How to recreate Sheryl Lee Ralph's bejewelled braid from the Emmys

Sheryl Lee Ralph had quite the night at the 2022 Emmy Awards.

Not only did she win the award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series – making her the second black woman ever to do so – she also wowed the crowd by singing during her acceptance speech. And if that wasn’t enough, she looked incredible doing it.

Social media is awash with users obsessing over Sheryl’s hair, which The Abbott Elementary actress wore in a waist length braid, bedazzled with gems.

Hair gems have been having a moment ever since a £12 gem hair stamper from Amazon went viral on TikTok, and celebs including Alicia Keys and Saweetie have sported them on the red carpet.

Nicole Petty, hair care expert for Milk + Blush, says hair gems are an easy way to add glamour to any look.

She tells Metro.co.uk: ‘Some hair gems come with coils that you can screw into the hair, but you can bulk buy flat-edged pearls and rhinestones that can be safely glued to hair using a specialist hair glue or even lash glue.’

But be warned – a little goes a long way when it comes to hair glue.

Nicole says: ‘Use sparingly and let it get a little tacky before you secure the gems to your hair using a pair of tweezers, allowing an hour for the glued gems to set.

‘To replicate Ralph’s look, use a selection of smaller and medium-sized crystals to adorn your do, spacing them evenly from your scalp to the end of the braid.’

It’s also easier than you might think to create Sheryl’s slicked back braid – with or without gems.

‘Unless you already have uber long locks, you’ll want to invest in some hair extensions,’ says Nicole. ‘A high-quality clip-in ponytail extension will be best to create dreamy lengths without causing too much tension for your scalp.’

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She continues:  ‘First, pull your hair into a tight high ponytail using a boar-bristle or nylon brush to reduce static and create the “slicked-back” look. To smooth down your sides, add a little hair gel or serum.

‘Secure your clip-in ponytail on top of your actual ponytail, then wrap a small section of hair around the base – to conceal any hairbands or wefts – and secure this with a hair grip.

‘Next, plait the hair into a classic three strand braid and secure with an elastic before finishing with a light spritz of firm-hold hairspray.’

Are hair gems too much for the office? Asking for a friend…

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