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10 Easy Braid Hairstyles to Try When You’re Short on Time

You have plenty of easy-to-do options, from bubble braids to braids that make you feel like royalty.
We love braids because they let you create a plethora of protective hairstyles for all seasons, but if we’re being honest, not all protective hairstyles are easy to do. If you love an intricate braided ‘do or styles that require microbraids, you have to be dedicated to the time they take to execute — be sure to invest in some tushy cushions. But there are those times when you want to wear braids and you don’t have a lot of time to do your hair, or you just don’t quite have the skills for something complex.

The good news: There are a variety of easy braid hairstyles that don’t take much skill, tools or time to pull off. Now that your interest piqued, check out some of our favorite quick braid styles and below; they only take minutes to do without skimping on flair. How’s that for a protective style wit

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What Product Should I Put in My Hair Before Braiding?

Before you put your hair in any protective style, braids included, you always want to wash, condition and moisturize your strands. Start with the Goddess Strength Fortifying Shampoo With Castor Oil and Goddess Strength Fortifying Conditioner With Castor Oil, a cleansing system that restores intense moisture to the hair while detangling and strengthening hair.

Once your hair is washed, add a leave-in conditioner to add long-lasting moisture. We love the Goddess Strength Divine Strength Leave In Cream With Castor Oil for its blend of hair fortifying ingredients, including black cumin seed oil, castor oil and ginger. This leave-in conditioner for natural hair helps hair feel 15 times stronger in just one use. This is important when you’re going to add braiding hair to your head (which creates weight and sometimes tension) and for any hairstyle you’ll wear for several weeks.

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Know your curls better than ever before! Our quick and easy 5-step quiz, which uses powerful data to determine your hair type, will help you understand your strands. Set aside a couple of minutes to answer some simple questions, and we’ll take care of the rest. At the end, we’ll identify your curl type and main hair concerns, and provide expert tips, product recommendations, and a personalized routine. The journey to gorgeous hair starts now. Click Here to find your personalized routine.

The Best Products for Easy Braid Hairstyles

In addition to the above mentioned products you need for prep, keep these products on hand for your pre-, mid- and post-styling process. These natural hair must-haves make braiding and maintenance a whole lot easier.

Hair Milk 4-in1 Combing Creme

This detangling cream is key for prepping your hair before braids. It also adds moisture to your curls and prevents frizz while you work out knots and tangles. Start by adding a quarter-size amount to your hair and running it through from the roots to the tips with your fingers. Add more as you need but a little goes a long way with this rich hair moisturizer.

Goddess Strength True Stretch Defining Cream

If you want length on your natural braids without extensions, a great strategy is to stretch your curls before you start the braiding process. This cream helps you do exactly that while reducing frizz, moisturizing your tresses and treating breakage for those extra dry curls. It’s hair shrinkage’s worst enemy!

Goddess Strength 7 Oil Blend Scalp & Hair Oil

No hairstyle is complete without a finishing oil, and for braids, it’s especially essential to keep your scalp moisturized on your visible parts. Though this hair and scalp oil has a blend of natural oils, including jojoba oil, coconut oil, sunflower seed oil and more, it still has a lightweight feel. Use it on your scalp and hair once you're done braiding to avoid getting your hands super greasy, which can make braiding difficult for some hair types and lengths.

Coco Crème Curl Shaping Cream Gel With Coconut Oil

Anytime you’re braiding your hair it’s always a good idea to keep some gel on hand. Not only does gel help to keep your parts neat, but it’s great for smoothing out flyaways and giving your style some long-lasting hold. This one is formulated with good-for-hair ingredients such as coconut milk, mango butter and Murumuru butter and free of hair nasties like silicone and parabens.

Black Vanilla Edge Control Smoother

Of course, you can’t forget to style those beautiful baby hairs that can make a braided hairstyle look unique and elevated. Grab an edge brush and this sweet-smelling edge gel and swoop, scallop and swirl to your heart’s contentment. You can also use it to slick down flyaway hairs without making your braids feel crunchy or heavy.

10 Braided Hairstyles That Are Actually Easy to Do

While there are many braided hairstyles that are complex and should be left up to braid professionals, there are plenty of styles you can do at home, on your own, in just minutes. Check out ten of our favorite simple braid hairstyles below, along with mini braid tutorials, for your next style inspiration.

