This tough yet feminine style caused quite a stir at last week’s MTV movie awards. Selena Gomez wore her braided style with a pompadour front and extensions for a look that was equal parts eighteenth century aristocracy, 1970s punk, and mermaid fantasy. Although the style looks complicated, at root it’s a simple inverted french braid with tight sides. Detailing the front, the tail, and the texture of the braid can transform the look to suit a variety of moods. Find out more about creating and customizing the shape in the style notes. –– Laura Martin


Step: Begin with a bit of hair creme or styling creme applied to the sides. Comb them back toward the center to reduce bulk. If volume is desired at the front hairline, apply refinish dry shampoo to roots and backcomb that area lightly for lift.

Step: Begin the braid by taking three 1″ sections at the top center of the head. Cross the left strand underneath the center, right under center, and repeat, adding additional hair from each side, and working down the head with firm tension.

Step: Secure the bottom of the entwine with a hairband or pin under with bobby pins. For a looser braid, use a tail comb to lift and separate individual loops. For a sleek finish, spray sides with holding spray and use hands to press flat against the head.

Special thanks to Laura Martin, senior educator at ARROJO cosmetology school, for sharing professional hairstyling advice with Style Noted

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