A braid is a hairstyle that works whether you're in need of a style that will hide the fact that you were too lazy again to wash your hair or an alternative to a classic bridesmaid twisted updo.
Sure, at its core a braid is a simple way to pull your hair up and away from the back of your neck. But, the best part about a braid is that it can easily be adapted to any hair length or texture.
If you've mastered all of the braided hairstyles you currently have pinned to your hair inspiration mood board, there's a whole set of recent red carpet looks to add into the mix that will take your braid game to the next level.
Halle Berry's braided ponytail and Lady Gaga's corset braid are just a few of the standout looks that you can choose from when you're in the mood to try something new.
From simple plaits to epic braided updos, keep scrolling for eight celebrity-approved ways to wear a braid now.
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1. Millie Bobby Brown
Accessorize the topknot you usually wear to spin class with a braid like Millie Bobby Brown did at the 2018 Golden Globe Awards. Before pulling her hair back into a sleek bun at the crown of her head, the Stranger Things star French plaited a two-inch section of her hair at the back of her head. Run a hydrating hair oil like Living Proof's No Frizz Nourishing Hair Oil ($20; sephora.com) to get any flyaways under control.
2. Jennifer Lopez
When J.Lo's hair isn't serving as the inspiration for our loose waves, she's wearing next-level braided updos. Her stylist Chris Appleton created quite possibly the most epic braided ponytail we've ever seen. If you're game to try, pull your hair back into a tight ponytail. Break your tail up into several sections and braid them. Once your plaits are set, wrap and twist them around each other for a knotted effect like J.Lo's updo. Pin each braid to set in place, and spritz a very generous amount of hairspray to help the updo hold.
3. Lady Gaga
Sure, you could combine both of your braids by twisting them together, but if you're looking to move beyond a basic braided hairstyle, Lady Gaga's 2018 Grammy Awards style is your answer. Her stylist Frederic Aspiras was inspired by the Victorian vibe of the singer's dress, so he used a black ribbon to weave her two French braids together for a corset-like effect. For extra control and smoothness, Aspiras applied John Frieda's Frizz Ease Clearly Defined Gel ($5; target.com) through Gaga's hair while braiding it.
4. Camila Cabello
If you've mastered the loose braid, try Camila Cabello's 2018 Grammy Awards undone braided updo. After you've plaited your hair on both sides of your head, loosely combine the braids. Gently pull at each plait to break it up for an effortless finish that will look like you didn't spend too much time doing your hair. To add more texture to your style, spritz your hair with a wave spray like L'Oreal Paris's Air Dry It Flexible Hold Wave Swept Spray ($4; target.com) before you start braiding it.
5. Alexandra Breckenridge
Another example where three is better than one: the triple braid Alexandra Breckenridge wore to the 2018 SAG Awards. The This Is Us star's stylist Sunnie Brook separated the actress' hair into three sections and French braided them halfway down her head before joining them all together. Blast your hair with a texturizing spray like Oribe's cult-favorite formula ($46; nordstrom.com) so that your hair has enough grit and hold that the braids stay in place.
6. Marion Cotillard
If you're sick of ballerina buns and ponytails, but still want to pull your hair up off of the back of your neck, try a messy braided updo like the one Marion Cotillard wore to the Giorgio Armani Prive Haute Couture Spring Summer 2018 in Paris. The front looks like the average milkmaid braid—two braids that overlap each other at the crown of the head—but from the back you'll see that several braids were twisted and fastened around her head. The best part of trying to recreate the actress' style at home is that there is no right or wrong when it comes to the number of braids you plait and their placement.
7. Halle Berry
Combine your two go-to lazy hairstyles and you'll get Halle Berry's braided ponytail—an updo that works whether you're running all the errands you don't want to do or you're at a red carpet premiere. Wherever you're going, it's a style that's simple to do whether or not you're good at braiding. Once you've tied your hair up into a high ponytail at the crown of your head, wrap a one-inch piece from the tail to conceal the hair elastic. Next, French braid the tail and finish it off by securing it with a clear elastic.
8. Elizabeth Olsen
More often than not when you're told a hairstyle is effortless, the reality is that it actually takes a lot of work to recreate. One exception is Elizabeth Olsen's loose side braid. After sweeping your hair over your shoulder, loosely braid it without worrying too much about how even or tight your sections are. Once you've secured it with an elastic, gently pancake the braid by pulling it apart at random sections so it looks thicker and fuller. Finish by misting a hydrating spray like Moroccanoil's Glimmer Shine ($28; sephora.com) for an extra glossy finish.