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Ever since I was 5, maybe 6 years old I was doing my own hair for school. While it may have been prompted by my dad’s struggled attempts to pull my hair into mis-matched ponytails, he was always quick to introduce me as his daughter who could French braid her own hair. My elementary school “claim to fame” led me to hair experimentations. Gone were boring plaits. I wanted creative braids.

That desire has continued into my adulthood — I still enjoy playing with my hair, twisting, curling and braiding it into all sorts of styles. So now I often search for braid inspirations. I still enjoy twisting my hair into new styles. Here are a few of my favorite ideas. For more, visit our Hair-tastic board on Pinterest. (I may or may not have tried these styles while writing this article.)

Mermaids and Fishtails

With TV shows like “Vikings” and “Game of Thrones” showcasing beautiful braided hairstyles, it’s fun to experiment with new ways of twirling tresses into different types of braids. Multiple braids blending into one, matching “boxer braids,” loose French braids, front bang braids — all of these are great ways to mix up your hairstyles.

Looking for a different twist on a traditional braid? Try creating your own mermaid braid. Perfect for long, thick hair, this braid transforms loose curls into a thick braid. Begin with a simple long braid beginning at the crown of your head. Secure the braid and then take sections of your loose hair, teasing and twisting, weaving them through sections of that center braid. Continue down the braid.

Do you love the look of the fishtail braid? Why not incorporate that style into more of your braids? Create a traditional side fishtail braid, but mess it up a bit by loosening pieces. Or, instead of a traditional crown braid, make it a fishtailed braid.

Bohemian Braids

The Bohemian look is returning in popularity once again when it comes to home decor, fashion, and hair styles, too. The loose, romantic Bohemian braid is not only an easy style, but really, the more messy and loose, the better.

Waterfall braids, loose Dutch braids and wispy half-up braids are all beautiful Boho styles that, when combined with loose curls, create a soft, romantic 'do that is perfect for second-day hair.

One braid sure to get everyone’s attention is the flower braid. After creating two half-up French braids on the sides of your head, braiding the entire pieces of hair, pull loose the outside pieces of those braided ends. Twist those loose ends into a flower shape linking the two French braids and secure with bobby pins.

Short hair don’t care

Who says you have to have long hair to rock a braid? Beautiful braids can work in short hair as well with a little creativity and, maybe, a few extra bobby pins.

Got long bangs? Create a face-framing French braid in those bangs, leaving the rest of your hair down and either straight or curly. You can even create double French braids that meet at the crown of your head for a fun look.

If your hair isn’t heavily layered, try creating a loose crown of double Dutch braids for a great new look that is sure to get compliments. Your favorite A-line bob will look awesome with a couple of rows of tight French braids on the same side as your part, too. Very rock ’n’ roll.

— Jennifer Durrant

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