Side braid hairstyles involve braiding the hair to dip over the shoulder; this can either be achieved using all the locks or just a small portion. Any style of braiding can be used from the simple three strand method to the French or Dutch technique. This look works well to create romantic styles and looks great combined with side swept bangs and cute accessories. We’ve collected thirty of the best side braid hairstyles for you to try.
# 1 Lovely Lace
This model’s beautiful long blonde locks have been styled into a pretty braided style using a few different methods. From the middle of her head, just above the crown, we see a French braid which continues to the nape of the neck where it finishes in the fishtail style. Along the side of her head, a few strands were left loose and have been used to make lovely small lace plaits.
For this look, the stylist has used a combination of different techniques to fashion a side braid that starts high on the forehead and curves behind the ear, to the back and then down past the shoulder. Within this style, we can see that the pull through and French method were used.
# 3 Messy Chic
The model in this picture is wearing a chic hairstyle which she has completed with a fedora and sparkly diamante clips. Her hair has been gathered up and tied into a three-strand plait which has been loosened to have a messy type of finish. A strand of hair has been wrapped around the top of the braid.
# 4 Dutch Cross-Over
To get a smooth look like this, start by ironing your hair before you style it. The stylist has brought this plait across the back of the model's head from right to left, using the Dutch method. Where the plait becomes free it continues in the three strand technique and has been draped over the left shoulder.
# 5 Fishtail Fun
When it’s heating up outside you always look for easy hairstyles to help keep you cool. In this style, the model's locks were brushed to the side, folded into a pull through braid before being braided using the fishtail method. There are quite a few flyaways within the style as well as loose strands on top, adding to the relaxed feel of this hairstyle.
# 6 Whimsical Wedding Style
This model has luscious white blonde hair with dark roots which has been styled into a romantic wedding style. Her mane has been gently fashioned into a low loose plait that hangs over her shoulder with sections of loose hair in front, which have a soft wave. The braiding method used here is the fishtail method and the stylist has gently pulled it apart to get a fuller feel.
# 7 Curly Pull Through
While this models style may look too difficult to copy it’s really not – this style has been created using a French braiding technique (to the side) as well as pull through braiding. The stylist has also used the curly texture of the model's locks to add to the soft, natural feeling of this pretty hairstyle.
# 8 Side Swept
This model is wearing an example of an indie-style hairdo – the key elements to this boho look are the natural looking blonde and brown coloring, a loose plait draped over the shoulder and the purple lupine flowers which have been used to decorate it. Stands around the face are loose and fall gently onto her cheeks.
# 9 Double Side
For this hairstyle, a section of hair from the front right side was used to create a waterfall braid that stretches over to behind the left ear. Below this the rest of her locks have been brought over to the left and braided in a simple plait which rests against her back. This is a great weekend or vacation style for long hair.
# 10 Voluminous Side Style
A hairstyle like this may take a little more time and patience but it is worth it! The stylist has used all the model's shiny brown locks to create a cascading plait on the side of her head. It begins with the Dutch braiding method (also known as inverted French) and when it reaches the neck the technique changes to fishtail. The hair has been quite tightly braided and flyaways were tamed.
# 11 Kinky Glamour
Braids and curls can look beautiful together – you just need to find the right style. This example of a side braid using hair with a curly texture works well because the braid has been kept quite tight, with the top locks are looser and the end of the braid is full and fluffy. There are also some small braids which have been tucked within the upper hair.
# 12 Katniss Style
This style is being referred to as the Katniss braid – made popular by the character Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games. For this hairstyle, a French braid begins low in the middle of the head and turns to the left where it becomes a thick three strand plait which dips over the model's shoulder. By using the pancake braiding technique which involves loosening and flattening your plait you can achieve this same full look.
# 13 Fancy Sides
Here the stylist has divided and curled over sections of hair on top before bringing all the hair together to create a very loose simple style braid with plenty of unsecured strands and flyaways. The braid slides down her shoulder and has been decorated with white roses and blossoms for a bridal style.
# 14 French Fishtail
This creative braided style combines the French and fishtail techniques to make a stunning side-swept look. The braid begins on the right-hand side and curves down and over the left shoulder. The top locks the locks have been loosened – this helps the style look thicker and more relaxed. When you slacken your braid this way, don’t be too worried if some parts become undone.
# 15 Fishtails on the Side
If you have a hairstyle where the hair has been cut into layers, then this type of style may suit you – in this look, the shorter sections along the side were not included in the braid and brush against the model's cheek with a slight curl. Her side braid has been made by first weaving the hair into thin plaits and then making one long fishtail braid.
