Pictured here is a regular braid, or plait, where I only used three strands and I only braided the hanging part.
Left: I did a half french braid across the top of my head to create a half up/half down look. I say "half" french braid because you can see I didn't combine any pieces from the back side, only the front. Middle: picture is actually a plain french braid down the back of my head but you can only see the plait at the bottom. Right: a dutch braid. Essentially a inside out french braid, and instead of starting from the back like the middle picture, I started at the top and went down the side.
Top left: french braided bangs. My favorite go-to on messy hair days to keep my hair out of my face. Top right: I was just goofing around one night and cornrowed my hair. I ended up sleeping in it and it gave me some pretty rad waves. Bottom left: bottom half of the french fishtail I wore yesterday on my bike ride. Bottom Right: back of the french fishtail. It's not the best looking because it just had a helmet on it.
-Brush your hair first, and frequently.
-If you have very curly hair, and you aren't an experienced braider, try straightening it first too.
-Make sure your hair is clean and dry. It's not hard braiding my hair wet, but it all tends to stick together and takes a lot of patience
-Pull everything tight. This is probably the most important - a loos braid will be less braid. If that makes any sense.