A braided hairstyle is the single best way to let your creativity shine through. Hey, your messy ponytail had a good run! That wild, swirled-up bun served you well for a while—but it’s begging to be retired. And if straight hair is your signature style, please put down the flat iron: heat damage is real and will be at an all-time high now warm weather is here. Braids mean many things to many people, and whether you’re using your own natural locks (or locs) or adding a style like French braids or Dutch braids to your hairstyle, braids are absolutely one of the lowest-maintenance, highest-style options around.