The moment you learn to tie your shoelaces, you're deemed fit by the all-holy hair gods to try a three-strand braid. (Them's the rules.) Then, the next level-up after that is equally classic, if not one degree trickier: the french braid.
This over-under plait has been woven throughout history - from ancient Sparta to Taylor Swift's Evermore album cover - for good reason: DIYing the look is ridiculously simple, even for people with little to no hairstyling skills. All it takes is a little know-how - and that's where Jenny Strebe, hairstylist and founder of AIIR Professional, comes in.
Before you begin, though, there are a few micro-steps to keep in mind. First, know that most braids work best on relatively dirty hair (that extra grit means more texture but less slip). Then, using a wide-tooth comb, you'll want to brush out any tangles or knots to make for easy weaving. "This will prevent hair from getting tangled up in your fingers as well as help create clean-looking sections," Strebe said. She also suggests running a smoothing cream or paste through hair to create a more polished look and to keep any flyaways at bay.
Now on your mark, get set, go check out this full step-by-step to creating an effortlessly cool french braid at home. It's not as easy as lacing up your kicks, but yeah, it's way more fun.