this one will catch people’s attention!

Simple Side Braids Style
Instagram @styleonsite

#6: 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 for tight or loose braids like this one for your desired texture.

#7: Side Loose Braid

The perfect do for brides out there is to 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.

Adorable Side Braid with Bun Style
Instagram @theupstylegirl

#8: Adorable Side Braid with a Bun

Delightful for formal occasions, big, loose braids twisted in a low bun work perfectly, keeping everything in place while exuding elegance. Also, this easy side braid is a great way to show your striking make-up and accessories.

#9: Sassy 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.

Feminine Side Braids for Short Hair
Instagram @alex_haircraft

#10: Feminine Side Braids for Short Hair

You still can do side braids with short hair! The blanket weave side braids add much to this bob while creating volume.

Cool Lemonade Braids to the Side Hairstyle
Instagram @londonsbeautii

#11: Cool 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. These side braid hairstyles for black hair are an upgrade to typical protective styles.

Intricate Side Ponytail Braid
Instagram @stylesbysunnie

#12: Intricate 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 various patterns.

Stylish Side Fishtail Braid Hairstyle
Instagram @blohaute

#13: Stylish Side Fishtail Braid

Fishtail braids can look intimidating initially, but they’re super easy to do! Wearing a side fishtail braid can be the main fashion item that completes your whole look.

#14: Cute Side Braid with Curls

How divine is this side braid with curls? The fishtail side plait can add flair to your long, blonde hair. 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 for her perfect look. 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.

#15: 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 gentler look is still striking, like this diamond blonde hair on a low bun. This style is a low, undone bun with a loose twist. I love this style because it’s soft and 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.

To break up the waves before styling, I ran my fingers through them while spraying Moroccan Oil Dry Texture Spray, which provides definition and grit. I created a low bun with a clear elastic that could be loose but stable. I used bobby pins to spread the bun shape and pin up various loose ends. Then, I loosely twisted back the sides and secured it above the bun, leaving out the hairline for later. The goal of this style is to look light and airy. Just pull on the crown for textured volume, carefully pull on the twist to soften, and tug on the bun for more volume. As you do that, add a bobby pin or two to ensure you secure your style in place.

👉 See more braided updos hairstyles.

#16: Side Messy Braid

This is a textured boho Dutch into a fishtail braided style. The best thing about such side hairstyles is the texture and movement; the bottom part is created by threading the hair through a simple fishtail.

Clean, dry hair works best with this style using light/medium hold hairspray and volume powder. I recommend curling your hair first and backcombing the roots for maximum volume. Having your hair curled first helps give the softness and that romantic boho look. 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
Instagram @hairbytara_c

#17: Side Dutch Braid

Consider a half updo formal style for a wedding event that can also be worn casually as well like on a vacation to the beach.  The best results for this look are when you prep your hair first. Start with a volume shampoo, conditioner, and uplifting foam to blow-dry your hair. Then, curl all of your hair before beginning 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. 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 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 florals or hair jewelry. It will take this look up a notch! This updo is ideal for any type or texture of hair. I strongly recommend prepping with volume products if you have super fine hair.