Best of all, anyone can do it — and if it comes out a little messy, so much the better! Here are some easy braided hairstyles that are hot this summer along with plait pro tips for mastering each style:
What: Beach Fishtail
Where: Jessica Lowndes, Downton Abbey’s Michele Dockery and Frozen princesses Elsa and Anna
How: Split shoulder-length or beyond hair into two sections. Take a little hair from the outside of one section and cross it over. Do the same with the outer strands of the other portion. Repeat. The looser the braiding, the more modern it looks. Wrap the bottom with a clear band. For a more glamorous look, start with a high ponytail. Or sneak in a hair treatment by working leave-in conditioner into towel-dried hair before braiding.
What: Side Braid
Where: Brooke Lively and Valentino’s Fall 2013 models
How: Part hair in the middle or to the far side. Pull hair to one side in a ponytail that starts at your nape. Start braiding. Pull out some tufts.
What: Braid-y Bunches
Where: Socialite Nicky Hilton at Coachella and Maria Menounos at the Oscars
How: Pull hair tightly into pigtails just to each side of the nape, then braid. Use an elastic at the tails’ ends, then wind into a bun. For a looser version, start with a side part, with thick braids starting at the hairline on each side of the part. Add to the section as you move back and down the head behind the ears, with the braid getting looser as you descend. Roll braid into a bun at the nape of the neck.