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Baby braids are the latest Y2K trend making a comeback

Celebrity hairstylist Adam Embleton explains how to create the perfect micro-plaits

baby braids
16 May 2022
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Between the return of spiky up-dos, claw grips and flipped ends – noughties nostalgia has hit us hard. The revival of the baby braids hair trend started bubbling away last summer and now, thanks to the likes of Gigi Hadid and Dua Lipa, they’re back and cuter than ever.

From Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears to Hilary Duff as Lizzie McGuire, any ‘00s beauty icon worth their salt was a patron saint of the baby braid. The trend involves plaiting two skinny tendrils along either side of a middle parting for face-framing effect. It’s a simple, yet effortless way to elevate a low-key look. It has been trending on TikTok and even made its way onto the Spring/Summer catwalk with hoards of models sporting the look at Altuzarra.

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As we’ve seen the trend progress, people are now looking for fresh ways to experiment and evolve the style. Early adopter Hailey Bieber is queen of the Y2K beauty aesthetic and often wears loose braids to compliment her off-duty look. She recently posted an iteration of the trend on her Instagram with four chunky braids woven through her tousled strands. Elsewhere, hair trend-setter Dua Lipa has styled her long, glossy lengths with a scattering of dinky braids for her Future Nostalgia tour and paired them with glowing skin and brushed-up brows. The best thing about this look? It’s versatile, takes seconds to create and works well on all hair textures.

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Session hairstylist Adam Embleton, who has created braids for Pippa Middleton and tamed the manes of Charli Howard and Trinny Woodall explains how to achieve the look…

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How to do Baby Braids:

Baby braids are super simple. You want to start by creating that effortless wave in your hair, which is half of the job when completing this look.

My technique of choice is making an S wave with a pair of straighteners, GHD are my personal favourite. With a light spritz of Sam Mcknight’s Modern Hairspray on each section, clamp the straighteners near the roots and slowly glide down the hair strand while twisting your wrist in alternate directions. This creates a light kink in the hair which pairs perfectly with our braids.

For the braids, you want to separate the frontmost part of your hair along your parting. Chunky perfect braids are a no go - you want these braids to be small, dainty and uneven, so make sure not to part too much hair.

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Start braiding each section following the direction the hair wants to fall, and ensuring not to create a perfect plait. Make sure not to braid them straight forward or they’ll sit on your face!

Tugging at the braid stitches can help you create the unevenness that makes these effortless. Finish off each braid halfway down the length of your hair with a see through elastic.

Repeat with two more sections closer to your crown. Lastly to add some movement and stop your braids looking stiff, repeat the same technique with the straighteners bit over your braids, this will make them feel lived in and will complete the look.

Finish off with some Ouai Wave Spray spritzed all over and a quick scrunch with your hands and you’re done.

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