Hair DIY: The Tiny Braid, Two Ways (aka How to Hide Dirty Hair)

The minuscule braid is a quick way to take boring hair to the next level — or, in my case, to disguise dirty, super-messy hair for one more day. There's plenty of inspiration to be had from the world of celebrities — you can find the near-invisible braid tucked into Sky Ferreira's loose tresses or a cornrow-esque version streaking across the side of Cara Delevingne's head at the Met Ball — but here's how one plebeian styled it.

1. Like a hippie.

I went wild with dry shampoo (the greatest invention of all time, after the wheel) before beginning the tiny plaits. I stopped braiding each one about two inches from the end, because I think it looks way more casual that way. Too casual? Only time (and society's reaction) will tell. After each braid was finished, I tied each one with thread — yellow, lavender, and (not pictured) orange. I wrapped the thread around the end of the braid several times before knotting it, and left the ends un-cut.

When you're doing this look, don't forget to hide one or more braids beneath a layer of hair to keep the look subtle. As Christian Marc told Into the Gloss, "It's important to keep them un-calculated."

Tip: if you want your braids to lay flat against your head, pull them towards the ground as you braid. Otherwise, you'll get a weird bend at the root of the braid.

2. Like a punk.

You know how everyone is shaving the bottom half of their hair and it looks really cool but you could never, ever, ever do it? (Just me?) This is an easy way to fake the look. Swoop most of your hair to the other side of your head, giving yourself the deepest part you can manage. Do a tight French braid with the remaining hair. Once you've braided as far back as you want to go, secure the braid with two criss-crossed bobby pins. Smear on some eyeliner, lest the punk scene take you for a fraud.

Tip: If you want a tighter, punk-ier braid than I did, use a bit of gel or pomade to keep the braid in place and give it a wet shine.