A knack for braiding beyond the standard plait may not be an essential life skill, but it is a desirable one. If I had the opportunity to trade in one of my other less necessary skills—say, my gift for remembering in vivid detail each and every subtle way in which anyone has ever slighted me—for the ability to twist up a series of intricate braids with my eyes closed, I would do it in a heartbeat. (As long as I don’t have to give up my ability to whistle. I just learned that one.)
Unless your fine motor skills are on par with your aptitude for YouTube hair tutorials, and you don’t have a full-time job, mastering all the complicated braids we see on the internet probably isn’t in the cards, which brings them back to their original purpose: eye candy. The many-stranded braided styles that invariably make an appearance or five on the runway each season may not be the stuff of a realistic everyday hair repertoire, but hey, it never hurts to look.
Here, 25 intense braids that, while not necessarily wearable nor attainable, will make you wish you were just a little more dexterous. Blame your parents for not letting you play with enough pipe cleaners as a toddler, or something.