Looking for some cute new ways to keep your little one’s hair neat all day long? We went to the hair braiding experts to uncover a few super easy braid hairstyles that can be mastered in no time.
Melbourne mum Shelley Gifford at Pretty Little Braids and US dad Greg, of Greg Wickherst’s Guide to Surviving Hair, both began their hair braiding journeys with very little experience. Having daughters with long hair (Greg is dad to Izzy and Shelley is mum to Grace) meant they had to learn fast!
Through video tutorials and plenty of practice, they have not only perfected the plait, but have helped motivate thousands of other parents to get creative with their children’s hair.
Let’s start with the French braid. This is the next step up from a standard plait. Simply gather the hair on top of the head and divide into three sections. Start plaiting as you usually would, but with each strand, add a small bit of hair from the right section, followed by the left section. Repeat this process until all the hair is braided and secure with a hair tie.
Once you’ve mastered the French braid, it’s time to go Dutch. The main difference between the two is that the Dutch braid sits on top of the hair and the French, within. To perfect the Dutch style, you will need to split the section into three equal strands and alternate crossing the right and left strands into the middle. However, when you cross the strands, cross UNDER, rather than over.
Also known as the “I hate plaits with a passion braid”, this braid is my personal favourite. Simply split hair into sections and attach each section with a small hair tie. Puff the hair as you go and you’ve got a cute anti-braid plait made of hair ties.
The milkmaid style is the easiest of the easy braid hairstyles to master. First, part the hair down the middle and braid the two back sections. You will be left with two pigtail braids. Then flip the braids up to the top of the head and secure with bobby pins. What you are left with is an adorable alternative to the basic pigtail braid (and one that takes all of five minutes!).
Similar to the milkmaid braid, the crown braid keeps your little one’s hair out of her eyes and close to her head. Plus, she gets to look like a princess! There are a few ways to do this style. One option is to split the hair into two sections and do a Dutch braid.
If you haven’t mastered the Dutch braid yet (don’t worry, we haven’t either), then you can just opt for a standard plait. Once the braids are finished, wrap them around the head to form a ‘crown’ and secure with bobby pins.
Another starter braid to try is the flip braid which combines a flip ponytail with a simple braid. Start with a lose ponytail, pull the hair through the back of the ponytail to create the “flip” and then braid. Add a cute flower to complete the look. Easy peasy!
Stacked fishtail braid
The fishtail braid is another braid that starts with the basic ponytail. Section the hair in the ponytail into two pieces (but leave a small strand out for the final braid at the end). Separate a not-quite-two-centimetre section of hair from the outside of the left ponytail and pull this piece across the top of the left ponytail over to the right ponytail. Do the same with the other side and complete this process until you run out of hair. Secure with an elastic.
To make the ‘stacked’ look, simply braid the leftover strand of hair and secure into the elastic as well. Adorable!
As exquisite as it looks, the chopstick braid is deceptively simple. Start with a ponytail, add a chopstick through the middle and start to French braid the ponytail. For every few braids, pull the hair up through the chopstick and continue. Secure the full braid with a hair tie and pull under with a bobby pin. Then, simply pull the chopstick out and voila!
Once you have a good handle on the different easy braid hairstyles, you can begin to have fun with them. Split hair into different sections, try different braids combined with basic ponytails and style with bows. There is no limit to what you can do!
If you are looking for even more complex braids to try (like the ones above), have a look at both Greg Wickherst’s Guide to Surviving Hair and Pretty Little Braids. Shelley holds regular Beginner Braiding classes in Melbourne for mums and dads who want to learn these styles (and more) in a fun workshop environment.
And make sure you also check out our other articles about easy school hair styles for girls.