If braids make you think of fifth-grade slumber parties or dance recitals, you need to take another look at the modern options. Messy, grown-up braids have been all over the fashion runways and red carpets lately, because they’re a great way to add a little romance without a lot of fuss. Read on for some tips on how to get this trendy look.
1. Make it messy
Keeping the braid loose and slightly sloppy is the best way to make sure you don’t look ten years old or like you’re channeling Elsa from Frozen. Straight, tight braids aren’t what you want. Chunks of hair sticking out or pieces that aren’t exactly the same size are A-OK — good news if you were never able to do the perfect french braid anyway.
The big, messy braid is especially suited to long, thick and/or wavy hair. Instead of braiding straight down your back, work it off to one side so it falls over the shoulder. Set the braid with a strong-hold hairspray (like Redken’s Control Addict Extra-Hold Hairspray).
2. Tiny braid, big style
The small side braid as part of a larger hairstyle is popular with celebrities right now. Start with dry hair to which you’ve applied shine spray. Part your hair as usual (or try a deep side part, which works especially well with this style). Section off a small chunk and work a regular or french braid down the side of your head. Secure with pins. Now you can style your hair in your usual ponytail, bun, or messy updo, and the braid will add a touch of bohemian flair.
3. Get artsy
Want an intricate, artistic hairstyle? Braids can do that too. A fishtail braid looks classy and stylish, and it’s not too hard to work once you get the hang of it (YouTube videos are your friend!). A waterfall braid is romantic and simple, with draping pieces that seem to flow out of the braid.
And don’t forget intricately braided updos. A browse through Pinterest or Instagram will show you thousands of styles. Since these can require a lot of planning and hair know-how to get them to look great and stay put, the most complicated braided updos are probably best left to professional stylists.
Today’s braided styles can be classic or edgy, delicate or strong, romantic or practical. With so many styles to choose from, you can find the one that perfectly matches your personality.