There’s a reason braided hairstyles will forever be a staple in our routines: they’re cool, super versatile, and with enough practice, easy to do. But lately amid the pandemic, brushing up on how to braid your hair has also become a source of entertainment. For one, there’s only so much TV you can watch before you cycle through every streaming service. And two, when your days are all blurring together, it’s simply fun to break them up with a hairstyle that makes going into—or logging onto—work more exciting.
“They’re the perfect style for camouflaging grown-out color and dead ends too,” says celebrity hairstylist Justine Marjan. “This has especially been key during the pandemic since many salons have closed and most of us are overdue for a hair touch up.” Celebrity hairstylist Kim Kimble adds she’s also seen an increase in women DIY’ing their own protective styles during lockdown. “The ease of braids have made them more popular during the pandemic, since you can go longer between salon appointments, and they don’t take a lot of maintenance,” she says. Plus, seeing celebrities embracing braids of all kinds over the past few years has “added to the hype” as well, she adds.
Feeling like your routine could use a shake-up? Scroll on for the best braided hairstyles and protective styles for every hair type.