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Hair trends: braids and plaits

Celebs are bringing braids to the forefront this season

August 8, 2011
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Plaits don't have to mean the wiry schoolgirl braids of Pippi Longstocking or the long rope-like locks of Rapunzel: there are all the in-between lengths and a host of different ways to adapt this cool summer style. And it's clear from the number of A-listers who are twisting their tresses, that braids are right on trend.


However you choose to personalise the look, braids are a fun style that can help keep longer locks under control in the heat. We've spotted lots of long, tousled side-plaits at photo calls and on the red carpets recently. It's a comfortable summer style that adds a young and casual touch to a formal outfit.If you dare, you may prefer to opt for another of the popular versions of the 'do and wear your hair in two braids. There are plenty of variations here, too, depending on how tight you make the plait, how much 'tassel' you leave, whether you wear your parting to one side or in the centre, whether you choose to slick your hair with a wet-look gel...


Plaits can be a style in themselves, or a part of something more complex: if you're not bothered by your hair being fairly loose, you could try just plaiting the front section, or braid a lock of hair on either side and gather them together at the back. If you fancy something a little more 'hippy', separate out thin strands, whether from the top or from lower layers, and make fine plaits that add detail to your mane as you move.


Plaits can also be the basis for more formal and classical styles, with the braids twisted up to make a diadem or a bun, adding sophistication to summer cool. And don't forget that you can use extensions for more volume or length and achieve truly fairytale looks. Which style will you try?