Braid Hairstyles Up: Expert Tips and Techniques


braid hairstyles up

Braid hairstyles up, also known as braided updos, are a versatile and stylish option for various occasions, whether formal or casual. These hairstyles showcase the intricate weaving of hair strands into different patterns, creating a unique and fashionable appearance. In addition to their visual appeal, braided updos are also practical, as they help keep hair neatly off the face and neck, making them a popular choice for those living an active lifestyle or seeking a low-maintenance hairstyle.

Braiding hair has deep historical and cultural roots, with various techniques and styles originating worldwide. Over time, these methods have evolved into countless variations, allowing people to express their individuality and creativity through their hairstyles. Today, a wide range of types and styles of braids are available, each accommodating different hair textures, lengths, and personal preferences.

Understanding the fundamental types of braids and the techniques for creating them is crucial for anyone interested in trying braid hairstyles. With a step-by-step guide, fashion-conscious individuals can easily experiment with trendy and unique braid styles, drawing inspiration from celebrities and incorporating practical tips and tricks for a polished look.

Key Takeaways

  • Braided updos are versatile, stylish, and practical, suitable for various occasions.
  • Braiding has deep historical roots, with countless variations available today.
  • Learning fundamental braid types and techniques is crucial for creating fashionable braid hairstyles.
braid hairstyles up
Braid Hairstyles Up: Expert Tips and Techniques 2

The Art of Braid Hairstyles

History and Evolution of Braids

Hair braiding is a classic and protective style that has a long history, dating back thousands of years. It has transcended time and evolved across various cultures as a symbol of beauty, status, and tradition. Braids are functional and serve as an artistic expression that can be created and worn by people with different hair types and textures.

Hair braiding originated in Africa, with intricate designs signifying various aspects of one’s identity, such as tribe, age, or marital status. Over time, braiding techniques spread to other regions, including Europe and Asia.

Nowadays, braids come in many forms. Some popular styles include:

  • French braids: A classic technique where the hair is divided into three sections and braided together
  • Dutch braids: Similar to French braids, but the strands are crossed under each other instead of over
  • Fishtail braids: Created by grabbing small sections of hair and crossing them over each other
  • Box braids: A type of protective style where synthetic hair is braided into small, individual sections
  • Feed-in braids: A technique that incorporates extensions into the natural hair, gradually increasing the thickness of the braid

As hair braiding has evolved, stylists have experimented with various materials, colors, and adornments to enhance the look of the braid itself. Furthermore, unique ways to style braids have emerged, such as braided updos, ponytails, and half-up half-down styles, showcasing the creativity and versatility of braids.

In conclusion, the art of braid hairstyles remains a cherished form of self-expression and a timeless representation of culture and history. With the ever-evolving techniques, styles, and materials, there’s no shortage of possibilities when it comes to braiding.

Fundamental Types of Braids

French Braids

French braids are a classic and versatile braiding style worn by individuals with various hair types. This braid starts at the crown of the head and works its way down by gradually incorporating small strands of hair from each side. The result is a neat braid that works well for casual and formal occasions. French braids offer an elegant look and can be quickly learned and created at home.

Box Braids

Box braids are popular for those with Afro-textured hair, providing both style and protection. This type of braid involves dividing the hair into small, equally-sized squares and creating individual plaits from each section. Extensions can be added to give the illusion of longer and fuller locks. Box braids are a low-maintenance hairstyle, allowing for some versatility in styling options, such as updos, buns, or ponytails.


Cornrows are another fantastic protective hairstyle commonly worn by people with Afro-textured hair. This braiding technique involves creating small, tight braids close to the scalp in a specific pattern. Cornrows can be simple, straight lines or more intricate designs, depending on the desired result. Cornrowing requires more time and skill to execute correctly, but the outcome is a sleek, long-lasting look.

Dutch Braids

Dutch braids are similar to French braids but with a slight twist that makes them stand out. Instead of weaving strands over one another like in a French braid, Dutch braids involve folding the hair under, resulting in an embossed braid that sits on top of the head. Dutch braids can be styled as a single braid or multiple braids for a more elaborate appearance and are suitable for different hair types. Like French braids, Dutch braids are a versatile option that can be dressed up or down for any occasion.

Creating Braid Hairstyles: Step-by-Step Guide

Preparation of Hair before Braiding

Before diving into braiding techniques, preparing your hair correctly is crucial. Start by combing your hair to remove any tangles and knots. Hair should be clean, smooth, and dry, as this provides the best foundation for creating flawless braids.

Consider using a light hair weave to add volume and thickness to your braids when styling. A good quality weave, combined with proper care, will ensure that your braids maintain their beauty for an extended time.

Basic Braiding Techniques

1. Three-Strand Braid:
This classic braid is the easiest to learn and master. Begin by dividing hair into three equal sections (left, middle, and right). Take the left section and cross it over the middle one; now, take the right section and cross it over the new middle section. Repeat this process until you reach the end of your braid and secure it with a hair tie.

