What Are Trail Braids? (Ultimate Guide) – 2024

While there’s no definitive definition in common hairstyling terminology, the term “trail braids” is often used conversationally to describe several braided hairstyles that share these characteristics:

  • Multiple Braids typically involve multiple braids, often cornrows or box braids, styled to create a flowing or trailing effect.
  • Length and Movement: The braids are often long, allowing them to drape, swing, or flow freely, creating a visual “trail.”
  • Variety of Styles: The specific arrangement and styling of the braids can vary, leading to different interpretations of “trail braids.”

Possible Styles Commonly Referred to as Trail Braids:

  • Boho/Goddess braids: These often feature multiple, loosely woven braids with beads, feathers, or other adornments, evoking a bohemian or goddess-like aesthetic.
  • Tribal Braids: These braids draw inspiration from traditional African hairstyles, often incorporating intricate patterns, shapes, and accessories.
  • Waterfall Braids: While not strictly “trail braids” in common usage, their cascading effect might be considered a type of trailing braid.

Key Points:

  • “trail braids” is more of a colloquial description than a formal hairstyling term.
  • It encompasses a range of braided styles that emphasize length, movement, and visual trailing effects.
  • Specific styles often blend cultural influences, personal expression, and creativity.

What Are Trail Braids?

Trail braids are a popular hairstyle among outdoor enthusiasts, especially those who enjoy hiking, camping, and other outdoor activities.

These braids are not just a fashion statement but also serve a practical purpose in keeping the hair out of the way and maintaining a neat appearance during outdoor adventures.

Hiking and Outdoor Activities

When engaging in outdoor activities such as hiking, it is important to have a functional and stylish hairstyle.

Trail braids are a great option for this purpose, as they keep the hair secure and prevent it from becoming tangled or messy while on the trail.

How to Do Trail Braids

Trail braids are relatively easy to create, even for those with little hairstyling experience. To accomplish this look, follow these straightforward advances:

  • Start by brushing or combing your hair to remove any knots or tangles.
  • Partition your hair into two equivalent areas.
  • Take a small section of hair from one side and cross it to the other.
  • Repeat this process, alternating sides until you reach the end of your hair.
  • Secure the braid with a small elastic band or hair tie.
  • Optional: Pull on the braid gently to add volume and make it look more relaxed and natural.

Benefits of Trail Braids

There are several benefits to wearing trail braids, especially during outdoor activities:

  1. Hair Protection: Trail braids keep the hair secure and prevent it from getting tangled, damaged, or caught on branches or other objects while hiking or participating in outdoor sports.
  2. Comfort: By keeping the hair off the face and neck, trail braids help to keep the wearer cool and comfortable, even in hot weather.
  3. Versatility: Trail braids can be styled in various ways, such as a single braid down the back, twin braids on either side of the head, or even multiple braids for a more intricate look.
  4. Low Maintenance: Once the trail braids are in place, they require minimal maintenance throughout the day, allowing you to focus on enjoying your outdoor activities without worrying about your hair.

Popular Variations of Trail Braids

While the basic trail braid is a simple two-strand braid, several popular variations can add variety and style to your look:

French Braid

The French braid is a classic variation of the trailing braid that adds an elegant touch to your hairstyle. It involves incorporating additional sections of hair into the braid as you move along the scalp.

Dutch Braid

Similar to the French braid, the Dutch braid involves incorporating additional sections of hair into the braid.

However, in this case, the sections are crossed under each other instead of over, creating a braid that appears to be raised from the scalp.

Fishtail Braid

The fishtail braid is a trendy variation of the trailing braid that adds a unique and intricate look to your hairstyle.

It involves dividing the hair into two sections and crossing small pieces from each section to the opposite side.


Trail braids offer both style and functionality for outdoor enthusiasts. Whether hiking, camping, or engaging in other outdoor activities, trail braids can help keep your hair secure and out of the way.

With various variations, you can find the perfect trail braid style that suits your preferences and adds a touch of flair to your adventurous spirit. So, next time you hit the trail, consider trying trail braids!


What are trail braids?

Trail braids are a hairstyle commonly worn by outdoor enthusiasts to keep their hair secure and neat during outdoor activities.

How do I create trail braids?

To create trail braids, divide your hair into two sections, cross small sections of hair over to the opposite side, and continue alternating until you reach the end. Secure with a hair tie.

What are the benefits of trail braids?

Trail braids offer hair protection, comfort, versatility, and low maintenance during outdoor activities.

Are there variations of trail braids?

Yes, popular variations include the French braid, Dutch braid, and fishtail braid, each adding a unique touch to the hairstyle.

Can anyone do trail braids?

Yes, trail braids can be done by anyone, even those with minimal hairstyling experience. They are relatively easy to create.