Gabrielle Union recently proved that braids are perfect for any occasion. With the oppressive heat that takes over the city of New Orleans in the summer, and during Essence Festival, many have elected to wear the protective style for that weekend, making hair prep a one and done process (moisturize and go). And while box braids in several variations are trending heavily this summer with no sight of going out of style, other braided styles are a great option for the massive fun-filled event.

We’ve rounded up some amazing looks from Instagram to inspire you to try a little something different with your plaits this festival season.

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