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Braids are great for adding structure and control, but they don’t have to serve an architectural function. This season, small accent plaits provide a take on twines that is purely aesthetic. Buried in tousled waves, breaking the solid sheet of a sleek mane, or adding interest to a simple up-style, these easy three-strand accents give ensembles romance and charm. Read on for tips on wearing the trend. –– Laura Martin

Step 1: Style hair as desired using set and style spray or styling whip, adding defrizz serum to ends. These products will smooth the cuticle and give hair a glossy finish.

Step 2: Select a few small areas where you would like to add braids. Just behind the ear, on the underside of the hair, or on the top surface, a few inches back from the hairline, are good choices. If you have lots of layers, the hair underneath will be easier to plait.

Step 3: Braid selected areas using a three-strand braiding technique. Finish with small rubber bands. Clear bands are a great choice for this type of style.

Special thanks to Laura Martin for this post. Laura is a professional hair stylist, former senior educator at ARROJO cosmetology school, and a creative non-fiction MFA student at Georgia College, Milledgeville, GA

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