It's surprisingly easy to master a twisted hairdo, which is why InStyle Executive Editor Amy Synnott loves them. According to her:
They're cool, not cold. The typical French twist, with its sleek finish and severe lines, has a standoffish feel. But the newest iterations, with deliberately loose ends, lots of volume, and a distinctly off-kilter vibe, look anything but stuffy.
They're relatively simple to do yourself. The beauty of this style lies in its imperfection. You don't need to worry about crafting a precise seam or meticulously hiding the hardware. Just roll, twist, or braid as you feel inspired, and then secure it with a half-dozen pins.
They work best on day-old hair. In case you were looking for another excuse to skip that early-morning workout with your SuperSolano.
Scroll down for three easy ways to execute an utterly chic French twist.
1. The Twisted Tail
Why let your humble pony hang around doing nothing when it could be playing a game of Twister? At Fendi, hairstylist Sam McKnight slipped ruched leather headbands on models and then twisted their strands halfway down the length of their hair. After securing the seam with pins, he tucked the ends under the bottom of the headband, allowing them to splay out like a fan.
Get the Look: Good Hair Days Magic-Grip Hairpins, $4/10; sallybeauty.com.
2. The Ornament Express
If a messy twist doesn't feel quite soigné enough, take a cue from Chanel and embellish your do with a few sleek accessories. After winding each model's hair into a loose twist and pinning it to her head, McKnight tied on a black satin ribbon right at the hairline. He then placed an embossed double-C clasp at the bottom of the twist, securing it with a chopstick.
Get the Look: Goody Slideproof Extra-Wide Headwrap, $5; at Kmart.
3. The Braidy Bunch
This intricate nest McKnight created for Tom Ford looks more complicated than it really is. The key is to start with a French braid. Then twist the plait in a "not too perfect fashion," says McKnight. Secure the braided twist with pins, allowing loose strands to "fly freely and sexily in the air." If your hair is too short—i.e., shorter than shoulder-length—simply twist it into an updo, secure with pins, and attach a braided hair extension on top, suggests McKnight.
Get the Look: Conair Styling Essentials Hair Pins in brown, $4/100; shop.riteaid.com.
For more hair stories like this, pick up the September issue of InStyle, available on newsstands and for digital download now.
Related Video: We're Obsessed With Oribe Hairspray