This season’s boho chic-inspired braids are the perfect way to go from beach to bistro. The trend is purposefully messy with a lived-in look, so have no fear, even braiding novices can achieve these relaxed yet polished styles at home. All these looks are best done a little bit loose, a little imperfect and a lot laid-back. Kind of like summer.
Ellen Daskawisz, stylist at Meridian the Salon in Commack, said that if you can French braid, then you can create half a dozen of this year’s braided dos. Start with dry, straight hair (a day or so after a wash holds better) and use pomade or hair mud to help define the hair. These styles work well with summer’s highlights and all you need is some length and fifteen minutes.
This braid is popular because it allows most of your hair to be down and flowing but with a hint of boho beauty. Start with a swath of hair at the front of your head and create an extreme side part over one ear. Start braiding, picking up additional pieces of hair as you work from side to side. Pin the braid behind the opposite ear. Ellen recommends loosely incorporating more hair into the braid as you work, so the end result won’t be too tight against your head.
The crown braid is similar to the headband, but with a thicker band and using more hair. You can braid half your hair or keep going all the way around. Pin up the back in a messy updo, or even braid a few more pieces and loop them into a bun, as Ellen did here. This look is more done-up but still flip-flop formal. It’s an elegant way to keep those beach breeze flyaways out of your face.
This double braid is the hair equivalent of summer’s maxi dress—whimsical and easy-to-wear.
Step 1: Divide clean, straight hair into two equal sections. A needle comb isn’t required, but it makes separating hair easier.
Step 2: Starting at the front, braid the first section, incorporating more hair as you work downward, as in a French braid.
Step 3: Finish the braid at the back leaving a few inches of hair at the bottom. Secure the loose hair with a tie. Repeat the process for the other side.
Step 4 (optional): Remove the ties then pin up the loose hair at the bottom of the braids into a loose bun with pins. Use hair spray to set.
This technique is another on-trend variation of plaiting and looks good in a thick, messy side braid. Just divide the hair to be braided into two pieces and pull strands from behind, instead of the sides as in a traditional braid. The process takes a bit longer than a standard braid, but when you’re done you have instant summer style. Just remember to get outside and mess it all up.
words: Jacqueline Sweet | photos: Tracey Elizabeth