The Editors
Updated on January 25, 2021

A waterfall braid is a style that allows you to weave a circle, horizontal or diagonal plait throughout loose hair with strands flowing through it like streams in a real waterfall. You can wear this just as easily during an everyday activity, like an office meeting, as you would to a formal event. Long or short, blonde or brunette, this hairdo looks beautiful on every woman.

The Beauty and Practicality of Waterfall Braids

This type of braid is super cute, and it can look a bit or even a lot different from style to style. But that’s not all. Waterfall braids are very handy for long or thick hair that you love to wear loose, but need to pin to prevent it from falling into your face. Choose the braid pattern you like the most and test a few half updos from the gallery below to find your most appealing half up half down waterfall look.

Classic Waterfall Braid Tutorial

  1. Take a section from the hairline, near the temple, on either side of your head you choose.
  2. Separate it into three sections.
  3. Like a French braid, take strand 1 (the front) and cross it over strand 2 (the middle). Pick up a section of hair.
  4. Cross strand 3 (the innermost) over strand 1, the new middle piece. Pick up another section of hair.
  5. Next, instead of picking up the innermost strand, strand 1, drop strand 1 and pick up a new piece. Use the new piece to cross over strand 2, the middle piece.
  6. Cross the strand 3, the front strand, over the newest middle strand.
  7. Repeat steps 5 and 6 around the crown of the head.
  8. Braid the ends together and secure.

1. Side Waterfall Braid

The look with waterfall braid and long flowing waves you see in the photo is so girlish and cute! The flannel shirt makes it more casual and even homey. But don`t think such braid is for everyday use only. It pairs with evening gowns as well.

2. 5-Strand Waterfall Braid

Even if you have shoulder length hair, you should not miss out on fun styles. A waterfall braid with curls can be just as effective for medium length locks as it is for long hair, in case your hair is thick enough. This look is perfect when you need some texture to break up dense dark strands.

3. Thick Wavy Balayage Hair

Medium hair can seem heavy and dense around smaller faces. One way to combat this is with a balayage dye job. The lighter pieces break the density and give your style a weightless feel.

4. Double Waterfall Braid

Two is better than one! When you have light hair that is long and all one color, sometimes details can get lost. Use a double waterfall braid to make sure that your style has maximum impact. This lovely look is sure to turn more than a few heads.

double waterfall braid half updo for blonde hair

Instagram/ @sarahpotempa

5. Silver Braided Hair

One of the best ways to show off a trendy dye job like the silvery grey balayage, for instance, is with a waterfall style. The twisted effect allows you to bring the darker base colors to the surface to be seen in a way they normally wouldn’t. For an added detail, wind the tail tightly to achieve a nice contrast to the romanticism of the braid.

6. Double Waterfall Half Updo

These braided coifs initially seem a lot harder to accomplish than they really are. This step-by-step tutorial will show you how to waterfall braid with ease. 1. Make a classic waterfall braid. 2. Secure the end of the braid with a clamp. 3. Starting directly beneath the initial starting point, make one more braid (parallel to the first one). 4. Remove the clamp from the first braid, and braid the ends of both braids together.

Half Updo With Waterfall Braids

Instagram / @sweethearts_hair

7. Straight Braided Hairdo

The waterfall braid is the modern response to flower crowns and headbands. The hairdo is an elegant way to upgrade long and straight tresses. It brings an ethereal quality to your coif. It also offers wonderful versatility, making it a great choice for day or night.

Waterfall Braid For Straight Hair

Instagram / @hair_by_pelerossi

8. Two-Row Braided Crown

Double-up with two rows of waterfall braids. The way the hair is woven together beautifully showcases all the hues of a high-contrast balayage for dimensional braids. Plus, the crown will make you feel like a princess. Loose waves bring classic movement and modern allure.

Double Waterfall Braid Half Updo

Instagram / @jbraidsandbows

9. Braid with Flower Bun

For a truly feminine feel, accent your waterfall braid with a floral-like bun. The addition is not only stylish, but also romantic and brings even more interest to your hairstyle, so that you’ll look gorgeous from every angle.

Waterfall Braid With A Hair Flower

Instagram / @n.starck

10. Formal Waterfall Updo

Pinning your hair up is a failsafe choice when you have an upcoming black tie event. Waterfall braids will make your formal coif even more elegant. Let a small strand hang down by each ear for an extra dose of whimsy. The braided locks will beautifully frame a veil, should you opt for this hairdo on your wedding day.

Looped Messy Bun With Waterfall Braid

Instagram / @missysueblog

11. Five-Strand Waterfall Braid

Opt for a five-strand braid for a chunkier boho look. Here are step-by-step instructions on how to get the hairstyle at home. 1. Take a section from the front of the head and separate it into five strands of equal width. Number each strand, 1-5, with 1 being the outmost strand and strand 5 being closest to the forehead. 2. Take strand 1 under strand 2 and over strand 3 like you are weaving a basket. 3. Place strand 5 under stand 4 and then under strand 3. 4. With strand 1, pick up a new piece of hair and weave it under strand 2 and over strand 3. 5. Add more hair to strand 5 and cross it under strand 4 and strand 3. 6. Repeat step 4. 7. Drop strand 5 and pick up a new strand of hair. 8. With the new strand 5 repeat step 3. 9. Then repeat steps 3-8 around the back of the head. 8. Continue braiding and secure the end of the plait.

