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5 Places to Score Brilliant Braids in LA

We fell hard for Natalie Alcala last fall, when the LA-based writer and blogger spent a week guest blogging for us. In fact, we loved her posts so much that we asked her to be a contributing editor. In addition to blogging for us once a week, she’ll also be writing for the Birchbox Magazine and keeping us up to speed on all things fashion, beauty, and fun.

It’s no secret that the ladies of Birchbox are smitten with braided 'dos—and I share their affection. In fact, the braid craze is at its peak here in L.A., and a bevy of salons now offer styling services dedicated to these trendy twists. The next time you find yourself on the West Coast, be sure to stop by one of these hot spots to step up your braid game.

Nine Zero One Salon
901 Westbourne Dr, West Hollywood, CA 90069
This place is special in my heart because their Braid Bar will hook you up with any style under the sun for $25 a pop! And these guys are wizards at it—case in point above. I received so many inquiries the day Nine Zero gave me this half-up look, which their stylist whipped up in about six minutes.

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Floral Headdresses For The Summer: Hairistocracy

We’re guilty of sticking with the same hair cut for years — if it’s not broke, why fix it? — but that can be a little boring. But not everyone has our issue. Paulina, one of our amazing operations associates, is always eyeing new cuts and styles. She’ll be sharing her tress inspiration and tips every other week here in her column, Hairistocracy.

Image: peachesandrainbows.tumblr.com; FreePeople.com

I’ve got a major thing for this season’s latest floral headdresses and headpieces. We’ve been seeing them all over the Cannes red carpets and I think this trend will be sticking around all summer.

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Shakira, Katy Perry, And Other Celebs Sport the Winter Chop Trend

Clockwise left: Shakira (Photo: Twitter); Chloë Sevigny (Photo: Huffington Post); Emily Blunt (Photo: HOLLYWOODpix.net); Katy Perry (Photo: Glamour)

Yesterday, Shakira announced a sassy new bob (with eye-grazing bangs to boot) via Twitter. Just a few days ago, Katy Perry, Chloë Sevigny, and Emily Blunt all debuted shorter cuts, too. These ladies all took a big chance and cut off several inches, but there have also been a handful of starlets who have recently opted for the lesser commitment of brow-length bangs such as Taylor Swift, Rachel Weisz, and Mila Kunis. Is everyone getting an early jump on a new look for the New Year? Or has the holiday season become the go-to time for debuting a fresh style?

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Reading List: Happy Three-Day Weekend!

Leighton Meester for Missoni. via Vogue Italia

Courtesy of Vogue Italia

Happy Friday, Birchboxers! Before we jet off on our three-day weekend (woohoo!) here are some of the stories that have caught our eye this week.

  • Refinery29 opened our eyes to the possibility of feather hair extensions, a trend we’ll be trying ASAP, along with some super fun nail strips.
  • Style.com compared the Clarisonic Mia skin brush to the new, much more affordable Olay version and the results were pretty even. We’re fans of the Clarisonic (See our guide to washing your face), but this review has us checking our wallets.
  • Ever wonder where the beehive hairstyle came from? The Daily Mail (via Cut Blog), introduced us to the hairstylist who created the look in 1960 for Modern Beauty Salon magazine. Who knew it would still be popular 51 years later? Learn a slightly toned down version with our guide to hair teasing.
  • We’ve got celebrities in ad campaigns on the brain lately. There’s Taylor Swift for CoverGirl of course, but also Gwen Stefani for L’Oreal Paris,  and Amanda Seyfried (LOVE her) for Cle de Peau. On the fashion front, there’s Leighton Meester for Missoni, looking happier than we’ve ever seen her and Katie Holmes for Ann Taylor.
  • You might have heard that Pantone’s color of 2011 is Honeysuckle, a hot pink shade that makes us smile. Hot pink can be a lot to handle so if you’re looking for some ideas on translating the trend to your makeup, check out Anna De Souza’s guide on Huffington Post.

-Lorelei