Could braids be the “new blowout” in terms of the hottest new hair trend sweeping red carpets and city sidewalks alike?
It’s true, and it’s not much of a surprise. The seemingly simple braid, which has been incorporated into women’s hairstyle repertoires for centuries, has come back in fashion in a big way for its versatility. Braids are easy and do not take much time to create, work on nearly every hair type possible, provide a neat appearance, and transition well from day to night (or office to party!).
It’s no wonder that salons across the country are rapidly adopting “Braid Bars,” which are similar to “Blowout Bars” in that they provide clients with a fast and easy yet polished hairstyle. The concept is thought to have originated in Hollywood when an enterprising salon owner began braiding celebrity clients’ hair as a quick way to deal with an onslaught of paparazzi shots. As more and more clients began asking for the look, “Braid Bars” were born.
If there’s not a salon nearby that provides this service—you can of course get creative yourself and put your own hand to the task. Here are a few braid trends that are currently popular
Fishtail braids are making a big statement these days. The style, which appears elaborate and complicated to the eye, is actually very simple and consists of a basic two-part braiding method (you can watch tutorials on YouTube for a full rundown on how to achieve it). Once you’ve got the easy technique down, you can customize the fishtail in a number of ways to suit whatever mood you’re in, event you are attending, or the state your hair happens to be in any given day!
Fishtails can be positioned straight down your back, or you can try pulling to one side for a free-spirited look.
Also experiment with the tightness of the braid. For a more formal style, braid uniformly and tightly; for a fashionable tousled look (made popular by Jennifer Lawrence in “The Hunger Games”) braid the hair loosely and let strands hang out.
If you can do a traditional three-strand braid, you can take it a step further and master a five-strand braid! This is a beautifully intricate look that can be nailed down with a little practice (again, check online for various tutorials).
Giving a slightly thicker look than a traditional braid, you may want to try this dramatic look in the evening or for a more formal occasion.
Having problems mastering the technique on yourself? Practice on a friend, or recruit your favorite group of little girls to sit for you – tell them they’ll look just like Rapunzel when you’re done!
Looking for a more formal style that incorporates braids? The answer is a braided updo, which not only works for black tie and red carpet, but is an attractive option for hot days as it keeps your hair securely off your neck and face. Just as there are many options for traditional updos, so you can pick and choose what way you’d like to hoist your braids.
Try braiding your hair first in two french braids, then simply pinning them up at the nape of your neck. Simple, and provides maximum impact for your effort!
You can also coil braids to frame a bun (whether your real hair or an insert); this takes a little more work.
Braid a “headband” across the top of your head while pinning the back part up for yet another pretty Bohemian-styled look.
Seeking something different for your wedding? Braided updos and brides are a natural mix. You can add flowers and/or jeweled pins to your braided updo for a special, romantic look.
Braiding Shorter Hair
Your hair is too short for traditional braids? You can still partake of this trend—just about the only length of hair that cannot work is a pixie cut! If you have a short cut with enough length on the sides or front to twist your hair, try the following ideas.
Curl your hair a bit with a curling iron before braiding to give it a little necessary body for the braiding process, as shorter hair can be more tricky to get under control.
Get creative by making mini-braids on either side of your head. Fasten with elastics, then pin securely so they don’t “poke” out.
Fake a long hairstyle/updo by creating the illusion of a pinned-up braid. Simply French-braid the back of your hair and tuck ends under with pins.
Whatever braided look you choose to sport, one thing is certain—this is a style trend that is sure to turn heads!