Waterfall Crown Half Updo

Instagram / @braidsbyjordan

12. Curled Waterfall Style with Highlights

Let your curls cascade down your back. Not only is this waterfall hair trend stylish, but it’s also functional. It holds your hairstyle in place and tames your flyaways, like a headband would. Except, headbands aren’t nearly as cute as these locks. It looks wonderful with big barrel curls, ready for a long night ahead.

Curly Waterfall Half Up Half Down Hairstyle

Instagram / @wb_upstyles

13. Shoulder-Length Cut with Waterfall Braids

The beauty about waterfall styles is that they work with any hair length. Whether you have long or short hair, it is a modern way to enliven your look. Plus, the woven effect is sure to attract tons of the complements. Actually, you can expect twice as many compliments thanks to the two rows of braids.

14. Half-Up Pancake Braid

Incorporate a mix of different types of braids for a hairstyle with ample texture. This take on the half-up hairdo, pictured below, combines a waterfall with a pancake braid. To recreate this look, you start the waterfall-style braid on each side of the head and add a pancake braid where the braids meet in the middle. When paired with ombre and beachy waves, this looks exudes boho-chic vibes.

15. Braids and a Wave

If you want to make your ombre pop, luscious curls and a waterfall crown is the answer. The different hues are broken up by the different textures and give a completely new look for the usual, smooth and gradient dye job. The high-contrast palette complements the bold quality of this luscious mane.

Waterfall Crown Half Updo

Instagram / @glamourax_

16. Long Straight Two-Strand Waterfall

Sometimes you might want to change up the regular crown braid. Why not play with the number of strands you use? This tutorial will tell you how to do a waterfall braid with two strands. Pick up two sections of hair from the left side of your hair. Twist the two pieces around each other. Pick up a strand of hair above the braid. Drop it over the middle, where two initial strands cross. Twist the original strands again. Repeat steps 3-5 around the back of the head, at an angle if you desire. Secure the braid with an embellished barrette for a formal touch.

Diagonal Waterfall Braid For Straight Hair

Instagram / @sweethearts_hair

17. Dutch and Waterfall Half-Updo

If you are someone who loves volume, a waterfall half-up hairstyle will certainly help you attain all the body you could want. The braids alone bring a lot of texture, especially when you have two rows of them. Tease around the crown for extra height. You will have an evening-ready coif that is full of body.

18. Boho Wavy Braided Hairdo

Even though the waterfall trend seems difficult to pull-off or maybe too intricate, when styled right, it can be laid-back and not too dressy. Go for loose braids and loose waves to match to channel boho, beach-ready vibes. The effortlessness of the coif makes it easy to wear day or night.

Blonde Loose Waterfall Braid

Instagram / @hannahstyleshair

19. Medium Hairdo with Two-Strand Crown

Team your waterfall braid with curls for a hairstyle that is simply divine. Make it even trendier with rose gold highlights. The shade is flattering against any skin tone and blends beautifully with blondes and brunettes alike. The twist around the crown of the head has a chic rope-inspired finish that ties the look together nicely.

Two-Strand Waterfall Braid For Medium Hair

Instagram / @zoehairlounge

20. Chunky Braided Waterfall

If you want a casual style that’s not too casual, a half-down hairdo is always a go-to. However, change it up a little with a braided waterfall. It keeps your hair out of your face, while letting your wavy locks flow. The look is romantic and suitable for a date night, but also laid-back enough for just hanging out with friends.

Half Up Waterfall Braid With A Ponytail

Instagram / @christinagunnell

21. Waterfall Crown with Bangs

Make the most of your short hair, which is probably more versatile than you think. Try these how-to instructions to create a waterfall style with shoulder-length locks and bangs. Take a section from the hairline, near the temple, on either side of your head you choose. Divide it into three sections. Like with a French braid, take strand 1 (the front) and cross it over strand 2 (the middle). Pick up a section of hair. Cross strand 3 (the innermost) over strand 1, the new middle piece. Pick up another section of hair. Next, instead of picking up the innermost strand, strand 1, drop strand 1 and pick up a new piece. Use the new piece to cross over strand 2, the middle piece. Cross strand 3, the front strand, over the newest middle strand. Repeat steps 5 and 6 around the crown of the head. After you go around and get to the top of the head on the other side, resume the braid as you would normally, without picking up or dropping any hair. Continue this across the bangs. Pin the end of the braid, so it is hidden.

Bob With Waterfall Crown Braid

Instagram / @jordanraehair

22. Sunset-Hued Waterfall Hair

Waterfall hairstyles are always cool. However, you can amplify that cool-factor with unicorn colors, chunky braids, and unique patterns. If you have long locks, utilize every inch to create a magical mane. It’s as if your hair is having a party and you are the guest.

