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  • Writer's pictureThe Shampoo Lounge

14 Big Braid Hairstyles for a Bold and Quick(ish) Style

I’ve always loved big braid hairstyles; I think partly because, as a child, my hair was always plaited. For my mother, braiding my hair ensured that even after hours of rolling around and playing, the hairstyle remained intact and polished.

Nowadays, my hairstyles tend to last longer, but I still love a braided look for both style and practicality. Whether it's cornrows or elegant French braids, braided hairstyles offer a myriad of options for every occasion and hair type.

Scroll down to dive into 14 big braid hairstyles for inspiration.

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To create Rihanna's iconic cornrows, start by sectioning your hair into neat rows using a comb. Begin braiding each section close to the scalp, incorporating small sections of braiding extension to the hair as you go. Keep the braids tight for a sleek look or looser for a more relaxed vibe. Continue braiding until you've completed all sections, securing each braid with a small hair elastic at the end.

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Braided Ponytail

“For this look on Naomi Campbell, start by putting your hair into a ponytail, then braiding it,” says Jennifer Korab, a New York-based celebrity hairstylist. For extra length, add hair extensions the same color and texture as your hair. “Once you finish braiding the ponytail, leave out around 3 inches at the end. Using a texture spray, create a textured fringe at the bottom of the braid.”

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French Braid to Fishtail

To achieve Yara Shahidi’s French braid with fishtail ends, start by dividing the hair into two sections at the crown of your head. Begin French braiding, adding small sections of hair as you go. Once you reach the nape of your neck, transition into a fishtail braid by splitting the remaining hair into two sections and crossing small pieces from one side over to the other. Secure the end with a clear elastic band and gently tug on sections of the braid to create a fuller, textured look. Finish with a light mist of hairspray for hold and shine.

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Swept-Side French Braid

“For this look on Leona Lewis, part your hair and choose a side that either complements an asymmetrical dress or is opposite of your favorite side,” says Sophie Rose Gutterman, an L.A.-based celebrity hairstylist and textured hair expert. “You want to make sure you have a nice full braid, so consider adding clip-in extensions, like The Hair Shop Pro 7 Clip-In Set.”

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French Ponytail Braids

“Depending on how many braids you want, this look on Whitney Peak is fun because you can do two or six by parting it differently,” says Gutterman. “I always love starting any updo with All About Curls Luxe Leave-In Detangler for softness that isn't heavy in the hair and keeps the frizz away. Use your favorite edge control to control fly always. Use an elastic on the ends.”

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Half-Up Half-Down

“When a client has braids and is attending an event and wants to do an upstyle, I like to hydrate the scalp using Flawless by Gabrielle Union Nourishing Scalp Spray,” explains Gutterman. Next, I separate the braids and create a cute bun on top of the head. Most of the time, you can tuck the hair, but if you need to use a bobby pin, find one that is flexible and doesn’t have balls at the tip — This will ensure the pins don’t mess up her braids. Finish off by styling your baby hairs using Flawless Repairing Edge Control and a toothbrush.” See an example here on DJ C. DeVone.

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Colored Braid

“To get this look seen on Justine Skye, start by creating small cornrow braids along the head, then secure all of them into a ponytail,” says Korab. “Next braid the ponytail down and secure it with an elastic. Adding color with extensions is a great way to enhance this look.”

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Cornrow Updo

This feed-in jumbo braid updo on Teyonah Parris is achieved by adding a lot of pre-stretched braiding hair when creating the cornrows. Adding the extension to the look will give the braids more definition and make them look fuller.

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Loose Dutch Braids

“Start this look worn by Rita Ora by making a center part, then use a texture spray to create a full base. Next, do two loose Dutch braids on either side,” says Korab. “Once you’ve finished both braids, pull the base out for added fullness.”

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Fishtail Updo

“I love how much of a statement this look on Janelle Monáe is! The amount of clean texture that comes from using hair to create a bun is gorgeous. Whether you do half-up and half-down or create a fun shape on top of your head using braided extensions, you will have everyone turning heads,” says Gutterman. “I like to buy braiding hair in all colors to have in my kit just in case the client is looking for something bold. The Hair Shop sells wefts or clip-in extensions if you want a specific color. Lock in the look with SexyHair Weather Proof Hairspray.”

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French Braid Bun

“For looks like this one on Jessica Alba, I like to use a braiding aid to control the hair. Then I start off by creating an upside down French braid and secure it with an elastic,” says Korab. “Next, backcomb the hair that is left to create fullness, then spray a texture spray for some hold and grit; I like Kerastase VIP Spray. Lastly, create a bun and secure it with a pin.”

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Halo Braid

“To get this look worn by Jennifer Lopez, create a high ponytail at the crown of the head, using an oil or lotion to smooth any flyaways,” says Korab. “Next, separate the pony into sections and begin braiding. Wrap the braids around to create a halo effect and secure. Finish off using a medium hold hairspray like Redken Control Addict.”

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Side Braid

To recreate Beyoncé's stunning side braid, start by parting your hair deeply on one side. Gather all your hair to the opposite side of the part and begin braiding it into a classic three-strand braid, keeping it tight and close to the scalp. Continue braiding until you reach the ends of your hair and secure it with a small elastic. For added texture and volume, gently tug on the sides of the braid to loosen it slightly.

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Braided Bang

“Creating a bang with a braid will give the hair a textured playful look,” says Gutterman, citing this stunning example on Alicia Keys. “ Once you have decided how you want the braid to sit, use a long bobby pin to secure the hair.”

Get yourself a braid hairstyle today with The Shampoo Lounge.

The Shampoo Lounge has been attending to an international and Indonesian clientele since 2012 so check out our instagram, our website and our TripAdvisor reviews! We can’t wait to have you in.

By Omenaa Boakye for Instyle

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