Can't Braid? Say Hello To Faux-Braiding!

Photographed by David Cortes.
In a world in which braids have asserted 'do dominance and don't seem to be going anywhere anytime soon, we find ourselves a people divided: There are those who can braid, and those who can't. Those who can consume DIYs with voracious appetites; there's no plait too complicated or too whimsical for their nimble fingers. But, those who are less adept at the technique get the short end of the stick.
Dear challenged readers, we see you, and we're here to help. We charged hairstylist Austin Call from Aveda to come up with hairstyles that look like plaits — but aren't. They're so simple and chic that even those of us who can weave with our eyes closed will be converts.
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Ahead, learn about the wonders of faux-braiding. Because, we want everyone to have access to the trend — regardless of their skill level. In other words: Even if you can't braid, you can still sit with us.
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Photographed by David Cortes.
The Braid-Inspired Rope
It's a rope. It's a braid. Nope, it's neither. This series of knots is a lot like that friendship bracelet from childhood you left on all summer, only chicer — and way easier to remove. It's also a great 'do for curly hair. The more curls you have, the more plait-like it'll look.
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Photographed by David Cortes.
Start with a ponytail. We like doing a low, side pony, because it makes it easier to see what you're doing.
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Photographed by David Cortes.
Take a small section of hair and tie it in a single knot around the ponytail.
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Photographed by David Cortes.
Then, grab another small section of hair and add it to the first.
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Photographed by David Cortes.
Use the combined two smaller sections to make a second knot around the ponytail, below your first one.
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Photographed by David Cortes.
Continue knotting down the length of your ponytail, adding an additional section of hair to each knot as you go. If you have fine hair, Call suggests using larger sections, which will make it look fuller. Finish with an elastic.
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Photographed by David Cortes.
For a messier feel, Call recommends working your fingers into the style until the strands are slightly disheveled. Or, you could keep it pristine — either way, it's going to look awesome.
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Photographed by David Cortes.
No one has to know this isn't a braid. Unless you want to brag about your knotting skills.
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Photographed by David Cortes.
The No-Braid Bun
To the untrained eye, this looks like a braid you folded into a bun. But, it's so much simpler than that.

Preen shirt.
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Photographed by David Cortes.
Start with a low ponytail.
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Photographed by David Cortes.
Divide the hair in the ponytail into two sections, and then make a knot.
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Photographed by David Cortes.
Tie another knot on top of it. (Make a double knot, if you will.)
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Photographed by David Cortes.
Wrap the excess strands around the double knot, and pin it all into place. "Grab the bun with your hand and put a pin wherever your fingers are," Call says.
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Photographed by David Cortes.
If you have shorter hair, our hairstylist suggests tying just one knot. And, if you have super long hair, Call says you can make more than two knots: "Just remember to keep the knots loose," he says.
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Photographed by David Cortes.
Now that you've saved so much time on your hair, you can do something truly complex with your makeup, like this out-of-control cat-eye. Makeup artist Clarissa Luna used an electric-blue liquid liner, flicking it out for extra drama.
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Photographed by David Cortes.
The "This Is Not A French Braid" Braid
Real talk: French braids are hard. Especially when you only have two arms, and not eight. This 'do is super easy, and if you squint, it looks exactly like its complex cousin. All you need is hair that's long enough for a ponytail.

Johnny Was shirt, Zara shoes.
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Photographed by David Cortes.
Start by pulling your hair back into a half-ponytail and securing it with an elastic.
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Photographed by David Cortes.
Pull some hair out of the elastic so that you create a hole. Then, thread your ponytail through it.
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Photographed by David Cortes.
Create another ponytail below it, incorporating the hair from the first pony. Repeat the previous step: Create a hole above the elastic, and thread your new pony through.
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Photographed by David Cortes.
Finally, create a third ponytail with the remaining hair. Repeat the previous step again. The final result should be three looped ponytails. If you have fine or short hair, make more than three for a fuller look.
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Photographed by David Cortes.
For an authentically braid-like look, Call says to massage your hair, messing it up. Don't worry about strands falling loose — that happens in a real braid, too.
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Photographed by David Cortes.
Who's going to try to tell you this isn't a French braid? No one, that's who.
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Photographed by David Cortes.
Knot A Braided Fringe
If you love the braided-fringe look, but can't recreate one to save your life, we're here for you. This one's ideal for girls with shorter hair: As long as your front pieces are long enough to be tied into a knot, you're good to go (even if you have a pixie in the back).
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Photographed by David Cortes.
Start with a deep side part. Grab a section of hair right next to your part, split it into two, and tie it into a knot.
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Photographed by David Cortes.
Add more hair to your section, and knot it again. Continue adding hair and knotting.
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Photographed by David Cortes.
Once you've passed the middle of your ear, finish with an elastic. If you have fine or short hair, Call recommends making smaller, tighter knots.
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Photographed by David Cortes.
Much like an actual braided fringe, this style looks better when it's a little messy. So, don't worry about keeping it perfect — frizz and texture just make it cooler.
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