Top Braided Hairstyles of 2014

braidBraids have become a big deal for 2014. The trick to most of these looks is not to go for clean and polished. It’s better to make it a little messy. If you go on Pinterest, there are tons of boards strictly for braided hairstyles. On Youtube, videos are uploaded every day with instructions on how to wear the latest hair trends. Celebrities are glammin’ it up on the red carpet with elegant and complex braided updos.

No longer will you see the boring French braid that you wore back in 3rd grade. Stylists have given it a facelift in 2014. And the Pippy Longstocking braids will not be the most outrageous you’ve seen – people have gotten even more creative.

Read on to find out what braided hairstyles are trending now.

*Author’s note: As a professional who works on people’s hair, being aware of communicable diseases is vital to your safety and the safety of your clients. Completing a cosmetology continuing education course and renewing your cosmetology license will have you meet standards set by your state. If you are not a licensed cosmetologist but simply practice hair braiding, you still need to be licensed in some states (including Florida, which requires a 4-hour licensing course and a 2-hour continuing education course for all hair braiders, hair wrappers, body wrappers and barbers).

Milkmaid Braid

Think this look is only for maids milking cows on the farm? Think again! Celebrities like Kerry Washington, Jennifer Lawrence, and Julianne Hough have worn this on the red carpet! One look is to make two braids and pull them up to the crown of the head so that it meets in the middle. Another look is to create the French braid along the hairline.

Fishtail Braid

The fishtail is sweeping the nation! It is the most popular type of braid and it is easier to create than it looks. People have braided it to the side, on top of the crown, or both. If you want a full look, give it some texture first with product or a curling iron. Braid the hair. Then pull on the strands until it gets bigger and bigger.

Braided Updo

This look can be as simple or as complex as you want. A simple one can be braiding the hair and wrapping it around into a bun. The more intricate version is to make a few, scattered miniature French braids and wrapping them up to form an updo.

Side Braid

The side braid is one of the most effortlessly chic looks. Tease the hair at the top to give it some texture and braid the hair down the side, starting at the nape of the neck.

Waterfall Braid

The waterfall braid can be very diverse. It’s simple enough to create a casual look. Add in curls and it’s interesting enough to be a wedding hairstyle.

Peek-a-Boo Braid

For a more edgy, but still glamorous look, the peek-a-boo braid has one or two small braids along the side of the scalp and the rest of the hair is free-flowing with loose waves.

Creative Braid

Armed with all of these different styles, mix them up together and create some awesome looks! Let your imagination run free and you may be surprised at what flows through those hands.

BONUS: Medieval Fantasy Braid

Are you a Game of Thrones fan? Some of the simplest and most beautiful braids come from characters like Daenerys Stormborn and Cersei Lannister.

Cosmetology licenses in Florida are up for renewal at the end of October. Make sure to check your license to see if you are up for renewal, then sign up for your online continuing education course before the October 31st deadline!

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