May 15, 2014 at 11:30 AM ET
Wondering how to braid Hollywood's cutest 'dos? From the fishtail to the side braid, we give you the easy steps for creating the best summer braid styles.
Gathered French braids
Betty Draper would never wear January Jones’s edgy look, which is part of why we love it so much. First, create irregular waves with a clampless curling iron and part hair in the center. Loosely plait two French braids (adding contrasting extensions if you like) and secure together over one shoulder. Finally, head to your closest festival, summer concert or beachside bar to show it off.
Sarah Hyland’s plaited headband is perfect for a romantic summer wedding. Score the angelic look by parting slightly damp hair in the center and creating two pigtails. Drape them toward each other at the crown and secure with two crisscrossing bobby pins. Let hair air-dry for a natural finish.
Love Alexander Wang and anything gunmetal? This is the braided ‘do for you. Kate Bosworth’s mohawk-style braid starts with three sections of pin-straight hair—top, left and right—each braided and carefully intertwined.
Windswept fishtail braid
Kerry Washington's style has everything you want in a summer look: femininity, drama and texture that won’t wilt in hot, humid weather. To recreate it, start by curling hair with a wide-barrel curling iron. Rub a bit of texturizing balm between your palms and smooth through hair. Tease hair at the crown and gather into a loose ponytail; begin a fishtail braid, leaving a few strands loose. Secure braid with elastic and wrap with spare pieces. Fan out the braid for added texture.
Inspired by Stacy Keibler’s dramatic updo? You’ll need a teasing comb and a bit of patience to steal the style. Start by teasing second-day hair at the crown, spritzing with hairspray as you work to create maximum volume. Next, grab two sections of hair at the back of your head, being careful not to disturb the voluminous front, and braid. Coil braids around the back of your head and secure with bobby pins. Repeat process, working toward the nape of your neck.
Heidi Klum is always a red carpet renegade, and this sculptural hairstyle is no exception. Copy the style by carefully brushing hair into a sleek high ponytail, smoothing as you go. Separate ponytail into two sections, one twice as thick as the other. Braid each section, securing with small clear elastics. Wrap the thinner braid around the base of thicker braid and tuck under; secure with bobby pins. Finish with shine-enhancing hairspray.
Abigail Breslin’s ‘do combines the coolness of a fishtail braid with the glamour of voluminous layers. Starting with freshly blowdried hair, separate out front layers. Braid remaining hair in a fishtail over one shoulder, adding extensions if necessary to fatten the braid. Spritz braid with firm-hold hairspray and, instead of securing the end of the braid with elastic, leave it unfinished. Finally, use a wide-barrel curling iron to smooth and gently curl face-framing layers.
We love the versatility and effortless glam of Keri Hilson’s style — as cute at a fancy dinner as it is at the beach. DIY it by curling hair with large hot rollers and creating a center part. Rub a bit of pomade between your palms and create two inch-wide braids, starting at your part and ending behind your ear. Pin to secure.
Attention brides-to-be: Hair doesn’t get much more fairytale than Maria Menounos’ red carpet updo. Starting with wavy, center-parted hair, create two French braids starting at your part and ending an inch below your ear. Use an elastic to bring both braids together with the rest of your hair at the nape of your neck. Tease sections of the ponytail and twirl them into a low bun.
What makes Lucy Hale’s fishtail so youthful? 1. It’s clean and sleek on top — allowing her face and makeup to take center stage. 2. The braid looks like she did it herself, messy fly-aways and all. 3. A visible black elastic feels unstudied. Lesson learned!
This ain’t your grandma’s updo. Colbie Caillat turned plenty of heads in her braided topknot — and so can you. Start by flipping your head upside down and choosing an inch-wide section to braid. Bring all your hair up into a very high ponytail (braid included) and secure with an elastic. Twirl and coil the ponytail around the elastic to form a freeform bun and rub your palms over the finished look to create messy texture.
Braided bangs like Emma Stone's look effortless and fun — and they prevent a sticky summer forehead. Create a deep side part and braid bangs in the opposite direction. Pin your braid behind one ear and use a flatiron to create a natural deep wave on the rest of your hair.
British songstress Ellie Goulding knows how to make a simple braid utterly sexy. Create a deep side part and drape a thick plait over the same shoulder, allowing front layers to fall seductively in the other direction. (Don’t forget to finish with a halo of hairspray to keep the style in place.)