French twists are having a moment. 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 who are showing us how to wear it in a cooler, younger way. What's perfect about this hairstyle right now is that it works off duty, in the office, and for a special occasion.
Ahead, check out some gorgeous celeb-inspired examples of French twist updos.
Bella Hadid's go-to hairstyle is to wear her hair down, so a French twist was the perfect way to change up her look. With a French twist, you pull the hair into a low ponytail before twisting it up and tucking 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.
Eva Longoria switched up her French twist with a slight side part and lots of lift. To create the style, Howard McLaren, co-founder and creative director of R+Co, recommends using the brand's ZIG ZAG Root Teasing + Texture Spray. "It will give the best root lift on dry hair," he says. Then, gather your hair at the nape of your neck and twist and tuck into that classic French twist.
Jade Thirwall framed her face with long, loose curls. Get this look by simply pulling aside some face-framing strands of hair before doing your French twist, then use a curling wand on those strands to create an elegant look.
Camila Mendes's French twist is sleek with a single, shiny, face-framing piece. To get that same high-shine finish, McLaren recommends spraying R+Co FOIL Frizz + Static Control Spray onto your hands and applying it to the layers around the face for amazing shine.
To give your French twist a romantic upgrade, take cues from Zoe Saldana with these curled face-framing strands. Christina Bosque, a hairstylist at Rita Hazan, says to start by blow-drying the hair with a good smoothing product (try Rita Hazan Smoothing Crème). "In some cases, you might want to flat iron the roots for those hard to reach areas," she says. "Then with a one-inch iron, add beachy waves. Leave out face-framing pieces and pull the rest of the hair up to achieve this look."
Trey Gillen, hairstylist and creative director at SACHAJUAN gave tips on how to get Katy Perry's edgy French twist. Start with putting SACHAJUAN Ocean Mist Hair Cream and Hair Mousse at the top of your head onto damp hair from roots to ends to achieve volume and texture before styling your hair into a French twist. For a fun blue pop in the hair, you can use some NARS eyeshadow in Outremer and dust some along the side edges of your hair and along your temples.
To get Mindy Kailing's look, Bosque suggests blow-drying the hair for volume and to add soft waves throughout. Create a side part and leave out some face-framing pieces. Pull hair back into a loose low bun to complete the French twist.
To get Kate Mara's look, Gillen says to use your fingers to create a deep messy side-part over the arch of your brow. Section the swoop out with a clip and pull the rest of your hair back without a brush for that more lived-in look, then put hair into a French twist. You can take a toothbrush and rake it along the hairline to give a bed-head slept in feel to this twist.
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.
If anyone can pull off a classic French twist, it's Rachel McAdams. "Prepping the hair before starting a classic French twist is imperative with this style," says Shiva Tavakoli, founder of JOON Haircare. "You don’t want a lot of heavy products weighing down the 'bump' you create by brushing the hair straight back." She recommends using sulfate and paraben-free shampoo and conditioner, like JOON Saffron Rose Shampoo and Conditioner to smooth the cuticle and add shine without weight.
Rihanna's French twist is all about a deep, statement side part. "She was very edgy with her take on the French twist and had a very hard, defined part in her hair before pulling it back," says Tavakoli. To finish the twist and get that same high-shine finish, she recommends smoothing away flyaways and frizz by working a little of JOON Saffron Hair Elixir onto the front. "This will create a sleek, sculpted look."
To get Jessica Biel's look, Gillen says to apply SACHAJUAN Styling Cream and Hair Wax on damp hair from roots to ends. With a large-tooth comb pull the sides and top back into your French twist and pull loose some of the top section to soften the top and make it less tight and severe. The hair wax from SACHAJUAN has tons of shine and will hold that style in place.
Similar to Rachel McAdams, Alicia Keys went with a classic French twist hairstyle. Tavakoli explains that the proper hair care routine will make all the difference in your updo. Deep-condition your hair once a week to have moisturized hair that can be resilient to different hairstyles.
To tame any flyaways and achieve a smooth, frizz-free look, spritz a clean toothbrush with hairspray and brush any stray hairs backward.
To get Mila Kunis' chic up-do, Gillen says to blow-dry hair using a round brush on top to achieve that height and a flat paddle brush on the sides and back, similar to Katy Perry's up-do. Pull your hair into a French twist and secure with bobby pins.
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 hairstyle a pretty, undone feel. Just like Hadid's French twist, Fanning hasn't been too neat with the ends, leaving them loose.
