Kaitlyn Frey
November 01, 2016 04:44 PM

Hailee Steinfeld looked like the epitome of a cool rocker girl when she headed to the MTV Video Music Awards this year in her cool Balmain multi-hued mini dress. But what really set her look over the edge was her half-up, half-down twisted braid hairstyle courtesy of celebrity hairstylist Mark Townsend.

“She really is her own person and her personality comes out in her look,” the Dove celebrity stylist tells PeopleStyle of the 19-year-old’s look. Turns out, he came up with the idea by combining two previous looks he created for his other star clients — the braids of Mary-Kate Olsen with the mohawk of Dakota Johnson.

Allen Berezovsky/WireImage
Allen Berezovsky/WireImage

“There was a little bit of an influence from a faux Mohawk kind of updo I did on Dakota Johnson in 2014,” he says. “So I kind of recreated that on top of Hailee’s look.” As for the braided bottom portion, Steinfeld noticed it from the look Townsend did on Mary-Kate Olsen at this year’s Met Gala and requested it. “I just incorporated it, and I made it right for her and the event she was going to,” Townsend says.

So, how to recreate such a cool hairstyle? Townsend shows us exactly how in the video above, part of our “How It’s Done” video series (watch it above to get the full step-by-step!).


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The secret to the look, he says, is mousse, which will give you voluminous, “lived-in texture,” he says. (He used the Dove Curl Defining Mousse to create the style.)

His other tips for creating the look are:

  • Use a double barrel iron instead of a traditional one to give the hair a more defined curl.
  • Vary the size of the braids in each section to change up the hair’s texture.
  • Add your own personality to the look by piecing an accessory, like a strand of leather or velvet, into one of the braids.

Watch the video above to see the step-by-step how-to. And tell us below: Would you rock this look?

— Reporting by Jackie Fields

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