Braided highlights are the low-maintenance Y2K hair trend you’ll be seeing everywhere this season

Fancy elevating your strands without a trip to the hair salon? Braided highlights might just be the answer. 

A fresh set of highlights instantly adds tone and depth to your hair (see the viral money piece highlights trend). But they have a tendency to be on the expensive side and – if your hair is anything like mine, AKA deceptively long – it can feel like you’re sat in the salon for an eternity. Not ideal, if you fancy a quick fix. 

Fortunately, the beauty influencers of TikTok are regularly coming up with new hairstyles to quickly inject a bit of ~pizzazz~ into your lengths. In the past, we’ve seen the emergence of twee hair, hair tinsel (!), and this viral claw clip tutorial, which has kept us extremely busy – to say the least. 

But now, we’re entering the era of braided highlights. Allow one TikTok user (@oliviarosedemuro) to talk you through the style: 

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Olivia explains, “If you ever want to spice up your hair but can’t colour it, this is a cute way to do it.”

“First up,” she says, “I’m going to go in by creating really tiny braids, one is at the front section of my hair. To add an even cuter element, I’m using pink hair elastics.”

Next, Olivia creates seven more “really fine” braids, with three on each side of her head and two at the back. I think we can all agree, the result is super-cute.  

Another TikTok user (@bubblegumsiss) shows how you try out the trend with short hair.

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They recommend doing three braids on each side of the head, then tying up the hair in a ponytail, but not pulling the hair all the way out so it forms a small bun.

Once you’ve got your hair in a bun, simply pull out the braids and tease the top hairs for a “cute, easy hairstyle.” In fact, people are even calling it the “Miranda from Lizzie Maguire hairstyle, with one person commenting, “My inner child is excited to finally know how to do that Miranda hair style.” 

Another TikTok user (@stxph.h) demonstrated that the braided highlights trend also works if you’re in a rush. 

TikTok content

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Treating her followers to several different hairstyles (including tucked bangs and criss-cross pigtails), which only take five to 10 minutes to create. 

In her video, she recommended that you “braid loosely at the start & tighter in the middle to keep the front braids to the side.” 

Insert all the heart emojis. 

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For more from Glamour UK’s Lucy Morgan, follow her on Instagram @lucyalexxandra.