At the weekend, there's more time for the fun stuff, especially when it comes to our hair! If you love braiding your mane but don't love the weekday rush (buns are so much faster!), you're in for a treat. We have no less than 20 cute braided hairstyles to inspire your off-duty 'dos this weekend, all you need to do is scroll down and decide which one to try first...
1. Braided headband
For any bohemian babes out there, this braided headband updo is the perfect do-all weekend hairstyle. All you need to do is create two French braided pigtails, then wrap the lengths of the braids around the base of your head and secure with bobby pins. If your hair is naturally quite slippery, spritz it with dry shampoo before braiding to give it extra grip.
2. Long braid
With the hair French braided on each side then tapering down into a long, sleek braid, this pretty plait is ideal for any active weekend plans like hiking. You can even style it with wet hair, then shake it out into loose, natural looking waves when it's totally dry. To get the best results, spritz your damp hair with a texturizing spray before braiding.
3. Braided bouffant updo
Channel your inner sixties style queen with a braided bouffant updo! It's exactly the same as a regular bouffant, you just need to leave two pieces of hair loose - one on each side of your face - before styling the bouffant. When the updo is complete, braid each piece of hair, wrap them over the top of your head in front of the beehive, and secure with bobby pins.
4. Dutch braided pigtails
Dutch braiding is basically upside down French braiding, and it makes a really nice change from a regular three-strand braid, too! It may take a bit of practice to get the technique just right, but once you get the hang of it, you'll be plaiting like a pro in no time. Try practicing on someone else first, then when you start on your own tresses, don't look in the mirror because it can seriously confuse your hands!
5. French braided updo
For a style that will keep your hair off your neck and out of your face, try a French braided updo. You can French braid on each side or stick to just one if you prefer. Once you get to the crown of your head, twist and pin the ends of your hair into a messy bun. For a loose, airy look, braid the hair fairly tightly, then loosen it with your hands after securing the updo.
6. Low braided chignon
Whether you're spending the whole weekend outdoors or need a cute updo for a wedding you're attending, try a low braided chignon. The braided detail at the sides keeps it interesting and the low placement creates an ultra chic finish! To add texture before braiding, spray both the roots and lengths of your hair with dry shampoo.
7. French braided bob
If you fancy doing something a bit different with a bob, try French braiding it. You can pin down any major pieces that fall out while you're working on it, just make sure you keep the braid fairly tight so most of it stays in place by itself. Secure the ends with a small, tight elastic and finish with plenty of strong hold hairspray to lock in your style and prevent unwanted flyaways.
8. Double braided updo
Part braided headband, part chic chignon, this updo is so elegant! It's understated enough to dress down with jeans and a tee, or you can pair it with something fancier for a special occasion, a night out, or a super chic brunch look. It's totally up to you!
9. Half-up fishtail braids
Half-up, XXL fishtail braids create a super cute, unexpected detail at the back while keeping longer locks out of the face. The trick is to keep the braids fairly tight while you're working on them, then to gently loosen them after you secure the ends. When you're done, finish with plenty of hairspray to protect your finished hairstyle from frizz and flyaways.
10. Braided faux half hawk
Love the idea of a half hawk? Not down for shaving half your head? Well, you don't have to thanks to this faux half hawk hairstyle! Instead of shaving one side, simply braid the hair into a couple of big cornrows and throw the lengths over the opposite shoulder. Et voilà, your fake hawk is complete!
11. Classic fishtail side braid
A great braided hairstyle doesn't have to be complicated, as demonstrated by this beautiful fishtail side braid. Once you've got to grips with the fishtail technique, you can get this 'do done in just a couple of minutes! It's the kind of lazy girl style that's perfect for long hair because you can totally do it while sitting on your couch in front of a Netflix marathon.
12. Voluminous braided crown
Our hair is often referred to as our crowning glory, so why not make it the case for real? This voluminous braided crown is a gorgeous updo for long hair that's perfect for hot weather days, and dealing with unwashed tresses between shampoos.
13. Reverse French braided updo
If you like a challenge, or your arms are feeling particularly strong, try this reverse French braided updo. The main task is French braiding your hair with your head flipped upside down. Once you've mastered that, the rest is all plain sailing with a simple messy bun on top! As with any particularly tricky braided hairstyle, make it easier on yourself by adding grip with dry shampoo before styling.
14. Low braided ponytail
A low ponytail looks good any which way you wear it. The placement suggests total ease, and it helps to control longer manes. For added detail, create a few small braids on each side of your hair before gathering the lengths of your hair into the pony! Mist with a high-shine finishing spray to get a smooth, flyaway-free sheen when you're done.
15. Voluminous French braid
This chunky French braid is the perfect hairstyle for thick, long hair. It's really easy to recreate, and you can give your mane added body by spraying the roots and lengths of your hair with a volumizing hairspray before braiding. When you're happy with the amount of volume in your hair, begin French braiding just below the crown of your head.
16. Long, loose side braid
About as laid back as a braid can be, this long, loose plait is basically what Rapunzel would do with her hair if she managed to get out of the tower and onto a beach for a day. It's the perfect undone weekend look, especially when done with tousled, wavy texture.
17. French fishtail braided pony
For a ponytail that packs a bigger punch than most, try adding a subtle fishtail braid on one side, working from the hairline, all the way back to the base of the pony. Tease the hair at the crown for some added height, and camouflage the hair tie with a piece of hair from the ponytail for a really polished look.
18. Messy baby braids
For a messy, summery hairstyle that's as easy to do as it is to wear, try a tousled side sweep with a few small baby braids. Two or three small plaits scattered throughout the lengths of the hair add detail and create a pretty, bohemian look. It's the perfect style for the beach, a pool party or a relaxed brunch!
19. Slick baby braid
This slicked back hairstyle with a single braid behind one ear is perfect for a night on the town, or any party situation where you want to keep your hair off your face without hiding the lengths in an updo. A small amount of regular strength gel is enough to get the job done, but make sure to apply it after creating the braid.
20. Waterfall braid
For a fairytale look that could potentially transform you into an adorable mermaid, try creating a waterfall braid with loosely wavy hair. It has a beautiful, ethereal quality, and it looks gorgeous on every hair length from a bob to long, navel grazing tresses.