I don’t know if this is just me, but I’ve always struggled with braided hairstyles. It was until very recently that I was able to find a simple style that actually worked for my skill level, though I suspect that the fact that I’ve recently grown out my hair fairly long has contributed to my increased abilities. So, when I see celebrities with killer side braids, they immediately become my hairstyle #goals. Such has been the case with Nina Dobrev‘s hair on the cover of the June 2015 issue of Self Magazine.

Nina Dobrev Side Braid
Nina Dobrev Has A Perfect Side Braid On The Cover Of ‘Self’. (Instagram/Nina Dobrev)

(Related: Mindy Kaling Is The Epitome Of Spring On Her New InStyle Cover)

I mean, she always has pretty excellent hair (I have serious hair envy for her character on The Vampire Diaries), but this style really takes the cake. It looks like a simple three-strand braid, and it’s so perfectly imperfect that, if I ever figured out how to make it work on my own hair, I’d probably never take it out. If I had to guess, I would say that the braiding process involved some texturizing sea salt spray (or maybe some dry shampoo), a tiny bit of teasing to keep the strands thick, and a loose twist on the braid itself. Definitely doable with a little practice, and if that’s not a perfect beach hairstyle, then I’m a giant purple dinosaur (I’m not).

I have to say; I’m kinda digging the rest of what’s going on on this cover, too. I know I’ve said before that I’ll always love a good color block, but I love the whole circus act motif they went with. Looking through the rest of the photos from the shoot, there are some pretty cool poses and outfits that I wouldn’t mind trying if I could get away with going to work in a leotard. Which I can’t. At least, I don’t think I can. Though if enough people comment on this saying that they would want me to go to work in a leotard, maybe I’ll consider it. And yes, that was a shameless attempt to get more comments. WHATEVER JUST LEAVE ME HERE TO LOOK AT NINA’S HAIR. Bye.

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