Braids for days: The new styles to try

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Braids for days: The new styles to try
Valentino Fall 2013

A dash of Victorian, a pinch of a Dutch painting, a splash of rich-lady hair and you've got the inspiration behind hairstylist Guido's glossy plaits at the Valentino show. After blow-drying the hair straight with Redken Satinwear 02 Prepping Blow-Dry Lotion and parting it down the middle, he added extensions for length (if your hair is already rib-cage level, skip this step). He then combed the hair flat against the back of the head before pulling it over one shoulder. But here's the really cool part: To give the look its sleek, shiny finish, he rubbed Redken Diamond Oil between his fingers before weaving the braids and securing the ends with an elastic. The result? A look that was luxurious but easy to achieve. Well, minus the extensions.

Miu Miu Fall 2013

If Princess Leia were a dominatrix, there'd be a lot of happy Star Wars fans...and she'd probably wear her hair like this: slicked, slicked, slicked back into two braided buns positioned in the back of the head. (Hey, she's cooler now.) The deep side part is slightly masculine and was offset by the polka dot bandanas on Miu Miu's runway.

Christian Siriano Fall 2013

Fishtail braids usually make us think of loose, messy braids on hot summer days. That was until hairstylist Antoinette Beenders pinned fishtail braids into ornate chignons at Christian Siriano's fall show. Inspired by the Russian opera (just go with it), the look was so neat and so intricate, we aren't sure we could recreate it without a patient friend and many attempts. If you're up for the challenge, Beenders told Women's Wear Daily,"for braiding you don't want slippery hair." So she used Aveda Pure Abundance Hair Potion to create a more roughed-up texture before braiding, and then set the finished look with Aveda Control Force Firm Hold Hair Spray.

Rodarte Fall 2013

"It's nice to have a pretty, feminine look sometimes, no?" said hairstylist Odile Gilbert backstage at Rodarte. For a "feminine but messy" effect, she topped romantic waves with a braided half-up and (our favorite part of the whole look) a flower made out of the model's own hair. To re-create the look, drench your hair with a mousse like John Frieda Frizz-Ease Curl Reviver Styling Mousse ("using a lot of mousse makes the waves a bit imperfect") and twirl it around a two-inch iron, leaving out the ends. Braid two sections from the front of the head and secure them into a half-up with an elastic. Maybe skip the flower—if you can create that, then you don't need this how-to, anyway.

Badgley Mischka Fall 2013

Tell us to French braid our hair, and sure, we could do a decent job. Tell us to flip our head upside down and French braid the underside of our hair and we'd need professional help. But the inverted French braids at Badgley Mischka gave hairstylist Peter Gray's pompadours an even cooler vibe.

Marchesa Fall 2013

Gilbert says "everyone should be able to do this look," which is not surprising since she completed the braided chignon in about three minutes. We beg to differ. While the look is perfectly undone, it takes a bit of preparation. (Can you even see the braid? Exactly.) Gilbert's tip: "Empty your mind and [don't] think too much about structure or steps. You just twist, pin, and do it," she says. But really, the soft look involved horizontal parts and sideways French braids. Still, it's pretty fun to look at.

Viktor & Rolf Fall 2013

We're used to seeing crowns of braids by now (and we can pretty much thank Sienna Miller for that). But Luigi Murenu's version at the Viktor & Rolf show was cooler than most: It had not one but tworows of braids on each side of the head (which made it look a little tough), a mussed finish, and wisps around the face. The effect was edgy and feminine—call it the hair equivalent of the collection's pleated leather skirts.

Tory Burch Spring 2013

If we told you that not a single hair product was used to create this look at Tory Burch's spring 2013 show, would you believe us? It's true: Hairstylist Eugene Souleiman simply added extensions, split the hair in two sections, and fishtail-braided each side. Try the look on second and even third day unwashed hair for maximum hold and ideal braiding texture, but don't forget the dry shampoo.

There are about as many ways to weave braids as there are characters (and braids!) in Game of Thrones, but you don't have to be the mother of dragons to pull off some of the most intricate styles of the moment. These are our favorite woven hairstyles from the runways, and all the tips, tricks, and products (what hair spray do they use in the Seven Kingdoms?) that you need to achieve the looks.

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