Photo: Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images
Braids are hairstyles that moms love putting on little girls. They're pretty and darn fast to do. You don't need to be Pippi Longstocking to rock cute braids, though; grown-ups can wear them too. There are several different braids you can play around with, but three of the most common are English braids, French braids and fishtail braids. These cute, simple hairstyles keep your hair out of your face, while making you look pretty and polished.
Brush or comb your hair, to get out any knots and tangles. Gather it all on the nape of your neck in a low ponytail. You can secure it with a hair elastic or just hold it with your hand.
Separate the ponytail into three equal sections. Hold the right section of hair with your right hand, the left with your left hand, and the middle with your middle and index finger on your left hand. It's kind of a clumsy way of holding your hair at first, but you get used to it pretty quickly.
Cross the left section of hair over the middle section, so the left section becomes the middle one. Grab the new left section with your left hand; clutch the middle section with your index and middle finger of your left hand.
Cross the right section of hair over the middle section, making the right section of hair the new middle section. Repeat this until you've braided all but an inch or two of your hair at the bottom. Secure it with a hair elastic, and you're good to go.
Use your thumbs to section the hair above your ears away from the rest of your hair. Separate that top section of hair into three pieces and start English braiding them twice, just so both the left and right section swap places.
Hold the left section of hair with your right hand--keeping it apart from the other two sections of hair--and use your left hand to grab a section of hair from the left side of your head. Make sure this section of hair is half the size of the other sections; it won't look right if it's too thick. Combine this hair with the left section of hair and cross it over the middle section.
Hold the right section of hair with your left hand. Just like you did with the left side, grab a section of hair from the right side of your head. Combine it with the right section and braid it over the middle section. Keep doing this until all of your hair has been caught up in the braid.
Braid the rest of the ponytail in the same way you would an English braid. When you get to the last inch or two, tie it off with an elastic.
Brush your hair and tie it into a ponytail high on your head. Hold it securely with your right hand.
Separate the hair in the ponytail into two equally-sized sections. Grab a 1-inch section of hair from the underside of the left section and cross it over the right. Do the same thing with the right side, grabbing a section from underneath and flipping it over the left side.
Keep grabbing pieces from underneath each section and alternate flipping them over the other section. Do this until you have about an inch or two of hair left at the bottom. Secure it with a hair elastic to hold it in place.
Jazz up your braids with colorful hair elastics and hair clips.
Braids work best on medium to long hair, and they work with all hair textures.