2. French Braid:
To create a French braid, start with the same initial steps as the three-strand braid. As you progress, add additional hair from the sides into the braid. Add a small section of hair to the outer strands with each cross-over, maintaining even tension as you braid downwards.

3. Dutch Braid:
A Dutch braid is a variation of the French braid but is created by crossing the outer strands under the middle strand rather than over it. This results in a more prominent, raised braid, often called an “inside-out” or “reverse” French braid.

4. Fishtail Braid:
For a more intricate and delicate look, try the fishtail. Divide your hair into two equal sections. Then, take a small subsection of hair from the edge of one section and cross it over to the other side, combining it with the opposite section. Repeat this process, alternating sides as you progress down the hair, and secure the end with a hair tie.

With practice and mastery of these basic braiding techniques, you can experiment and create a variety of stunning braid hairstyles to elevate your beauty game. Remember to take good care of your hair, ensuring it remains healthy and well-maintained, as this is the foundation for achieving flawless braids.

Trendy Braid Hairstyle Updos

Braided Updo

A braided updo is a versatile and stylish option for various occasions. This hairstyle creates braids and weaves them into an updo, often incorporating interesting patterns and texture. One famous example is the Dutch braid crown which involves two Dutch braids wrapping around the head, creating a chic and relaxed look.

Braided Bun

The braided bun is another trendy hairstyle that can be adapted to suit different hair types and occasions. Two main variations of this updo include the cornrow bun and the box-braided low bun. The cornrow bun involves multiple cornrows braided toward the crown of the head, where they are gathered into a neat bun. On the other hand, the box-braided low bun features box braids, created by sectioning the hair and adding extensions, gathered into a low bun at the nape of the neck.

Side Bun with Braids

A side bun with braids is a stylish and modern way to elevate a traditional updo. This hairstyle involves creating side braids, such as a side fishtail braid, and then integrating the braids into a bun positioned on one side of the head. This look adds a touch of sophistication and is perfect for both casual and formal events.

Low Bun with Braids

A low bun with braids is a graceful hairstyle that combines the elegance of a low bun with the intricacy of braids. One example is the French braided chignon, where the hair is French braided and then tucked into a low chignon at the nape of the neck. Another variation is the fishtail braid chignon, where a fishtail braid is incorporated into the low bun for added texture and interest. This hairstyle is perfect for a more subtle yet eye-catching updo.

Unique Braid Styles and Creations

Fishtail Braid

The fishtail braid is an elegant and intricate hairstyle that showcases creativity and skill. To create this look, divide the hair into two sections, then continuously take a small strand of hair from the outer edge of one section and cross it over to the inner side of the opposite section. Repeat this process, alternating sides, until the entire hair length is woven into a fishtail pattern. The final result is a stunning braid that looks complex but can be achieved with practice.

Crown Braid

The crown braid is an exquisite hairstyle that elevates the traditional braid by forming a regal circle around the head. Start by creating a side part and choose one side to begin braiding. French braid the hair, gradually adding more strands as you move around the head while following the front hairline and the nape of the neck. Continue until the braid reaches the starting point, then secure the end of the braid with pins or tie it off with a hairband. The crown braid adds an elegant touch to any ensemble and showcases the versatility of braided hairstyles.

Milkmaid Braid

Milkmaid braids are a chic and unique alternative to typical updos, offering a charming, rustic appeal. To achieve this look, create two low pigtail braids on either side of the head, ensuring they remain tight and even. Next, wrap each braid over and across the top of the head, pinning them in place as you go. The result is a simple yet eye-catching hairstyle perfect for casual wear or more formal occasions.

Double Crown Braid

Double crown braids offer a creative twist on both the traditional crown braid and milkmaid braid, providing double the impact and style. To create this look, divide the hair into two equal horizontal sections. With one section at a time, French or Dutch braid the hair around the head, starting at one side and moving towards the other. Secure the ends of each braid with pins or tie them off with hairbands. Finally, tuck the ends underneath the opposite braid to form a continuous, intertwined crown surrounding the head. The double crown braid is a stunning and innovative hairstyle that demonstrates the boundless creativity of braided styles.

Celebrity-Inspired Braid Hairstyles

Rihanna’s Braids

Rihanna is known for her bold and daring style, and her braided hairstyles are no exception. One of her most iconic looks is the Fulani braids, a cultural symbol for the Fulani people of West Africa. Rihanna has been seen with these intricately braided styles on various occasions, including the Met Gala and her music videos. The braids often incorporate various hair accessories, such as beads and tan thread, adding to their dimension and uniqueness.

Tracee Ellis Ross’ Braids

Tracee Ellis Ross, known for her chic and elegant style, often opts for braided hairstyles that exude sophistication. One such style is the goddess braids, which she has worn on multiple red-carpet events. These thick, cornrow-style braids cascade down her back, often tied up in a bun or left hanging loose. Tracee has also been known to sport other braided styles, such as box and microbraids, showcasing her versatility and love for braid-based looks.

