Braids (or plaits as they're also called) are on the rise, and rightly so, thanks in large part to Jennifer Lawrence as Catniss Everdine in The Hunger Games. Braiding your hair is a simple way to create a hairstyle that looks beautiful and also keeps long hair out of your face. They can be fantastic for the hotter summer months, and there are so many different ways to wear them that you can literally create a new, braided look for yourself every single day.

The only tricky thing with braided hairstyles is getting the method off pat, so you can do it quickly and easily. First of all, you may need to practice a little. Other than that, these top 5 tips will help you along to way to creating braided hairstyles that look just fantastic. So let's get started.

braided hairstyles 

Dirty is Best

The best time to add braids to your hair is when it's been at least 24 hours since you last washed it. Hair that isn't squeaky clean will hold its style much better, and will generally be easier to twist into shape. If you absolutely must wash your hair first, never fear! Just spray a little texturising spray in before you start braiding and this will help your hair to stay in place.


Don't Try to be Perfect!

Although some braided hairstyles call for smooth, tight braids, many beautiful braided styles are based on a slightly messy, romantic look. What this means is you can't go wrong! If you're going for a tightly braided style but it doesn't work, relax and let the messy, easy style take over.


Dealing with Layers

If there's one thing that stops a gal from braiding, it's finding out that when you do, you just have lots of little sticky out bits because of your layers. Now here's the tip: Make sure you curl your hair before you braid. This will make all those sticky out bits look like natural volume, rather than sticky out bits! Then, using some wax to style them as you want to.

Add Volume

This tip is especially important for anyone with fine hair. To avoid creating braids that look thin, use a comb to tease your hair (back-comb it) before you begin braiding. This will help you to create a braided hairstyle that looks full and voluminous rather than thin and limp.


Use a Hairband to Make Things Easier

When you first start out braiding your hair, it can seem like a bit of a handful - literally! You can make things easier for yourself by putting your hair in a ponytail first and then braiding it. When you're done you simply cut the hairband elastic, and remove it, leaving you with a beautifully neat braid.


Freebie Tip!

If you're growing out your fringe and finding it very annoying (yes, we've all been there), you can braid it and use a kirby grip to hold it back in place for a stylish way to get through that 'too-long-for-a-fringe-but-too-short-for-anything-else' stage.

Hopefully you'll find these tips are enough to get you started on your braiding journey. There are a wealth of good tutorials on the internet for when you've had a little practice and you're ready to take your braided hairstyles to the next level. In the meantime, happy braiding!