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Hair-Braiding Basics

Braids have a timeless appeal -- and they're easier than you think. Just three simple weaves go into even the most elaborate of braided creations. Learn them and your hairstyling options are endless.
Martha Stewart Living, August 2012

Braids are having a moment. You need look no further than the runway and the red carpet to see that fashion designers and film stars are hot on plaited 'dos. But some of us -- even those who are incredibly crafty in other arenas! -- are intimidated by this ideal-for-summer method of coiffing. Hairstylist Kayley Pak of New York City's John Barrett Salon, home of the popular Braid Bar, offers step-by-step instructions for making classic, French, and fishtail braids.

Once you've mastered them, watch our videos of Pak creating a dozen jaw-dropping styles using only the skills you learn in this story. Bonus: We slipped in the how-to for a chic faux braid, for those mornings when anything beyond twisting seems too difficult.

Hair-Braiding How-To

How-To Videos

Classic Braid

Pig-Tail Braids

Milkmaid Braid

French Braid

Side French Braids

French Braid Headband

Infinity French Braid

Classic Fishtail

Fishtail Bun

Double Fishtail Braids

Twisted Fishtail