The Real Reason Nicole Richie Loves Wearing Braids (Hint: It's Not Because They're Cute!)

02/28/2013 at 09:00 AM ET

Nicole Richie
Courtesy Suave

Take a look at photos of Nicole Richie and you’ll notice something: The girl loves her braids, both in her day-to-day life and on the red carpet. And while most people probably assume she rocks the hairstyle simply because she likes it, we know a little secret … When you see Richie sporting a braid, it’s almost always because she’s masking a bad hair day!

The plait is the her go-to solution for dealing with not-so-perfect hair, Richie tells PEOPLE. (And if not a braid, she reaches for a hat to cover up her mane.) And lucky for her, she looks awesome in the hairstyle, so if she hadn’t told us, we’d never have guessed!

The designer let us in on another strand secret: Her waves don’t come from a curling iron. Instead she uses a flat iron. “A curling iron makes it too literal, too Shirley Temple,” the Suave spokeswoman says, explaining that she prefers the slightly more undone result that comes from curling sections of hair around a straightener.

And though Richie ditched her long locks in favor of a shoulder-length just last month, don’t be surprised if she tries something new soon since she loves experimenting with new cuts and colors. “My hairstylist is my best friend as well, and I’ve always been his guinea pig,” Richie says. “We’ve been playing around with different looks for years. It’s our ‘girl time.'”

And when she does decide to switch things up, don’t expect the Fashion Star judge to play it safe. “I have hated things after they’ve been done, but it’s just hair.”

Check out Richie’s new webisode series, Suave Shine Suite, for more genius hair advice and be sure to tune into the season two premiere of Fashion Star on March 8 on NBC. Tell us: What’s your quick fix to a bad hair day?

–Jennifer Cress, reporting by Alex Apatoff

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FILED UNDER: Beauty , Hair , Nicole Richie

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Showing 16 comments

Julia on

Sorry but braids are for children & teenagers, not grown women. Embrace the age you are.

Julie @ Willow Bird Baking on

Julia, thank God you’re here or we’d never have realized there are important universal rules about braids.

t.b. on

I love braids! Having several Native Americans in my bloodline makes my hair very textured. And it is long, so they too are my go to hair fix. Or a bun, if I dont have time to braid it!

Stacia on

A bad hair day, really? Do celebrities really have bad hair days?

Stacia on

Julia- thanks for the smile. I would have agreed with you but it does look cute on her. Some people just can’t pull braids off.

Julie however, needs to relax and stop being such a *itch

FanofdaBraids on

I wear braids all the time! I think Nicole Richie looks great with braids.

just saying on

Sorry Julia, there is no age limit on braids. I started braiding my grandmother’s hair starting at age 92. I would wash and make two braids indian style and she loved it! It was easy for her and it always made her take a little nap! She passed at 97……

Glad on

She is so pretty and seems to be very grounded now that she has the bad things and people out of her life. Her hair looks great in braids. If an 85 year old woman had the face and hair for it then she would look great in braids too! Julia, just because you never felt comfortable wearing them doesn’t mean we are going to accept your sourpuss attitude about it.

redblackst on

I love how curling with a flat iron is portrayed as a “strand secret”. Almost every black woman knows this trick.

Lauren Marie Rasmussen on

She’s made a 360 degree change since being Paris Hilton’s bff. I like it. And braids are cute, no matter what age…

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