It’s best to start with somewhat dirty hair, but really any texture will work. Begin with your hair down and select two pieces from the front and one from the back. These will be the three pieces you use to start your braid.
Start braiding the three small pieces and slowly add more hair to each piece as you go. Sort of like a mini version of a french braid. Once you get to your neck, make sure all the hair is part of the three sections being braided. I also like to lead my braid to one side as I’m going so that it actually stays to one side when you’re done.
As you get to your neck, start directing the braid to one side. Bring the hair around and finish the braid in front. Secure with a small clear elastic – this helps make the braid look even longer.
To create that messy texture, gently pull the braid apart so it’s not so tight.
I recommend using 3-4 bobby pins. One on each side to hold those shorter hairs in place, and 1-2 in the back for any strays. Then pull a couple pieces out in front -- two from your bangs/shorter pieces and 2 right above your ears.
Whenever your hair isn't behaving or you just need a quick hairstyle as you're running out the door, the side braid is the perfect option. It's casual yet still pulled together, which makes it perfect for any occasion. While it may seem obvious how to create a side braid, I've found that just doing a regular braid and pulling it to the side doesn't last. Pieces start to fall out and it won't actually stay to one side. So after some trial and error, I've found the best way to do the casual side braid so that it stays put and has the perfectly messy touch. To see how to do it, click through the gallery above.