Since they work with all hair types and textures, messy side braids are godsends for long-haired ladies. They are also an alternative to the updo and can be a quick cure-all when you can't decide what to do with those hapless tendrils.

The Golden Rule for side braids? The messier, the better. It's meant to look like you just had a metaphorical romp in the hay.

Lea Michele

The 'Glee' actress was knotty instead of naughty with her shoulder adornment. Don't let the ratty nature of the style scare you off. It's meant to look wrecked.

Lea Michel Side Braid
Larry Busacca, Getty Images

Vanessa Hudgens

The Hudge fashioned her ombre locks in '80s curls on top and twirled them into a braid on the bottom. It's all a big tangle. This is what they mean when they say "let your hair down." Whoever "they" are.

Vanessa Hudgens Side Braid
Jason Kempin, Getty Images

Mindy Kaling

Is there even a braid here? That's how you know it's done right, as 'The Mindy Project' and 'The Office' actress did.

Mindy Kaling Side Braid
Ilya Savenok, Getty Images

Hayden Panettiere

It was an all-over braid for the blonde actress. One big braid worked for her.

Hayden Panettiere Side Braid
Slaven Vlasic, Getty Images

Selena Gomez

Name a trend and Sel Go has tried it. Her side braid was matched with massive volume at the hairline. The knotty tail was just about perfect.

Selena Gomez Side Braid
Jason Merritt, Getty Images

Jessica Sanchez

The Season 11 'American Idol' finalist -- she lost to Phillip Phillips -- rocked a fishtail side braid with minimal messiness. We want to rough it up a tad more. Her silky Asian hair texture was extra pretty, though.

Jessica Sanchez Side Braid
Frazier Harrison, Getty Images


The rapper, who was a style diva in the early '00s, owned it with her red-tinted Rapunzel-like braid tail.

Eve Side Braid
Rachel Murray, Getty Images

Katy Perry

Perry hit two trends -- big-brimmed hats and shades and a side braid -- with one look.

Katy Perry Side Braid
Jon Sciulli, Getty Images

Chelsea Handler

You know how we said the messier, the better? Well, the late night host, who we lurve, took it a bit too far. She really does look like she just hopped outta bed.

Chelsea Handler Side Braid
Frederick M. Brown, Getty Images

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