The NEW Braid That You'll See Everywhere

Photographed by Jacqueline Harriet.
We've had hot affairs with pixie cuts and tête-à-têtes with heavy fringe, but one hairstyle that we're committed to for the long haul is the braid. It's our go-to when we want to look chic on the fly or when we just can't be bothered with washing our mop — it's kind of our everything. So, you can bet we're constantly scouring the runways and the streets for the next big thing to add to our rotation. Enter: the plaited tiara.

This new version of the crown braid is focused just on the center of your head — no milkmaid action here. The key, according to hairstylist Erica Whelan: Embrace a little messiness. Whelan suggests prepping your hair by misting all over with a heat-protecting spray, like Pantene Heat Protection Spray, to keep your ends healthy. Next, use a 1 1/4-inch iron to curl sections in alternating directions. If you want your waves to look more relaxed and natural, leave the ends of your hair out of the iron and stretch out the curls as they cool. Then, rub a smoothing balm through your ends to give them a piecey look.

Once you've achieved the texture you want, take a two-inch section of hair from above your ears on either side. French braid each section toward the center of your head, and then finish braiding all the way to the ends with a regular three-strand plait. Use your fingers to lightly pull the braids apart, so they look wider and fuller. Next, bring the ends of both braids up over your head, crossing them in front. Now, here's the trick. While most crown braids lay flat on top of the head, this style stands the braids up to frame your face. To do this, place one braid behind the other, so they're propping each other up; insert a bobby pin vertically through each braid and into the crown of your hair. You want this style to look messy on purpose, so pull out some face-framing layers, and don't be afraid if your tresses get a little windblown.

Are you ready to commit?

Runway hairstyles have a track record of being too intricate and fashion-y for everyday wear. Au contraire. With the help of Pantene, we're stalking the streets of New York to find the coolest runway-inspired hairstyles IRL and then breaking down how to get them in our new column, Hair Watch. Read up, and stay one curl and twist ahead of the crowd.
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Photographed by Jacqueline Harriet.