Taraji P. Henson’s Cascading Rope Braid Makes For One Very Romantic Hairstyle

Straight out of a storybook.

Taraji P Henson natural bun

It might sound like an exaggeration considering she’s been a beloved style star for years, but wow, is Taraji P. Henson on fire this awards season. Ever since she began her press tour to promote the musical film adaptation of The Color Purple in December 2023, she’s shown off one incredible hairstyle and makeup moment after another, sometimes multiple in the same week. It all culminated with her all-star award show run, which features some of her greatest looks of all time. Consider, for example, Henson’s long rope braid from the March 16 NAACP Image Awards in Los Angeles. Not only did the singer-actor take home one of the evening’s top prizes, Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture, but her knee-sweeping, slicked-down plait stole the show in every other respect.

Of course, as a part-time beauty mogul — Henson’s the founder of the best-selling TPH By Taraji hair care line — you’ll never catch the star in anything less than a creative, glamorous style for any public event. This braid, though, is something special. Featuring a deep side-part, vintage-inspired bang arrangement, and its extreme length, the look feels at once timeless and trendy, experimental and classic. Even its positioning seems well considered, fasted just a few inches above the nape of her neck, which puts more focus on the front of the hairstyle. In that sense, it’s almost like two looks at once.

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The best part of the style is the hidden detail found in her face-framing “bangs.” Take a closer look and you’ll notice what appears to be a finger wave at first glance is actually a tiny braid that outlines the thicker side of her part, connecting to the larger, longer plait cascading down her back.

Celebrity hairstylist Tym Wallace is the creative behind Henson’s ethereal, storybook-ready braid, and he happened to use a slew of products from her line to make it happen. In a series of behind-the-scenes photos shared to Instagram, Wallace revealed he relied on the actor’s brand’s styling gel and edge control to get that alluring shine, definition, and hold.

The retro-feeling waved braid that frame her face feel like a nod to the film’s era, but it all comes together in thoroughly modern, totally unique way.