Between the chunky highlights, mullets and the return of the perm, you’d be forgiven for thinking that we’d exhausted the well of throwback hair trends to bring into the new decade. There’s always more. The latest one we’re seeing all over Instagram? Braided hair tendrils. Or face-framing plaits. Or whatever you wanna call this cute style. It’s next Pokémon-evolution of the slim face-framing strands lately popularised by Bella Hadid—though, what retro trend hasn’t she thrown on her body at this point?
Other notable braided hair tendril advocates we’ve spotted in the wild include Devon Lee Carlson at Paris Fashion Week earlier this year, and of course, Margot Robbie’s ’60s inspired nod to Sharon Tate at Cannes last year.
The tendrils themselves are pretty self-explanatory. Two tiny lil hunks of hair, braided down to frame your face, often from a middle-parting. However, they have more range than you think!
In the resurgence we’ve seen on Instagram, the little braids can be adapted to suit a variety of styles. For a softer more picnic bitch and cottagecore inspired vibe, the braids can be left a little messy and unsecured. Tighter braided hair tendrils feel a little bit edgier, but they can be softened depending on your outfit and the hair accessories you might throw in them.
The look works across a variety of style vibes. Soft and nonchalant: like you did them while you were absentmindedly waiting for your pour-over coffee to cool listening to Fleetwood Mac. Or slick and intentional: you’ve got places to be, your hair needs to be out of your face and you might be wearing a black leather coat. Very Trinity à la The Matrix, ya feel?
Unlike other types of plaits, the braided hair tendrils are a nice one because of how quickly and simply they can be achieved. Even with the pandemic enforced downtime, we’re thinking twice about spending the hours it’d take to micro braid your whole head. If you’re looking to give the trend a try yourself, we’d suggest a healthy stack of tiny clear elastic bands. Little glitter butterfly clips optional, but recommended for extra fun.
Lead image via Charlotte Lawrence.