‘Pancaking’ Your Braids Is The Latest Hair Trend You Need In Your Life

braid pancaking

by Grazia |

Another day, another bizarrely-named trend we're hearing about. Today, we're thinking about braids. More specifically, we're thinking about how to make your braids look fuller and thicker, should not possess Rapunzel's locks. If that sounds like you, have no fear. You simply need to 'pancake'...

This trend does not involve eggs, flour or maple syrup, thankfully, nor is it restricted only to Shrove Tuesday. No, pancaking is carefully loosening your braids to make them fuller, and in the process, flatter. You know, like a pancake.

Hairstylists have been using this technique since the dawn of time - albeit probably not under that name - to give the illusion of fuller hair. It's also a great way to give your braids a more undone, slept-in look. All you need to do is finish your normal braid, be that French, fishtail, Dutch or halo, and secure with an elastic. Then, using a thumb and finger, gently loosen the braid, section by section, so as to pull it flatter and make it seem wider.

@SarahPotempa and @AmberFillerup on Instagram
@SarahPotempa and @AmberFillerup on Instagram

Who needs hair extensions?

Check out our favourite A-list braids in the gallery below - and if you've a shorter style, check out our favourite plaits for short hair.


Best Celebrity Braids

Iggy Azalea
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Iggy took the halo braid to the next level with this chunky 'do.We're guessing she might have had some help from some extensions, but any gals out there lucky enough to have super-thick hair should give this look a whirl. [All photos via Getty.]

Erin Heatherton
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Erin's halo braid is a great way to wear the style on finer hair types. Weave the braid without too much precision, and allow for a few wispy flyaway for an undone, cool look. We love those face-framing strands.

Zoe Kravitz
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Zoe is truly a master of braids - she can pull off any style. We love these super-long, fine plaits - mermaid chic at its finest.

Adriana Lima
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A great daytime look, this braid is unfussy but still polished. Sweep hair into a low, loose side plait but work a little product through first to keep it glossy. Pull each section once secured to beef it up a little.

Janelle Monae
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Janelle's another braid superstar, and this look is no exception. Sure, it's pretty adventurous, but we reckon she carries it off with aplomb.

Amanda Seyfried
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This is look is a little bit edgy, but still pretty. The tight French braids give a kind of Hunger Games feel, but the flowing lengths keep it soft. Amanda's perfect cheekbones probably help, too.

Blake Lively
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We love this chunky rope braid. The thick plait and soft flyaways make it casual and undone, but sitting high on her head, it still has that great swing - and moreover, a sophisticated finish.

Taylor Swift
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This is Taylor through and through - a small, tight braid across the front of her hair that's so glossy it almost looks like a tiara. Pretty.

Diane Kruger
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Braidception. No one else could pull of a braid inside a braid apart from Ms Kruger. We're guessing she had professional help with this one - or incredibly long arms.

Kate Bosworth
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Another Bosworth beauty, we love this neat, polished updo. It'd make great wedding hair, or for sticky summer days.

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Looking every inch the princess she is, this is a truly incredible hairstyle from Rihanna's blink-and-you'll-miss-it archives. We love the way the braid around her face joins the main one - so clever.

Lucy Hale
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Beachy-cool and easy to do, Lucy's side braid is great for beginners. We love how her ombre colour's showing through, too. Perfect for when you want a slightly less fussy look.

Scarlett Johansson
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We love Scarlett's faux-undercut, espeically teamed with her dark lip. Easy to do but looks tricky, this is a look that's sure to turn heads.

Katy Perry
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Katy's amazing rope braid is the stuff of DREAMS. Look at the shine on her hair! Load up on the smoothing serum and give this a go for a night out.

Emily Blunt
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Dainty and pretty, this style is nonchalant and cool. We love the slightly tousled texture. Perfect for second-day hair too - or third or fourth!

Amber Heard
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This style is one of a kind. A fishtail braid looped back on itself to make a loose bun? It's all kinda of cool, and a breath of fresh air after so many loose waves on the red carpet. Hats off.

Jennifer Hudson
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Jennifer looks gorgeous with this cute side plait. With a deep side part too, it's polished and pretty.

Anna Friel
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This is a cute, subtle way to work in a braid - and it's perfect for grown-out fringes. A French braid across the face is a great, face-framing way to try the trend.

Ariel Winter
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We love this cute side fishtail braid - it's youthful and fun and suits Ariel down to a tee. We wish our hair was as glossy as hers, too!

Constance Jablonski
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Constance looks every inch the Grecian goddess with this sweet style. A discreet halo braid teamed with flowing locks is Constance's crowning glory in this gorgeous look.

Drew Barrymore
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Drew is seriously schooling us in the whole undone-done thing. A side plait worn super loose with oodles of slept-in texture and flyaways oozes nonchalant cool.

Janelle Monae
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Another strong look from Janelle with two super long rope braids and a cute twisted updo.

Jess Glynne
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Who says two braids are only for Pippi Longstocking? Jess shows us how the look can be totally cool for grown-ups.

Kate Bosworth
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Kate, do you ever not wear braids? We adore this intricate do that frames Kate's face beautifully. Can we have your hairdresser on speed dial, please?

Kate Hudson
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Kate looks every inch the California girl with this beachy 'do.

Laura Bailey
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A strong, otherworldly look from Laura that's got us wondering if we could pull this off, too. Raised French braids teamed with whispy, white-blonde locks - there's more than a whisper of Khaleesi here.

Paloma Faith
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A suitable whacky 'do from the eccentric songstress. Fun, but we're not sure how we'd go about trying this at home.

Perrie Edwards
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We love this grungy look - Perrie's wearing it with the appropriate dose of attitude.

Rita Ora
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The addition of pearls really glams up this do. It's easy to do, as well - hair charms are available from lots of stores online and can be quickly braided in.

Ruby Rose
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Ruby's acing this rockabilly do. Who says short hair doesn't get to have any fun?

Sarah Hyland
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Quirky and cool, Sarah's working a chic single French braid in her beachy tresses.

Selena Gomez
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This loose side braid is perfect for lazy Sundays. With a deep side part and an unfussy finish, this is giving us #HairGoals.

Zoe Kravitz
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Another killer look from Ms Kravitz. Fine braids piled into a cute updo makes for a picture-perfect style.

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