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A braid is a hairstyle that uses three or more strands of hair to form a diagonal, lengthwise pattern. While other hairstyles fall in and out of fashion, braids have remained at the forefront of hair fashion for a very, very long time, across every continent and culture. Some of the most beautiful and creative versions have been those that parents have created for their children’s hair. Whether it’s a classic braid-style for every day or a more elaborate style for special occasions, they all start with a basic braiding skill. From there, the possibilities are endless.

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1. French braid

Classic, elegant, and easy-to-learn, the French braid is one of the most popular braided hairstyles for children and adults. It’s different from classic three-strand braids in that it starts with three sections of hair at the crown. As you braid the hair in a downward direction toward the nape of the neck, you add more hair to each of the sections as you cross them from the side to the center of your braid. Learning how to accomplish the basic version of the French braid opens the door to a wide array of variations on the style. Try an elegant upside-down version starting from the bottom up, finishing with a cute bun on the top of the head.

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