Nothing says summer like a braided updo, except maybe a pool party or bikini. When it gets too hot to contemplate wearing your hair down, chances are your default hairstyle is usually a ponytail or braid. Humidity is to blame for the vast majority of bad hair days during the summer months–something I can personally attest to–so pulling your hair back in a braid is just easier. That doesn’t mean you have to fall into a hair rut, and style your hair in the same side braid from May to September. The humble braid can be transformed into a variety of hairstyles, and you don’t need to be an expert in basket weaving to recreate the them.
Here are 25 celebrities who prove that braids are anything but basic:
1. Elle Fanning
Elle Fanning may look like a Disney princess sometimes, but she can also do a fairly convincing milkmaid.
2. Solange Knowles
Beyoncé must have liked Solange‘s braided ponytail so much, she decided to give microbraids a try–at least for a few days.
A braid should look as good in the back, as it does in the front, like Zoe Saldana‘s braided bun.
4. Nicole Richie
Even before Nicole Richie was dying her hair purple, I loved her hairstyles. This updo with mini braids is a favorite of mine.
5. Kelly Osbourne
Speaking of purple, Kelly Osbourne highlights her lavender locks with this intricate Game Of Thrones inspired hairstyle. I reckon Cersei would love those spiky clips.
Jessica Alba frames her face with not one, but two braids, and a chunky beaded necklace.
Sorry to break it to you Kendall Jenner, but you weren’t the first of the Kardashian clan to discover braids–Kourtney Kardashian did it first.
Kristen Stewart takes the humble braid and gives it her signature bedhead treatment. Don’t be fooled, it’s not as easy to replicate as it looks.
We didn’t need to see this picture of Rihanna pulling off pigtails (with a sweats no less) to know that this girl can make anything look good. Impressed.
Kirsten Dunst dresses up a Heidi braid with a sparkly floral headband.
11. Blake Lively
12. Whitney Port
Lauren Conrad might have been known for her braided bangs but Whitney Port‘s tousled side braid deserves some attention too.
13. Willow Smith
Willow Smith’s braid is one part pretzel, two parts Cindy Lou Hoo and four parts totally adorable.
Click here to see other celebrity braid hairstyle ideas including Rita Ora, Diane Kruger, Jennifer Lawrence and more.
It looks as though Rita Ora has mastered the fishtail plait. Want to try it yourself? Here’s how to do it.
It is tempting to say that Jennifer Morrison‘s braided bun is enchanting or make another Once Upon A Time pun, so I will just let you admire it instead.
Nicole Richie certainly knows how to reinvent the braid. Here she is again, this time with a braided bun.
If you can take your eyes off the pink eyeshadow, look up at Emily Blunt‘s punk braided updo.
We might not yet know Bérénice Bejo for much other than The Artist–and now this side braid.
Charlize Theron is so intimidatingly beautiful that she could pull off pretty much any hairstyle. This spiral braid is no exception.
The perfect accessory for a braid? Sunglasses, as proven by Diane Kruger.
Alicia Keys managed to style her braid around her trendy ear cuffs. Bravo.
Amanda Seyfried went for a supersize braided bun. This is how you fake thick hair.
24. Jennifer Lawrence
Don’t let the boho hair accessory fool you, that is not Sienna Miller. The girl with the embellished braided bun is actually Jennifer Lawrence.
(Photos: WENN, Getty Images)