Hair trends: Braids, buns, bangs rule

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, sports a braided up-do

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, sports a braided up-do at 'Our Greatest Team Rises -BOA Olympic Concert' at the Royal Albert Hall in London, England. (May 11, 2012) (Credit: Getty Images)

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BRAIDS

Don't think Raggedy Ann. Think Katniss.

Ever since the brave archer ruled "The Hunger Games," braids have been getting more sophisticated treatments.

Jennifer Hudson and Allison Williams wore them during fashion week, and they've been seen on everyone from Rihanna to Scarlett Johansson. And today's most illustrious fashion icon, Kate Middleton, wore a braided updo to an Olympics concert this summer.

Doreen Guarneri, owner of The Look Salon in Greenlawn, has taken to the trend in a big way. The stylist, who worked the JSong show at Fashion Week, says people are wearing their hair longer so braids "offer style options other than hot rollers and curling irons." She offers an arsenal of braid designs, like the waterfall, the fishbone or the bungee, to name a few.

Not only are they versatile, they're easy to do yourself once you master the technique, says Guarneri. Plus, they have another benefit, she says -- the waves you get when you take out the braids. "When you release them, you've got a whole new style."

BUNS

If your hair is long enough, you know the joys of whipping it up into a quick bun. But thanks to the Olympics gymnasts, the show "Bunheads" and a lot of sleek red carpet looks, the style is getting a little more attention. Gabby Douglas and other gymnasts left their buns a little undone, with tufts of hair escaping the topknot. Gwyneth Paltrow also has gone that direction. In recent weeks, we saw sleek buns at Christian

Siriano's ballet-themed show and a tousled bun on Kate Hudson at the "Glee" premiere. Tallest bun award goes to Kelly Osbourne, who turned hers into a virtual tower for the recent Marc Jacobs show.

BANGS

Not that the "Today" show's Natalie Morales was looking haggard or anything, but her perky new bangs seem to have taken off a lot of years. As for Morales, she writes on the show's website that she wasn't prepared for the reaction she got at home -- her 4-year-old son asked her "to put my hair back." Oh well, Morales says she's happy and that change is good. And she has plenty of company. Rachel Zoe has some new brow-length fringe and Carly Rae Jepsen and Taylor Swift also are fans. For a more daring look, try the mid-forehead short bangs of someone like Rooney Mara.

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