And you thought plaited hair is old fashion? Look out for these chic weaves

The gruelling Indian heat ensures that braids remain a summer essential. If you stick to the normal three plait braid and pony tails, there’s only so much you can do with your hair. They are not only boring, they will also leave your hair looking basically the same each time you try to sport them. For the Summer Spring-14 collections, braids were seen all over the runway. Whether they elaborate ethnic garments or casual western ones, stylists across the country are opting for braids to go with them.

Braids not only add to your style quotient, they are also super-comfortable when it comes to braving the outdoors on a hot sunny day. Here are some of the favourite styles.

Crown braid

A French braid is something that everybody knows about but with slight variations it can be transformed into a crown braid, one of the most multifunctional braids. It is also a red-carpet worthy hairstyle. From Jennifer Lawrence to Frieda Pinto, time and again celebrities have worn crown braid on red carpets in their own unique version.

Also called herringbone or the fish tail braid, this is a four-strand braid, which will leave your hair looking divine. This style is specially recommended for longer hair, as it’ll give you the freedom to flaunt them while being absolutely comfortable. Although it requires a bit more time than usual, it’s worth it. For the classic look, you can make the braid look neat at the nape of your neck, but we suggest, you go a step further, bring it to one side and make it appear a bit messy. It’ll lend a natural touch and will go well with western outfits.

Waterfall braid

The waterfall braid is also sometimes called the fairytale braid and we know why! This is certainly a braid for special occasions. The best thing about this style is it looks as good on curly hair as on pin-straight hair. This braid is recommended for the days when you want to wear your hair loose yet don’t want it to fall on your face. The waterfall braid can be customised according to the type and length of the hair. The knots can also be continued for a glorious updo.

Rope braid

Need a quick-fix? Rope braid can be your saviour. A two-strand braid, this twisted braid could be your go-to hairstyle when you need the bangs swept clean off your face. Whatever the length of the hair, this braid will work wonders. There are two ways to do a rope, either start from your bangs and go back to the nape, converting it to a half-braided hairstyle or simply start from the nape and go down. The messier the braid is, the better it looks. If you have long hair, rope braid can also be made into a pretty chignon or a bun.

Seashell braid

Talking of all things pretty, how can we miss out on this hairstyle? Also called the French Fishtail, it is a slightly complicated-looking but a very beautiful braid. The elaborate seashell braid can be broken into simpler elements if you want to wear it for casual occasions. Though it looks (and sounds) complicated, it is one of the simplest things when you start braiding. Again, it is one of those braids which can be turned into a bun or a chignon .

Bring out the creative side in you and modify these braids as you want. You can also jazz them up with small hair accessories. All you have to do is choose the style that suits your hair type and face cut.

And if it saves your hair from the sun, it’s all worth it, right?