Hair is complicated. YouTube isn't. I could babble 'til my face turned blue on how to create a fishtail braid, but why bother when Lauren Conrad, Queen Silky Locks, herself, can demonstrate it in three minutes flat? Here are five of the best videos explaining the most-wanted hair styles out there. Ranging from surprisingly easy (the Fishtail Braid) to a little complicated, but totally achievable (the Bardot Muss), these tutorials all clock under 4 minutes each and will give you lifelong knowledge on how to finally be that girl with the best hair.
1. The Fishtail Braid by Lauren Conrad. Reality star Lauren Conrad is famous for many things, but in recent years the formerly lovelorn Hills star has built an entire empire off of her totally fabulous head of hair. Here, she enlightens us on the elusive fishtail braid. I can't imagine anyone I'd rather have teach me.
Presentation: Very art-directed, this video shows L.C. creating the fishtail braid, while her disembodied voice explains what's going on. She speaks slowly and doesn't overwhelm you with a bunch of steps, giving you both ample time to admire her and her hair, and understand exactly how to create this crazy-cool braid.
Bonus: L.C.'s Buddha-like words of wisdom for fishtail braids... and perhaps life: "It's important not to over-think the fishtail braid. Once you cross a piece over, let it go, and focus on the next piece." Jason and Stephen, you were just pieces of her fab fishtail braid.
2. Bardot Hair, by Sam McKnight
Decades after she pranced to super stardom on the shores of St. Tropez, Brigitte Bardot's sex-kitten tousled hair is still one of the most wanted looks. Cue Sam McKnight — the man in the '90s who transformed Cindy Crawford and Claudia Schiffer to fantasy-inducing, sex-bomb-haired perfection for countless cover shoots. And it's good to have a man like McKnight showing us the moves. Despite it's rumpled style, the Bardot look is a touch complex.
Presentation: No voice over, this video is a silent-movie style — clever, with concise steps, then shots of McKnight doing his moves.
Bonus: The vintage photos of Bardot just get you so inspired to pull-off this look. And the animated butterflies fluttering around the screen during the video are random, but pretty entertaining.
3. Milkmaid Braids, by Claire Ashley
This girl, Claire Ashley, is GREAT. I clicked though dozens of mind-numbing tutorials, searching for a good how-to of this look, until I found this video where Ms. Ashley practically jumped off the screen, chock-full of detailed directions, practical info, and a tele-friendly demeanor. Reassuringly, she says, “It looks a lot harder than it actually is,” before launching into the braiding and pinning process. She tells you everything you need to know from how to tame flyaways to how many hair pins you should use.
Presentation: This video is your standard girl-in-a-bathroom-with-a-camera tutorial, but excellently done. She talks while she braids and pins at the same time, demonstrating how achievable the look is and how easy her advice is to follow. Just a girl in front of her vanity, doing it right, sharing the info. Love it.
Bonus: She shares what lipstick she's wearing but that feels product placement-y. Her tutorial is good enough. Hmm... Does good elocution count as a bonus?
4. Flat iron Waves, by Kerastase
There's been a lot of talk about how to get this look, usually with the ribbon curling method, which can go wrong very quickly. But, when I found this quick-hit version with a much easier flat-iron friendly process, I was very excited.
Presentation: Point and shoot: A model twists her hair, runs a flat iron down the twist, then shakes it out. Done!
Bonus: For a product-sponsored video, it's remarkably product free. Thank god. As a rule, I don’t like product sponsored tutorial videos because they're so awkward. The way they shove products in your face, it's such a waste of time, especially when you’re looking for 3-minute hair advice.
5. Instant '60's-style Party Updo by ex-Ford Models Hairstylist Johnny Lavoy
This video is from a couple years ago when Lavoy was the official hairstylist for Ford Models. Nowadays, he's the L'Oreal professional hairstylist and his new YouTube advice is bogged down by awful, heavy handed product placement, which is a shame because he's an incredible teacher. I strongly encourage you to look up his old Ford Models Hair Tutorials. This video of how to turn a short, blah head of hair into a sleek, perfectly curved '60s chignon is total genius.
Presentation: This plain and simple 1 minute and 15 second video on how to make a big amazing party look is SO FAST and SO GOOD. Lavoy starts working on a model and demonstrates every little step. He gathers the hair up and shows you how to pin it in 75 seconds. Whoa. (Not to say you can't do this in 75 seconds.)
Bonus: This bouffant look is perhaps the most feared hairstyle out there because it seems so hard. How refreshing to learn that it really isn't. Oh, I miss his old videos!