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How To Fake Sanaa Lathan's Red Carpet NAACP Image Awards Hair

How-To: Fake Sanaa Lathan's Braid-Wrapped Bun

In between checking out the fashion and the beauty while watching Thursday's NAACP Image Awards, I also hoped to spot a fun hairstyle to test out at home. Since she's already a favorite regardless of her beauty look, I was happy to see Sanaa's glamorous updo on the red carpet. Even though I'm fairly certain she got some "help" with that braid, and possibly part of the bun, I wanted to come up with a take on this style that we could re-create at home without hair extensions.

I grabbed some pins and rubber bands, got creative, and found it's actually possible to fake this style on my shoulder length hair. Sadly Mr. Bella wasn't around to take a picture of the back of my head, but I've come up with suggestions.

Before you get started, I'll explain how we're faking it because I know it can be easier to visualize a hair style than follow instructions: Instead of making one big braid to go around, you'll do four smaller braids and then hide the ends under the bun to make it appear to be a single braid wrapped around. To get the six step-by-steps,


  1. Start by pretending to form a ponytail where you want the bun to fall and hold with one hand, but don't add an elastic yet.
  2. While holding the ponytail with that hand, use the other hand to pull our four sections of hair around the ponytail. You should end up with about 1/2 of your hair still in your ponytail hand and four loose pieces of hair that total the other 1/2 of your hair separated out.
  3. Take an elastic and form a makeshift bun out of the ponytail. You'll undo and fix it later, the point is to keep that hair out of the way for the time being.
  4. Make four braids out of the four sections of hair. Try to start each braid close to the bun (i.e., don't pull the braid off too tight) and secure each with a small elastic at the ends.
  5. Now grab some bobby pins and make a circle around your fake bun, pinning and tucking the ends.
  6. Undo the bun and make a ponytail but tuck the ends under to make a loop. Just flatten and fluff and you're done!
  7. Source

Talldiva45 Talldiva45 8 years
She looks great! Not only is her hair beautiful but her hair is flawless and intricate.
GKitty GKitty 8 years
belladande belladande 8 years
Sanaa is beautiful and doesn't get nearly the attention she deserves. But this is church lady hair. She's done much better.
Jessiebanana Jessiebanana 8 years
That's an excellent tip on how to do it without fake hair. My hair is a couple inches past my shoulders, a really awkward length for curly hair, so I'm wearing it up a lot until it grows out.
SKC-Sparkle SKC-Sparkle 8 years
Looks pretty
GKitty GKitty 8 years
Good Lawd! Two cheap hair pieces please!!
avicennae avicennae 8 years
great idea!
bellaressa bellaressa 8 years
Thanks Bella, I love this look.
emalove emalove 8 years
I love braids...this updo is great.
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
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