The Braid Brigade: Celebrity Hair Inspiration for Summer

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By Valis Vicenty June 02, 2014
The Flirty Fishtail: Joan Smalls

It wasn’t just Small's pop of purple that made heads turn at the Met Gala--equally as stunning was her care-free fishtail.

Get the Look: Every strand was essential for the slicked version of the style. If you’re following along with our easy tutorial, adding a lightweight pomade like SheaMoisture's Three Butters Styling Pomade or Garnier Fructis's Sleek & Shine Anti-Frizz Serum to the tips of your fingers will keep flyaways at bay.
The Crowning Glory: Gabrielle Union

We adore Gabrielle Union as Mary Jane Paul, whose no-nonsense sleek strands are a signature. However, we also loved how the star embraced the summer spirit at the Met Gala with a crown braid.

Get the Look: While Union had Larry Sims to twist her tresses, you might want to ask a friend to lend a hand or two to achieve the look for yourself. Just remember to keep a few bobby pins handy spritzed with a strong hold hairspray like L'Oréal Paris' Elnett Satin Extra Strong Hold Hairspray.
The Textured Twist: Blake Lively

Blake Lively has brought the braid from the beach to the red carpet with the style becoming one of her go-to looks. As she took over Cannes Film Festival red carpet for the premiere of Grace of Monaco with hubby Ryan Reynolds, she switched up her strands by first slicking back the front of her hair before braiding the tail, roughing it up along the way.

Get the Look: With a spritz of texture spray like Alterna's Caviar Perfect Texture Spray, you can easily recreate the look by pulling the plait apart in different places for the full effect.
The Multi-Colored Cornrow: Rita Ora

From long to short, Rita Ora is a coif chameleon, but she turned up the fun for her set at BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend. The songstress revived the classic cornrow from 2003, matching her hair with a rainbow of extensions to go with her vibrant Adidas jumpsuit.

Get the Look: While adding extensions can be a pain, you can copy the color with a bit of Hot Huez Hair Chalk applied at the tail of each braid.
The Box Braids: Beyonce

While Beyonce and hubby Jay Z are taking some time off before their On the Run Tour. The songstress spent Memorial Day weekend in the Hamptons where she debuted a set of hip-length box braids.

Get the Look: This style takes an expert’s hands as well as hours to achieve but can last for up to 2-3 months if cared for properly. If you decide to try out this ‘do, we recommend snapping up a silk-lined bonnet and a shower cap to fight frizz. If all else fails, a silk scarf can also come in handy.
Braids have been on the brains of beauty buffs since September; and now with summer heat on the horizon, we’re ready to twist our tresses up and away from the face. If the basic braid doesn’t do it for you, we’ve turned to a slew of celebrities who’ve picked up plaits and made their own.
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