Emily Blunt, Golden Globes

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You may think of a braid as the ultimate hairstyling hack, but this easy-to-wear style is also made for the red carpet.

Whether you're running late, having a bad hair day or—let's be real—haven't washed those locks in a good minute, the braid can tame disheveled strands into a cool, collected look. It even has transformative properties—there's not a wet braid turned beachy wave we don't like.

But even with 30-plus ways to do it, the miracle that is braiding is often associated with a more casual aesthetic—the seemingly simple little sibling of the chic updo or glamorous wave. Luckily, it's this classic style's time to shine.

The awards show season thus far has seen a plethora of elevated braids worthy of their couture counterparts. From Emily Blunt's Grecian-style braided updo at the 2015 Golden Globes to Jessica Chastain's MVP ponytail hybrid at the 2015 Critics' Choice Awards, the woven hairstyle is no longer relegated to music festivals and Sunday brunches. In fact, many of fashion's elite have already embraced the plait.

"I think a lot of the inspiration for red carpet hair definitely comes from the spring 2015 runway," explains hairstylist to the stars Marc Mena. "If you look at the catwalk from this past Fashion Week, Michael Kors, Peter Som and Jeremy Scott all [put] braids on the runway."

Celebrities have surely noticed. But what are the initial steps in taking the braid to red carpet proportions? It starts with the dress, of course.

Jessica Chastain, Hair

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"Take into consideration the style that you're going for. If the dress is a lot, keep the braid simple and clean," advises Marc, who was a fan of Blunt's Globes hairstyle. "It was a smooth, effortless look and made Emily and the braid look really fabulous."

The easiest way to elevate a braid is to incorporate the look into an updo à la Keltie Knight at the 2015 People's Choice Awards or Keira Knightley's braided bun at the 2015 Critics' Choice Awards.

Most importantly, the braid does not discriminate, which is why it is arguably one of the most essential hairstyles to emulate—on and off the red carpet. Whether it's hair color, texture, face shape or even gender, the braid knows no bounds.

"[Men] can rock braids too!" says Marc. "[I] Loved Jared Leto's ‘brony-tail' braid, which is the perfect way for a guy to look red carpet-worthy."

You hear that, fellas? The time to braid is now!

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