CC Image courtesy of Wickerfurniture on Flickr.
Running late for work in the morning? How about going out with some friends on Saturday night? No matter what the time and place, there’s a braid that looks great for the occasion. The trick is just knowing the best style for your face and the formality of the outing. Here, we look at a few of the most popular braiding styles for this spring.
This style is usually done with two braided pigtails that are wrapped upward around the crown of your head. That lends its name to the braid style, along with the fact that the result looks rather like a tiara or crown of hair. For a sleek look, apply pomade or a salon product mousse to the top of your head, to tame fly-aways.
If the occasion calls for something a little more casual, consider mussing up your hair slightly before putting in braids. The braids might have a slightly undone look. Additionally, you can pull out a few pieces of hair to frame your face and a few at the nape of the neck.
For a slightly softer look, consider setting the crown braid back on your head. First of all, part your hair down the middle in a straight line. Then, starting above your ears and a little farther back, braid two single pigtail braids. Wrap them over top of each other along the back portion of your head. This look will tend to look rather peasant, so if that isn’t your style, be sure to play up other portions of your outfit to balance out the hairstyle.
If you have a steady hand or have practiced a few times, you can run the braid along the top of your head at the hairline. This is a very pretty yet innocent look. Spring is also a perfect time to sport this look, as you bring out the floral prints and lovely pastel colors. If you need mousse or pomade to complete the look, consider buying an organic salon product for the perfect hair style.
This style is at the top of the popularity charts recently – and for good reason. When done with a practiced hand, it can look fantastic. However, it’s best to practice before wearing it out, since an unpracticed version can look sloppy. For more flair, consider starting along your hairline with a French braid and then moving into the fishtail.
The Loose Side Braid
This braid has a lot of versatility, from the beach to a night out on the town. Blow dry your hair first, combing it up from the roots. If you still want more body, set big curls in it and comb them out with your fingers. Then sweep all the hair to one side and begin braiding it just under your ear. Let the strands remain loose as you braid, and secure the end with a small elastic band.
With this style, its effect will rest mainly on how you apply makeup. An au natural look will signal that the hair is for the lounging, beach style, while a dramatic smoky eye or fire engine red lip will signal that it’s an evening look.
For longer hair, experiment by curling the top layer and braiding the bottom one. This can create an unusual and elegant look. Hair should be smoothed with mousse or a salon product conditioner, however, to keep it from looking too mussed.
This style is best with longer hair, though it could be done with slightly shorter hair if necessary. Divide your hair into evenly-sized chunks all along your head. Separate each of them with a rubber band, spacing them as evenly as possible. This will keep the braids from being arbitrary sizes, though if you want, the braids near your forehead can be slightly smaller than the rest. Once all the hair is braided, remove the elastic bands and wind the braids in coils on the top of your head. This look can also be asymmetrical if you want to pile the braids more on one side.
Take the crown braid to new heights by starting it along the forehead line and incorporating a French braid. This is a perfect way to gather in fly-away hairs and create an amazing look. Or when putting a bun on the top of your head, first run a small braid from the nape of the neck upwards. This will create visual interest in the back without adding a lot of time to your preparation.
For a more punk look, consider tiny braids close to the scalp. These are usually done along the side of the head, though if you want a lot, consider running them all along the crown of your head. Once these braids are in, consider wearing the rest of your hair curled and flowing, which will create a striking contrast.