Viking braids are a colorful expression of Nordic culture. Here are 46 ways you can fiercely follow this trend. What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word Viking? Fierce warriors? Strong winds, stormy seas, and icy weather? Perhaps a hit tv show? Most likely, if you’re a style enthusiast, you imagine those striking, detailed braids that look good on all genders.
Viking braids made quite the splash when they appeared in the 2013 television series titled “Vikings”, but they have been around for a while. You can also blame Game Of Thrones for popularizing this look. Daenerys Targaryen, or Mother Of Dragons to some, has rocked what could be classified as Viking braids on the show several times.
The Vikings were some of the most infamous figures in history, so it’s not strange that their style has been re-imagined and embellished to fit today’s modern hair aesthetics. Today’s depiction of Viking braids isn’t as historically accurate as you might think, but the braids are still a popular way to protect your hair while channeling your inner conqueror.
Now that you’ve got the hang of things, it’s time to pick out your Nordic braiding look! Mix and match these beautiful styles to create something that speaks to you.
1. Straightback Viking Braids
Classic, structured, and flattering on everyone, these straight-back Viking braids are a great base for anyone looking to get their feet wet. When you take a closer look, you’ll realize that the braids on the sides aren’t simple flat plaits. They’re an elevated dutch braid. The raised sides create shadow effects in between each braid. This highlights the darker roots, which gives the blonde a more natural feel.
The large fishtail braid in the middle is soft but well constructed so that it maintains its shape as you run errands throughout the day. You can even work out if you place the looser strands into a bun. This is the perfect foundation for anyone who wants to go to their local braid tech and try it out. To seal your ends, you can use small elastic scrunchies that won’t snag on your hair, or use leather string, like the photo above. It will only add a layer of authenticity to the rustic Nordic look.
2. Dutch Stitch Fusion Viking Braids
This warrior princess aesthetic can be worn at conventions, costume parties, or for a simple day at the grocery store. You don’t need a reason to feel like a Nordic princess. For a laid-back look, ditch the tribal makeup. Accentuate this dutch braid Viking fantasy by leaning into the clean lines each braid creates.
You can create a tight, elevated fishtail braid at the top to highlight your contrasting dark roots. The smaller side braids cascade into loose hair to form an ethereal and effortless look. If you want to mimic this style, make sure you have two or three varying shades of hair color to add depth. Channel your inner Elsa by adding icy blonde highlights and placing them at the top and sides of your hair so that they get a chance to pop in and out of the braid.
3. Descending Straightback Viking Braids
If you’ve got a little one, you’re probably trying to figure out how to keep their hair neat while they run around and play. This big to small Viking braid pattern is your best bet. They’re not too tight, and they keep the gum out of your kid’s hair by tucking their fragile strands. You don’t have to worry about sitting around doing fishtail braids either. You can simply change the size of your dutch braid as you move down the hair.
It’s a time-saving style mostly because of the major braid down the middle. This takes up the largest hair real estate, which means your kid won’t get frustrated sitting around for hours. Seal the ends with some elastic bands. If you’re feeling creative, you can let your child pick out their own colored rubber bands, or add beads. One thing to keep in mind with this style is that if you’re going to try it out on your child, it won’t last as long. But that doesn’t matter. It’s so easy that you can reinstall it every week.
4. Long and Flowy Viking Braids
Long, curly and earthen red, this is what we imagined in history class when we considered Viking women from the Scottish and Irish regions. After all, the Vikings are credited with establishing the now popular city of Dublin. The strong hair color presents the Viking braids as a stern and direct style. It also goes to show that you don’t have to do blonde braids all of the time. Each color brings a different personality with it and this rich red is both warm and icy.
If you have darker hair, you might find that your braids get lost in the color, so be sure to create height by elevating your dutch and fishtail braids. To add extra volume, tease the hair before braiding it. That way, your fishtail forms a pronounced mohawk that won’t get lost in the depth of your hair’s color. You can also curl the ends if you want to create movement that will catch the light of any room you’re in.
5. Loose & Free Viking Braids
This braiding pattern screams “warrior on the go”. You can run free with the wind blowing through your braided locks and not worry about any loose hair getting matted or needing extra care. These seven braids require pre-sectioning so that you can get an even size on each side. Start with the middle, taking out a large section and braiding it in either a dutch or fishtail braid. For the three lines on each side, you can either do a smaller fishtail, which will transform this look into a largely detail-oriented hairstyle, or go for the braids pictured above. Whichever you choose, keep a loose grip on the roots. That’s how you get the raised braid look. It’s also a great Viking braid option if you’ve got medium-length hair. The braids won’t get in your way as they bob around your shoulders.
6. Seven Seas Viking Braids
In true modern Viking fashion, these braids incorporate long, free-flowing hair with tight, flat plaits that create the illusion of boats floating alongside each other in the ocean. Vikings were known for their sailing prowess so why not pay homage to their grand boats with this nautical look? The sides are french braids, so they create a shaved side illusion that’s part of many male Viking hairstyles.
You can leave the back loose and in its natural texture like the picture above, or you can add large curls to really take your ocean-inspired look to the next level. These Viking braids will last a really long time because they’re tightly secured to your scalp and don’t have the raised effect. Be sure to use dry shampoo to get rid of any greasy texture, and keep your edges clean to stretch the style out.
