Come out and plait! Why braids are the best

From the elaborate, waist-length braids on Game of Thrones to the flawless blonde cornrows Beyonce rocked in Lemonade, it’s clear that braids are having A Moment in the cultural zeitgeist. And if you’ve ever braided your own hair (or just admired someone else’s), it’s easy to see why. The low-hassle hairdo is stylish, versatile and actually good for your hair. It’s equally at home on a red carpet or a music festival. Read on to get braid inspiration—and learn why it’s the style to have this summer.

The beauty of box braids

Livened-up updos

Turn off that straightening iron. Waves, curls and even perms are trending in a big way, and braids are an excellent way to incorporate texture into an otherwise staid ‘do. Want to liven-up your updo for a formal occasion? Work in a skinny braid (or two). Or plait a thick, loose braid and coil it into a voluminous bun that sits right at the crown of your head. It’s an on-trend update to a timeless bun and it will be your BFF at galas, wedding receptions and formal dances.

Accessory-laden braids

Vanessa Hudgens’ half-up, half-down style is the perfect combination of form and function. The icing on the cake? She’s accessorized a milkmaid braid with tiny jewels, bringing it to the next level of trendiness. Her hair jewels visually mimic her earrings, and tiny hoops would look equally dramatic piercing the plaits. These braids are made for occasions that are a little more formal—think cocktail parties and nights at five-star restaurants.

Up, up and away

Sienna Miller loves her braids, and here, she sports two side French braids plaited together for a very cute milkmaid effect. This is the ideal braid if you’re looking to protect your hair from the elements while getting the whole sweaty mess off your neck. Spritz damp hair with SPF, such as Aveda Sun Care Protective Hair Veil, make a side braid starting at each crown, and secure the ends together. Then have fun in the sun—and enjoy your lush, luxurious waves when you take your hair down at the end of the day.

We hope this gives you an idea of why we’re totally fixated on braids right now. And if you share our obsession (or need an extra set of hands to perfect those French braids), come on in to Boeau Belle!

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