Braid Hairstyles You'll See Everywhere In 2021

2020 allowed us all to hit the reset button on fashion and beauty trends. Makeup took a back seat to basic skin care, comfort became the focus of fashion, and instead of straightening and curling our hair into submission, tired tresses got a much needed break from heat styling and color treatments.

Cottagecore was born in 2020. First it was out of necessity, but now it's more than a viable trend. And if Taylor Swift and her Evermore aesthetic have anything to say about it, nap dresses and natural hair aren't going anywhere in 2021.

Speaking of hair, the year 2021 looks poised to be all about DIY braid hairstyles. Pairing style with ease, there's no look that better suits every hair length and texture, or is more versatile than the braid, which can go from messy chic to evening up-do with little to no fuss. 

Luke Hersheson, CEO of UK based high-end hair care company, Hershesons, told Vogue, "We've shifted to more low-maintenance hair." He went on to explain, "In the age of low-fuss everything, we want cuts that fall into place and require very little work on our part." And that includes wearable hairstyles, like braids, that effortlessly transition from looking tidy for Zoom meetings to cottagecore chic.

Here are the braids you're going to see everywhere in 2021 — You may as well start practicing now.

The French braid

Taylor Swift's messy French braid featured in Evermore is one inspiration behind this trend. The long braid beginning at the crown of the head looks like it was done without much fuss, and then became windswept and loose after a day spent walking in the woods.

Adam Reed, UK editorial ambassador for L'Oréal Professionnel, told Stylist, "I absolutely love the new Taylor Swift album cover, the hair is right up my street — simple, super natural and timeless." He stresses that to properly achieve the look, you have to embrace the carelessness of it: "The key to Taylor's braid on the cover is to not overthink it, it's fine for some pieces to be bigger than others and loose hairs to fall down — it's the undone done look that makes it work so well."

Long braids and twists

For natural hairstyles, next year's braided themes will continue with this year's popular trend of long, textured twists and braids, or even box braids if you prefer. These looks are not only stylish, as celebrity hairstylist and Tangle Teezer brand ambassador Takisha Sturdivant-Drew told InStyle — they are protective as well. Healthy, moisturized hair is the goal for every hair type, and these braids allow you to achieve length without excessive maintenance and heat styling. Take the look to the next level with your favorite accessories, which are one of the hottest trends anticipated for hair in 2021. Sturdivant-Drew explained, "Next year will be all about elongated braids with beads, feathers, and some colorful hair jewelry."

Double Dutch braids

Both The Trend Spotter and Redken are predicting that double Dutch braids will be one of the hottest trends in hairstyles for the coming year. Not only do they help keep your hair out of your face and contained under hats and scarves for the long, cold winter months, but they are incredibly versatile and can be incorporated with other styles into crown braids or braids that seem to merge into buns.

As The Trend Spotter points out, Dutch braids are often called reverse French braids because the strands are plaited under rather than over to create a braid that, as they explain, "will stand out from your head rather than lying flat." Double Dutch braids simply double the braid action on either side of a middle part.