It’s easy to get bogged down in your regular beauty routine, especially when it comes to workweek hair. If your standard, ponytail and topknot rotation is growing stale, we found some easy breezy braids to add some variety and style to your strands. Sideswept Braid 

side-swept braid

As seen on the Valentino runway, this feminine and polished side braid is perfect for the office or the weekend (you know were our minds are). Get the Look 1. Apply a heat protecting styling lotion like Redken Satinwear 02 to damp hair and blow-dry straight with a boar bristle brush. 2. Create a clean center part and use a fine tooth comb to brush hair to one side. 3. Tuck the side of the hair you will braid behind the ear. To make your strands silky, rub a small amount of smoothing lotion, like Kérastase Cristalliste Lumiére Liquide into your hands as you start to braid. Begin a few inches down from the neck, keeping your wrists and elbows low as you go. 4. Create a braid that's smooth but not too tight, and secure with an elastic at the tip, leaving an inch or two unbraided at the end. 5. Put a few drops of shine hair oil, like Bumble and bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil on your hands, rub together to emulsify, and lightly apply on both sides of the braid. Optional: slide a leather headband over the head so that it rests 2-3 inches back from the forehead and covers the front of the ears. 6. Mist with a finishing hairspray, like our longtime favorite L'Oréal Elnett Satin Hairspray. Braided Bun 

how to braided bun

A braided bun created is great for an evening event or special occasion. Though it looks complex, don’t fret—this style is actually simple to achieve. For a step-by-step tutorial, check out the video below from Redken. Fishtail Braid 

messy side braid

Intricate and stunning, the fishtail braid works well for day or night. Seen above at Veronica Beard, this classic style looks far more difficult than it actually is (music to our ears)!
  1. To create a good foundation, apply a volumizing spray like Original & Mineral Rootalicious to dry hair.
  2. To add some edge to your look, apply a texturizing spray like Original & Mineral Surf Bomb or L’Oréal EverStyle Texture Series Tousle Créme.
  3. Separate hair into two equal sections at the back of the head.
  4. Use your index fingers to pull out a half-inch section of hair from the area near the base of your ear on the right section of your head. Cross it over the right section and under the left section.
  5. Repeat with a half-inch piece from the left section, crossing it over to the right.
  6. Keep alternating, weaving over and under until you reach the bottom of the braid.
how to fishtail braid Expert Tip: "Instead of using a rubber band or elastic hair tie, use electric cable ties. They lock strands in place by giving it a tighter grip and are actually a lot less damaging to hair.” – Original & Mineral Creative Director Janelle Chaplin. Which braided style do you like best? Let us know in the comments! Photos: Redken; Original & Mineral

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