Different Styles of Braids & Their Names

by Michelle Wishhart ; Updated September 28, 2017

Hair braiding has long been a bonding tradition between girlfriends, sisters, mothers and daughters. It takes forever and it usually hurts, but the end result is so classically beautiful that it's always worth the work. Both traditional and youthful-looking, there is a style of braiding appropriate for just about every social occasion.

French Braids

French braids are one of the most popular braid types. This method involves weaving small chunks of hair on top of the main braid, which lays close to the scalp. The final result is a tidy and sophisticated look.

Herringbone Braids

Herringbone braids are thin, layered braids that use lots of small intertwined pieces of hair. These braids are named "herringbone braids" because the braid resembles the skeleton of a fish (but much prettier).

Lace Braids

Lace braids are simple braids that crown the head of the wearer in a half-moon shape, like a tiara.


Cornrows are small, tight braids that line up against the scalp, usually in symmetrical rows. Releasing cornrows after a day or two results in exceptionally curly hair.

Dutch Braids

Dutch braids are similar to French braids, except that the braid sits on top of the hair instead of under it. The final style tends to be looser and more relaxed-looking than a French braid.

Photo Credits

  • Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Jim Kuhn

About the Author

Michelle Wishhart is a writer based in Portland, Ore. She has been writing professionally since 2005, starting with her position as a staff arts writer for City on a Hill Press, an alternative weekly newspaper in Santa Cruz, Calif. An avid gardener, Wishhart worked as a Wholesale Nursery Grower at Encinal Nursery for two years. Wishhart holds a Bachelor of Arts in fine arts and English literature from the University of California, Santa Cruz.