Snake Waterfall Braid Hairstyle

Instagram / @lalasupdos

23. Black and Blonde Curly Braided Waterfall

Bring a touch of femininity and a dose of boho to your high contrast mane with a waterfall crown and bouncy curls. You will radiate angelic vibes. It also tones down the edginess of the hues, and makes them appear more polished and conservative for a formal affair.

Curly Hairstyle With Waterfall Braid

Instagram / @sambemystylist

24. Waterfall Hair with Plait

Braids on braids on braids will certainly enliven the straightest of tresses. The mix of waterfall, French, and even fishtail braids brings a lust-worthy texture to your hair and, of course, adds a visual intrigue. The woven tresses really show off the sheen of your frizz-free locks, while also keeping them neatly tamed.

Double Waterfall Braid For Balayage Hair

Instagram / @redlabelhairco

#25:Beachy and Wavy Blonde Style

Waterfall braids appear chic whether they are messy or neat. But a little frizz can complement the body and fullness of a curly coif. A braided crown is a simple way to make an otherwise-plain cut, stylish. It brings tons of versatility. It’s a style ready to go wherever you are headed.

26. Jeweled Crown

Every crown needs to sparkle — even braid crowns. Give your style the royal treatment by adding jeweled pins into the twisted braid. The half updo is perfect for weddings, proms or anything in between.

27. Braid with Jeweled Barrette

Gonna have a date and want to impress your partner? This 4-strand waterfall braid will be the best choice for such intentions. Soft beachy waves and neat accessory will ideally suit your romantic look.

28. Long Half-Updo

Half-updos are perfect for an event that requires you to look pulled together, but not extremely formal. Braids will elevate a basic long hairstyle without much effort on your part. It’s the best way to complete a polished look in a short amount of time.

29. Knots of Love

When it comes to the most impressive hairdos, it’s the little details that count. Winding spirals show off the gorgeous golden brown balayage. Even something as simple as wrapping hair around a ponytail holder makes the style look more sophisticated.

half updo with a dutch waterfall braid

Instagram/ @nicoledrege

30. Slick Purple ‘Do

One of the great things about a waterfall braid is that it doesn’t look out of place with edgy styles like this punchy purple cut. A delicate flower detail also pairs well with the moody midnight violet color. It’s a style that works especially good for younger women, those who have a fun spirit.

31. Twisted Hal Up Style

If you woke up late for a presentation or an important interview, a waterfall style would make it look like you put in a lot of effort into your hairstyle even when you really didn’t. Plus, it’s the perfect complement to air-dried natural waves. Cut down on the time it takes to complete by doing a twist instead of a braid.

32. Waterfall Braid for Thick Hair

The braid doesn’t have to be the star of the show; it can be a nice back drop to cascading curls. Embrace the bohemian flair with a knotted detail and a bold blonde streak; style with a lace top in a fun color to truly make a statement.

33. Multi-Colored Half Updo

Go bold with a mix of fiery red and cool blonde hues. While the focus will probably be on your vibrant bodacious curls, a braid crown will give your hairstyle a whimsical touch that will keep it from looking like you are trying too hard but rather having fun.

34. Mermaid Hair with Double Braids

It can be tough to maintain super long hair — from washing to styling it, everything seems like a chore. On the days when you don’t want to curl, straighten or even brush your hair, a waterfall crown is an easy way to keep you looking fresh and stylish.

35. GOT-Inspired Hairstyle

At first glance the double waterfall braid looks complicated. Yes, it takes effort, but it is definitely worth it! Learn how to do this braid and it will be a time and money saver. Having such a marvelous hairstyle in your beauty arsenal you won`t need to go to the salon so often. Perfect!

36. Cinnamon Coated Strands

Straight strands are great for many reasons — they instantly look polished and elegant. But, the only downside is that they lack texture. Now with a small braid you can have the best of both worlds, a little bit of character without extreme textures and elements overpowering the look.

37. Occasion Ready Hairstyle

Next time you have a major event that requires a hair stylist, take advantage and ask for a quick tutorial on a style you always wanted to try. That way some time in the near future you may be able to put this curly twisted look together on your own with no assistance needed.

38. Loose Braid and Blonde Curls

To cut down on waterfall braid steps, opt for a style that focuses less on the precise braiding technique and more on the overall feel of the style. A loosely twisted crown will give you a similar vibe without all of the extra effort. This works especially well if you have thick hair.

39. Brunette Hair with Caramel Streaks

One of the benefits of a waterfall is that is shows off your color in an unusual way. With a hairstyle like this, caramel highlights will really pop against dark chocolate roots. Plus, it creates a gorgeous swirled effect within your crown.

40. Braided Hair with Dipped Tips

Add some spice to a waterfall braid hairstyle with a fun temporary color. Blonde hair is a great base because any brighter color will really pop against it. Red is perfect for those women who want to turn down the sweet and turn up the sassy.

When you need a quick way to elevate your everyday look, or a full-on glam moment, a waterfall braid is a sure winner. Length is not an issue; this style can work on medium to extra-long strands and many different textures.

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