There are so many hairstyles you can come up with for yourself, but braids are easily the most versatile. With the diverse ways you can create braids, they can be stunning for any event, season, or time of day. Finding the perfect outfit for a particular day is only half of the battle, and is sometimes easier than figuring out what to do with your hair. Finding a fun new braid look could escalate your ensemble through the roof, especially if you have the proper skillset to execute them cleanly. To help you in your search, here is a list of 11 trendy braided hairstyles for 2016 that could save your outfit this year.
1. Boxer Braids
Definitely one of the trendiest braided hairstyles for 2016, this is a look that falls more on the sporty side, unless the rest of your styling decisions make it more sophisticated. Boxer braids will give you a sleek, pulled back look so you don’t have to worry about stray hairs getting in the way. You can keep things simple and chic, without worrying about overworking your hair. This is a style ideal for summer, when you want that pulled back braid, but need the practicality of keeping the heat away from your face.
2. Braided Half Up Hair
If you’re looking for a pretty, feminine look, braided half up hairstyles can be the perfect options to consider. Half pulled back in a braid, your hair will fall romantically without the need to try too hard. This is an ideal date look, whether you’re wearing a flirty dress or a cool, bohemian outfit, and you’d be hard-pressed to find a better hairstyle for that purpose. This style would look especially beautiful in the winter and fall months, due to the way it falls around your face on top of the pulled back braid, but it would be just as pretty for any other time of year.
3. Dutch Braid Updo With Bobby Pins
A Dutch braid can add another layer of sophistication to an already classy updo. This is a look that could work for an evening event, a date, or even just your average day, depending on the outfit you’re wearing! Dutch braided updo hairstyles have an air of ease to them, as the final look isn’t dependent on looking sharp and sleek. It manages to look sophisticated despite the looseness, but could also be dressed down to be more casual for the same reason.
4. Mohawk Braid Top Knot
Here we have a quirkier braid, with a mohawk style up the center and knot bun sticking up from the back. This is a more casual, everyday look, and would look best paired with simpler dresses, or a sweater, such as in the picture provided. It could potentially make for your next go-to braid, especially when your main goal is to keep your hair out of your face.
5. Mohawk Braid Half Up Hairstyle
This is another Mohawk braided hairstyle that bridges the gap between sophisticated and casual. With two small braids going back along a center-part, you’re given an everyday urban look. There’s a lovely essence of youthful professionalism that accompanies that, so whether you’re looking for a hairstyle to wear to work or for a day out, you’ll be looking chic in no time.
6. Half Up Ladder Braids
Here is one of the more elegant braided hairstyles for 2016 on this list. You also have the perfect opportunity to use your favorite hair clip, which could ultimately determine the style portrayed from this hairstyle. If you use a pretty, foliage clip like in the image, your look will be more sophisticated and lovely, whereas a bow or quirky clip would be great to tone down the seriousness, and would be even more apt to be worn for any occasion.
7. Messy Double Side Braided Loose Hair
Sometimes, the best braided hairstyles are the ones that are more messy, so of course we had to add in some! This is an effortless look that revolves around hair falling loosely from the braid, so it is ideal for a casual outing or your daily life. So just let your hair down, and be ready for whatever the day throws at you. When you put time into your hair, even if it’s a simpler style, it’s much easier to take the day head-on.
8. Braid Wrapped Criss-Cross Low Ponytail
Here we have an elegant style, perfect for the spring and summer. There’s just something about the way it’s tied back that makes one think of flowers, and that is especially evident with the lovely bouquet in this photo. This would be a lovely look to wear to an outdoor wedding, or paired with a pretty summer dress. Either way, this is a look that should be worn as something between casual and elegant, but don’t be too scared to lean more toward the dressier side!
9. Loose Dutch Braided Updo
This is another fabulous updo braid, but with more possibilities for styling. You don’t need to have a set occasion for this look, and it can even ebb on the side of being edgy, if your outfit so dictates. It is also another “messy” braided hair option, which gives weight to its casual feeling. But this could also be lovely paired with a maxi, or otherwise summery dress. These tied up braids are given a more exotic beauty when your hair is dyed an interesting color, like the photo here or others on this list, so if you’re looking to recreate your whole look, that might be an option to look into.
10. Textured Half Up Half Down Braided Hairstyle
Here is a look that takes a classic braid and amps it up a bit. Half up/half down styles can be the most beautiful looks, showcasing the best attributes of having your hair up and down. This is one such style that falls further on the casual side, and is another amazing spring look. Of course, it would look great in all months, but there’s something about it that makes it seem as though it would be right at home at a fair or festival. Braids are most commonly associated with warm weather, so just a bit more time to wait before “Braid Season” can begin.
11. Khaleesi Braids
Finally, we have a very simple half up/half down look recalling the famous Khaleesi braids. A loose braid falling down to disappear into your hair, this bohemian look would be ideal for somewhere like a music festival. It pulls your hair from your face just enough so you don’t have to worry about it, and since the look is messier, it doesn’t have to stay perfect for the better part of the day. You can just work your hair into the braid, and go about your day carefree.
Photos courtesy of @valentinaferragni, @twistmepretty, @shelleygregoryhair, @missysueblog, @ellepearls, @ashleyymari3, @kirstenzellers