Celebrity Hair: 5 New Ways to Wear Braids

From a glamorous party (like the pre-Oscar soiree Elsa Pataky attended) to an early-morning jog (like the one Jessica Alba did for Revlon’s Run/Walk for Women), Latina stars have been sporting braids to all kinds of summer events. Want to know how to recreate each look? Just follow these simple steps!

1. Braids Trend: Zoe Saldana

To recreate Zoe Saldana’s Headband Braid:

  1. Make a center part (or slightly off-center, like Zoe’s), then divide your hair in half and bring each half in front of each shoulder.
  2. Braid both halves in tight, clean braids (so you’ll have low pigtail braids); secure elastics as close to the ends as you can.
  3. Pull one of the braids up over the ear and across the top of your head like a headband. Pin the end of the tail behind your other ear with a bobby pin.
  4. Now pull the other braid across your head, directly on top of the first braid. Stick the tail underneath the braid, holding it in place with a pin.
  5. Mist with hairspray so it stays in place.

*If your hair is shorter than shoulder-length—or you want an even faster, easier way to get this look—try a pre-made clip-on braid like HairDo Braid Band, $17.50, qvc.com.

2. Braids trend: Selena Gomez

To recreate Selena Gomez’s Messy Side Braid:

  1. Part hair on one side, then as you pull it all over to the opposite side smooth the front layer diagonally across your forehead.

  2. Make a loose 3-strand braid. Let any shorter pieces fall out.

  3. Tie off the braid with a rubber band.

  4. Run your fingers up the braid to loosen it, then use the end of a comb to pull out a couple short pieces.  

3. Braids Trend: Nicole Richie

To recreate Nicole Richie’s Pigtail French Braids:

  1. A french braid holds best when your hair is slightly dirty, so it’s the perfect style to do a day or two after you’ve washed it. If your hair is clean—or tends to fall out of styles—distribute a styling cream (like Pantene Straighten & Smooth Crème, $6, walgreens.com) from midlengths to ends.

  2. Make a center part, then divide hair in two equal halves. Clip one of the halves out of the way for now.

  3. Gather the hair at your hairline and divide it into three finger-width sections. Starting a few inches back from your face begin to braid the hair, adding another finger-width amount of hair to each section as you braid.  

  4. Once the braid passes your head (and you run out of hair to pull into the braid), then place the hair in front of your shoulder and finish with a classic, 3-strand braid.

  5. When you’re a few inches from the end, secure with a rubber band.

  6. Now do the same on the other side.

4. Braids Trend: Jessica Alba

To recreate Jessica Alba’s Swept-Back Braids:

  1. Part your hair in the middle.

  2. Gather half of your hair and pin it aside.

  3. Now braid the other half towards the back of your head. It’s ok if it’s slightly sloppy—in fact, messy works better for this style.

  4. Tuck the tail of the braid underneath the rest of your braid and secure with two bobby pins (if your hair is too long to do this, wait till you braid the other half of your hair then twist the two braids into a low bun).

  5. Repeat these steps on the other side.

5. Braids Trend: Elsa Patakay

To recreate Elsa Pataky’s Voluminous Side Braid:

  1. Spray a root lifter (like Matrix Amplify, $15, drugstore.com) on damp roots, then blow dry hair, brushing it up and over to one side.

  2. Flip all of your hair over to one side, then pull it in front of one shoulder, allowing short layers to fall to the other side.

  3. Braid hair, starting at the nape of your neck. Make sure your hair still stays flipped to the side as you braid, so it doesn’t fall flat.

  4. Tie a ponytail holder a few inches from the ends, then use a 1/2” curling iron to curl them.

6. Braids Trend: Related Link