In case you’ve missed the thick layer of sweat under your boobs or the slick sheen of your T-zone in the last week, summer is officially here for the majority of the country, which means we all have a three lovely months coming up of ponytails, ponytails, and, oh, did we mention ponytails? But before you think that your low ponytail is the most boring thing ever, Kate Mara just took to social media with the craziest skeleton braid we’ve seen all summer.
Behold the spine braid, a skeletal ponytail with an exposed braid down the middle of the head, like a spine. Yeah, it sounds kinda creepy, and it looks kinda weird, but in the best of ways. And it’s the brain child hairstylist Ryan Richman, whose celeb roster includes Bailee Madison, Olivia Holt, and Sarah Hyland, which he created for Mara’s appearance on Bravo’s Andy Cohen show.
Despite how intricate it looks, it’s actually pretty simple to create, provided you’re relatively well-versed in the art of braiding. Just section off a two-inch row of slightly damp hair straight down the center of your part and create a Dutch braid (i.e. cross the pieces of hair under rather than over to make the braid pop out) then secure above the nape of the neck with a clear elastic. Then comb back the sides of the hair (Richman clearly flat-ironed Mara’s hair, first, to get a smooth, straight finish) into a low ponytail, and tie the whole thing off with an elastic. Mist lightly with shine spray and a layer of hairspray, and voila—you’ve got yourself a spine braid, fit for archeologists.