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Hot Hair Trends: Braids

Mar 26, 2012

Thinking about letting your hair down? Think again. The hot hair trend right now is braids. Probably because there are so many different ways to wear them. A loose side braid, as worn by Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen, in The Hunger Games, is casual and stylish. Fishtail and French braids elevate sporty looks for a photo finish. Mini braids add a crowning touch to replace ordinary headbands and hair clips. And braids swept up into an updo add a touch of sophistication on an evening out.

Celebrities Jessica Alba, Lauren Conrad and Mischa Barton fearlessly experiment with multiple braid styles -- half-up, messy and low, pinned into a bun, half-braid, fishtail, French... you name it, they've done it and look great! 

Side Braid

The side braid, most often worn by Taylor Swift and Amanda Seyfried, can be neat or messy. To get the look, first, pull all of your hair over to one side. Smooth the top of your hair with your hand and start to braid hair at the nape of your neck. Start with a three-strand braid, but once you have that down, experiment with a fishtail or twist. Wrap an elastic hair tie around the end. 

For a messy braid, hold the middle of the braid in one hand. With your other hand, hold about half the hair in the braid at the ends, then pull the hand holding the braid up toward your head about one inch. Repeat this a couple of times to get a disheveled look.

French Braid

The French Braid takes hair directly from the head and weaves it into the braid, one strand at a time. This is a great hairstyle to try when you are growing out bangs, as it weaves in the shorter front pieces first.

Fishtail

The fishtail or herringbone braid looks hard but it's actually pretty easy once you get the hang of it. It's easiest if you have long, straight hair. For a French fishtail, divide the hair into a center part. For a fishtailed ponytail, gather hair into a ponytail first, then divide it into two equal pieces. Take a thin strand of hair from the outside of one section, pull it over the first section, and bring it under the second section on the other side. In other words, weave the strand of hair over the first section and under the second section. Skinnier strands make a more intricate braid. Thicker strands make a messier braid. Either way, try to use the same size strands throughout the braid. For a neater braid, braid hair while it's wet. Repeat on the other side with a new strand, and continue braiding in this manner until all hair is braided. Secure it with an elastic at the end. 

Mini Braids

Small braids in a full or half updo look so beautiful. There are many looks, but they all start with the same instructions. Take a section of hair at your temple, braid it back and secure it with a mini elastic the same color as your hair. You can part your hair in the center or on the side and take the same size sections at each temple, or part your hair on the side and just take a section from one side. For tiny, delicate braids, take a section one inch or less. For bigger braids, take a larger section.

For a groovy, Bohemian look, take a smaller piece of hair on each side, about an inch above the ear, and braid it over the rest of the hair. Meet the braids in back and braid them together. Secure with a flowery elastic. 

For more great braid looks, checkout Kidzworld's step-by-step instructions for the braided headband, milkmaid braid and French braid headband.

Formal Braids

For a sophisticated prom look, gather all of your hair including the mini braids at the nape of your neck, then sweep all of the hair into a bun or loose updo. Secure with pearl, rhinestone or flower hair accessories.

Have Your Say

What's your favorite braid style? Can you get the hang of the French braid or fishtail? Tell us about your fave celeb braid look here!

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