Braided hairstyles are some of the cutest options for kids’ hair and are fun and practical. There are endless techniques and patterns to express your little one’s unique personality, style, and culture. At the same time, you can add braids to standard hairstyles, such as a ponytail or bun, to add a fresh and funky twist. And even better, braiding helps keep your child’s hair from tangling and is also considered a protective style for Afro-textured hair. Whether you’re a braiding beginner or a seasoned pro, these braided hairstyles for kids will inspire you the next time you’re styling your kid’s locks.
Braids for Kids
1. Two Side Braids
The two-side-braid hairstyle – also called double braids or pigtail braids – is a simple and classic look that is easy and quick to create. If you’re short on time and need a fast fix to tame your child’s long hair with more flair than a standard ponytail, then two side braids are a great option. Whether neat and smooth or more loose and bohemian, these versatile braids for kids always look good and are a great choice for school or sports.
2. Cornrows with Beads
Kids love to show off their unique style, and one of the best ways is by adding fun hair accessories! Beads are a great way to make your child’s cornrow braids stand out – particularly if they love bright colors or rainbows. Cute and cool, classic front-to-back cornrows have other benefits too. First, they follow a simple braiding pattern so you can easily master the technique at home. Second, they are considered a protective style for Afro-textured hair, and finally, they can be left in for two weeks, saving you time styling your girl’s hair each morning.
3. Braided Updo
For special occasions, such as attending church or a wedding, a braided updo is an excellent choice for your child. These hairstyles look lovely in photos – particularly if you add a hairband or flowers – and have an old-school vintage look. Another advantage of a braided updo is that it will keep your little one’s hair out of their face. A simple way to create this style is to plait their hair into double braids and clip them into an updo with bobby pins.
4. Braided Top Bun with Natural Hair
Struggling to choose between braids and showing off your kid’s beautiful curls? Combine natural hair with a braided top bun to give them the best of both worlds. The braided bun looks super cute and stands out from the crowd. Meanwhile, leaving the other sections loose means this is a very comfortable and casual kid hairstyle. Ensure you keep both the braided and unbraided sections moisturized, and add fun accessories such as barrettes or beads for an extra touch of personality.
5. Braided Side Bun
Try a braided side bun for a cute new twist on a braided updo hairstyle. While it’s simple to create – you only need to make one braid – the hairstyle stands out and has a pretty yet quirky vibe that your little girl will love. Make a deep side part in their hair, then brush it smooth and create a three-strand plait. Finally, twist the plait into a bun and secure it with bobby pins. Quick and easy, it’s a braided hairstyle for school photos, birthday parties, or family dinners.
6. Box Braids Ponytail
Box braids are a fantastic hairstyle for older kids and tweens. At this age, they are patient enough to have the braids put in and will love being able to choose new hair colors to express their personality and style. Plus, box braids can be left in for four to six weeks, saving you plenty of time. A box braid ponytail is a great option if your little girl wants a change from loose box braids, and it also works well for sports games.
7. Hair Down with Small Braids
One of the quickest and easiest braids for kids are small braids on loose hair, particularly if their locks are thick or wavy. Cute, relaxed, and bohemian, this hairstyle suits kids with an outdoorsy, playful personality – especially those who don’t stay still long enough for a more complex braided style. Remember that smooth, straight hair may require a little sea salt spray, texturizing spray, or elastic bands to hold the mini plaits in place.
8. Cool Kid Hairstyle with Braids
One of the coolest hairstyles is the mohawk. That is because it’s edgy, full of attitude, and has a wild and rebellious appeal. To create a kid-friendly version with braids, section the hair from front to back and make a ‘fauxhawk’ with mini buns. Then, braid the back section into loose plaits. This cool-kid hairstyle is a great option for summer camp or a birthday party, as it also stands out and looks amazing in photos.
9. Braids with Hair Clips
Accessories like hair clips are one of the easiest ways to personalize your child’s hairstyle and make it look more unique. Simultaneously, hair clips serve a practical purpose by holding the hairstyle in place and keeping hair out of your girls face. Try braiding the side sections and clipping them back with barrettes in your child’s favorite color. For school, you could choose barrettes that match their uniform or the school’s official colors.
10. Braided Side Buns with Cornrows
Your little girl may demand a unique hairstyle – and braided side buns-with-cornrows fit the bill for a special occasion. The braided sections add a fun, unique, and playful twist, while the buns will keep their hair in place and look cute in photos. However, if your child has straight hair rather than Afro-textured hair, cornrowing could cause damage. Instead, try mini Dutch braids and make sure you don’t leave them in for more than a day.
