Ah braids. Is there anything you can't do with a braid? They are the base of a multitude of hairstyles, from fun festival hair, to elegant up-dos and everything in between. I've been growing my hair out (again) and now that it is a bit longer, I can experiment with more intricate hairstyles. Case in point, this half up, braided crown. This style is everything I want - it keeps my hair out of my face, it's intricate and pretty and, best of all, it looks harder than it really is! Doing less, but looking like you did more? That is me in a nutshell friends.
Now, let's get started. You will need the following:
- Small clear elastics
- Bobby pins
As with most hairstyles, this works best of slightly "dirty" hair. It's harder to keep hold of freshly washed hair, so I recommend doing this on day 2 or day 3 after you have washed your hair.
To start, part your hair how you normally part it. I part mine on one side. I think this style looks best with a side part, but hey, you do you. Then on one side, section off a strip of hair that is about four fingers wide, give or take. You can experiment with what looks best for your hair and face.
Next, and this is the tricky part, french braid it while pulling it back away from your face. My normal french braid style is braiding the hair "over." For this, it works best if you french braid it "under." So, basically, instead of crossing the hair strands over each other, I cross them by going under the braid.
You will want to make sure that you are braiding up and away from your face so that when you pull the braid back, there isn't a part that sticks up funkily (is "funkily" a word? It is now). The braid should lay smooth and flat against your head. This may take some practice to get the placement just right, but you can do it, I believe in you!
Once you have french braided your hair section to the top of your ear, stop pulling in hair from your head and continue to braid the remaining hair the rest of the way down. You should be left with a braid that is partially attached to your head and partially free hanging. Once the braid is done, pop a clear elastic on that bad boy! I use clear elastics so that they don't show in the final product. This is key to not looking like a 6 year old. I also tend to leave a little bit out of the braid around my ear. I think this looks best for me, as it frames my face, but you can choose how you want to do it.
Now, test it to make sure it lays flat against your head. It should look like this:
Want to know the secret to a great looking thick braid? Pancaking! Once your braid is done, pull the rounded edges a bit, working down the braid and back up, so that the hair is looser (not too loose) and your braid looks fatter. You can pancake as much as you want, but be careful that the structure of the braid isn't compromised. Bet you didn't think we'd be talking about how structurally sound a braid is, did you?
Repeat all of that on the other side of your head!
You should look like a 90's rapper when you are done.
Now, grab those bobby pins.
Pull one braid back and wrap it around the back of your head. Place a few bobby pins along the braid, starting at the base and moving to the end. To keep the bobby pins hidden, I place them perpendicular to the braid, so they are straight up and down on my head.
Next, take the remaining braid and lay it on top of the first braid. Using the same method of pinning, place bobby pins straight up and down on this braid going into the other braid. Place them so that the braids themselves are being pinned together. This will insure you have extra hold. Sidenote: I use only 2-3 bobby pins on the first braid, then use more on the second as it is easier for the pins to hold onto the braids than your free flowing hair. It's science. Or something.
Continue to place bobby pins in so that they are hidden from view, but hold the braids securely in place. Tuck the ends of each braid under the other braid so that they are hidden from view. Secure with a bobby pin.
The back of your head should look like this when you are done.
Now, spray that mother with hairspray so that all your hard work doesn't go to waste!
I went with curls on the rest of my hair to give it a little bounce, but you can do just about anything you want! Now, go on and show off your new 'do and reap the compliments! Tell 'em Jodi sent ya. ;)