Braiding hair keeps it up and out of the way. Though it can be a very utilitarian style, it also can be a fashionable up do. Adorn braids with jeweled hairpins, add ribbons to the weave or wrap the loose braids around your head for a more elaborate variation on the standard braid. There are many varieties of braided style.

Simple Three-Strand Braid

In a simple three-strand braid, the hair is divided into three sections and then, by turns, each section is moved to the middle position. This creates a simple braid that can be tied off with a hair-elastic. Use it to create one or two long pigtails down the back of the neck.

French Braid

A French braid is a style where small segments of hair are braided at the top of the head and as the braid progresses, more hair is added from the side of the head.

In this style, all the hair on the head may be used or some of the hair may be braided with some of the hair left loose. In the standard French braid, the segments of hair are brought over to the middle, while in an inverted french braid, the hair is brought under the other segments to the middle, creating braids that stand up from the rest of the hair.

Crown Braid

A crown braid begins with two pigtails at the base of the neck. Each pigtail is brought over the top of the head and then sewn to the hair in an overhand stitch using a large plastic tapestry needle that is threaded with thin ribbon. A crown braid is one way to create the illusion of longer hair, as it creates the impression of one single braid wrapped over the top of the head.

Cornrows

Cornrows are small braids that are French braided close to the head. All of the hair on the head is braided, and the bare sections between the braids create rows that look like cornrows, giving the style its name.

Cornrows might require a stylist, especially if you want the braids to be of a uniform size or in a certain style.…