There’s virtually no scenario in which a braid doesn’t immediately elevate any look, style, or aesthetic. Boring gym ponytail? Just braid it. Sweat-ravaged bangs? Just braid ‘em back. Humidity poodle-ifying your night-out blowout? A quick bar-bathroom braid session and you’re back in business. It makes a lot of sense then that, amid the Y2K revival, the accent braid would also see a full-fledged resurgence — bubble braids in particular.
Bubble braids are typically split into two camps: the face-framing, tendril-like bubble braids, and those that utilize some strategically-placed rubber bands to form an actual bubble. But no matter which type of bubble braid you’re going for, the style’s popularity ensures there’s absolutely an A-list example out there to give you some inspiration — celebrities can’t get enough of the bubble braid trend in all its forms.
Leading the pack are the newly-minted It-girls of HBO’s Euphoria, which is rapidly becoming the millennial and Gen Z equivalent to The Sopranos with how intensely it's discussed, obsessed over, and theorized about. In season two’s latest installment, Sydney Sweeney’s fan-favorite character, Cassie Howard, wore two jawline-caressing bubble braids in a truly unforgettable episode — but despite jacuzzi mishaps and ugly-crying, her braids still managed to totally steal the show.
IRL celebrities like Hailey Bieber, Lizzo, Dua Lipa, and Olivia Rodrigo can’t get enough of the face-framing version, either. Thanks to their attention-drawing placement and ease of styling (even without a pro around), they’re the quickie upgrade of choice among Hollywood’s most well-turned-out members.
Meanwhile, though, the banded bubble look is equally adored by stars like Gigi Hadid, Tessa Thompson, and Griff. The beauty of this version is that while equally easy to create using some thin rubber hair bands, they look intricate, complicated, and special.
To get the bubble braid look at home — either version — all that’s really required is a smoothing hairbrush (boar bristle is ideal if you have one handy), some medium-hold hairspray, and a pack of slip-free rubber hair bands in your color of choice — though colorless clear bands are equally striking. Take your sectioned bits of hair and secure the elastics down its length, leaving a few inches of hair in between each band. Then, very gently pull that section apart, creating a volume that looks like a bubble.
Finish with a quick spritz of hairspray to mitigate flyaways and slippage, and you’re out the door. Or, ready to log into Zoom.
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