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We all knew it was coming and now, it's finally here: We're in the era of the Y2K aesthetic revival. We're talking printed designer baguettes, super-shiny, lip gloss, Juicy Couture sweat sets, and now: face-framing baby braids.
In an age when breathing in public seems complicated, we're all looking to simpler times to uplift our spirits. Apparently, that also means straightforward hairstyles. We've seen a lot of folks on TikTok, as well as a slew of celebrities lately, putting their take on the braided tendrils trend.
Hailey Bieber, for example, shared a casual pic on the 'gram in green jeans, a matching flannel, and a gray T-shirt with two small face-framing braids peeking out from underneath her baseball cap. It was the second time in a few months that we'd seen her with the style — she'd just appeared in a June 2021 Vogue editorial with a similar look.
Bella Hadid also recently posted a throwback image to her Instagram feed of her with the same style, except in her case, she kept the rest of her hair in a high ponytail. Kylie Jenner shared a vacation snap of her with chunkier, but still small braids on either side of her head, which provided an extra bit of texture to her waist-length hair. You can add a bevy of other names to the list of celebrities who've worn this style — Dua Lipa, Madison Beer, and FKA Twigs are just a few.
As we mentioned, in these times, simplicity is the name of the game, and this hairstyle delivers just that. Achieving it on any texture is as easy as, well, just braiding. "Take your front section, however big you'd like (but I recommend using a section one to two inches wide), and split in the middle," explains Los Angeles-based hairstylist Andrew Fitzsimons, who works with the Kardashian-Jenners and Megan Fox. (In fact, he created this very look on Kim Kardashian for a KKW campaign.)
"Then, braid loosely until you reach the end and secure with a small elastic to keep the braid secure. Use a texturizing spray to give the hair more texture and an undone feeling." Once you hit your hair with a texturizer mist, like the Oribe Flash Form Finishing Spray, Fitzsimons says he likes to add another bit of polish with a shine spray.
Oribe Flash Form Finishing Spray Wax
If you've got curly or Afro-textured hair, not to worry — you can still repeat the same process and style the rest of your hair as you usually would. Just try it with a braiding cream or butter more suited to highly textured hair like the Best of Beauty-winning Camille Rose Naturals Almond Jai Twisting Butter.
"Experiment with this look no matter what hair type you have," Fitzsimons encourages. "All you really need to do is create the two braids at the front to frame your face and let the rest of your natural texture do its thing."
Camille Rose Naturals Almond Jai Twisting Butter
You can also make this trend work if your hair is sparse or shorter where it frames your face, but you want a little more length. Los Angeles-based hairstylist Laura Polko tells Allure that she will sometimes add some clip-in extensions to the front of her clients' hair if she's trying to add a bit of extra drama. "I mix together [a texturizer] and finishing spray together on my fingertips for some hold and simply braid down," she explains.
As we said, this look is all about simplicity and effortlessness. If you know how to braid, you can recreate the look for yourself. "It's a super low-maintenance style that's easy to accomplish in less than 10 minutes, so I can see why it's trending again," muses Fitzsimons. "This look is very casual, but the face-framing braids give it a chic, playful vibe that's great for summer."
And we're here for it. Now go forth, and braid your teensy little braids.
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