Perhaps we should thank Valentino for the braid's ascent into the ranks of high-fashion hair trends. When the couture house's models wore prominent plaits two years in a row, it sent a definite message to women everywhere. "Braids have having a moment because there are just so many different variations," says LA-based celebrity hairstylist Mara Roszak. "There's something for everyone."
But make no mistake: This red-hot trend has nothing to do with your French braid of elementary school days past. The new league of woven wonders is messier, bolder and more daring than ever before.
Beyond the ubiquitous milkmaid style, there are now iterations that replicate waterfalls and ropes. "People really love braids on themselves, so I use them a lot," says Roszak, who frequently creates the look on Emma Stone and Zoe Saldana. "They add texture; I like to add one in as you would a hair accessory." Plus, they're optimal for dirty hair, which is always good news. Learn how to recreate our favorite looks with our DIY video, starring Roszak, now:
For more step-by-step instructions to each of the looks in the gallery, pick up the print issue of FOAM on stands now, or download a copy for the iPad!