Hair-Braiding Basics

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

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