Trying out new hairstyles is a fun way to change up our looks, but what do our significant others think of the look? Our panel of experts weighs in.

Braids are all the rage on runways around the world. Crown braids, side braids, and braided chignons get our vote for chic but old-school pigtail braids. The jury’s still out. The 4-Way, our panel of resident dating nonexperts, weighs in on whether this trend is all style or all playground.

The Gay Man’s Perspective: Darren Maddox

Is it a braid? Is it a wicker basket? Is it a braid? Is it a wicker basket? You decide. This trend baffles me, and I’ve decided to name it the Wicker Weave. What the hell? I can see where the side braid might be good for a naughty school girl or sexy teacher fantasy, but in my humble gay opinion, no grown woman needs to revisit her youth by displaying a braid of any sort. It’s just sad. As for the image of the braided beauty here, it looks like a deranged hamster climbed into her hair and tried to nest. No wonder she looks pissed!

The Straight Woman’s Perspective: Rebecca Brown

I have to say, I’m weirdly fascinated by this particular pattern of braid—it’s kind of haute Gone with the Wind—and if I could figure out how to do it, I would. I might command Francesco to soften it up a little (because in my braid fantasies, I don’t do my own hair; someone does it for me, natch). Maybe a side part and a side braid would make it feel less severe, or possibly the addition of some wispy pieces around the face. Also, I think a smile goes a long way when you wear braids (yes, I’m talking to you, the model in the pic).

As for pigtail braids in general, they’re probably way verboten for a girl my age, but I still think a couple of softly braided tails are cute and a little bit flirty with the right outfit (which is probably not yoga pants and a hoodie, my out-of-office outfit of choice).

The Lesbian Woman’s Perspective: Jody Fischer

Dress ’em up, dress ’em down, braids will always remind me of two images from my childhood: One is Laura Ingalls Wilder frolicking down the country hillside in that cotton smock dress on Little House on the Prairie. The other is the ever-popular braided buns that Carrie Fisher adorned on the sides of her head in Star Wars. Who thought that one up? They look like old-school headphones.

So, ladies, if those are the images you’re going for, get yourself all braided up. Otherwise, the only thing I want to see that’s braided is a loaf of challah bread.

The Straight Man’s Perspective: Chris Kennedy

Why do women get so bored with their hair? Have you ever heard a guy say, “She’s a nice-looking blonde, but I wish she’d put a few strands of Barbie-car hot pink in her flowing mane”? Or “I hope she over-products and blow-torches her hair so thoroughly that it has the warmth and texture of the floor of a movie theater”? Or “Could you chop your hair off to resemble an eight-year-old boy’s?”

This braiding trend is only a continuation of this unnecessary fussing. Why do ladies consistently alienate their suitors by attempting to fix something that isn’t broken?

The answer is an enigma wrapped in a tight braid!

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