7. Fishtail Fluff Viking Braids
Big, beautiful, and full of fluff, this Viking braid pattern stands out from the rest. Not only does it feature the less utilized rope twist side braids, but it goes overboard with excessive volume at the crown. At first glance, this braid looks simple, but when you examine the fishtail, you’ll realize that the braid goes backward before taking a detour at the base.
This technique creates two dangling braids that are installed in a forward motion. All of the braids eventually merge into one large braid and it creates this fishtail within a fishtail that’s absolutely stunning. If you want to create a wedding look, curl the ends in a ringlet formation. The mid-air suspension effect you’re seeing at the base of the braid is achieved by strategically placing bobby pins into certain parts of the braid. It might be difficult to pull this off at home, so try pitching this idea to a braid tech the first time around.
8. Freeform Classic Viking Braids
There’s no way they’ll reject you at the gates of Valhalla with these intricate, free-form Viking braids. The great thing about this hairstyle is that it looks so effortless yet it requires so much skill. The honey, ice, and ash blonde highlights are a sight for sore eyes. The tones create so much depth and layers that you can’t help but stare and wonder how such a brilliant dye job was achieved.
To add to the style, there are two free braids at the midpoint. If you want to add volume to these free braids, distress them a bit by pulling at strategic points. The fishtail center starts out as three braids before merging into one so keep that in mind while braiding. If you want to DIY this, it might take a minute to get the technique right, so be patient.
9. Modern Glam Mega Viking Braids
Big, bold, and bedazzled are the words that come to mind when you see this hairstyle. It’s more than a Viking look. It’s a compilation of all things braiding. There are so many different elements here that it’s easy to feel overwhelmed or get distracted, yet it all works together. The blue hair at the front can be custom colored at home or at the salon, and the hair jewelry can be found online or at your local beauty store at an affordable price.
The giant, multi-layered fishtail down the middle incorporates the tail ends of each side braid, creating one magnificent statement piece. You can use your natural hair, or like the picture above, add some extensions that contrast with your original hair color.
10. Soft Bridal Viking Braids
These braids resemble a beautifully woven tapestry full of high and lowlights. It’s the perfect style for a wedding. The minimal yet intricate braids won’t distract from your dress, and if you want to add some flair, incorporate a featherlight flower-like “baby’s breath”. If you want to add even more dimension, curl the ends with a flat iron. That will create the smooth curls you see above.
To create separation at the front of your braid, split the middle section in two and braid softly while adding hairspray to achieve the height at the crown. For an understated finish, use rubber bands that match your natural or extension hair color.
11. Cloudy Mohawk Viking Braids
Most modern interpretations of Viking hairstyles incorporate some sort of mohawk element, creating a rugged, fearsome warrior effect. This style does that, but it also contains subtle hints of softness. This pillowy, cloud-like fishtail braid steals the show, while the flat braids on the side add texture and structure. To pull this off, you’ll need to secure a firm braid at the bottom before teasing the fishtail plaits.
The difference in hair color adds an extra layer of detail as well as contrast by giving the puffy fishtail braid a great canvas to shine on. You can curl your ponytail ends to keep the billowy effect going right down to your last hair strands. The great thing about a big fishtail braid is that it’s lightweight despite the heavy look.
12. Simple Statement Viking Braids
This angle gives you a glance at what it takes to pull off the Viking fishtail braid from the front. The amount of volume you create is up to you, but this high fishtail makes even a neutral color like brown pop. The side braids start out with a thick base before trickling down into thinner wisps of hair. As always, secure the ends with a smooth rubber band.
To avoid tangling or breaking your ends, rub a light oil over your rubber bands. This technique creates a slip that won’t snag your natural hair. The simple styling with this pattern means it will work for many if not all occasions and genders, so it’s the best base style for those who are a bit shy when it comes to trying new hairstyles. Not as bold as you might like? Keep scrolling for some seriously vibrant variations.
13. Fierce Fishtail Viking Braids
You don’t have to be a L-A-R-P or Comicon fan to try this style out. It’s more than a cosplay outfit hairdo. These fishtail and dutch braids are a strong interpretation of the Viking aesthetic on their own. The raised center draws your eye upwards, creating a stronger bone structure. You can leave out some wispy baby hairs if you want to completely emulate this look. When it comes to the back, there are two options. You can leave some loose hair out, much like the Seven Seas braiding pattern, or fully braid everything.
If you’ve got dark roots, this style is perfect. You can add extra highlights to the ends of your hair to create more contrast. You could go the extra mile by adding curls and gold cuffs into the braids but sometimes a sleek and straight look is exactly what your mood calls for.
14. Curly Viking Braids
Sure, it’s not as ornate as some of the other styles here, but it gives off that medieval maiden feel that’s alluring and soft. If you want to add some movement and frame your face, leave some of your longer edges out and curl them. This adds to the rustic look. It’s also a great style for medium-length hair because the curls can bounce around your chin and shoulders and create a strong and flattering shape.
Here’s your chance to play with size and levels by inserting a smaller french braid in between the dutch and fishtail braid on each side. The loose strands act as a form of hair art so don’t be too concerned with adding jewels and beads. Keep it light and fun.
