Natural Hair Braiding Styles & Techniques

In mere seconds you can create a natural looking braided hairstyle.

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Braided hairstyles are always popular. You see models walking the hottest fashion runways with braided styles, and celebs sporting them in your favorite gossip magazines. There are some really intricate braided styles you can try, but if it's a more natural look you're after, that's no problem either. It doesn't matter if you're heading out to run some errands during the day or want a quick hippie-esque style to go with your new vintage frock; with the right technique, you can create a natural, chic braided style in no time.

Skinny Braids

Blow dry your hair and work a bit of smoothing serum through it to get rid of any frizz. Don't worry if you've got a bit of wave or curl in your hair, because this keeps it looking natural. Pull out a small section of hair, just under an inch or so wide, and braid loosely down the first half or so of the section. Tease the hair underneath the bottom of the braid a bit to hold it in place. Add a few more braids this way. You can even keep adding braids until all of your hair is in braids. This style works particularly well for girls with coarse hair that's hard to manage, because it keeps it out of your face and the braids can stay in for days without the need to redo your 'do.

Loose Side Braid

A loose side braid is really easy to do and creates a natural, effortlessly chic style in seconds. Part your hair to one side, pull your hair over the opposite shoulder, and braid down the length of your hair, leaving a couple inches loose at the ends. Use a clear hair elastic to wrap around just underneath the braid to hold it in place.

Braided Pullback

A braided pullback style looks natural and simple. It only takes seconds to do, so it's sure to become one of your favorite braided styles. Part your hair far to one side and pull out a section of hair opposite your part, at the front of your head. Braid a couple inches down the hair and press it up against the side of your head, then secure it in place with a couple of bobby pins.

Waves

You can create natural looking, beachy waves in your hair by braiding it. While your hair is still damp -- add a volumizing cream if your hair is quite fine -- style it into one or more braids. The more braids you add, the more wave you'll end up with. Once your hair dries, take the braids out and tousle through your hair gently with your fingers. Add a pretty headband or hippie-style flower hair clip for a nice finishing touch.

Tips

Don't worry about braiding your hair perfectly when you're going for a natural look. Avoid using a lot of product. Polished isn't what you're going for here, since you want to create more of a loose, messy style.

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