Summer's warm breezes and salty ocean dips go hand in hand with easy, off-the-neck hairstyles – and as stars are proving this week, there's nothing quite like a braid to capture the season's carefree feeling while keeping you cool.
Oscar Award winning actress Alicia Vikander offered up a new answer to the classic side braid with small iterations leading into a long brunette ponytail sectioned with hair elastics – an updated that made for a romantic and slightly futuristic style. Chanel Iman hit the red carpet with her tiny, frace-framing plaits that kept her wavy raven lengths out of her eyes, while Kristen Stewart brought a refreshingly beach-y feel to her grunge-cool blonde chop while promoting her new film, Café Society, winding her ombre roots into a single braid that traced her crown like an elevated center part.
Meanwhile, the Fall 2016/17 runways saw further unique takes on the summer trend, with Anne of Green Gables inspired-plaits at Baja East, and thin-to-thick single braids at Christian Siriano.
Without further ado, 5 reasons to embrace the braid this summer.
4 NEW WAYS TO WEAR BRAIDS
SINGLE CENTER-PART BRAID
While promoting her latest film, Café Society, Kristen Stewart decided to embrace the seasons braid trend, giving it a unique, grunge-y feel. The actress winded her ombre roots into a single braid that traced her crown like an elevated center part – a cool, easy way to adopt the trend this summer!
To get her look, start by parting your hair down the middle of your crown. Starting at the front middle portion of your hairline, use a fine tooth comb to brush the center section of hair backwards, collection strands from both sides of your head and bringing them together to the back of your head. Your hair should now have two parts – one on each side of your head – with a chunk of hair brushed backwards in the middle of your head.
Next, starting at the top of your head, start braiding the middle section of hair, picking up pieces from the same section as you move down your crown. When you reach the middle-back section of your head, secure the braid with an elastic. Tousle or curl the rest of your hair with Matt & Messy spray for an effortlessly cool look!
Chanel Iman hit the red carpet wearing two braids on each side of her head that sat atop a layer of straight strands. To create this look, part your hair down the center, and brush it out, spraying some oil serum on your locks for a shiny, flawless look. Next, grab a small section of hair from one side of your part at the top of your head (where the middle part begins), and begin braiding along the crown of your head, picking up pieces as you go. Secure with an elastic when you get to the end of the strand, and repeat on the other side of your head. Flat iron the rest of your hair, and ensure a look that lasts with hairspray!
Alicia Vikander offered up a new answer to the classic side braid with small iterations leading into a long brunette ponytail sectioned off with hair elastics. To get this look, part your hair messily down the center and spray with texturizing spray to add volume and texture. Next pull your hair back behind your head into a ponytail, and secure with an elastic.
Spray the ponytail hair with texture spray and use a fine tooth comb to back comb the hair gently. Next, using a small elastic that matches your hair colour, place it just beneath the first base elastic. Tousle the strands below it, and repeat, placing the elastics about 1-inch away from one another until you reach the end of your lengths.
Meanwhile, at Baja East's Fall 2016 runway show, models showed off an Anne of Green Gables inspired look, wearing four braids in their hair – two on each side of the front, and two on each side in the back. To get this look, section your hair off into four different sections – two sections in the front and two in the back. Brush the hair and spray it with an oil serum to ensure a smooth, shiny look. Secure each section with an elastic, and begin braiding the hair with a classic braid. Spray the hair with a shine-finish hairspray and you have the perfect out-of-your-face hairstyle!
At Christian Siriano's Fall 2016/17 runway show, models stormed down the catwalk in a braid style we haven't seen before – thin to thick braids. The concept is this: hair is parted to one side of your head, a small section of hair is braided down the crown for an elevated side-part look, secured with bobby pins, then transitioned into a larger braid using the remaining locks at the back of the head.
Which look will you try this summer?