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How to Do These Stars vs. Hearts Braids for 2021

One of my favorite things about protective styles is how they basically double as an art canvas. I mean, it’s pretty amazing to see all the cool designs your fave braider can bring to life on your precious head of hair. Prime example: the dope stars and hearts that Atlanta-based stylist Lana Belton did on Cosmo’s The Braid Up this week. What I love the most about this style is how once you’ve got Lana’s “drawing” method figured out, you can easily experiment with all sorts of other designs and styles too.

Obviously, you’ll want to try this style out yourself so go ahead and check out these tips that’ll help you pull off the stars vs. hearts at home.

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1. Prep with clarifying shampoo. Clearing away buildup on your hair and scalp = a must for braids that last. Pro tip: Don’t wash with a cream-based shampoos, they tend to leave behind residue on your hair.

2. Give your scalp some TLC. Massage a bit of hair oil (look for something with vitamins and antioxidants, like the ones below) into your scalp before you braid. It’ll help nourish your scalp, prevent dryness and flaking, and help promote a healthy environment for hair to grow too.

3. Use the right tool. Etching out these stars and hearts will def require using a metal rat tail comb. The end has a that’s precise tip to help you part out all of the shapes—plus it won’t cause damage to your hair either.

4. Add a finishing touch. If you want your style to have that fresh-from-the-salon *glow*, you’ll need to invest in a good finishing sheen. Just spritz it wherever your hair is looking a dry, dull, or lackluster.

stars vs hearts


Hair: In collaboration with Stasha Harris of Magic Fingers Studio
Makeup: Ashley Johnson
Videographer: Rob Mroczko
Production Assistant: Jay Aguirre
Director of Digital Series: Tara O’Connell

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