11. Braids with Elastic Bands
Rubber band hairstyles are styles that are secured with bright mini hair ties. They have been popular braids for kids as they immediately add a dose of fun to any look. Not only do the elastic bands create a super cute and colorful effect, but they also help secure the braids and hold them in place. You can add bands to all kinds of braided hairstyles, including box braids or pigtails.
12. Fishtail Crown Braid
Searching for the perfect braids for kids for a formal occasion, such as a wedding or family photo? A fishtail crown braid is a fantastic option if your girl has long, straight, or wavy hair, and best of all, it’s surprisingly simple to create. Section the hair into two halves and fishtail braid each one, then pull them forward and cross them over, securing them with bobby pins to create the ‘crown’ effect. Add flowers for an extra special touch.
13. French Braids
While a single French braid is the ideal quick and clean hairstyle for school, you can get creative with the technique when you have more time. Far from boring, French braids can look cool and unique. Try plaiting multiple French braids of different sizes – smaller ones at the sides and larger ones at the back – for a fresh and unusual take on a classic braiding style.
14. Loose Side Braids
Loose side braids are ideal braids for kids with very thick hair. Also known as jumbo pigtails, loose side braids have an intentionally relaxed, imperfect look, so unlike other braiding styles, there is no need to be too neat or precise. Plus, loose side braids are very comfortable for kids to wear because they don’t put as much tension on their scalp as tighter braids. For an added twist, try braiding a ribbon through the plaits.
15. Rainbow Box Braids
Kids love bright and colorful hairstyles, and rainbow box braids definitely fit the bill. They are a great way to add eye-catching hues and show your child’s creativity and style without damaging their natural hair. There are several different options for this style – your child could choose to have each braid be a different color or have the stylist braid different shades together for an amazing gradient effect.
16. Micro Braids in a Ponytail
Micro braids in a ponytail are a great styling choice if your child has fine straight or Afro-textured hair. Quirky and fun, micro braids stand out from other plaited styles and are versatile – your little girl can wear them loose, half up half down, or in a ponytail. Try adding beads or elastics to a micro braid ponytail for an extra splash of color.
17. Fishtail Side Braid
Already mastered the three-strand plait, French braid, and Dutch braid? It’s time to try out a fishtail side braid! Using a simple two-strand technique, this braid for kids looks pretty and stands out from the crowd. It’s perfect if your little one loves mermaids, and making it into a side braid means they can see their braid without a mirror.
18. Crown Braid
A classic crown braid is perfect for a formal event, so it is often chosen for wedding flower girls. A major benefit of this type of braids for kids is that it doesn’t need to be too tight, meaning it will be very comfortable for your child to wear all day. Plus, their hair does not need to be completely smooth – the style looks better if it isn’t too neat!
19. Fulani Inspired Braid
Originating with the Fula people of West Africa, Fulani braids have become some of the most popular tribal braids worldwide for their unique and eye-catching pattern – one thin cornrow braid at the crown, with fine side braids, often accessorized with rings, beads, or cowrie shells. While usually worn by adults, a kid-friendly Fulani-inspired hairstyle is a great option for a special occasion or photo shoot. Keep the braids looser and smaller than you would with an adult, and don’t leave them in too long to prevent any stress or damage to their scalp.
20. Crown Braid with Bangs
Try a crown braid with bangs for a perfectly polished look for your girl. This hairstyle shows off its cute fringe while combining it with a grown-up braid. Because the braided section is at the front, this look is ideal for their school yearbook photos. It’s also a neat, tidy, and traditional hairstyle for going to church.
21. Waterfall Braids
If you are looking for pretty and delicate braids for kids, there is no better choice than a waterfall braid. This style is a modified form of the French braid, covering only the top part of the hair, leaving the rest loose. This is a comfortable braid that can keep the hair out of the face while also showing off the hair texture. Whether it is for special occasions or every day, there are a few better styles. The braid also looks gorgeous when accessorized with flowers or hair clips.
22. Bubble Braid
Some braids for kids take a lot of time and effort to create, but for busy parents whose little ones don’t want to sit for more than a few minutes, an excellent option is the bubble braid. This simple look is created by first putting the hair into a ponytail and then adding hair elastics down the length of it, creating a bubble-like appearance. This option works with all hair textures and hair types, and you can experiment with different color elastics for a bold look. You can also determine the thickness of the bubble, depending on how noticeable you want the style to be.
23. Dutch Braid
Classic and pretty, the Dutch braid is a favorite look created using the three-strand technique. It is an ideal look for all occasions and can be adapted to suit your preference; this includes creating a double Dutch braid. The hair is gradually braided using the underhand braiding method, creating a raised appearance. The braids can be created on all hair textures but will look neater and more polished on straight hair.
