Braids are my absolute favorite. They can bring an updo to a whole different level as well as turn your blah hair day right around. Here are some of today’s most popular styles:

French – This is the most traditional, the one your mom probably did on you as a kid if you were lucky.  This braid is best for clean, tighter styles, although they definitely can work in messier styles.  I tend to use this braid in styles for mature women or more reserved bridesmaids who want something just a little bit edgy.

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Fishtail – The fishtail is a fabulous braid for side, loose styles. They generally don’t have as tight of a hold as other braids, so they’re great if you’re looking for that messy, surfer girl look. Tiny fishtails are adorable as accents in another style, or to hold back bangs.
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Waterfall – Waterfall braids are relatively new on the hair scene, making a big splash in the past couple years in wedding and prom styles. While they are really cute, it is more for accessorizing a hairstyle than actually holding back any hair, because it leaves as much hair down as it pulls back.

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Inside out – Also known as a dutch or cornrow braid, this one is done in an inside out manner, giving it a more voluminous look than the typical French braid. This makes it a much more appealing look for holding bangs back and updos.These are really popular because they are easily pulled apart, giving a much more voluminous look than your traditional french braid.
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Twist – This one is not technically a braid, but has a similar quality and is much easier for the braid novice to pull off. It’s also my favorite way to pull back bangs because it gives volume and is great for those who are weary of looking too childish with a traditional braid.
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Merged – This isn’t so much a type of braid as a style of combining multiple or different kinds of braids into one, resulting in a really gorgeous (and kind of mind-blowing) look. This is best used on someone with a LOT of hair, so if you’re thinking about trying out this style, you might need to spring for some extensions.

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