French twists are having a moment. Seriously. Despite having long been filed under "bad wedding hair," the new-look French twist is seriously covetable. While the DNA of the new version is the same—that signature twist, tuck, and pin—the finish is a little more undone, less trussed up. Because we all know the traditional take on the hairstyle has an uncanny ability to make even the coolest star look older if they choose to whip their hair up into a French twist for a red carpet soirée. But the tide is slowly changing…
Here at Byrdie, we're finding ourselves drawn to the chic hairstyle more and more, thanks to the likes of Bella Hadid, Jennifer Lawrence and Emma Stone flying the flag for the French twist and, more importantly, showing us how to wear it in a cooler, younger way. What's perfect about this hairstyle right now, as we enter party season, is that it works off duty, in the office, and on a special occasion.
Bella Hadid's go-to look is to wear her hair down, so a French twist was the perfect way to change up her look for the glitzy affair at Cannes. The side-swept fringe with the longer tendrils at the side perfectly frames her face.
From the side you can see that the French twist has been left undone which keeps the hairstyle from looking too fussy. With a French twist, you pull the hair into a low ponytail before twisting it up, tucking and twisting to create a pleat at the back of the head. The ends of the ponytail are usually concealed by tucking it into the pleat, but here the ends have been left loose.
Amber Heard's French twist has a slight rockabilly feel to it. The secret here is to add height with a quiff at the front and to create plenty of texture by curling the hair first. Use a curling iron to create fairly tight curls before twisting up and pinning in place.
We're obsessed with Sophie Buhai's silver hairclip ($465). The dry texture of the hair paired with the high-shine clip lends a modern aesthetic to this classic hairstyle shape.
It's not just French twists making a comeback, we're kinda digging hair claws too, especially in retro tortoiseshell. This is the easiest, coolest way to wear your hair on dress-down Fridays at work or to Sunday brunch. Just twist, clip and go.
Elle Fanning shows how a French twist can look beautifully whimsical. A little subtle toning at the front of the hair and that mussed-up texture gives the hair a pretty, undone feel.
Just like Hadid's French twist, Fanning hasn't been too neat with the ends leaving them loose.
Who says a French twist has to be slap bang in the middle of your head? Italian actress Paola Cortellesi keeps hers loose with just a couple of well-placed bobby pins.
Emma Stone proves that even in lob-length hair you can still create the feel of a French twist simply by folding the hair up, twisting and securing with a barrette.
Malin Ackerman's fine hair has been twisted into a smaller, neater French twist. To keep the look soft, she's embraced a messier texture. Douse hair with a salt spray and leave to dry naturally to draw out that texture before pinning in place.
Jennifer Lawrence's hair looks chic yet modern thanks to a simple center parting and some soft waves.
At the back, her hair has been backcombed before being tucked under, twisted and pinned to give the feel of a French twist in her shorter hair.
Sophie Buhai shows how an array of different-shaped barrettes can instantly change up the look of a simple French twist.
Okay, so technically, technically, this is a French twist before it has been twisted back on itself. But break the rules, why don't you? A twisted ponytail nods to the look of a French twist but without the arm ache. Bonus.