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Swept to the side or full-on Heidi, your call.

Braids are a big deal--this we know. But when your options are either paying hefty salon prices (anywhere from $50 to $150) or maniacally trying to follow a YouTube tutorial at 7 a.m., it?s not always in the cards for your beauty routine.

What if we told you a $30 braid bar existed?

Enter the secret genius that is the new Birchbox shop.

No surprise, the Soho space is a beauty-product wonderland (organized by category--say, a row of mascaras--rather than the typical by-brand approach). But the real selling point is its hair bar.

For 30 bucks and 30 minutes, you can get one of the following: a crown braid, a fishtail, a topknot, a beach wave or a barrel curl.

Important to note: These aren?t blowouts; you go in with dry hair (braids always do better with slightly dirty hair anyway). Also, the available times are at the mercy of retail hours (no 8 a.m. jobs here).

But when you?re in desperate need of a little fairy-godmother action before a big event downtown, consider yourself saved.

Make an appointment or drop in (permitted if available); 433 W. Broadway (at Prince St.); 646-589-8500 or

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