Blame our collective quarantine style fatigue or the fact that so much of our face-to-face interaction is happening over a Zoom screen, but hairstyle trends are looking different this winter. More than the major comeback of headbands and claw clips, creative braiding is everywhere — with low-maintenance "accent braids" leading the pack.
The look — two tiny hairline braids that frame the face — was something celebrity hairstylist Justine Marjan saw coming with salon closures and the rise in DIY styling. "During quarantine, I've noticed a huge increase in braided hairstyles, mini accent braids specifically," says Marjan. "I love doing two small braids on either side of my part. They feel fun — a little retro and bohemian — and help create a subtle trim around my face."
For a visual guide to the breakout WFH hairstyle — recently endorsed by A-listers like Hailey Bieber and Kim Kardashian West — scroll through to see the chicest accent braids on Instagram.1 of 8
Over the weekend, Bieber posted outtakes from a photoshoot sporting a green plaid knit, square shades, and twin accent braids.2 of 8
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Marjan says her braiding technique is easy: Part your hair down the middle, take two small sections on either side (about 1-inch in size), and braid each in a simple, three-strand style. (Pairing the look with cow-print nails
is optional, but definitely encouraged.)
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Swedish model Amanda Khamkaew makes her accent braids look effortless by styling the rest of the hair in loose air-dried waves
For a chic, unbothered take on accent braids make like model Chloe Christian and don't use hair ties. "You can tease the ends just slightly to keep the braids from unraveling, and weave the braid tightly so it stays in place," Marjan explains.6 of 8
Accent braids don't have to be front-and-center. You can also place them further back to blend in with the rest of your hair, like Parisian influencer Anne-Laure Mais did here.7 of 8
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If your hair is already in a protective style
, like braids, you can get the same effect by pulling your hair back into an updo and leaving the two front two pieces loose, like model Samile Bermannelli.
For two trends in one, pull inspiration from Dutch model Amaka Hamelijnck and fashion accent braids alongside a statement headband