Your Ultimate Braid Guide, Simplified

Braids are one of the most traditional of all hairstyles—if not the most traditional. They've been around for ages, they're just as functional as they are pretty, and depending on which type of braid you choose, they can run the gamut between elegant and sophisticated and youthful and playful. Choosing the kind of braid you want to wear, though, is much easier said than done. With so many different types and techniques, and so many different celebs wearing them, it's easy to throw your hands up in the air and default to a basic ponytail.

We don't want you to do that. After all, summer is coming up, and braids were basically built for the warmer months. Whether you're going to a music festival, the beach, or a Sunday brunch, braids are a must. That's why, for your convenience, we've gathered together the eight most popular braided hairstyles and supplemented them with celeb photos so you can see what each style looks like, IRL. We were also sure to add a couple of tips, tricks, and tutorials along the way (because whoever said braiding was easy was definitely lying).