These braided hairstyles will look professionally done.

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Braided hairstyles can go one of two ways: You either see one that reminds you of your childhood, or you see one and think, “Wow, I could never recreate that.” The latter set of braided hairstyles, like braided updos, can be frustrating because they look sophisticated, and you want to try them out—but the thought of doing one ourselves is intimidating! I’ve spent far too much time in front of the mirror, painstakingly maneuvering hair strands into place, only to mess something up at the very last minute and either have to give up or start from scratch.

Luckily, French braiding your hair is like riding a bicycle: Once you know how to do it, it becomes second nature and you can master the elegant updos you see on Instagram and Pinterest.

To help you get an enviable Grecian head of hair, we asked celebrity hairstylist and inventor of the Beachwaver, a rotating curling iron formulated for your hair type, Sarah Potempa to break down three braided updo hairstyles that you can easily master.

For the three woven looks featured here, Potempa—who’s known for the beautiful braids she's created on stars like Lea Michele and Emily Blunt—used our Beauty Director Heather Muir’s Rapunzel-like locks to really give you a good look at the process.

Look one is the simplest, with just two main steps: French braid your hair from the top of your head, then twirl the braided ponytail into a low bun and pin it in place. Just like that, you've put a dressed-up spin on Meghan Markle’s staple hairstyle. For the second look, you’ll part your hair evenly into two French pigtail braids along the back of your head, then cross them at the nape of your neck and wrap them around the crown of your head. Clip those into place, and you’ve got an ethereal hairstyle perfect for summer events, like BBQs and outdoor parties.

The third look starts with a slightly less conventional braid, but the subsequent steps are really simple. After doing a four-stranded braid starting at the base of your head, tuck your hair under itself, tie it with an elastic, and wrap it with a decorative element like a ribbon or a bow. This last look is probably the most versatile—I could see myself trying it for a summer wedding or a casual picnic in the park.

Watch the video up top to see how Potempa brings these sophisticated braided updo hairstyles to life.

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