There aren’t many people who can make the world stop more than Beyoncé Knowles-Carter. While she’s certainly known for rocking some great lengths (she’s rumored to have a hair closet), she made one of the biggest hair statements of the decade with her 2016 “Lemonade” braids that literally changed the game.
While the style isn’t new (side braids have totally been a thing before) it has created an explosion of remixes in recent years that deserve a round of applause (lookin’ at you, Nicki Minaj). Luckily, you don’t have to be a celeb to get in the game—you just need our resident Braid Up guru, Stasha Harris. Harris created her own twist called the Freestyle Monica Braid that features three key trends: sideways cornrows, mini braids, and a touch of metallic thread. Yes, you’re going to love it.
Wanna recreate the look above at home? Check out the tools and tip list below (not included: a friend, who you’ll most likely need, unless you’re a bonafide braid pro). Happy braiding!
1.Your trusty rat-tail comb. This is a braiding savior to help get the perfect part and section your hair as needed. A little edge control used throughout the braid will help your hair lie (and stay) super flat.
2.Non-alkaline braiding hair. While human braiding hair is preferred, you can still go the synthetic hair route, as long as you shop around for an alkaline-free version to prevent a potential allergic reaction. Already have your hair? Try pre-treating it with an apple cider vinegar solution to remove the alkaline coating. In a large bowl, combine equal parts water with apple cider vinegar, then soak your hair in it for a minimum of 20 minutes. Rinse with cool water before allowing your hair to air-dry. Once dried, they’re officially ready to be braided.
3. Plenty of mousse. Layer on a generous amount of mousse to the top of your braids to help blend your own hair with your new extensions. A head scarf or doo-rag will help “set” the mousse and avoid any annoying frizz.
4. A touch of sparkle. Make every day a bit more fun by wrapping gold or silver thread around a few of your braids. It’s the easier way to take your look from day-to-night without a major style switch up.