15. Multi-Level Viking Braids
If you’re looking for a quirky way to layer your braids then try this double dutch braid combination. It secures all of your ends while giving a stunning twin serpent visual. It’s easier to pull off than it looks. Just start with a fishtail braid at the center then finish it off as a dutch braid once you reach the midpoint of your head. After that, you can install the second braid. Much like the style before it, this is a clean look that will last longer than your usual Viking braids so pick this one if you don’t have time to constantly re-do your braids.
Another great way to wear this style is in a low bun. That can easily elevate the look and turn your Viking braids into a formal, high-end hairstyle.
16. Peek A Boo Undercut Viking Braids
These beautifully woven Viking braids might seem average but when you look at the full hairstyle, you’ll see that they’re concealing a subtle undercut. This peek-a-boo element allows you to boldly rock your rebel style when you’re in the mood, or hide it when you want a more demure, understated look. For added delicacy, leave your baby hairs out and add curtain bangs. You can also lighten the harsh undercut with this natural red tone and a matching rubber band or elastic scrunchie.
17. Bold Straightback Viking Braids With Low Cut Sides
There’s nothing soft or subtle about this single Viking braid. It presents a tougher aura all on its own. The shaved sides are elevated by cutting a few extra inches from the front. This urban-inspired shaving technique mixed with the classic Viking braid marries the old with the new. You can pull this off by adding a blonde streak to your crown.
You could try to pull this off at home, but the fading technique on the sides and front requires a steady hand and some well-honed skill, so a barber would be the best option. If you want to try it yourself, make sure you use clippers with several guard attachments. Remember, don’t get too close to your braided ponytail. Keep the clipper’s finger width apart from the braid. That way you won’t cut off more than you were hoping for.
18. Stitch Braid Fishtail Viking Braids
Five fabulous braids, detailed stitching, and a thick ponytail. What more could you ask for? This Viking braid version combines all three and adds a little extra in the form of loose hair at the bottom. Most of these looks focus on gathering the hair to the middle of your head. That means it’s perfect for a mid-bun or ponytail. If your hair is long enough, you can wrap the base of your ponytail with extra hair to hide your scrunchie.
If you look at the fishtail braid, you can see a bit of the magic behind the technique of pre-splitting the roots. To get the full tutorial, keep scrolling and you’ll see a brilliant Viking design tutorial that you can try for yourself.
19. Rope Twist Mega Viking Braid
If all of the other styles have incorporated regular fishtail braids, this one brings us the whale of fishtails. It’s interesting to observe that Vikings were sea travelers who often ate fish on their long voyages across the world. It’s no wonder this modern interpretation involves fish designs. To add a bit of variety, you can set aside a small amount of hair and create a thin french braid. This is also a great tactic if you have slightly shorter hair on the sides that you’re trying to grow out.
These small braids keep the main fishtail structured and in place. It adds neatness to the look and makes it easier to maintain. The look also works with shorter hair so you don’t have to worry about missing the Viking mark with this one. It’s as nordic as you can possibly get. Well, modern nordic anyway.
20. Boxer Babe Viking Braids
You can last more than three rounds with these boxer-style Viking braids. Not to encourage fighting, but the Vikings were known for raiding villages, pillaging, plundering, and slaying in battle, so why not pay homage to that by donning these braids. You can take your edge to the next level by shaving your sides and creating a spider effect with these smaller braids.
The look works best with hair extensions that allow you to play with color without dying your natural hair. If you have black natural hair, that’s even better because you’ll create a platform for any color to shine. It will last up to 4 weeks if you use synthetic hair since the fibers are stronger than human hair, so don’t worry about blowing up your budget.
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21. Intricate Fishtail & Cornrow Viking Braids
When it comes to precision, poise, and clean lines, this intricate fishtail fusion takes the crown. The bold, keen center part braid set the standard for the rest of the look. As you go down the sides, the braids are smaller but create a strong impact with their straight, neat installation. This style works best if you have shorter hair on the sides and longer hair at your crown. You can create the bulk and weight that you need at the top, and use slimmer braids for a streamlined, sleek look.
If you want to maintain the glistening edge this style has, add some pomade or styling mousse while braiding your hair. It might be a little slippery, but the pomade will give you the defined structure that you need. Be sure to use a clarifying shampoo before you start styling. So that your scalp and strands aren’t weighted down by all of the extra product you’ll have to use.
22. Flow & Twist Viking Braids
If you really want to get your Vikings fix, why not draw inspiration directly from the show? Just take a look at Harald Finehair. He’s got kingly ambitions, and his journey to rule Norway on the series is pretty epic. To match his ambitions, he’s got a rope twist Viking braid that’s unlike anything we’ve ever seen before. At first glance, It doesn’t look like braids. But when you look closely, you’ll see these intricate rope twists that cover his entire crown.
To achieve this look, sit down and put on your favorite binge-worthy series because it will take some time. Maybe even Vikings. Take small sections and twist them, rope style, while using a thick hair product like edge control or pomade to create enough friction that will make the hair stick. Be sure to keep your sides clean and do a touch-up twist on the edges every 2-3 weeks. Given the size of this hairstyle, it’ll last a really long time. They’re basically mini locs, so make sure you wash them with shampoo once in a while, unless you want a more permanent Viking braid style.
