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7 Tips for a Chic, Messy Braid

Or: How to recreate Martha Hunt's "elf fairy princess" hair.

It's no secret that voluminous, undone braids are having a moment — and have been, really, for the last few years. In May, Emma Stone's stylist gave us the lowdown on her "effed-up" look at the Met Ball, which was wind-whipped but polished enough to wear to a party hosted by Anna Wintour. Meanwhile, Behati Prinsloo has been rocking a loose side braid at every opportunity possible and looking damn sexy while doing it.

Of course, nobody — nobody — pushes messy braids to their limit quite like Free People does. So we were pretty stoked to discover this gem of a backstage video from 2011, in which Martha Hunt's hairstylist (and, apparently, then-boyfriend) whips up a "fairy elf princess" look for her catalog shoot. While not the most thorough tutorial you'll ever see, it gives a great sense for all the little tips and tricks you can use to ruffle up your braids.

Here's the deal.

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1. Start by adding texturizing product to damp hair and then blow dry it.
2. Add some ringlets with a curling iron. Don't get pinch tip in the iron clamp, and don't even use the clamp for that matter — keep it loose. The size of the iron doesn't really matter since it's getting deconstructed.
3. Brush out those curls so it doesn't look like you used an iron.
4. As you braid, take out a little strand out before you cross over the next portion. This creates a feathered effect at the end.
5. Once you're done braiding, puuuuull it apart.
6. Screw rubber bands! Just tease the end a little bit so it stays. Maybe wrap some leather around it instead.
7. Tie in some feathers! Spray in some pink dye! Whatever!

As a writer, though, the best part of the video is when Hunt corrects her boyfriend's grammar ("This is the funnest hair kind of hair you can do..." "The most fun hair." "What did I say?" "Funnest. It's not a word"). Love a girl who knows her superlatives.