1. Double Cornrows

Mastering how to cornrow can be a feat in and of itself, so executing a style with lots of braids going in many directions can feel almost impossible. Keep it simple and cute with a classic double cornrow (a.k.a. two-braid) look. EMBED OPTIONS:

Get the look: Start by parting your hair straight down the middle from the front to the nape of your neck, creating two equal sides. Clip one side while you work on the other so that you keep your part clean and don’t accidentally gather hair from the wrong side as you go. Braid the first side all the way back to the end and then repeat on the other side of your head until you have two identical cornrows on either side. You can add clear elastics to the ends if you have fine hair that’s prone to slipping, or add beads and other metallic accents that you love. Add some hair oil to your part to keep your scalp moisturized and to add a little shine to your hair.

2. Straight-Back Cornrows

Another classic and easy-to-do style, straight backs are cornrows that literally go straight back from the front of the head to the back (hence the name). We love this style because it looks great on everyone (face shape be damned) and it can be done on long or short hair in very little time.

Get the look: The amount of braids you decide to create is up to you but keep your hair thickness and length in mind. (If you have thicker or longer hair you’ll want to do fewer braids to keep the time short.) Create your first part down the center (or close to the center) of your hair.

Those with advanced braiding skills may start at the outer corner but if you're just perfecting your cornrow skills, start your larger and more noticeable braids first; you’ll want to begin at the center and go out to the sides as you go, adding hair gel to your parts to keep them polished and to give the hair some sheen. Just a handful of braids will do it and feel free to complete the look by laying your edges.

3. Reverse Straight Back Cornrows

An edgier take on the above straight-back cornrows, reverse cornrows offer a cute braided hairstyle for those who like to flip tradition on its head.

Get the look: For this style, you’re going to essentially do everything you would do for straight-back cornrows, except you’ll braid the hair in reverse: from the nape to front hairline. This is especially flattering for anyone with short hair who wants to complete the style with curly braids or curls at the front, creating a bang that complements their reverse cornrows.

4. Half-Up Braids

Half-up hairstyles took over our social media feeds a few years ago and show no signs of going anywhere, anytime soon — and the same can be said for half-up braided hairstyles. What’s great about doing half-up braids for natural hair is that it’ll look stunning whether you have a 4C, 3B or 2A curl pattern and it’ll take half the time of braiding your entire mane all the way through.

Get the look: Part your hair across going from ear to ear and clip the back out of the way. Then create a center part from the front of your hair to the middle, stopping right at your crown (the very top of your head) where you created the first part. Now you can start your braids in the front, neatly parting and adding gel as you go. You can choose to simply do two braids or add a handful — it’s up to your skill level and how much time you have. Once you’re done with your braids, unclip the back, add a curl refresher spray to your hair and get ready for compliments all day.

5. Single Under Braid

A single under braid (often referred to as French braid) offers simplicity with elegance and doesn’t hold back on style. Not only is it a chic and easy hairstyle to rock for a night out, but it can also be worn to bed to protect your hair while you sleep.

Get the look: Be sure to detangle your hair before you start the process; apply a detangling cream and work it through your hair with a wide-tooth comb or detangling brush. Then gather your hair in the front, and simply begin braiding your hair back until you reach the nape of your neck. Once you’re done, feel free to add accessories that elevate your beautiful braid.

6. Single Braid with Brun

While we’re on the topic of single braids, let’s explore this equally easy style that adds a ponytail element to the mix without adding a whole lot of extra time to your hairstyling routine. You’ll just need some braiding hair if you are working with a medium-length or short haircut.

Get the look: Detangle and moisturize your hair, then begin your braid — this could be a traditional cornrow, an under braid, a fishtail braid (whatever your braiding skills will allow). Once you get to the end, leave a bit of your hair out. If your hair is long (this is where stretch defining cream can be a game changer) you can tie a satin scrunchie or hair tie around your hair to create a low ponytail, then braid it. When you reach the tip of the braid, start wrapping the ponytail around itself until you have a braided bun (a brun).

If your hair isn’t long enough to wrap around itself several times, don’t worry, this is where that braiding hair will come in handy. Add the braiding hair to the little bit of your own hair you left out and braid it together, all the way down to the tip. Add a hair tie or scrunchie at the base or nape to make a low pony and then wrap the hair around itself until you have a brun. Secure your braided bun with a bobby pin or decorative clip to keep it in place.

7. Jumbo Box Braids

We love a jumbo braid moment because not only are jumbo braids easier to do than microbraids and other small braid styles, but jumbo braids means less braids and less braids often means less tension on the scalp. Remember, your protective hairstyle should be protecting your natural hair, not causing it damage.