23. ChainMail Chic Viking Braids
There’s no better way to come out and declare your love for all things Medieval than to literally put chainmail in your hair. This interlocking braid pattern has no subtleties whatsoever. To add fuel to the fire, go for lava red. Then you can merge every fantasy story from The Lord of the Rings to Game of Thrones. The fishtail mohawk is larger than usual because this is an art piece within a hairstyle.
You’re going to have to call on the hair gods and goddesses to create the height on this braid, so get some trusty extra-strong hairspray and tease as much as you possibly can. Once you’ve achieved your preferred height, start adding synthetic hair.
24. Pop Of Color Viking Braids
This is one of those Viking braid patterns that works beautifully for beginners. You don’t have to be an expert because all you need is a combination of a few tutorials and you can get the look. The blue streak dancing down the middle of your hair creates an arrow effect, and the hints of navy blue on the side create a color pop. While braiding, you can switch between dutch or french style depending on your skill level.
If you’re still struggling with forming the wavy outer section of your fishtail braid, it’s time to get acquainted with the good old bobby pin. You can create rosettes by pinning down strategic parts of your fishtail braid. It’s not really cheating, because hair is whatever you want to make it. After all, the Vikings were all about grooming, so if they had bobby pins, they probably would have used them.
25. Woven Wonder Viking Braids
Twists, swerves, squares, and dangling braids, this is one Viking look for the history books. It’s a brilliant piece of hair art that requires several examinations. There’s the twisty mohawk that’s a cross between a rope and fishtail braid. Then there’s the large dutch braid followed by an intricate large square stitch braid. To cover the rubber bands used in this section, you can add silver or gold clips.
Moving downwards, you can see this smaller, uniquely shaped braid that’s dangling and framing the face. This is called a snake braid. Snakes are an important symbol in European culture, and the infinity sign is said to originate from the image of a snake consuming itself. Cannibalism aside, it’s a great symbol that has strong ties to the Viking spirit of constantly conquering and thriving. Clearly, this style isn’t for beginners so screenshot it and run to your braiding tech.
26. Mega Volume Viking Braids
What goes hand in hand with Vikings? Rock and roll, that’s what! This straight-up mohawk goes where no other fishtail braid is willing to go. Don’t worry, you don’t have to cut your hair or anything. Just gear up with a rock lover’s favorite accessory, hairspray. Tease and pull your hair as much as you can and follow that up with some serious braiding skills. You can curl the ends or place them in rollers the night before for an even more voluminous look.
Since the mohawk is so pronounced, you can do some laid-back Dutch braids at the sides and keep it simple. The thinner french braid in the middle creates separation and stops your mohawk from spilling over to the side. This is the lowest maintainable look on the list simply because the hair on the top is loose, so you might have to style it every day. Despite that, it’s worth a try, because who doesn’t love to rock on?
27. Crimped Viking Braids
If you ever want to go for the quintessential crimped Viking braids, look no further than this masterpiece here. In the famous words of Stefan from SNL, this hairstyle has everything. Fishtails, slim braids, highlights, dark roots, and dutch braids. Fluff your ends and secure each braid to keep this style for as long as you possibly can.
Now, you will need a really small crimping tool, so this might be better suited for the professionals, but don’t let that deter you. You can still rock this multi-layered style with straight hair. If you can’t wait, get some extensions that have small crimping patterns. Most human hair versions do.
28. Infinity Sign Viking Braids
Long live the Viking braid! This infinity style embraces the never-ending fascination with Viking culture. Originally cultivated by Greek mathematicians, this style suits the middle age aesthetic you’re going for when you choose Viking braids. Three braids intertwined on each side creates a beautiful pattern that’s hard to look away from. The fishtail braid in the middle is special because it has a crimped texture.
To achieve this, use a crimping iron beforehand and get the desired texture. Then, use some hairspray and a comb to tease the hair until it’s puffy enough. Be gentle while braiding. You don’t want to warp the already crimped hair by pressing it too hard. You might flatten it a bit when you sleep at night, so make sure to puff it up every morning before going about your day.
29. Pretty In Pink Viking Braids
Brave, bright, brilliant, and beautiful, these braids are reminiscent of the mythical Valkyrie. You can imagine this style on a fierce Valkyrie sent by Odin to deliver slain soldiers to Valhalla. Pink and purple may not have been the traditional color, but it’s just as heavenly. To get this monochromatic rainbow look, you’ll have to dye your natural hair as well as additional extensions.
You can use a soft, rose gold color to dye your hair. It won’t strain your strands and you can keep a darker root to create even more color variation. As the braid moves down, use darker purple colors that mellow out without dulling or weighing down the style. These stunning braids only get better when you add jewels and clips, so go ahead. Just make sure they don’t eclipse the already vibrant aesthetic you have going on.
30. Puffer Fish Viking Braids
Fishtails are everywhere, so get creative with what kind of fishtail you want to be incorporated into your look. A puffer fishtail will add volume and variety while giving your style structure and good form. If you’re feeling a little extra, go ahead and add some baby hairs. Sure, it’s not traditionally linked with Vikings. There wasn’t really time to slick down baby hairs and lay edges with beeswax back in the day. But that doesn’t matter. Make it your own.