# 16 Thick Dutch to Fishtail Braid
For this hairstyle, the stylist first used a thick section of hair to create a simple three strand plait which starts in front, just next to the model's parting. This plait dips down to the shoulder where it is joined by the rest of her soft blonde locks to make a short, messy fishtail braid. In front, we can see that her bangs hang loose and throughout the style, there are loose strands and flyaways.
# 17 Playful Crimped Style
For this side braided look the stylist has played with texture by first crimping almost all of the model's locks. This adds dimension to this voluminous inside out braid which starts above the left ear and dips down and over the right shoulder where it has been secured. If you want to crimp your hair, make sure you iron it first so that you can achieve that perfect crisp finish.
# 18 Curly Pull-Through
If you want a thick braided look such as this try braiding your hair after it has been given a slight curl. Here the stylist has used all the model's locks to fashion a thick pull through side braid. To add volume, you can curl the hair slightly, use hair extensions or the pancake method to flatten and loosen.
# 19 Four Strand Magic
Lace braids are the perfect girly accessory and they look especially pretty over long locks as seen on this model. She has used a section of her shiny straightened hair to create a side plait using a combination of the four-strand lace and French braid method. Her braid begins just above the right brow and curves down before being secured behind the right ear.
# 20 Amazing Braided Updo
This style was created as a bridal look – the stylist began by coloring the hair in gorgeous chocolate and sable brown colors and giving the locks a curly texture. A side braid look was then created using the pull through technique as well as loosening strands of hair, curling them and then securing them again with pins to create a thick and intricate looking updo.
# 21 Side Style with Big Bun
Dark colors combined with gray are a hot look this season and this style will help you show off your chic shades. In this look a chunky Dutch braid has been fashioned on the side, beginning above the forehead and twisting back to just above the ear. At this point, the end of the plait (together with the rest of her locks) was used to make a puffy side bun.
# 22 Hide-Away Braid
Do you sometimes wonder what to do with the tip of your braid? In this hairstyle, the stylist has used the remaining hair to gently cover the point of the side braid that has been fashioned on the side of the model's head. This braid was created using the Dutch method and it has been flattened and pulled apart to make it look thicker.
# 23 Side French Style
In this look, the stylist has used all the model's hair to start a French braid above her right ear, which continues up to her neck before becoming a three strand braid that slips down her shoulder. This look is quite neat; flyaways have been tamed and although we can see that the braid was loosened slightly it is still firm.
# 24 Infinity Braiding
You may be used to seeing infinity braids looking tight and defined, but in this style, the method has been used to create a messy look. The stylist has brushed the model's hair over to the left and woven a low side braid using the infinity technique. Where the braid has been fastened the stylist has loosely wrapped a strand of hair to conceal the hair elastic.
# 25 Hippy Fashion
The side braid fashion is so versatile and you can use as much or as little of your hair as you like, leaving large sections loose. Here the stylist has used a section of hair above the left ear to create a French braid which becomes a three strand braid that hangs over the model's shoulder. The plait has been adorned with pretty silver and white button and ring accessories.
# 26 Summer Low Side Plait
For this look, the models hair has been parted with a deep side parting before being loosely drawn to the right-hand side and fashioned into a low side braid. There are plenty of free sections that gently frame her face and she has accessorized with round frame sunglasses.
# 27 Soft And Romantic
We can’t decide what is more beautiful – this models stunning rosy brown locks or the gorgeous style that has been created with them! For this look, the stylist used the hot iron to create the curls that give this relaxed side braid look a romantic feel. The fringe has been curled to frame the models face and the look was completed by adding a silver leaf headband.
# 28 Loose and Playful Side Braid Hairstyle
In this look, a Dutch braid begins at the middle of the models head and dips down past the left ear where the stylist switched to the fishtail method which continues until the tip. Notice how the plait has been loosened, particularly around the fishtail section – this makes it appear fuller and adds to the relaxed feel of the style.
# 29 Bold Black and Red Plaiting
This model has crisp black color on her locks with fire engine red highlights and this side swept style accentuates the coloring beautifully. The stylist has started with a French braid along the left-hand side of the models head, which runs until behind the ear where the technique switches to the fishtail method. To add even more interest one of the strands within the fishtail braid was also tightly braided beforehand.
# 30 Braids and Flowers
Here the models hair was parted with an off-center parting and a strand on the right was used to fashion a simple three strand brand. The end of this braid, as well as the rest of her locks, were then drawn over to the right shoulder and used to create another thick braid which has been decorated with white blossoms.
Side braid hairstyles look perfect with long hair but if you have short or medium hair you can also wear this style with ease. Most of these hairstyles look best when worn thick and loose, but if you want to use this look for work you can just tighten the braid up. There are so many different braiding techniques out there so be sure to experiment so that you can find your perfect side braid hairstyle!