This summer, take your braid to the next level by trying one of these star-approved styles. Whether you’re going to an afternoon wedding or a night out with the girls, you’ll be sure to turn heads. The fact that they’re easy to recreate can be our little secret.
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Edgy French Braids
Don't be scared: this cool style on Naya (don't you love it?) is essentially just three french braids. Start by sectioning off your hair into three pieces, and clip to keep each section separate. Start by french braiding one section and tie off to create a long "tail." Repeat with the two other sections. Spritz with hairspray to keep the flyaways at bay.
The Braided Top Knot
Nicole Richie works braids into a lot of her beauty looks. To get her style, make a high pony, braid, and then wrap hair around the base of the elastic. Use U-shaped pins to secure.
The Pony Express
This look is great for going from the beach to a nighttime party. Work mousse into damp locks then pull into a ponytail at the crown. Next, spritz hair with a light hold hairspray and braid locks from the elastic to ends. When you’re ready to head to your party, unbraid half the pony and secure. The hair will look wavy or crimped—depending on your texture. Keep it classy by using a piece of your own hair to hide the elastic.
The Braided Side Pony
Everyone loves a beautiful side ponytail for the red carpet. To jazz it up like Salma does here, spritz damp locks with a sea salt spray then loosely braid from the elastic down, leaving a few inches of hair loose at the ends. Next, go through and lightly pull the braid apart to give it that laidback, textured feel.
The Braided Updo
This look is all about finding a balance between the volume at the front and the polished bun-turned-braid in the back. Start with a volumizing mousse on damp locks before blowdrying. Next, use a 1-inch curling iron to create loose waves throughout. Tie into a loose ponytail at the base of the neck. Braid strands and wrap into a low bun. Spritz with a finishing spray to keep locks in place.
Make your ‘do a bit more interesting with an inside out fishtail braid. Create a deep side part, and then start your braid on the opposite side. Let pieces hang out to give it that undone look.
The Braided Warrior
What seems like your standard voluminous braided pony is actually way more complex once you see the back. Start by teasing the front to create the pompadour effect, then pin in place. Next create a reverse French braid by bringing each piece under, instead of over, the way you would for a traditional French braid. For detailed instructions and product recommendations, check out our interview with her hairstylist Marissa Marino here.
The Braided Halo
This is not only super-elegant, but it’s also very easy. You have two options for getting this look. The first is to French braid your hair starting at the base of your head and going all the way around your hairline, securing remaining hair into a low bun. Or, you can use a braided headband, like Mia Beauty’s Thick Braided Headband, amazon.com, to cheat your way to a perfect halo.
The Reverse French
What looks like a side pony on one side, is a twist on the traditional French braid on the other. For glamorous red-carpet length, add in a ponytail extension starting at the base of your neck before you braid. Wrap a medium-sized portion of the pony around the elastic to mimic Alba’s clean-cut look.
The Braided Tiara
Talk about hot buns! Start by tying hair into a high pony. Before wrapping locks into a bun, leave a thin piece of hair out to use as the braided base. If you don’t have majorly thick locks, you might want to try adding in some volume with a hair piece or a bun tool, like the Sultra Uptown Chic Bun Shaper (Nordstrom.com).