Everyone from hairstylists to Daenerys Targaryen to that one Coachella model in see-through crochet “pants” and really, really good hair agrees: braids are all the rage right now. The particular style of plaits you’ll be seeing everywhere this Summer, though, is (quite literally) taking center stage — on your crown. We’re talking the braided middle part.
“It’s simple: these statement braids are powerful and strong, yet easy to glam up with accessories,” said hairstylist and Glamsquad artistic director Giovanni Vaccaro. “There are many different variations that can be done with the braided center part look — that’s what makes it so fun and customizable.”
Whether you want to try an inverted fishtail you or would rather weave a simple braid into a half-up style, Vaccaro is breaking down exactly how to take your middle part to new heights ahead. The crochet pants? Um, you’re on your own with that one.
Ever love something so much, you want a gazillion? That’s us with the braided center part — although it’s probably best to start with three. “Typical three-strand French braids are probably the easiest type of braid to do,” Vaccaro said, adding that he likes to leave the rest of the hair in beachy waves. You can also throw in some hair accessories (like the braid chains you see here).
“To do the French braid, grab three sections of hair; take the end section and bring it over the middle section. Do the same thing on the opposite side. Then feed hair into each side section while following the same motions. Once it’s secured with clear elastics, tightly tug on the braid to give it fullness and texture.”
If you really want to go for it, you can do an inverted fishtail braid on the top of the crown. “This will be your biggest and fullest braid,” Vaccaro said. “I love doing these because they are so interesting and get tons of attention. Split a section of hair from the crown into two pieces. Grab a small section on the outside of each section and wrap it under, into the opposite main section. Continue to do this while adding small sections of hair from each side. Add glitter spray or an accessory to enhance the look.”
Or, keep the look simple a la Shay Mitchell and do a single center part braid. Section off a one-inch piece of hair and weave three plaits down the center of your crown. Secure with a clear elastic or small bobby pins before styling the rest of your hair.
Merge two braids into one with the “figure eight” braiding method. “I love doing infinity braids with this look into cascading waves or a ponytail,” he said. “These type of braids really look intricate and modern but are actually pretty easy to create. You can start with one plait to make it easier for you but once you’ve mastered it, move to two or three plaits to give your style more edge.”
As Vaccaro put it: “Twists are easy and fun to do” — and there are multiple ways to do it. You can try twisting it into one big braid atop your head, like seen here, or you can “grab two sections of hair from the front and twist them around each other. Start feeding hair into each twist and secure with an elastic.”