To create Gemma Chan's elegant French twist, Tavakoli says to make a soft, slightly off-center part on the left side of your hair before pulling everything up into a simple French Twist. Then, loosen a few face-framing pieces of hair to playfully frame your face. "This is actually the way I like to wear my hair when I'm going out with friends and want a casual-chic look but don’t have time to run to a salon," says Tavakoli.
Use a 2-inch barrel iron to get Kate Winslet's side curl. Since dying your hair can make your hair even more fragile, make sure to use a thermal protection spray before using heat on your hair.
Natalie Portman keeps her French twist sleek by having all her hair off her face. Use a boar bristle brush to push all the hair to the back and make sure to secure your look with hairspray.
Use a boar bristle brush to tame flyaways and create sleek up-dos. Boar bristle brushes also help with dispersing the natural oils in your hair for a shiny, healthy look.
Add volume to your French twist like Becky G by teasing your hair at the roots before twisting your hair in the back. Frace framing pieces on each side keep this look youthful.
To get Jasmine Tookes's super sleek look, Bosque says to blow-dry and then flat iron your hair. Create a deep side part and then pull hair back tight and sleek. Leave out a side bang and some wispy pieces to make the look more playful.
For Anne Hathaway's look, Gillen says to start with SACHAJUAN Rootlift and add either Velcro or hot rollers. Lightly tease the roots on top of the head. Using your fingers, move the hair gently back into your French twist.
Ziya Zhang lets her face be the focus by having all her hair pulled back in a French twist. To get this look, tease the top of the hair and use gel to sleek back the sides.
For Kristen Stewart's laid-back look, Gillen says to use SACHAJUAN Dry Shampoo Mousse at the roots to give hair that ‘second day’ feel and texture. Pull back into your French twist and let the front pieces near your ears fall out and use SACHAJUAN Finish Cream to shape them without the frizz.
Reese Witherspoon pulls off this classic look by teasing the crown of the hair and curling the face-framing hairpiece with a 2-inch barrel iron. Make the curl less stiff by pulling on the end before it cools down from the heat.
Who says a French twist has to be slap bang in the middle of your head? Italian actress Paola Cortellesi keeps hers loose and to one side with just a couple of well-placed bobby pins.
To get Vanessa Hudgens's cool-girl vibes, Gillen says to let the hair air dry and encourage natural texture with SACHAJUAN Styling Cream. Pull the hair back away from the face and allow the hairline's baby hairs to fall out from the style. Smooth down along the hairline with SACHAJUAN Hair Wax.
Bosque says to achieve Scarlett Johansson's look, first, do a full blowout, then add soft waves. Part the hair in the center and pull back, then use hairspray to remove flyaways.
Use a rat-tail comb to achieve Camilla Belle's deep side part. Use the comb to also lightly tease your hair to add a slight lift to this French twist up-do.
Emma Stone proves that even with 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. Add in bobby pins if you feel like the hair needs extra support.
It only takes a few minutes to get Emma Watson's look. Bosque says to tease your hair and spray lightly with hairspray. Pull your hair back into a twist or bun. Pull soft face-framing pieces in front of the ear and at the nape of the neck to give it a more lived-in look.
Salma Hayek pulls off the retro-look perfectly with her version of the French twist. For this look, Bosque says to use Velcro rollers at the crown for height. While keeping bangs sleek, tease the crown of the head and pull into a low twist.
For Dania Ramirez's elevated French twist, Bosque says to first blow out your hair to create a smooth, frizz-free foundation. Then part your hair deep to the side and French twist tight at the nape, leaving volume at the crown.
Jennifer Lopez proves that a French twist can be curly too! Bosque says to do a pin curl set with a 1-inch iron—this will create texture. Finger comb the hair while leaving out face-framing pieces. Then gently pull up to a loose French twist.
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.
For Halle Berry's youthful French twist, Bosque says to blow dry hair to create a smooth, frizz-free look. Curl the hair softly and create a side bang in the front. Pull back in a French twist stationed in the middle.
Bosque says that Kerry Washington's updo is best achieved with hair that has been washed, blown out, and flat ironed the previous day. Pull back and pin up the hair with bobby pins.
Jennifer Lawrence's hair looks chic yet modern thanks to a simple center part and some soft waves. Her hair has been backcombed before being tucked under, twisted, and pinned to give the feel of a French twist in her shorter hair.