You can curl the ends, create rope twists on the side or leave the back straight and loose. As long as it suits you. The French braided sides are a little looser than usual, so make sure you use enough products to reduce flyaways.
31. Zig-Zag Part Viking Braids
Sometimes french and dutch braids can get a little repetitive, no matter how Viking-like they are. To spice your braids up, try this trendy parting technique. You can do a plain zig-zag part or you can combine zig zags with stitches and take your look to another level. If you look closely at the french braid, you’ll see some flowering details. Each section looks like a rose petal and the soft red hair accentuates this further.
Braid thickness and thinness can really change a hairstyle, so use the descending method of starting big before going small. This will elongate your head shape and create a shadow effect on your sides.
32. Lowlight Highlight Mix Viking Braids
Sometimes the best way to draw attention to a simple braid pattern is to mix in as many highlights as you possibly can. This dark chocolate base is the perfect canvas for different shade variations. So go wild. Add blonde, brown, hazel, dark blonde, and a bit of chestnut and you have this dazzling look.
This look is a little on the messy side, so create some structure by incorporating smaller french braids that can be woven into the larger fishtail. Since there’s a lot more loose hair, you’ll have to be careful with this pattern. Be sure to moisturize your strands and keep them under a silk scarf at night. You can revitalize the loose strands with crimps and curls, just make sure you don’t overload your hair with heat.
33. Red Rope Viking Braids
Red hair is a beautiful rarity in nature, so why not celebrate it with an equally rare braiding trend inspired by the elusive Vikings? This thick, rope-like braid and stitch pattern gives us Middle Age realness and almost makes us want to travel back in time, Outlander style.
Want a stitch braid hack that will save time and ease the strain while you’re braiding? All you need is some oil, like olive or coconut, and thin rubber bands. Dip the rubber bands in the oil, then go across each sectioned braid, creating small splits that look like stitches. After creating each stitch, tie it off in a rubber band. When you go back to braiding, you won’t have to pause and split a new stitch. It makes the stitch braid process so much easier. It’s also easier on your scalp as you won’t have to grip your roots so tightly.
34. Three In One Viking Braids
This has to be one of the neatest braiding patterns on the list. It’s straight to the point and easy to install. All you need to know is how to form a dutch braid. Nothing fancy here. The true star is precision. Look how clean each line is. The main braid takes up most of the hair and yet it isn’t bulky or overbearing. In theory, you could use the fishtail method, but that would take away from the long-lasting potential this variation has. It can easily last 3-4 weeks if you take extra care.
It’s wiser to start with the side braids, that way, the ends will be easier to incorporate when it’s time to form the big braid in the middle. Since all of your hair will be tucked away, you can choose this style if you plan on going on a long vacation and don’t want to be bothered with daily or weekly styling.
35. Short Hair Viking Braids
Short hair, don’t care! This simple, straight-back stitch braid gives just enough Viking thunder to get your point across. In fact, it might be one of the more authentic styles used by Vikings while in battle, because it’s short and convenient. If you want to add your own twist to this style, incorporate some color. You don’t have to reach for the bleach just yet. Color chalk, paste spray, and powder are all viable options for a quick and impermanent look.
This hairstyle is also pretty practical for day-to-day activity. You can easily dress it up or down, and you won’t be distracted by super long hair getting in the way. If your hair is shorter, be sure to apply steady pressure and keep a firm grip when braiding. That way, your strands won’t loosen easily or stick out of the braid. You can tuck in any super short strands with a rat-tail comb and keep them in place using extra-hold hairspray.
36. Unicorn Cloud Viking Braids
Who says Vikings can’t have a “pretty in pink” moment? This cotton candy, nebula-themed fishtail braid is everything you could hope for in a fun, festival look. The color progression from purple, blue, and dark pink to baby blue and blush is pretty amazing don’t you think? To ground the hairstyle, incorporate some of your natural hair strands, that way the brown and black can seem like it’s part of the mix. For the smaller braids on the side, create a tiny color splash by lacing in hints of purple, pink and blue. That will create an overall balanced look.
Unless you want to take ages to dye your hair to perfection to achieve this look, go for extensions. Human hair will work great, but if you want more freedom with your color choices, go for synthetic braiding hair. It’s inexpensive and if you use X-pression braids, you’ll get that silky human-like texture. Keep your sides short. That way we can focus on the creative color storm taking place at the top of your head. You don’t need jewelry for this one either. The hair shines on its own.
37. Strong But Soft Viking Braids
This raven black hair with Viking braids creates a superhero hairstyle that we’d love to see on any major live-action crime fighter. It’s like Raven from Teen Titans met with the Dothraki and created a style that combines both their aesthetics. All that’s missing is some jewels.
Jet black hair can be a little jarring for most people, so you can soften it up by adding blonde elements at the bottom. Simply weave in a light or ash blonde hair extension into your natural braids. Styles like this also work well if you’re trying to grow in an undercut or shaved sides. You can accentuate your dark strands with hair extensions that will give the illusion of thick, fully grown hair.
38. The Ultimate Warrior Viking Braids
This next look is for the adventurous at heart who want to embrace their inner wild warrior. Calculated chaos is the best phrase to explain this luxurious and complex Viking braid set. The usual elements are there, but it’s how they’re arranged that adds a level of mystery and force. You’ll almost look like a character from the God of War video game franchise, and that’s a great thing, especially if you’re a fan.
