Braids are having a moment. You need look no further than the runway and the red carpet to see that fashion designers and film stars are hot on plaited 'dos. But some of us -- even those who are incredibly crafty in other arenas! -- are intimidated by this ideal-for-summer method of coiffing. Hairstylist Kayley Pak of New York City's John Barrett Salon, home of the popular Braid Bar, offers step-by-step instructions for making classic, French, and fishtail braids.
Once you've mastered them, watch our videos of Pak creating a dozen jaw-dropping styles using only the skills you learn in this story. Bonus: We slipped in the how-to for a chic faux braid, for those mornings when anything beyond twisting seems too difficult.