Skai Jackson’s Braids

Young actress Skai Jackson is known for her playful and age-appropriate braid hairstyles. One of her standout styles is the braided updo, where she wears her hair in small, intricate braids twisted and pinned into a stylish bun. Skai has also been seen with box braids and simple cornrows, often adorned with accessories like colorful beads or gold wiring, adding a touch of youthful flair to her braided looks.

Practical Tips and Tricks for Braiding Hairstyles

How to Maintain Braids

Maintaining braids involves a few key steps to ensure they look neat and last longer. First, clean and moisturize the scalp using a gentle shampoo and conditioner, followed by an oil or serum. When washing braids, apply the shampoo gently and focus on the roots, being cautious not to loosen the braids.

  • Keep hair tangle-free by brushing it daily, starting from the bottom and working upwards.
  • Use edge control products to keep the hairline smooth and tidy.
  • If you have any flyaways, use a texture or taming spray to keep them in place.
  • Sleeping with a silk or satin headscarf, pillowcase, or cap is essential, preventing frizz, breakage, and moisture loss.

Braiding Short and Medium Length Hair

Braiding short and medium-length hair can be a challenge, but there are several styles to choose from:

  1. Braided buns: Start by dividing hair into small sections, then braid each section before twisting them into one large bun. This style works well with medium-length hair and adds an extra touch of elegance.
  2. Ponytail braids: To create a braid, gather all your hair into a high or low ponytail and secure it with a hair tie. Afterward, braid the ponytail and secure its end with another hair tie. This style works effortlessly with both short and medium-length hair.
  3. Side Rope Braid: This style is perfect for medium-length hair. First, part your hair on one side, then start braiding from the hairline and work your way down the side. Secure with a small hair tie at the end of the braid.
  4. Braided Bangs: Ideal for hair with grown-out bangs or keeping hair away from the face. Start by braiding a section of hair near the hairline and secure it with a bobby pin on the opposite side.

Remember, practice makes perfect, and it may take a few tries to master these braided hairstyles. Proper tools, products, and techniques for your hair type will give you the best results.


Braid hairstyles offer a versatile and elegant option for those looking to update their look while showcasing a neat and polished appearance. These hairstyles cater to various occasions, whether attending a formal gathering or seeking a change in daily routines.

Braids come in multiple styles, such as the crown braid, which creates a sophisticated, royal effect around the head, and the braided updo, which secures the hair into a bun at the nape of the neck. These hairstyles are visually appealing and practical, as they help maintain a tidy appearance throughout the day.

Experimenting with different braids, including four-strand and half-up half-down styles, enables individuals to find the perfect match for their hair, face shape, and desired effect. Using products like dry shampoo paste can assist in making the braiding process smoother and more manageable, leading to stunning results.

In conclusion, braid hairstyles are a timeless and attractive choice for those seeking variety and elegance in their appearance. The multiple styles available allow for adaptability and self-expression while maintaining a neat and polished look. With practice and experimentation, anyone can confidently showcase a beautiful braided hairstyle.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some popular updo braid styles for weddings?

Some popular updo braid styles for weddings include the crown braid, Dutch braid updo, waterfall braid, and milkmaid braid. These elegant braided hairstyles can be adorned with flowers or other accessories to suit the wedding theme and personal taste.

How can I create a braided up-do for natural hair?

To create a braided up-do for natural hair, prepping your hair with proper moisturization and detangling, then sectioning it as needed. You can try various styles like cornrow braids, twisted up-do, or a braided bun. Use bobby pins and hair ties to secure the hairstyle, and apply a finishing spray or gel to hold it all day.

What are the latest trends in box braid updo hairstyles?

The latest trends in box braid updo hairstyles include knotless braids, which put less tension on the scalp, and layered braids for a Y2K-inspired look. Other trendy styles include incorporating different hair colors or accessories, such as beads, cuffs, or hair rings, to create a unique look.

How do you style braided updo ponytails?

Styling braided updo ponytails involves gathering the braids into a high or low ponytail, securing it with a hair tie, and then twisting, wrapping, or looping the braids to create a bun or another desired style. You can use bobby pins to secure the updo in place and finishing spray for added hold.

Which braid styles are best for a vacation look?

Mermaid braids, messy fishtail braids, and French braids braid styles are ideal for a vacation look. These styles are low maintenance and provide a relaxed vibe, perfect for either beach or city breaks. You can accessorize them with hats, scarves, or other vacation-appropriate accessories as desired.

How do upstyle braids make you look younger?

Upstyle braids make you look younger by lifting the hair off the face, creating a more defined jawline and cheekbones. Furthermore, braids add texture and interest, which can help create a playful and energetic appearance. Opting for less structured braids, incorporating face-framing layers, or adding subtle hair accessories can enhance the youthful effect of braided updos.

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