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What is a princess braid?

A princess braid is a beautiful and elegant braided hairstyle that creates the look of a crown or tiara on top of the head. It gets its name from the regal appearance it gives off. Princess braids are achieved by braiding sections of the hair before gathering them together into one larger braid. They can be worn for any occasion but are particularly popular for events like weddings, proms, and formal events. Keep reading to learn all about how to create this stunning braided look!

The Origins of the Princess Braid

The princess braid likely originated many centuries ago. Intricate braided hairstyles have been worn by women throughout history, across many cultures. Braids were a practical way to keep long hair out of the face but also allowed women to add beauty and elegance to their appearance. There is evidence of braided styles being worn in ancient Egypt, Greece, China, Africa, and more.

The exact origins of today’s princess braid style are hard to pin down. But it clearly takes inspiration from old-world royal hairstyles. The regal look it creates is fit for a royal court. It also resembles crowns and tiaras in its shape and structure. So it evokes a sense of nobility and refinement.

Different Techniques for Creating a Princess Braid

There are a few different techniques you can use to create a princess braid in your hair. The main thing they have in common is braiding hair in sections first before gathering the braids together. Here are some of the most common princess braiding methods:

Technique How It’s Done
5-strand method Divide hair into 5 sections and French braid each one. Gather into final braid.
4-strand method French braid 4 sections of hair then combine into 1 braid.
Inside-out braids Do inverted French braids then braid them normally.
Fishtail braids Fishtail braid sections instead of French braiding.
Pancaking Pancake the braids by gently pulling apart strands.

The 5-strand technique is the most common. But feel free to get creative with different braiding methods to achieve unique looks!

Step-by-Step Guide for Creating a 5-Strand Princess Braid

Doing a 5-strand princess braid is relatively easy once you get the hang of it. Follow these steps:

  1. Start with clean, dry hair. Use a tail comb to neatly part and section out the hair.
  2. Create a deep side part, bringing all the hair over to one side.
  3. Separate the hair into 5 even sections. Clip up 4 of the sections for now.
  4. Take the unclipped section and begin French braiding it down towards the nape of the neck.
  5. Secure the end of the braid with a small elastic.
  6. Repeat steps 3-5 for the remaining 4 sections, braiding each one tightly.
  7. Once all 5 braids are complete, combine them together into one larger braid by crisscrossing them.
  8. Secure the final mega-braid with another elastic and style as desired.

Make sure each of the 5 initial braids are uniform in size and tightness. Keep them smoothed down as you braid the larger braid. This will result in a neatly shaped princess braid.

Tips for Getting the Perfect Princess Braid

Follow these tips for getting a flawless princess braid every time:

  • Work on freshly washed hair – this helps the braid stay tidy and sleek.
  • Use smoothing serum or oil – apply to the hair before braiding.
  • Keep braids tight – be careful not to let them loosen up as you braid.
  • Mind the part – a deep side part is key to the look.
  • Use a tail comb – neatly section out hair for clean parts.
  • Add hairspray – spray the finished braid to keep it in place.
  • Pancake gently – lightly tug strands to get volume, if desired.

Take your time with each step and don’t rush through it. Getting the sections cleanly parted and keeping the braids tight is key. The end result should be a gracefully swooping braid across the head in the shape of a crown or tiara.

How to Do a Princess Braid on Short Hair

You can still create a princess braid even if you have short hair! Here are some tips:

  • Work with slightly larger sections of hair since you have less to work with.
  • Create only 2-3 braids rather than 5 smaller ones.
  • Start the braids closer to the crown of your head.
  • Pancake the braids more aggressively to get fuller, wider plaits.
  • Use bobby pins to carefully pin up and hide the ends under the braid.
  • Add a decorative hair comb or pins to give the illusion of length.

The key is to adjust your technique based on your hair length. Keep the braids and parts larger. Pancake the plaits for fullness. And don’t be afraid to use bobby pins or accessories to get the regal look.

What Type of Hair is Best for Princess Braids?

Hair Type Is it Good for Princess Braids?
Fine, straight hair Not ideal – can look flat and struggle to hold shape
Thick, straight hair Good – will hold braids well and create volume
Curly hair Great – looks beautiful and stays full
Wavy hair Good – adds body and stays put better than fine hair

The best hair types for princess braids are thick, curly, and wavy hair. These hair types help the braided style keep its shapely fullness. Fine, straight hair can work but may need extra products for hold and volume. No matter your hair type, you can achieve gorgeous princess braids!

How to Maintain Your Princess Braids

Princess braids can last 2-3 days if cared for properly. Here are some tips for maintaining your regal plaits:

  • Use a silk pillowcase – this prevents frizz and friction that can loosen the braid.
  • Pineapple at night – loosely tie hair on top of head with a scrunchie.
  • Mist with water/conditioner mix – this revives the style in the mornings.
  • Smooth flyaways – use gel or edge control to tame frizzy hairs.
  • Tighten elastics – as needed to keep braids secure.
  • Avoid heat styling – can cause braids to fall out faster.

Be very gentle when touching and handling the braids. Less disturbance will allow the style to hold its shape longer. Refreshing with water or conditioner and smoothing frizz each morning will help extend the princess braids a bit longer.

Pretty Princess Braid Styles for Different Occasions

One of the best things about princess braids is how versatile they are. You can customize them for any occasion. Here are some pretty princess braiding ideas:

Occasion Princess Braid Style
Weddings Romantic loose braids with flowers woven through
Prom Sleek high braid with crystal pins and glam makeup
Festivals Boho messy braids with ribbons
Work Low neat braid paired with business attire
Daytime casual Loose textured braids with minimal makeup

As you can see, you can easily take the basic princess braid formula and dress it up or down. The options are endless for customizing this regal hairstyle!

Incorporating Accessories into Princess Braids

Another way to customize princess braids is by adding fun hair accessories. You can really play up the regal crown effect with the right adornments. Here are some pretty accessories to try:

  • Hair jewels – dot along braid or at endpoints
  • Metallic cuffs – wrap around base of braid
  • Pearl pins – decorate the side or top of braid
  • Tiaras – position at top of the head
  • Headbands – place delicately across forehead
  • Flowers – weave real or fake through braid

Place these accessories strategically to enhance the braids. Avoid overloading the hair with too many pieces. A few key choices will beautifully accent the princess braid without going overboard. Have fun styling your regal plaits!

Inspiring Princess Braid Hairstyle Ideas

Still not sure how to rock your princess braids? Get inspired by these stunning hairstyle ideas!

Look Description
Boho Braid Crown Multiple free-form braids gathered atop the head for a bohemian crown effect.
Wildflower Braid A fishtail braid accented with fresh wildflowers woven throughout.
Regal Runway Braids Sleek mirrored princess braids on both sides of the head for a high fashion look.
Rapunzel Braid An extra long fishtail princess braid down to the waist.
Half-Up Style A partial princess braid on top combined with free flowing hair.

As you can see, the styling options are endless! Have fun playing with different techniques, accessories, and braid placements to create a princess braid that is uniquely you.


The princess braid is a gorgeous, elegant hairstyle perfect for making a statement. With practice, you can learn to create beautiful braided crowns and tiaras on top of your head. The key is working in neat sections, keeping braids tight, and styling mindfully. Tailor your princess braid to your hair length and texture. And consider adding accessories for extra royalty. Unleash your inner princess with this majestic braided look!