Forget the prim and proper braids you wore as a child. The new wave of woven looks are sexy and simple, and can take you from day to night, even when the humidity soars. Stylist Manuel Lorenzo gives us his professional tips on how to get four of this season’s most sought-after looks.

Fabulous fishtail

  • Starting at the center of the scalp, divide hair into two sections.
  • Use your pinky and ring finger to grab a ¼-inch section of hair from the back of the right side. Add this section to the left side by folding it over.
  • Continue weaving strands from the left side, then the right, and back again, until you’ve worked your way down to the ends of your hair. Secure with an elastic.
  • Create a soft, halo effect by massaging the braid so it’s not tight and perfect.

Hot crossed buns

  • Part hair down the center and divide into two low ponytails, leaving some strands out around the face for a soft, messy look. Secure with elastics.
  •  Tightly braid each ponytail, and secure with another elastic at the bottom.
  • Twist each braid into a bun and pin into place. Finish with firm-hold hairspray like TIGI Catwalk Firm Hold Hair Spray.

Bedhead braided bun

  • Pull hair into a high ponytail and secure with an elastic. Keep the hair in front of the ponytail loose, so it can be teased for extra volume if desired. And don’t worry about smoothing each hair since this is a tousled, natural look.
  • Separate the ponytail into two halves, then braid each section, creating two braids.
  • To create the updo, pull the braids apart slightly to loosen them. Then twist both sections around the base of the ponytail to form a bun and secure with bobby pins.

Side winder

  • Using a rat-tail comb, tease the crown lightly.
  • Use the comb to create a deep side part, and apply a bit of gel to smooth it down. Try Garnier Pure Clean Gel.
  • Maintaining the volume at your crown, pull hair to the side and braid.
  • Secure with an elastic, then wrap a section of hair around it, using a bobby pin to secure.
  • Loosen the braid by pulling apart small sections, and take out a few strands to frame the face.

What’s your fave braided style?