We're happy to present this article from one of our favorite sites, Real Beauty.
Some soirees require you to dance all night (preferably with an RPattz lookalike), which can result in a sweaty, messy mane. Be a bit type-A and prevent this drastic situation by trying a sleek braided updo. To create a holiday party look that is both elegant and fuss-free for keeping tresses off your face, we enlisted Kayley Pak, a braiding specialist at the John Barrett salon in NYC, to give us some pointers on how to execute this stay-put hairstyle. Here are her tips.
If You Have Long Hair
1. Prep Step
Start by smoothing down any flyaways with a light hairspray, like Shu Uemura Sheer Lacquer Micro Fine Finishing Spray, and a paddle brush. Then, use a fishtail or a thin comb to create a center part, like you would for pigtails. Make sure the line is super straight and even, since this is not meant to be a messy 'do.
2. Plaited Pony
Tie an elastic around one half of your hair, and pull the other section into a ponytail that sits right under your ear. Smooth out hair with a brush, and put a bit of wax or a styling masque, like John Barrett Be Healing Styling Masque, on the tips of your fingers. The type of product conditions locks and helps the style stay in place longer. Braid the length of the ponytail, and secure the ends with a thin, clear elastic. Untie other half and repeat.
3. Wrap It Up
Grab one braid and bring it up over your head [see photo of Tika Sumpter], and fasten the bottom and the middle of the plait to your roots with bobby pins. Repeat this step with the other braid. Hide the loose ends of each ponytail by wrapping them under the opposite braid and fastening them with clips. If you have thick hair, use open-ended bobby pins, which work to grab more hair at one time. Prevent any loose pieces from wiggling free by crisscrossing your pins into an ‘X’ as you secure them for added hold.
4. Closing Case
Once your hair is in place, coat your whole head with a light mist of hairspray. Remember, this look can be as sophisticated or boho as you make it. So, next time, try plaiting looser braids and rocking a few face-framing pieces.
Note: Don’t be disheartened if your strands aren’t long enough to score this specific look. We love how crop-topped Jessica Lowndes rocked a center part and symmetrical mini-French braids. Take your cues from her and experiment with woven styles, too.
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