Braids have been the rage for a while now, and we’re totally on board. We already use braid techniques all the time in our DIY projects, why not bring them back to beauty? Here are 10 creative takes on the classic braid, inspired by looks found on the red carpet, Pinterest, and here at Brit HQ.

1. Fishtail Accent Piece

For this look, we were inspired by a shot of Ciara Harris rocking blond ombre locks with a sneaky little fishtail braid thrown into the mix. This is definitely a mermaid look, and is light and flirty. Simply style your hair down as your normally would with a little extra curl. Braid a small section of hair into a fishtail, pull out to loosen the braid a bit, and you’re done. Seal off with a clear elastic.

2. Fancy Side Braid

Side braids can look glamorous too! This look was inspired by Amanda Seyfried‘s messy but chic plaited side braid. Curl your hair first and back comb (tutorial here) to create a romantic vintage texture. Part hair to one side and loosely braid. Rubber band and pull apart to give a messy look. Voila!

3. Fishtail Up-Do

Instead of a simple bun, why not add a few fishtail details to the whole affair? This gorgeous look on Jessica Alba inspired this third braid tutorial, and is a fun one to freestyle with. Section hair into two ponytails, one with the top of your hair and one with the bottom. Pull a piece out of the top pony for and braid it fishtail-style. Put the lower pony into a bun. With the rest of the upper pony, you’ll want to back comb it to give more volume, then make a pomp and secure with a bobby pin. Fishtail the rest of the pony and wrap it around the bun. Do the same thing with the first fishtail braid, and secure everything with bobby pins.

4. Waterfall Braid

Pinterest and the blogging community went nuts when the waterfall braid hit the scene, so we had to give it a try. We followed this simple tutorial by Love Maegan, but added a little more braiding from the front. Start with a traditional french side braid, starting at the crown of your head and following along the permiter of the hair line. After you’ve done about 3 rounds of braiding, you’ll pull out the pieces of hair you’d normally add to a french braid. Keep doing this around your head, and you’re done.

5. Dutch Crown Braid

This one of the most classic braid looks around, and we particularly love how it looks on Scarlett Johansson. The best way to figure this one out is to watch this video, but here are the steps we used. Start with a section of hair on one side and start braiding. You’re braiding inside out (or upside down) so it will feel a little weird, but will achieve the look. Follow around the head and pin when you get to the end.

6. French Braid Fauxhawk

You read that right. French. Braid. Fauxhawk. This is definitely the edgiest one on our list and certainly makes a statement. We started here for inspiration. Make a pomp and pin it in the center of your head. Start braiding (inside out french braiding, that is) directly behind the pomp. Instead of adding hair to the top of the braid, you add it underneath. complete all the way down. Use a comb to pull out each section of the braid giving it the appearance of a mohawk.

7. High Pony Fishtail

This one was inspired by Blake Lively‘s recent penchant for rocking serious fishtail braids. Ours isn’t quite the same look as we don’t have hair extensions on hand, but it’s a fun take on the same idea. Put hair in a medium to high pony tail. Fishtail braid to the end. Pull apart to give a textured undone look. Pull hair over itself at the top of the bun to cover up the elastic (from the pony).

8. Double Cornrows

Gwen Stefani knows how to rock a pair of cornrows. Section hair down the middle. Start on one side using the inside out french braid technique (aka the corn row technique) and braid all the way down. Wrap the end of the hair into a loose bun and pin. Repeat with the other side and you’re done.

9. Meta Braid

Three braids within a braid! So meta. This one is our own little creation, though we’re sure photos of something similar exist all over the blogosphere. To give ours a twist, we used Colorsmash Hair Shadow. After our Hair Chalk DIY post, Colorsmash reached out to us and sent a few samples. The colors are definitely vibrant, but adding color to hair this way is still a messy business because you’re dealing with bright pigments. We don’t recommend rocking white if you’re rocking hair shadow.

For the braid, make three fishtail braids, and then braid together in the traditional braid style. Done!

10. French Braid Top Knot

Last but not least, a look we’ve been seeing all over! The braided bun. We love the look of January Jones rocking it where it looks like a plain old bun from the front, and a party in the back. Wait, is this the stylish equivalent of a mullet we’ve all been waiting for?

Flip your head upside down and start a traditional french braid from the nape of your neck. Braid until you get to the center of your head, where you want your bun to go. Twist into a bun and you’re done!

If you have any questions about the tutorials above and want to submit your own cool braids, talk to us in the comments below or over on Twitter.

But wait, there’s more! We’ve gotta tell you is what this lovely lady modeling these braids is all about. Christina Ruiz is a born and raised California girl who runs TopShelf Boutique, a mobile fashion truck. That’s right. It’s a food truck, but for fashion! She curates an incredible collection of trendy goods, and clearly has her own awesome sense of style to boot. If you’re in the Bay Area, be sure to follow TopShelf on Twitter and Facebook to find out where the truck will be and when.

Have you seen any cool ways to style a braid? Send us the link!