24. Braided Space Buns
Space buns are a fun and youthful look that can be created on all hair textures and hair types. The thicker and longer the hair, the bigger the buns will be. You can also opt for a half up half down hairstyle if you want to create smaller space buns. The braided approach is a great way to make the buns feel modern and fresh. It can also be a stunning protective style for kids. Let them show off their style with different colors and beaded accessories.
25. Snake Braid
The snake braid has an eye-catching appearance because of its shape, making it a favorite style. It is a version of a three-strand plait starting at the temple. Despite looking complicated, it is relatively easy to recreate if you find the right tutorial. The braid can be easily adapted to suit your child’s preference, and you can combine it with various hairstyles and create it in varying thicknesses. For an expressive and fun look, this is it!
26. Halo Braid
Do you think your daughter is a little angel? Well, why not give her her very own halo in the form of a braid? The halo braid is a more intricate version of the crown braid and is given its name because of its position on the head. It sits much higher than the crown braid. This is a particularly popular braids for kids for special occasions and formal events and is an excellent way to keep the hair out of the face.
27. Half Up Half Down Braid
The appeal of braided hairstyles is there are so many different looks to try. This makes it easy to find one that you and your daughter love. One of the most versatile options is the half up half down hairstyle, which, as the name suggests, is any hairstyle created by pulling the hair away from the face at the top of the head and leaving the rest loose. The braided look can be as simple or as intricate as you wish. This is also an excellent option for shorter hair which may not be long enough to braid.
28. Jumbo Braids
For little ones who want to make a statement and show off their hair, jumbo braids are the way to do it. Jumbo braids are defined by their large appearance and are best suited to naturally thick hair. Alternatively, they can be created with hair extensions and done using the braiding pattern of your choice to create a pretty but simple protective style. Protective braids will give your child a break from styling and grooming for weeks at a time. Plus, they can aid natural hair growth.
29. Yarn Braids with Bright Colors
What better way to do this for those born to stand out from the crowd than with brightly colored hair? Yarn braids are one of the most popular braids for kids and are a type of extension that can be braided into your chosen pattern. They come in a range of colors and are extremely versatile. Choose a single color, or go bold by combining multiple for a look that will turn heads.
30. Braids with Bows and Beads
Hair accessories can help your kid express herself and create a braided look that is unique and reflects her personality. Bows and beads are two accessories that are easy to add to the hair and will give it a temporary pop of color. They can be added to various braided looks, from box braids to Dutch braids. The look will complement all hair textures and hair types.
Braids for Kids FAQs
Are braids good for kids hair?
There are many good braided hairstyles, but the best one for your child depends on their hair type and texture. Good braided hairstyles for straight hair include French braids and Dutch braids, while natural Afro-textured hair suits cornrow and box braids as these are considered protective styles. Once braided, hair can be styled in many ways, from buns to ponytails and half-up, half-down styles.
What are the cute easy hairstyles for school?
Single or double braids – aka three-strand plaits – are adorable and easy hairstyles for a day at school, and they don't take too long to create. Plus, these braids work on all hair types, and you can add colorful barrettes, elastics, or bobbles to make them even cuter!
How do I braid my daughter’s hair?
It's generally recommended to start braiding your daughter's hair with a simple three-strand plait. Once you have the braiding pattern mastered, you can move on to more complex styles, such as French and Dutch braids. If your daughter's hair is Afro-textured, a three-strand plait is also a good place to start. You can then move on to box braids, which use the same braiding pattern but require you to first section the hair into boxes with a tail comb. For cornrows, section her hair into horizontal rows and use the underhand technique to create the raised braids.
How do you side braid a girl's hair?
Side braid a little girl's hair the same way you would an adult's hair. Start by creating a deep side part. Next, take two pieces of hair from the front hairline at the parting, then twist them to start a two-strand braid, adding more hair as you go – similar to a French braid. Keep adding more hair into the two-strand braid as you go until you reach the bottom of her ear. At this point, about two-thirds of her hair should be incorporated. Use the remaining third of hair as one section and add it to the two-strand braid to create a three-strand plait. Finally, secure the side braid with a hair elastic.
Arabella Roden is a skilled writer and sub-editor with over ten years of experience across print, digital, and B2B. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism and specializes in beauty, hairstyles, fashion, tattoos, and lifestyle topics. Arabella is currently the Chief Sub Editor at Mecca Brands and has been writing for The Trend Spotter since 2019.
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