The year 2017 has brought braid hairstyles back into style in a big way. People of all walks of life are wearing braid hairstyles this year and are getting incredibly creative with them. Up do’s, down low, and long enough to drag the floor have been all over the red carpet already, and we’re only a few weeks in! Let’s take a look at some of the coolest trends to help you stand out against boring old ponytails.

The Best Braid Hairstyles to Consider

#1. Reach the Sky

Braid hairstyles are up, up and away this year. This means that the trend is to start them at the top of the head. Until recently, most braid hairstyles were starting at the nape of the neck and traveling away down the body as far as they could.

To start a high braid, use a rubber band to hold your hair in a ponytail very nearly at the top of your head. Braid as you normally would and add a colorful clasp to the bottom. Tight braids work better for this style than looser ones or french braiding.

For some variety, grab some hair pins and use them to make a braid snake down the back of your head. Curve the braid all over, pin it down and use a little hairspray to keep it put. If you want to assure even curves, it’s easy enough to do with your smartphone’s face cam pointing at your bathroom mirror from behind your head. The mirror will reflect what’s going on back there so you can see via your phone. It’s a good use for a selfie stick since they’ve been banned in so many places.

#2. Buns ‘N Braids

a young woman's profile

Bun braid hairstyles are huge right now. These usually show up every few years as a new, raging fad and start to die out once again outside of the professional dance world. These are the ultimate in keeping your hair tidy and out of the way while looking absolutely glamorous.

To make a bun braid, start by picking your favorite braid hairstyles. Pop your hair into a simple braid and tie it off. Grasp the end closest to your head and begin to wrap the braid clockwise around the elastic. You may need to use a pen or a chopstick to help you start your bun.

Continue to wind your braid around and around the base, always tucking the new layer toward the bottom, until all of your hair is wrapped. Use hair pins to keep the bun in place. If you desire, you can use a hair net to keep any loose hairs from flaking out of the bun later in the day. Bun braids are very hard to get right with a bun doughnut or a bun sock, and we strongly recommend doing them this way instead. A bun braid can be placed on any part of the head, though high ones are very “in” at the moment.

#3. Tight and Light

Minimalism hairstyles are in right now, too. One slender braid used as a forelock or a little line of box braided hair from the temple to the ear are both excellent examples of this new fad. A braid need not be a solid ponytail style.

Box braiding is simple. A usual braid style is three strands, looped one over the other until the braid is finished, right? Box braiding is the same thing, but with four strands. Always bring the top strand back to the second or third row, switching each time. For instance, your first line should be 1 2 3 4. Your next line should be 3 1 2 4. The line after that should be 3 4 2 1. Use that pattern and continue until you are finished.

If you braid tight to the scalp, you will end up with a braid that looks rather like cake icing curves. These braids can he ended early and simply pinned off or woven into other styles like ringlets. Tight braid styles like these are very easy to do once you get the pattern in your head and will stay in your hair until unwound manually.

#4. Crowning Glory

a smiling blonde woman

Crowns of braids do take a good bit of effort, but they make you look like a queen no matter where you are. The style is essentially a more intense braid bun but placed on top of your head. You will need a good amount of volume to pull this off, though those with thin hair can compensate by making lots of incredibly tiny braids instead.

Start by making as many small braids as you can all around your head from top to bottom. Once you are finished with this, gather up a handful on one side and twist them into the base of your bun as high on your head as they will reach. It’s easier if you use the top layer of braids.

Continue doing this with each lower section, pulling them higher and tighter as you go. Allow the ends to poke out at the top, giving you a feathery look. Until you get the hang of this style, it is likely to take a good while to pull off a crown of braids. Practice braid buns until you are comfortable with them, then try this on for size. Your fingers will thank you.

#5. Color It Up

Multicolored braids are flashy and cool. Stripe your hair vertically, then section it off. Use these sections to make your braid, careful not to let the colors mix. It makes a gorgeous rainbow at the back of your head that gets loads of attention.

If desired, only streak one strand of hair and use it as an accent color. Use the same method, never allowing the colored streak to blend with the rest of the braid. This has, in the past, also been known as a “basket weave” braid. Accentuate your color pop with colored ties.

As you can see, there are plenty of choices when it comes to creating beautiful braid hairstyles. All you need are two things: a little patience and a lot of perseverance. If you want to stand out in the crowd, you should definitely give these styles a try.

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