Trying to determine what to do with your hair for your wedding can be stressful. Whether your hair is straight, wavy, natural, thick or thin, there's a braided option for you. And Zola is here to help you determine which type of braid will work best for you on your wedding day.
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Braids or a braid is an always in style accent that is the perfect addition to any bridal style. Whether you are looking for a wedding hairstyle that is romantic, bold, or you are searching high and low for something more modern, there’s a braided look that will make you stand out on your big day. The biggest bonus is that braids are easy to do on just about any hair length from short pixie cuts to long tresses. “ Braids simply look regal. They are the perfect wedding hairstyle for women of all colors and hair textures because they have a formal look created of beautiful designs,” says The Right Hair Styles hair expert Ghanima Abdullah.
For many brides, picking a hairstyle for the wedding is just one of many stressful decisions to make during planning. It can be overwhelming, but the good news is there’s absolutely no shortage of options when it comes to braided hairstyles. Here’s a breakdown of the types of braided hairstyles to consider.
Cornrows are a protective and low-maintenance hairstyle for natural or relaxed hair. They are usually three-stranded twists that lie flat against the scalp and go towards the back of the head. Be creative, and take on various shapes with the style.
Box braids are also a protective hairstyle that includes three-stranded braids. They get their name from the way the hair is sectioned off into boxes, or squares, and braided down. They are most often installed with hair extensions and come in various lengths, sizes, and colors.
Micro braids are small braids that resemble thick strands of hair. They take hours to install, but you can add in hair extensions to get the look you desire. You can get a beachy look by adding in wavy braided hair to create texture. The styles are limitless.
Dutch Braids Dutch braids look very similar to French braids. You start both with three strands and add hair into the braid as you go, but with Dutch braids, you cross the sections underneath each other so it creates an inside-out appearance.
This classic look is a type of braid that’s created by interweaving three strands and adding more hair into the braid from either side from the crown of your head to the nape of your neck.
Love the idea of dreads, but don’t want the commitment? Faux locs are hair that’s loc’d, but is actually hair extensions, so you can still achieve the look without the extra maintenance.
This popular wedding braid style is a unique plait that looks like a fish’s tail. It involves weaving strands of hair together by twisting two sections, alternating sides, to create the intricate appearance. One of the most common styles is to fishtail it from the crown of the head instead of from a ponytail position.
This is similar to the fishtail braid, but this chic look braids the plaits closely to the scalp with one thick braid in the center with thinner cornrows joining the main braid at an angle.
These are known as latch hook braids, because the technique includes braiding the hair, then crocheting synthetic hair extensions to the natural hair with a crochet hook. These are a hybrid of traditional braids, and similar to hair extensions, so you can create many different looks for your wedding day.
This braid is a more subtle wedding braid hairstyle that’s half French braid and the rest of the hair cascades like a waterfall. To create the look, make a horizontal or diagonal plait throughout loose hair with strands flowing throughout the braided style to get the desired waterfall effect.
The versatility of braided wedding hairstyles is one of its biggest advantages, but ensuring your style will last throughout your wedding celebration is a bonus. Adding a braid into your hair, even if it's a style that’s on the crown of your head, will ensure that your hair will stay put for the most part. However, more romantic, earthy, bohemian styles are purposely loose and contribute to the theme some brides are looking for. Some brides will lean towards traditional French braids, while more modern brides will ask for on-trend styles like fishtails or fishbones.
Angelo David, an owner of Angelo David salon, says he’s seeing a lot of boho styles that include several braided looks.“Very trendy boho styles that are in right now for women are braid-on-braid down dos; layering different types of braids with different levels of tightness can create a very boho-chic look,” he says. If you are loving the idea of a wedding braid, but don’t want it to define your hairstyle, there’s a style for you too. Try twisting a braided ponytail into a low bun or tuck some flowers along a braided half-up, half-down style to bring something different to the look. Here’s 15 ideas to inspire your braided wedding hairstyle.
Braided Updo Gather those braids, and place them on top of your head in a crown of glory. Incorporate jeweled accessories or even flowers for an elegant look.