Once you’ve created the mega fishtail braid and incorporated the raised dutch braids at the sides, weave in some colored thread or string. You can go with the muted blue that creates a storm cloud effect like the one above. If you want to try a brighter color, go with yellow or red. They’re traditional Viking colors and they would pop no matter your natural hair color.
39. Embellished Beauty Viking Braids
These royal, embellished Viking braids are both fairytale-like and practical. They feature straight back braids, forward-facing braids, locs, and jewels. It’s the best way to get the mohawk element without having to shave the sides of your head. You can also keep your hair tied back while letting a few loose strands flow free, like in this ponytail. The bright blonde streaks create movement down the hair shaft and the back of your head gets some special treatment with these forward-facing braids.
You can see elements of traditional Viking designs in this unique woven braid. The hairstyle also leaves room for error if you’re a messy braider who’s trying out their skills. To copy this look, start your fishtail braid at the crown by creating a large puff at the center of your hairline. Be sure to section off enough hair on the sides to create the smaller french braids that will frame your face.
40. Fiery Dragon Shaved Sides Viking Braids
Fiery red like the Dungeness dragons of mythology, these Viking braids look like the flames of Mordor. The shaved sides and mohawk already scream “rebel soul”, but you can take things to the next level by dying the tips of your hair orange and red. Elevate the fish braid to create a flying dragon effect. You will have to bleach your hair first but since you’ll be applying a warm tone, you’ll only need
If you’re feeling particularly brave and want to commit to the look fully, you can get tattoos on the shaved sides, much like the men in the Viking series. It’s a straightforward and in-your-face statement, so you can’t be shy about it. Pick out a pattern that you like, and just jump in. Head tattoos aside, this look is great for anyone who likes to switch their hair color up from time to time.
41. Loc Lovers Viking Braids
Vikings aren’t historically accredited with wearing locs, as their hair texture didn’t easily loc into one solid strand. Modern times introduced loc culture into Viking mythology, merging the sophisticated locking methods with Viking braids and shaved sides to create this hybrid warrior style. If you want to try this fishtail lock braid, you’ll have to loc your own hair, which is a pretty big commitment. Locs can take up to 6 months to fully mature and smoother hair textures need the extra product and a loc specialist to ensure they don’t unravel over time.
If you still want to make that commitment, then you’ll find this Viking braid style to be the longest-lasting one on the list. It works well with both long and short locs and doesn’t need as much hair care and maintenance as regular Viking braids, which is barely any. The shaved sides will need a touch-up every two weeks but other than that, you’ll be good to go!
42. Feathered Viking Braids
Humans have always felt the need to embellish their own hair with elements of nature. From beads, straw, dyed string, and gold accessories to feathers, we always want to add a little extra. This Viking braid style incorporates several elements such as locs, loose braids, fishtail braids, shells, metals, and of course, feathers. It’s a bold statement that can be as unique as you want it to be. There’s a wide variety of bird feathers to choose from, so don’t feel limited to the ones in the picture. You can add colorful peacock feathers or go for colors that match your natural hair, like brown or black feathers.
Most feathers can be found in craft shops, and no birds were harmed while obtaining them so you don’t have to worry about that. The feathers also add extra volume at the back, and when mixed in with locs and loose strands, they mimic a bird mid-flight. The feathers and other embellishments aren’t heavy, but they might hinder you from tying your hair into a bun, so there’s a sacrifice worth noting.
43. Rough & Rugged Twist Viking Braids
If you love the looks that locs offer but aren’t ready to commit to such a permanent hairstyle, try twists instead. They’re just as structured and rugged without the long-time styling effects. These rough twists need hair that’s two or three days from your last shampoo, so wait a while, or use dry shampoo. The natural hair oils will create a moldable texture that can help your twists maintain their shape for weeks. Another great thing about this style is its longevity. Since you want them to look as close to locs as possible, you won’t have to retwist them for 4-5 weeks. The older they get, the better they look.
This specific style incorporates both loose three-strand braids and twists, so you get the best of both worlds. The three-strand braids add elements of classic Viking braiding and create variety in an already appealing look. You can shave your sides, do an undercut or duplicate this hairstyle on your entire head and wear it in a bun for that modern Viking feel.
44. Woven Cradle & Undercut Viking Braids
Sometimes it’s the simple things that look the most beautiful. Unlike other striking styles on this list, this undercut and shaved sides option uses only one braid. The beauty comes with the shape this braid takes, creating a woven basket effect that cradles the top part of your ponytail. To keep the simple but beautiful look going, secure your ponytail and create waves at the ends by braiding the hair at night before you sleep.
When you undo the ponytail braids in the morning, you’ll get a naturally wavy effect that will add volume. Like many Viking braid styles, this option works with shaved sides or a full head of hair. Even Thor would be envious of this braided blonde beauty.
45. Triple Fishtail Viking Braids
Simple and straight to the point, these three fishtail braids are the quintessential Viking braid patterns for anyone on the go. If you don’t have time to try out intricate, woven braids with several inlets and outlets, go for a light and fresh look like this. It’s easy to DIY and you get to decide for yourself how thick, elevated, or flat you want your braids to be. If you find the hairstyle a little plain. You can add leather details down the length of the ponytail like the one above.
