The summer hair trend anyone can do
They’ve been a creeping hair trend for the last two years. Now plaits are more fashionable than ever this summer, and they’re definitely no longer just for little girls. With bloggers, stylists and celebrities such as Cara Delevingne and Kim Kardashian all on the braiding bandwagon, it’s time to try this look.
From traditional French plaits to edgier fishtail designs and festival-ready ‘halos’, there are lots of grown-up styles you can experiment with. However, if you have fumbling fingers, plaits can feel complicated to pull off. Here Joanne Dodds, from hair experts Hairtrade.com, shares her 10 top tips for getting plaits right – so they’re less bad Frozen homage, more boho party girl.
1 Braid when wet
Plait your hair when it’s damp and wet to create a tight and secure finish. The water will trap unruly smaller hairs to the plait, which means fewer flyaways.
2 Add texture
Before starting the braid, spray or tap on a texturizing spray or powder all over hair. This will calm the frizz, but add volume – perfect for a quick and simple messy look. It will also lock in all the hair and make the style secure.
3 Start simple
Don’t jump straight into complicated French plaits and fishtails if you’ve never given braiding a go before. Begin with a simple plait down the length of a ponytail, or even plait two ends of pigtails and tie together. By slowly working up your technique, you will soon be a master of the more unusual braiding styles.
4 Try an ethereal ‘halo’
Think Game of Thrones or a simple boho look, and the halo braid is your hairstyle of choice. Also known as the crown braid, it’s created by plaiting a long ponytail and then wrapping around the head and across the front, and pinning to the side, creating a wide circle.
5 Rock a fishtail
If you’re looking for a step on from a plain ‘vanilla’ plait, this is the style for you. Start by dividing a ponytail into two ponytails. Take a piece of hair from the left length and bring over the top of the right. Repeat with the right ponytail, taking an inch of hair over to the left. Continue as you go down until you run out of hair, and secure with a band.
6 Sleep on it
For a messy stylish braid, French plait your hair before you go to bed and sleep on it. When you wake up, simply spray with hairspray to secure for a boho look.
7 Spray and secure
Always remember to secure your braid with hairspray after completing. A fixing hold spray is best – just add a light dusting across the whole head. This will keep your style in place throughout the day.
8 Pull out strands
If you need a messy braid quickly, just pull out small strands from each section. Using a small barber’s comb can make this easier, just be careful not to completely loosen the plait.
9 Curl or wave first
Braiding curly or wavy hair will give the style an instant boost and added volume, especially around the crown. Just simply curl or wave using large tongs – a great tool for beach boho styles this summer.
10 Add extensions
Long hair is best for some braided styles but don’t worry if you have short or layered hair – simply add clip-in hair extensions that can be worn whenever you want. These are perfect for plaiting. Or why not buy a pre-plaited halo or fishtail – easy!
Tell us – have you tried the trend for grown-up plaits? Share your pics and hair tips on Twitter @healthymag or at Facebook.com/healthymagazine