Add Festive Flair to Your Hair With This Sparkling Tinsel Rope Braid DIY
We've always had a special place in our holiday-loving hearts for tinsel. That's because it speaks to two of our greatest loves: low-maintenance decorating and sparkle. Just slap a bit of it on your Christmas tree and you'll immediately be surrounded by a more festive atmosphere.
Tinsel isn't just pretty on pine boughs, though. In recent years, celebrities like Beyoncé have been incorporating the shiny stuff into their hair! We tapped lead stylist Jen Bennett of Rudy's Barbershop to whip up a whimsical, half-up rope braid DIY weaving in glimmering strands of tinsel. It's so simple to re-create that you'll likely find yourself rocking it well into the New Year. Read on to master the steps.
Start with dry hair. A little grit will help hold the style, so you won't need to start with a freshly shampooed mane. If your hair is notoriously slippery, add in some texture with a product like Aveda Pure Abundance Hair Potion ($25) to ensure your look lasts all night.
To attach the tinsel, take one strand of it and bring both ends together, creating a loop. Taking the end on the right side, wind it over the left end and behind the loop. Using the same side you just wrapped around, tug it through the opening you created by crossing it over itself, creating a slip knot. (See a visual example here.)
Take three strands of your hair from just behind your hairline and slide them through your tinsel slip knot. This small section should be hidden under your natural part so it is not as obvious! Bring the knot down so it rests on your scalp, then secure it by pulling on the ends of the tinsel.
Repeat this process until you have 15-20 strands of tinsel in your hair. They should all be created around your natural part at the front third of your scalp, because you'll be pulling them back to plait a rope braid.
If your hair is super thick and you want the metallic accent to stand out more, group a few strands of tinsel and make a slip knot the same way as before, attaching them just like you would one single strand.
Next, spray your locks with a light, workable hair spray like Bumble and Bumble Does It All ($29). This will hold your hair's curl.
Take a larger-barreled curling iron like the Beachwaver S1.25 ($129) or larger and add a soft wave. Do this by winding your hair away from your face around the iron, starting from the root down. Repeat until all your hair is curled.
After you've finished with your hot tool, spritz a dry spray like Bumble and Bumble Dryspun ($30) at the root for a boost in volume, then add more grit and texture to your curls with a light texture spray like Davines Sea Salt Spray ($28).
Allow your hair to fall at a natural part. Now you're ready to start the rope braid.
Start at your temple and take two small sections of hair. Comb through them with your fingers so they are tidy and untangled.
Cross the front section over the back.
Bring in a new section of hair from your part and combine it with the piece that you crossed over the back. Then, take a new section of hair from the front of your hairline and combine it with the piece that is on the bottom. You should see a braid starting to form.
Cross the bottom section back over the top. (If you're finding it hard to keep track of all your hair as you work, hold the sections between your fingers at your knuckles, which will help you stay organized as you grab new hair into the sections.)
Continue this process, incorporating new sections into the braid until you've reached the back of your head. The last section of new hair that is brought into your plait should be at your crown.
Cross the two sections over one another until you've reached the tips of your strands, then secure with a small elastic band.
Repeat the rope braid on the other side of your head. There should be a section of your hair between both braids that hangs free, like in this image.
Gently separating one of the twists with your fingers, cross one braid through the other at the crown.
Slide your tighter braid through the one you've just loosened.
Once the two braids are intertwined, create a little volume at the root by gently pulling a couple of the sections at the crown upward.
Secure the braids to your crown by sliding bobby pins underneath the spot where the braid intersects, then upward into your plaits.
To complete the style, remove the elastic bands and let the twists unravel slightly.
Now you're ready for that holiday party!