Braids are a time-honored hairstyle that women have worn to commemorate every occasion under the sun, from weddings to first dates, school celebrations to spiritual events. If you’re looking for a gorgeous braided ‘do for your next to-do, one of these choices might just work for you.

1. Accent Braids

Small braids scattered throughout the hair lend an elfin look to any outfit. Whether you opt for tiny braids framing the face and buried in the hair, or larger side braids on either side of the head, both are perfect for long, loose locks.

2. Braids to a Half-Pony

Braids are beautiful worn down around the face, but they make an equally sleek statement pulled straight up to the back of the head in a half-pony. This style works particularly well for natural hair, although straighter hair also looks lovely when half of it is bound into small braids and pulled up, and the rest worn loose around the shoulders.

3. Crown of Braids

The crown of braids is an age-old style, appropriate to queens and commoners alike. For those who don’t have quite enough hair mass for this ‘do, a set of clip-in extensions dyed to match do the trick nicely.

4. Daenerys Targaryen Braids

The Mother of Dragons always has a fantastic hairstyle, no matter how many battles she goes through. Grab her look with multiple layers of braids, each pair gathered at the back and flowing down into the one below, like this.

5. Dressy Fishtail

The mermaid-like perfect of fishtail braids is well known to beach girls everywhere. What more perfect way to sweep back your tresses? For a dressier take on the fishtail, start a smaller fishtail braid at the crown, then blend it into the larger version below. Or in hair at the nape of the neck with a statement clasp before beginning the style.

Once you’ve chosen your poison – sorry, your braid – it’s time to get some professional help. Make sure to book your salon appointment several weeks before the big day. If it’s for a dance or wedding in your town, make sure you book it out even further to make sure a rush doesn’t make getting an appointment impossible. Bring pictures the day of so you can show your stylist, which will ensure the best results.

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