Hot Hair: Braids, Cornrows, Plaits

What's more popular than vampires and more universally flattering than Spanx? Braids! They're everywhere right now, and the style comes in a zillion different varieties. Whether they're rocking Pocahontas plaits, braided buns, fishtail ponies, cornrows -- or some fashion forward hair hybrid -- these trendsetting A-listers have the look down pat.
ESSENCE.COM Jul, 26, 2011

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Vanessa Simmons rocks a choppy bob with a cool braided section in the front. Love.

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Selita Ebanks rocks an intricate, French-braided plait swept over one shoulder.

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Ravyn Symone wore a side bun and a chic braided headband to the NAACP Theatre Awards.

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At the BET Awards, pint-size trendsetter Willow Smith sculpted a heart out of her micro-braids.

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Always edgy, Eve paired a side plait with a bouffant pompadour.

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At Fashion Week, Angela Simmons added oomph to her blowout with two tiny cornrows in front. So chic.

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At the “What’s Your Number” premiere, Tika Sumpter rocked a super-elegant braided headband over her sleek ’do.

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Solange Knowles has single-handedly brought back ’90s-era, Patra-style braids — and we love it!

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Alicia Keys paired a deliberately messy fishtail ponytail with bright crimson lips — so stunning.

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Stunning songstress Goapele looks elegant in tiny cornrows and a decorative headpiece.

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Zoe Saldana accentuates her soft waves with a loosely braided “hair”-band.

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With her lush micro-braids and scarlet lips, Joy Bryant caused quite a stir at the Vanity Fair Oscar party.

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Selita Ebanks adds a French braid along her hairline, which leads into her loose, braided bun.

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Jill Scott created a faux “side shave” moment by gathering one side of her hair into tiny, precise cornrows, letting the rest of her tresses fly free.

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Tracee Ellis Ross beats the heat by rocking two cornrows going down each side of her head. Cool-looking and chic!

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At the Met Ball, Rihanna took the side plait one step farther by including a French braid along her hairline. So chic.

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In the past year, Chrisette Michele went from bald to bleach blonde to amber microbraids. We love this sophisticated, Eva Peron-esque style.

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Sanaa Lathan accentuates her oversize bun by wrapping a braided piece around the base. So elegant!

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Paula Patton uses a skinny, braided headband to hold back her sleek ’do. So clever!

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At a recent awards show, Jada Pinkett Smith rocked a faux-hawk pompadour created entirely of cornrows.

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