From the rakish fishtail to the dreamiest Grecian headband, the passion for pretty, plaited hairstyles shows no sign of unraveling. Credit their crossover appeal, says Guido Palau, the stylist who launched the craze with his cool runway looks. “There’s purity to them but also an underlying sexiness. They can be messy or neat, and you can wear one at any age,” he says. Ready to weave? We asked the pros behind three red-carpet faves for how-to’s. Find each one below!
#1 THE MILKMAID
For this romantic look (pictured, left) that flatters a variety of faces, start with a slightly tousled texture, says Zoë Saldana‘s stylist Aviva Perea.
1. Prep hair with a volumizing spray and blow-dry from the roots with a mixed-bristle brush and your fingers. Follow with surf spray (try John Frieda Luxurious Volume Fine to Full Blow-Out Spray, $10; drugstore.com) for texture.
2. Part hair in the center, then make one braid behind each ear.
3. Pull braids across the head and secure them with bobby and U-shaped pins.
4. Finish with a good dose of hairspray, holding the can “far enough away so that nothing looks rigid,” says Perea.
#2 THE WATERFALL
Nina Dobrev‘s stylist Riawna Capri calls this statement braid (pictured, middle) “a pretty way to spice up long hair without whipping out a flatiron.”
1. Part hair and work from the front, grabbing a section at the top where you want the braid to start.
2. Divide that section into three and begin to braid, crossing the lowest strand over the middle strand.
3. After you pass the top strand (it will be in your right hand) over the middle one, drop that section, and pick up a new piece of hair. Continue braiding around your head.
4. Repeat the crisscross-drop motion to form waterfalls on both sides of the part, securing the two braids in the back with U-shaped pins.
#3 THE FISHTAIL
This two-strand style is surprisingly easy. “If it looks messy, that will work in your favor,” says Creighton Bowman, who created Abigail Breslin’s look (pictured, right).
1. Apply a texturizing spray (try Garnier De-Constructed Beach Chic Texturizing Spray, $4; cvs.com) and dry shampoo to add grip.
2. Gather hair to the side and secure it with an elastic where you want the braid to start. Divide the tail in two.
3. Grab a small chunk of hair from the underside of one of the sections and pass it over to the other side.
4. Repeat, simply handling off strands from side to side.
5. Secure the end. Cut loose the elastic at the top.