Worn by celebrities like Jennifer Lopez, Kendall Jenner, Tracee Ellis Ross, Millie Bobby Brown, and more, the '90s- and Y2K-inspired braided tendril trend has only increased in popularity since its reemergence during the 2022 festival season.
"The tendril trend has always been an easy way to add a little 'razzle-dazzle' to any updo," Erinn Courtney, a natural hair expert at StyleSeat and celebrity stylist, tells BAZAAR.com. Typically crafted as a set of smaller, face-framing braids, braided tendrils are an easy way to elevate a go-to bun or ponytail. You can also quickly enhance a salon-quality blowout or beachy waves by adding a second pair of braids near the ears for a summery, carefree hair look.
When it comes to the styling essentials needed for a braided tendril updo versus wearing your hair completely down, professionals say there isn't much difference in the products and tools to keep in your arsenal. "Re-creating this look at home is pretty simple," says celebrity stylist and Mane Addicts artist Irinel de León, who counts stars like Bella Hadid, Chrissy Teigen, and Hailey Bieber as clients. "You'll need a little gel, a tail comb, and two small rubber bands—more if you're looking to add braids throughout the hair as well."
De Leon recommends starting off the look by centering your hair down the middle and creating two triangular parts on the left- and right-hand sides. Depending on the thickness of your hair and your desired braid size, she advises using around a dime-sized amount of gel to create each braid. "For updos in particular, I love using a little barber's brush to smooth hair into a cute bun or pony," she adds. "I also recommend applying gel around the perimeter of the hair, brushing it upwards, then securing it with a hair tie. And I'm obsessed with finishing the style with a wax Tancho stick, which is made out of lavender and vegetable oil. It's great for flyaways and tighter hairstyles."
It's no secret that braided styles are a mainstay in summer beauty looks, as they're not only stylish, but also helpful in protecting your hair against elements like chlorine and excessive heat. "Braided styles are popular during summer months, because they make it easier to get up and go, especially when traveling," Courtney notes. De Leon agrees, adding that an effective UV hair treatment can be the protective icing on the cake for any summer style, including braided tendrils.