Get the look: Detangle your hair and add moisturizer to keep your hair hydrated and frizz free. Then create your jumbo braid parts and use duckbill clips to keep them out of your way as you work. (This is the time to get creative and create zigzags, triangles, hearts and other shapes with your braid parts.) Add gel to your parts and then weave your loose single braids from roots to tips, being sure not to put too much tension on the scalp as you braid. Once you’ve completed your entire head, accessorize as you see fit.

8. Double Bubble Braids

We know that bubble braids aren’t actual braids in a sense, but they’re still fun to wear and surprisingly easy to execute. You just need a lot of hair ties and upper body endurance; many arms have gotten tired creating all those ponytails.

Get the look: The good thing is if you don’t have a ton of patience for a bubble braid that has several ponytails, you can do it with just three or four. Part your hair down the center from the front to the back. Clip one side away as you work on the other. Make a small part in the front on the first side and put a hair tie around it — since this is the front you won’t bubble this ponytail, you’ll lay it flat. Take that first small pony and pull it back, gathering more hair into the ends to create another, larger ponytail.

Now you’re creating the bubbles in your “braid” so you’ll want your ponytails secure, but also loose enough to create the bubbles as you go. Once you’ve finished the ponytail, use your fingers to pull the hair between both hair ties apart a little or use a plastic rattail comb to pull the hair loose and create a bubble. Continue this on both sides until you’ve completed your entire head.

9. Crochet Braids

Crochet braids allow you to save on time in a different kind of way than all these other styles. While installing crochet braids isn’t as simple and easy as a double braid or a single under braid, it’s a lot faster (and often better for your strands) than traditional box braids. Be sure to buy looped, pre-braided hair and a crochet needle to get the job done.

Get the look: Start with simple straight back braids; don’t go too small to avoid needing to add too many braids to your hair. Add a little oil to your scalp to keep it moisturized and to avoid itching and flaking. We advise starting at the back since it’s harder to reach and will only become more difficult to get to once braids are cascading down the front of your hair. Stick the crochet needle through your cornrow, then take the pre-braided hair and attach the hair loop through the crochet hook, close the hook, and pull the loop through the cornrow. Your single braid should be pulled through your cornrow a few inches but hanging; you need to secure it. Take the end of your single box braid and pull it through the loop end, tightening as you get to the top. You will need to do this several times to complete your whole head and it will take hours, but once you get going you’ll see how simple it really is to complete.

10. Crown Braid

Hold your head like a queen in this regal braided hairstyle. A crown braid is not only a charming updo perfect for any occasion, but it’s one that won’t add hours to your prep time. No wonder it’s a hairstyle of choice for brides and prom goers alike. You’ll need braiding hair to do the easiest version of this style.

Get the look: Be sure to detangle your hair well before you start this braid style because it’s not forgiving to knots and flyaways. Brush your hair back and gather it into a low ponytail. Add gel to your hair to help you keep it sleek. Then, start weaving the braiding hair into your ponytail until it’s long enough to go around your entire head. Make sure it’s secured at the end. Take the braid and wrap it round your head, positioning it where you’d like it to sit. Once it’s in place, use bobby pins or decorative clips to hide the ends of the braids and the base of the ponytail while securing everything in place.

How to Take Care of Braids

Once your easy braids are in you may decide to keep them in for a while, which means you may need to wash them at some point — that’s when a clarifying shampoo, like Wash Day Delight Sulfate Free Shampoo For Curly Hair, comes in handy. This pick with a sulfate-free formula transforms from liquid to foam to give hair a deep cleanse without stripping it. It’s made with micellar water to attract oil and buildup and then lift it up and away from the scalp and hair. The pointed tip nozzle lets you get directly to the scalp so you can keep your braids intact as you clean them.

Once your braids are clean, follow up with a hair oil; this is especially important if you have braids with many visible parts. Applying hair oil to the scalp and hair will help you keep that skin from drying out and add a little shine to the hair. We love the Born to Repair Reviving Hair Oil With Shea Butter because it’s made with moisturizers like shea butter, Amazonian nut oil and Babassu oil. So not only does it deeply moisturize hair, it keeps frizz away and adds much needed shine.

Next Up: What Are Knotless Braids?

Related Products:
Coco Crème Sulfate Free Shampoo
Coco Crème Creamy Conditioner
Coco Crème Curl Perfecting Water Coco Mist Spray
Wash Day Delight Hair Gel to Foam Styler Aloe
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