Her hairstylist Nai'Vasha breaks down the star's butt-length braid and finger waves.

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PCA/Tracee Ellis Ross Hair Exclusive
Credit: Rich Polk/Getty Images

Tracee Ellis Ross has been named the People's Choice Awards Fashion Icon of 2020, and her red carpet hairstyle lives up to the accolade.

The Blackish star stepped on the red carpet on Nov. 15 in an oversized chocolate brown Schiaparelli suit, with her hair styled in a braid that was just as long as the average CVS receipt. Her go-to hairstylist Nai'Vasha also added a gorgeous side-swept finger waves to give the classic hairstyle an unexpected, vintage-inspired twist.

Naturally, fashion was the driving force behind Ross's below-the-waist braid.

"My inspiration for tonight’s look was a twist on classic fashion," Nai'Vasha exclusively tells InStyle. "Tracee Ellis Ross is being honored for being THE Fashion Icon of 2020 and I felt it was important to speak to that narrative without competing with her brilliant style tonight. I wanted her hair to complement it." 

While nothing about 2020 has been predictable, including award show season, the lack of a regular red carpet allows for hairstylists to just go for it and try more creative, experimental styles which can be touched up throughout the night as needed.

"My approach on glam for digital awards shows vs. typical red carpets is that I get to dive a little deeper into my creative pockets because I’m right there," Nai'Vasha says. "This makes me feel limitless. During typical red carpet moments, my anxieties are through the roof because I’m not there by her side to internally micromanage!"

To create the super-sleek plait, the stylist used T3 styling tools and products from Ross's PATTERN Beauty line.

Tracee Ellis Ross People's Choice Awards Hairstyle
Credit: Courtesy of Nai'Vasha

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Before braiding the star's hair, Nai'Vasha blow-dried her natural curls with T3's Cura Luxe Hair Dryer and Paddle Brush. "I love to use the T3 Cura Luxe Dryer because its ionair technology allows for a smooth, sleek and shiny finish, while the SoftCurl Diffuser attachment effectively sets the finished style," she says.

Speaking of the diffuser, along with some gel, it's what the stylist used to set the finger wave she made at Ross's hairline. Finally, Nai'Vasha finished the look off by running T3's Lucea ID Flat Iron to lay and secure any flyaways, plus boost shine.

And that, my friends, is how a fashion icon does the classic braid.