Fashion forward: Craving some braiding?

How to do a messy braid.

Saba Khalid December 14, 2011


Till about last year, you either had to be a big, bulky African American rap star or a sweet, innocent milkmaid to be out in public with a hair braid. Come winter 2011, every Hollywood actor — from Miley Cyrus to Jessica Alba — is sporting a different kind of messy braid. Best of all, braids are no longer restricted to bad hair days or when you’re getting the oil chumpi on Sunday — they’re actually at film premiers, red carpet events, and concerts. 

So tomorrow, if you’re feeling too lazy or cold in the morning to devote a painful hour to blow drying, why not try one of these four easy, fun braids.

Hippie Chic

Technique: As easy as pie

Try on: Long, wavy, or curly hair

Step 1: Start at the nape of the neck and make a loose side ponytail.

Step 2: Separate it into two sections, leaving out a long one-inch piece underneath.

Step 3: Take the one-inch piece and wrap it in a figure eight pattern around each of the two ponytail sections.

Step 4: Each time you pull the one-inch piece through the middle, add a bit of hair from the ponytails (similar to how a French braiding technique). This keeps you from running out of hair to wrap around the ponytails.

Step 5: Secure with clear elastic band and give shape to the braid with your fingers.

Bohemian Princess

Technique: As easy as pie

Try on: Long, wavy, or curly hair

Step 1: Imagine your hair separated into four quarters. Grab two-inch sections from the top, left, and right sides; then pull them back toward the crown of your head to see how the hair best lays against your head. This is the direction in which you’ll want to braid it.

Step 2: Starting one inch from your hairline, braid each side backwards and secure with a clear elastic band.

Step 3: Cross the braids in the back and tuck the ends under to form a wreath. Secure ends with bobby pins.

NY Chic

Technique: Not for newbies

Try on: Any length, straight or wavy hair

Step 1: Make a slight side part.

Step 2: Do a tiny french braid from the scalp down the side of your head. Find and work with the section of hair that falls naturally where you want the braid. Braid in that direction.

Step 3: Pin the braid in place a few inches above your ear.

Girl Next Door

Technique: Take help from a stylist

Try on: Long, wavy, thick hair

Step 1: If you have time, curl all your hair with a curling iron.

Step 2: Gather hair behind your left ear.

Step 3: Loosely braid your hair toward the nape of your neck and over your right shoulder. Start with a French braid, then switch to a regular braid once you’ve started braiding away from your head.

Step 4: Secure with a clear elastic band and pull out a few chunks to give it that girly, imperfect look.

Braiding dos

1. The messier, the better! The whole point of the braid is to give a I-don’t-care-what-my-hair-looks-like impression. So don’t go around straightening your tresses before making a braid.

2. Start with a day-old hair. Freshly washed hair tends to be more slippery with lots of flyaways.

3. Keep a hair spray handy. Braids tend to stay in place with a light hair spray. If you use a strong hair spray, the braid will look too crisp and perfectly finished.

4. Be afraid to pin it up.

5. Use a few coloured hair extensions to glam up your braid.

6. Ditch the frizz by using serum before starting the braiding process.

Braiding don’ts

1. Fall in the trap of a french braid. French braids are boring and old school. Plus, they’re too perfect and make you look like a school girl.

2. Try braiding very short hair.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 15th, 2011.


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