Issa Rae’s Storybook-Worthy Updo Features Three Different Types Of Braids

Fit for a princes.

Issa Rae pink lipstick

She might be a fashion show guest list staple these days, but there’s one thing to know about Issa Rae’s sense of style — you can count on her to wear some of the coolest fresh-from-the-runway pieces, but she’ll never let her outfit outshine her beauty choices. Rae’s red carpet hairstyles in particular are so consistently some of the best in the entire movie industry, but special attention must be paid to the star’s latest look. In Paris at the AMI - Alexandre Mattiussi Menswear Spring/Summer 2025 show, Rae’s braided updo is just as intricate as any garment she watched going down the runway. As one of her most elaborate and innovative styles to date, it’s set to become one of summer’s most recreated beauty moments too.

Rae arrived at the show, part of a special Paris Fashion Week, dressed for the chilly weather in a sharp blazer-style jacket and a silky black set just beneath. She dressed up the sophisticated look with a baby-blue purse featuring gold hardware and matching jewelry — including a large, delicate pair of hoop earrings. The real fun, though, starts right at the top of her head with a looping braided bun that sits like a crown, spilling down into a brilliant blend of plaits and curls.

Julien M. Hekimian/Getty Images
Julien M. Hekimian/Getty Images

Upon closer examination, it sure seems like Rae’s hairstyle features three distinct braid types throughout it. There’s the largest, loosest plait at the very top, but nestled among her glossy curls are some thinner, tighter braids, and a few in-between in terms of size and tautness. The combination makes the entire look feel so detailed, creative, and straight-up ethereal, storybook princess-style. Rae’s always been one to go as innovative as possible with her natural and protective hairstyles in particular, but this is simply next-level.

It’s not immediately clear who’s behind Rae’s blend of braids and curls, but it’s more than likely the work of celebrity hairstylist Felicia Leatherwood. The creative mastermind is responsible for almost all of Rae’s most noteworthy hair moments — including her wedding look and all those standout Insecure styles — and she also happens to be in Paris right now.

This summer, take a page out of Rae’s book and embrace the fun of a hybrid hairstyle. Combine waves, curls, braids, accessories, and pulled-back pieces to create something totally original.