Thursday, May 29, 2008

Trend-Filled Thursdays: Side Braids

If you're an avid watcher of The Hills -- and this beauty chick most definitely is -- chances are you've seen Lauren Conrad rocking the side braid. The Heidi-esque (no, not that Heidi) style has become a fixture in this gal's arsenal of beauty looks. But Lauren isn't the only celeb who's gotten on board with this sweetly innocent hairstyle -- fashion-and-beauty-forward chicks like Mary-Kate Olsen, Hayden Panettiere and Jessica Alba have all shown up to recent events with their own takes on the trend. Read on to find out how you can get the look -- no tears over a fight with Audrina necessary.

For a look like Hayden Panettiere's, your tresses should be sleeker-than-sleek. The best way to get lush, shiny locks without a hairstylist at the ready? Definitely an at-home blowout with the T3 Bespoke Evolution Dryer ($300). Not only does this dryer literally cut time in half, it makes every strand glisten! After blowdrying your hair in sections with a round brush, finish with a shine spray like Frederic Fekkai Glossing Sheer Shine Mist ($22.50) to lock in shine.

Now for the fun part -- the braid! Grab a one-inch section of hair from the left side and start French braiding over to the right. The braid should continue around to the side and finish beneath the hair so it looks like it travels and disappears into a mass of gleaming tresses. Secure the braid with bobby pins like Scunci Hair Pins ($2.99 for 100), which will be hidden beneath the masses.
The more popular style right now is definitely a braid that disappears into an updo. Jessica Alba, Sarah Michelle Gellar and Mary-Kate Olsen all have displayed variations of this style at recent red carpet events. The key is to keep the updo slightly messy and the braid tight, which creates such an interesting dichotomy of a look that is totally chic but with a bedhead vibe. I'm actually really digging Mary-Kate's version of the style -- the curled tendrils at the front lend a romantic air to an otherwise more severe take on the look.

Messy, subtly tousled and beachy waves will create a fantastic foundation for this version of the style. Mist your locks with a spray like Frederic Fekkai Summer Hair Beach Waves ($22), which will add a hint of sexiness and undone-ness to your tresses. The major difference between these styles and Hayden Panettiere's is where the braid begins. Rather than starting it at one side and pulling all the way over to the other, these have the braid begin in the middle. A sharply drawn center part -- try the Goody Tortoise Versa Comb ($2.99) -- will pull the hairs just-so. A two-inch section of hair pulled from the center and French-braided around to the back creates a subtly chunky look.


  1. Oh this is a great post! I love side braids!! My hair is not long enough yet to really have a good side bride but thanks for the product info!

  2. his look is soo cute! you've inspired me! i'm going to side-braid my hair tomorrow :)

  3. I absolutely LOVE this look. Wish I had long enough hair to do it. That and I wish I knew how to french braid...