Go for a close shave on the sides. It’ll allow the mohawk to be more pronounced and create a dramatic shift from the crown of your head to the temples and sides.
46. Phenomenal Fishtail Viking Braids
There’s no better way to close things off than with a beautiful, over-the-top, elaborate fishtail Viking braid. This head-turning, show-stopping style features braids, twists, jewels, and a magnificent testament to hair architecture. While it comes off as one gigantic braid, lean in, and take a closer look. You’ll see two big centered braids with smaller side braids incorporated into them. The dominant brunette fishtail braid is loosely structured while the stronger, dark blonde braid lays on top. To keep the center braid in place, you can secure it to the loose fishtail braid with bobby pins. Just make sure you don’t compromise the pillow effect.
With this look, you really want the hair to shine, so less is more when it comes to jewelry options. Don’t overload the braids with dangling jewels and cuffs. It could distract from the artistry and structure these braids have to offer.
Did The Vikings Have Braids?
Yes, they did, just not in the way you’ve come to know. The Vikings, who were pirates, explorers, traders, raiders, and colonizers from the Nordic region, existed for centuries. Much like us, they went through different hair trends and norms that grew in popularity as their influence spread. They used simple braiding patterns for common, day-to-day hairstyles. Their technique is different from traditional African braiding, which was meant to protect specific African textured hair while showcasing artistic elements and highlighting positions in society.
Viking or Norse braids were worn by women who usually had longer hair than men. Women would mostly tie their hair back in buns or braided buns.
Vikings were always on the move, working or traveling, so loose hair would have been an inconvenience. Their braids were more so for functionality. To keep their hair swept back and out of the way as they went about their daily tasks. History records show that for certain groups, men would keep their hair short, especially at the back. Records also suggest that men who went to battle would either wear their hair short or in braids with little to no loose hair.
Archaeologists have found beads, combs, tweezers, and different hair and beard accessories that suggest personal grooming and hygiene was a top priority for Vikings. Men would sometimes braid their long beards, a trend we see today. Talk about attention to detail!
What Kind Of Braids Did Vikings Have?
This too varied from time to time. The braids we see today on television and in photographs are inspired by modern hair trends, mixed with historical references from actual findings of the Vikings. The popular fishtail braid, for example, is featured in most of the Viking styles you’ll see on this list, yet it originates from the Caryatids, or maidens, of Greece, as far back as 430 BCE.
Modern Viking braids also borrow from French braiding techniques. It’s why you see lace braids, rope braids, and fishtail braids all in one Viking braid style. Traditional Viking braids have roots in Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, which is where the majority of Vikings originated from. Some historical records trace Vikings of Finnish, Estonian, and Saami descent, so their braiding styles are also present. It’s really a mixed bag of nordic and east European influence. So in theory, Viking braids can be whatever your creative mind desires them to be, as long as it’s rooted in Scandinavian culture.
If you really want to emulate authentic Viking braids, then you might want to consider going blonde. That’s right, back in the day, the ideal beauty standard included blonde hair. To achieve this, brunette or dark-haired Viking men and women would use hair soap with high amounts of lye to achieve a light blonde. Thankfully, we have healthier methods today.
What Do Viking Braids Mean?
Braids mean so many different things to so many different cultures. For the Vikings, convenience and functionality definitely influenced their braiding practices. It was easy to raid villages, sail the high seas, or simply handle farm duties with braided, swept-back hair. At other times, these braids were the result of the Vikings’ expert weaving skills. The intricate patterns found in traditional Viking cloth may have been incorporated into Viking hairstyles, much like other global civilizations.
Some suggest that Viking’s braids had spiritual connotations, as Vikings were not traditionally Christian. It’s not too far-fetched to assume that certain braids in Nordic culture had spiritual ties, as that was the case for many people groups, including Native Americans, Greeks, and Africans. Braids and different braid formations also hinted at a person’s social status, marital status, age, or influence. The same can be assumed for Vikings, though there isn’t much historical backing on that subject.
Today, Viking braids have less social, financial, or spiritual value. They’re more of a style statement and a nod to the past. As you’ll see in this list, people have added their own artistic expression, personal preferences, and creative elements to the Viking braid. So feel free to do the same. After all, hair is art and art is always subjective.
How Long Can You Leave Viking Braids In?
Viking braids were originally meant to weather whatever activity the wearer was participating in, so ideally, they should last pretty long. With that said, there are conditions you should meet to get the most longevity out of this hairstyle. Factors like the tightness during installation, lifestyle activity, and hair texture all contribute to how long your Viking braids will last before they get matted. Straight hair tends to unravel and frizz up faster than textured hair, so make sure you use enough smoothing products and maintain a firm grip while plaiting your braids. It’s best to do Viking braids on clean hair
Don’t make them too tight, as Viking braids aren’t meant to look super sleek. They take on a looser, laid-back plaiting style. With these tips, your braids should last 2 weeks. If you want to stretch your hairstyle even further, sleep with a silk or satin bonnet or scarf at night. Try not to wet your hair or pick at it when bored.
