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One look three ways

Grown-up braids

Plaits are back, and they’re more sophisticated than ever. We show you how to rock them this summer

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Back-to-front plait

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‘This look is perfect for transforming a bad-hair day and disguising greasy roots,’ says celebrity hairdresser Andrew Jose. ‘It’s also a great way to stay cool, as it keeps the hair back and away from your face.’  Difficulty rating: 3/5

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Step 1

Brush hair to one side and section off the front ‘fringe’ section.

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Step 2

Divide this piece of hair into three and begin braiding, crossing the left and right strands under the middle piece, instead of over.

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Step 3

Add small sections of hair each time you cross a piece under the middle strand, and continue braiding until you reach the ends.

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Step 4

Pull the plait round to the back of your head and secure with a snag-free band and pin into place with hair grips.

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 Step 5

Pull the rest of your hair over your shoulders and you’re done!

Plait hack

‘Brush hair first – knots will mess up the braids,’ says Andrew. ‘Then apply a light mousse to the loose hair, to give a mussed-up texture.’ Our favourite? L’Oréal Paris Elnett Satin Crème De Mousse Volume + Strong Hold, £5.99/599 points (200ml).

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Braided ‘hun’

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‘This style works brilliantly on frizzier hair, as it helps to keep flyaways in place,’ Andrew explains. ‘Make sure you prep with hairspray, to prevent the longer layers dropping out.’ Difficulty rating: 4/5

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Step 1

Divide the top section (from crown to forehead) into three. Tidy away the sections you’re not braiding with a snag-free band to stop tangles.

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Step 2

French braid each section in turn, adding a small piece of hair into the middle from each side as you go.

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Step 3

For the two outside braids, stop plaiting when you reach the middle of your crown and secure with two small bands, but continue to braid the middle plait all the way to the end, and tie with a clear band.

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Step 4

Gather the loose ends of the outer braids and twist them up and around into a bun. Wrap the middle braid around the base and secure with grips.

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 Step 5

Add body, grip and texture to the rest of your hair with a spritz of dry shampoo and you’re good to go!

Plait hack

‘Add body to the rest of your hair with a dry shampoo,’ says Andrew. ‘Apply from mid-lengths to ends and distribute with your fingers.’ We love Toni & Guy Glamour Sky High Volume Dry Shampoo, £8.25/825 points (250ml).

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Side fishtail

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‘Women are often wary of trying plaits because they think they’re too old for them,’ says Andrew. ‘But this side fishtail is a good entry point to the trend – it’s a really refined way of creating detail, with little effort.’ Difficulty rating: 2/5

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Step 1

Add texture to the mid-lengths and ends with a thickening serum and then brush hair over to one shoulder and fix into a ponytail that sits just behind your ear.

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Step 2

Divide the pony into two sections, take a small piece of hair from the outside of one section and pull it tightly over to the middle.

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Step 3

Repeat this on the other side.

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Step 4

Repeat these steps until you get to about three inches from the ends of your hair, then secure with a band.

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Step 5

Disguise the band by wrapping a wisp of hair around it, and fix in place with a grip at the back.

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Step 6

Fun in the sun, here you come!

Plait hack

‘Save braids for second-day hair, as clean locks are harder to work with,’ says Andrew. ‘Add texture to the mid-lengths and ends with a thickening serum.’ Try Salon Science Thickening Serum Boots Exclusive £15/1,500 points (50ml).

Words Donna Francis Hair and make-up Julie Read at Carol Hayes Models Sylvia and Nathalie at Nevs, Stefanie at Mrs Robinson Catwalk photography Getty Images, Imaxtree Still-life photography Pixeleyes

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