Baby Braids Are One of This Summer's Coolest Hairstyles

And the look is incredibly easy to do.

Baby Braids Are the Trending for Summer
Photo: dualipa/Instagram, Getty Images, zoekravtiz/Instagram

If you're anything like me, doing a braid is a struggle. Even a basic three-strand plait is easier said than done. I can never get my hands at the right angle to do the braid, I can't see what my hands are doing at the back of my head — that's why I'm into baby braids, one of this summer's many retro-inspired hair trends.

What makes baby braids so special? Aside from the nostalgia, the tiny plaits can be added to virtually any hairstyle, work across all textures, and most lengths. Most importantly, since baby braids are typically added to the front sections of your hair, you can actually see what you're doing when you're styling your hair in front of the mirror.

"Baby trends are definitely having a moment, and I think it's partially because many people cut bangs during the pandemic and are in the growing out stage, so baby braids are a great way to facilitate grow-out," says Laura Polko, an Aquage brand ambassador and celebrity hairstylist. "In general, though, I think baby braids are trending because the style is young, feminine, cool, and sexy — and [it] gives off a playful, feminine energy that's perfect for spring and summer."

When styling baby braids, Polko recommends sectioning off the front pieces of the hair at a diagonal, about an inch or so from the part. "As I'm braiding, I like to combine a mix of the Aquage Transforming Spray and Aquage Finishing Spray, and place it on my non-dominate hand," she says. "This mix provides a great hold, so as I'm braiding, I tap into the product mixture on my hand, run over the braid, and continue to do so until I've reached the bottom."

If you're after that effortless finish with no visible hair elastics, Polko has a tip for that, too. "Instead of splitting, once I've reached the middle, I tuck the bottom of the section through the hole between the braided and naturally braided section, and pull through," she says. "This removes the need for elastic and encourages a flatter braid. If your hair is thick or you want added security, I recommend using the Scunci clear elastics, the smaller the better."

VIDEO: The 7 Major Hair Trends That Will Define 2022

For a complete rundown on how to wear baby braids this summer, check out our favorite celebrity takes on the trend.

Festival Braids

Whether you're attending a festival this summer or simply scrolling through street style photos, the braided style Hailey Bieber wore to Coachella is guaranteed to make an appearance. Her stylist Irinel de León added four small braids to her beach waves, slightly pulling on the plaits for a loose, effortless vibe.

Baby Braids and Natural curls

Part of the appeal of this summer hairstyle trend is that it's universal — the tiny face-framing plaits can be added to any hair length or texture. Just look how gorgeous these tiny braids are with a curly bob.

Gilded Baby Braids

Bella Hadid at the 2022 Met Gala
Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images

Even if a theme party isn't part of your summer plans, you can take baby braid inspiration from Bella Hadid's 2022 Met Gala hairstyle. For this year's event, the supermodel wore her waves half-up and half-down, and added Gilded Age curtain bangs complete with two tiny plaits.

Sleek Bun With Baby Braids

Here, Zöe Kravitz's super sleek bun looks effortlessly cool, thanks to the two tiny face-framing braids her stylist Nikki Nelms accessorized the updo with.

Scattered Baby Braids

While two face-framing braids are the classic version of this fun hairstyle trend, you can put your own spin on the look by adding a number of tiny plaits throughout the top sections of your hair like Dua Lipa.

High Ponytail With Baby Braids

Leave it to FKA Twigs to put an ethereal spin on the baby braid trend. Celebrity hairstylist Lacy Redway pulled her curls up into a loose high bun with a braid wrapped through it. She added three plaits to the back of the singer's hair and finished the style off with two face-framing plaits.

Retro Baby Braids

Aside from music festivals, baby braids are often associated with the '60s and '70s. Celebrity makeup artist Ash K Holm and celebrity hairstylist Josh Liu leaned into the eras' trends with this look they created for Halston Sage. For hair, Liu channeled Cher with this long, sleek finish and two face-framing braids.

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