Braided Underneath Adding a few braids to the lower section of your hairstyle is a subtle way to incorporate this trend into your bridal beauty look. Insert a few fresh florals for a bit of romance.
Tousled Braids Cristina Boatman, stylist and colorist at My Darling Ivy, says that it’s a simple process to get the tousled look by adding in braids. “To achieve loose waves with a braid, you can simply curl your hair leaving the ends out, and shake it out afterward. Then, loosely braid the front sides of your hair. After you secure your braid with a hair tie, you can lightly pull the braid apart from the sides to give it a more disheveled look.”
Bubble Braid This style offers a twist to simple ponytails and braids by fluffing up sections, so you have a fresh look.
Curly Fishtail Braid Fishtails can be done on curly hair. Add this braid to your curls for stylish bohemian elegance.
Wrapped Braided Bun Braids are so flexible that you can wrap it into a top knot with a twist. It’s a great way to elongate the neck if your wedding attire has a high neckline.
Double Braid Halo Braid the hair into a halo style with one braid or multiple. Add a crown or flowers for a little glam.
Cornrow Bun Another take on the classic bun style, gently braid your coils up into a knot. Accessorize with hairpins, jewels, or flowers.
Curly Locs Take those faux locs or dreadlocks and wrap them into curl rods overnight. Unravel them the day of the wedding for bouncy curls.
Twin French Braids Twin French braids are a fun and adaptable hairstyle. Pin them up for an elegant touch or merge them into one braid.
Tucked Braid Pin your hair back into a braid and secure it with a hair piece or flowers.
Loose Waves With a Braid Take a soft braid with loose hair tendrils for a romantic, whimsical look.
Single Braid This is a simple look that can be romantic for your wedding day. “Create a loose braid and seal the end with a clear elastic band. Using a rattail comb, and starting from the roots, fluff out some of the hair from each bend. Create the fluffs evenly on each side, so that the resulting look is a chunky, flat braid. From here, you can attach small pearls or flowers to the inside of the braid going down,” says Abdullah.
Tucked Braid Pin your hair back into one braid, and secure it with a hair piece or floral accessory.
Loose Braids Wear a chunky, loose braid (or even use smaller braids) to accent other styles like a braided updo, or a plait at the hairline to keep your hair off of your face.
In order to narrow down exactly what look will work best for your hair and face for your wedding hairdo, it’s important to find some inspiration to help you with your decision.
Pro Tip: Use certain descriptive words when scouring the internet for inspiration, especially the type of braids or styles you may be interested in.
Not every stylist will offer braiding services, despite there being so many options that you can style your hair with a singular plait or even adding in hair extensions to get your desired look. It’s best to chat with your hairdresser about what their skillset is. If they aren’t able to accommodate the style your heart is set on, then you’ll have to start your research and find a stylist in your area.
You may have already considered how much you have to budget for wedding hair. That will help you determine if this is a style that you can recreate yourself, enlist friends, or find a professional hairdresser to complete the look. Your budget will be the guide to help you weed out stylists you can’t afford. Often, you’ll have to factor in the cost of hair extensions to pull off a certain look like box braids or crochet braids.
Some stylists aren’t braiders, and that’s okay—but don’t forget your hair expert can also be a source of networking. If you feel comfortable, it doesn’t hurt to ask if he or she is willing to do your wedding hairstyle. If they can’t, ask them if they can refer you to someone they trust.
Pictures can often be worth a thousand words, and you can tell a lot about a hairstylist by looking through their online portfolio or social media. Seeing their previous work will tell you if it’s a good fit for what you’re looking for when it comes to your vision for your wedding.
It’s your big day, and you know what style you’re going for. We’ve all had that experience when you tell the hairstylist your dream style and you walk out with something completely different. When you meet with potential hairdressers, take note of if they are truly listening to you and your ideas or if they are forcing their opinions about how your hair should look. Remember: It’s your day, and you have the final say. It’s okay to consult them about the best options to create the look you want.
Remember: Your hair is your crown, and however you decide to adorn it is totally up to you. Whether you decide to create long braids, short braids, or locs, it’s your day—and ultimately you decide what makes you feel beautiful and confident. Zola is here to help you every step of the way.