In essence, Viking braids can last a while if you take good care of them. They also have the benefit of looking authentic as they get older, so don’t be scared if they start to look a little rough. Keep your scalp oiled and moisturize the ends of your hair and all should be well. You might even be able to stretch them to 3 weeks.
How Long Does Your Hair Have To Be For Viking Braids?
Gone are the days when you had to have a full head of hair to rock an elaborate braided style. With extensions, weaves and clip-ins, we’re able to achieve hair looks that our ancestors only dreamed of. Viking braids are associated the world over with long, flowing tresses, but you don’t have to be Rapunzel to get the Viking look. If you have short hair, all you need are suitable extensions. Depending on your own natural texture, you can use either human or synthetic extensions and have Viking braids up to your tailbone or longer.
If you can afford it, go for human hair. You’ll be able to achieve the light, airy Viking braid feel if you have good quality human hair extensions. If you want a rougher, rugged Viking braid, then synthetic will do fine. Either way, extensions are your best bet if you don’t feel like waiting around for your hair to grow before you don your warrior braids.
Do Viking Braids Help Your Hair Grow?
Yes and no. Let’s explain. The common understanding about braids has been that they somehow help your hair grow or quicken the growth process. That’s not completely true. See, braids create a protective layer that prevents you from continuously manipulating your hair, which can lead to breakage or weakening of your hair strands. Braids also protect the weakest parts of your hair, which are the ends, from damage. Things like weather, the sun, and daily activity can cause wear and tear on loose hair, and braids keep things neat and organized.
When nothing is messing with your hair, it’s free to grow in a peaceful environment, at least physically. So in a sense, braids can help your hair grow by keeping it out of the way. The rest is up to genetics, lifestyle, stress levels, and general overall health.
Are Viking Braids Easy To Install?
Like every braided hairstyle, this depends. The basic Viking braid look involves french and dutch braids arranged in different patterns, mostly swept back. You can switch things up as much as you want but keep in mind that you’ll increase the difficulty level with each element that you add. If you want to keep things simple, then stick to 5-6 braids mixed in with loose hair that flows freely at the back. You can add a fishtail braid in the middle and pull at the strands to create a fluffy effect while still keeping things simple.
If you’re extremely new to braiding, then there are easy and beginner-friendly looks on this list that won’t give you a headache or make you want to give up after a few minutes. You can go for a simple look and then add your own jewels or metallic hair accessories to elevate it. If you have a great braid tech then you can go to them with some of these images and see what they can pull off. If you’d rather learn by yourself, be patient and start small, then build from that.
How Do You Do A Viking Braid?
Modern Viking braids have three main staples that can be identified, no matter the pattern or length. One is the fishtail, which can be thick, thin, or medium-sized. The fishtail is usually fluffy and messy in structure, creating a size difference, layers, and dimensions. Another trait is cleaner, smaller braids spaced throughout the hair. This creates levels. When you pair smaller braids with a large or medium fishtail, you diversify the hairstyle. The third staple is wispy, loose strands that frame the face or draw your eyes downwards in the back.
You can mix and match these three elements with varying degrees to achieve your desired look. Now let’s talk about skill. The most basic skill you’ll need is the ability to do a three-strand braid, like a dutch and french braid, and the fishtail braid. Don’t get overwhelmed, it’s much easier than you think. Just take a look at this in-depth tutorial showcasing how to do both fishtail and original versions of the dutch and french braid.
Can Anyone Wear Viking Braids?
Braids are a universal form of expression. They have manifested throughout history in different ethnic groups, so in theory, they can be worn by anyone. However, it’s important to understand that Viking braids, much like Native American or African braids, have cultural importance. The debate about who should wear braids comes more from the unfair treatment marginalized groups have endured for representing their culture through hairstyles. While cultures of darker skin tones were ridiculed for their intricate braiding, Europeans came to be celebrated and uplifted for theirs. It’s the power and privilege imbalance.
As we all grow closer globally, our trends will influence one another and new cultures will form. That will further blur cultural lines, which can be a good thing. So rock the Viking look with respect and understanding for its origins, the same way you would rock any other hairstyle that has cultural roots. Be sure to appreciate those who have ethnic and cultural ties to it while adding your own modern twist.
Are Viking Braids Still Popular?
Everybody loves a good trend, and these braids became a style staple back in 2011, especially after style lovers everywhere went wild for the fishtail braid. As television dove into historical narratives like Vikings, Game Of Thrones, and Outlander, European hairstyles and Scandanavian braiding methods were pushed into the spotlight. Hipsters had already jumped on the long, thick beard trend and shaved sides with man buns were all the rage. It was the perfect environment for Viking braids to thrive.
As time went on, however, new trends cropped up and Hollywood was quick to capitalize on the ever-changing fashion culture. So it’s only fair to wonder if you’re late to the Viking hair trend. The answer is no. The great thing about hair trends is that they only go out of style when people decide to stop wearing them. Trends cycle in and out but there’s barely anything new under the sun. So you can bring the Viking trend back whenever you want. Simply wear the style and rock it with confidence. If you really want to stay on-trend, set the trend, and these 46 looks give you a grand pool to choose from.
Release Your Inner Warrior
Would you rock these Nordic-inspired braids? Check out this detailed tutorial on how to get the look for yourself.
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