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The best lust-worthy braids, plaits and twisted updos to master

Ah, braids. Not only are they the world's most versatile hairstyle, but they're also perhaps the most practical at keeping hair in place and off your face. A slick, braided style can keep you cool, calm and collected in any scenario. They feel laidback, but still pulled-together – an impressive combination for one hairstyle to achieve, which is probably what makes the style so popular.

So, whether you've always wanted to master box braids, a fashionable fishtail, Queen Bey's statement slogan braids or even just off-duty pigtails (which are taking off on Instagram), step one is to familiarise yourself with the art of braiding itself.

With our screens still serving as a main source of social interaction, it's well worth perfecting your Zoom-ready hairstyle and with braids, it's definitely a matter of practice makes perfect. But once you have nailed it, it'll be worth the effort. Braids provide perfectly polished hair without all the faff (you can even sleep with them in and still look stunning come morning).

Once you've got a basic plait down, the possibilities are endless. To do that, part your hair into three sections, combing through each one to get rid of any tangles. If you have textured hair, a moisturising styling cream can help smooth down each section and make it easier to braid. Weave the right outer section over the the middle section, so that the middle section becomes the right outer section. Then weave the left outer section over the middle section, so that the middle section becomes the left outer section. Repeat all the way down hair lengths and secure at the ends with an elastic.

From there, you can try on-trend halo braids (also known as the go-to style for summer), intricate plaited up-dos, or to add a bit of dazzle, load up on the accessories.

Make sure to take a look at our favourite romantic braid hairstyle ideas:

Stack your braids up into ponytails, buns and half-up, half-down dos like Lesley from fresh lengths.
These basic pigtail braids by Samantha Lilliann look polished throughout the day, but can also help to emphasise the wave in your hair when you take them out.
If you struggle with plaits, this bobble braid gives you a similar finish, but with far less co-ordination required. Add hair ties down the length of your ponytail at 5-10cm intervals (like Cecilia Laulanne) for a simple style that looks beautiful.
Taking the braid game to new heights, Beyonce started a new trend with her statement-making slogan braids to promote Ivy Park.
Top model Joan Smalls switches up her hair with fresh braids.
J-Lo rocked this complex twisted plait creation, captioning her Instagram 'Veruschka vibes' as a nod to her iconic hair inspo.

This article originally appeared on GLAMOUR UK | Author Elle Turner

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