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Yara Shahidi’s Hairstylist Shows Us How to Recreate Her Cool Braided Style

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When it comes to fashion and beauty, Yara Shahidi can do no wrong in our book! The Harvard-bound Grown-ish star always seems to be having the best time with her style on and off the red carpet, and her bright and sunny look at a Build Series event earlier this week in NYC was no exception.

Shahidi made the case for playing with color — in this case, tangerine — and matching your makeup to your dress, but we were mesmerized by her cool curls, which she dressed up with artful braids. We checked in with her mane woman, celebrity hairstylist Nai’vasha Johnson at Exclusive Artists Management, to get the scoop on the playful ‘do!

Confirming everything we hoped to be true about the 17-year-old actress, Johnson shared that she and Shahidi always have “such a good time” together, and it’s a collaborative effort between Shahidi, her glam squad and her stylist to figure out her look. For the Build Series event, the inspiration was “power” and “youth,” and Johnson — a self-professed “curl queen” — added some unexpected edge to Shahidi’s signature bouncy ringlets with intricately woven braids just above her left ear.

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While the actress’ plaits ran in a cool circular pattern, the design options are endless. Johnson told Us that the key to recreating the look is ensuring the spaces between the braids are crisp and well-defined. She suggests making “small graphic parts for the braids” to create “an instant ‘wow’ factor.”

Speaking of “wow” factor, makeup artist Emily Cheng played off the brightness of Shahidi’s adorable orange COS dress by sweeping a similarly poppy shade across her eyelids. She kept the rest of the makeup simple and radiant with glowing skin, a nude lip and brushed up brows. To ward off NYC’s chilly winter temps, Shahidi topped off her dress with a patched up Coach peacoat, and translucent Christian Louboutin stilettos completed the age-appropriate look.