What do a milkmaid, waterfall, and fishtail all have in common? They are names of one of the hottest hair trends around: braids!
Braids are everywhere, from runway shows to celebrities sporting this style at A-list events. There are so many different types of plaits to choose from, and they can be a great way to conceal a bad hair day. A good comb and a little bit of hair spray can go a long way! I love braids because they’re just so easy to do and the possibilities are almost endless. Braids are also suitable for all ages. Today, I’ve picked out my favorite types of braids, along with my step-by-step guide to creating these looks on your own!
A classic braid is the simplest type of all. Comb your hair and separate it into three sections: right, left and middle. With a firm grasp on all three sections, weave them in a consistent pattern switching the left, right and middle sections over (not under) one another. You are basically putting the side sections on top of the middle section until you reach the bottom of your hair. Secure with a hair tie once you reach the end.
A French braid requires your hair to be combed and detangled prior to starting. Try using a little bit of spray mist to detangle if needed. Decide where you want to start your French braid, then grab some hair at the starting point. Section off your hair into right, left and center pieces. Begin like you would with a traditional plait: layer the sections on top of each other.
Once each section has crossed other sections at least once, grab more hair as you go along. For example, if you are crossing the right section over the center section, grab an inch of loose hair from the right side and then cross the thicker section over the middle. Continue these steps until all of your hair has been added to the French braid. Once you run out of additional hair to add to your French braid, continue the steps for a traditional plait until you reach the end and secure with a hair band.
To do a reverse French braid, take the sections of your hair UNDER (instead of over) the center section of your hair while braiding.
The cascading effect of a waterfall braid can look daunting, but it’s really not as hard as it looks. The waterfall braid is actually similar to a French braid. This type of plait begins right at your forehead. Begin this style like you would with a French braid. When you cross a section of hair over the center strand, drop it completely and continue the braid with a new section of hair. This will create a waterfall effect. This type of plait generally works well from one side of the head to the other. While it might take a few attempts to master a waterfall braid, you’ll see that it gets easier every time you try!
A fishtail braid can look like it took hours to do, but it’s actually almost as simple as a traditional plait. For beginners, I would suggest starting out with tying your hair in a low ponytail. Divide your hair into two sections with a center part. Take a small section (no more than an inch/two centimeters) from the outer edge of one side of your hair and cross it OVER that side of your hair. Then weave that same small portion of hair UNDER the other side of your hair. Repeat this step on the other side, continuing until you get to the end of your hair. Be consistent in the size of the small portion of hair you are overlapping to keep your fishtail braid looking even. When finished, secure the end with a hair tie and use scissors to cut the elastic that was once holding your ponytail.
A milkmaid braid will take you from ordinary to sophisticated in mere minutes! Start by parting your hair in the middle, or just off-center and create two traditional plaits. Secure the ends with clear elastic ties. Then take one plait and cross it over your head where a headband would go and secure with bobby pins. Do the same with the other plait. It sometimes helps to create a slight X shape when crossing the plaits. Finish off by pinning down ends and spraying, and you are ready to go.
Plaits are great whether you are looking for an up-do or are just trying to conceal a bad hair day! All you need are some elastics and your hands to make it happen!