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.

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.

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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.

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Hayden Panettiere

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

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.

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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.

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

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Katy Perry

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

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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.

Frederick M. Brown, Getty Images