AFTER several seasons of nothing but delicately tousled waves and sleek updos, braids are making a major comeback on the red carpet, with starlets rocking everything from fishtails and French plaits, to halos and hairline braids.
But does that mean you need an army of hairstylists on hand to create one of these intricate woven styles?
Not at all. You can go it alone — but it’s easier (and more fun) with a friend.
Starting with the simplest, here are three step-by-step guides to brilliant braids to try now...
THE MODEL MOHICAN
Katie Allan, creative manager at Charles Worthington, explains how to create the bold Mohican braid as seen on model Jessica Hart at the Met Gala.
Start by blow-drying your hair, ensuring you work away from the face with no stiff partings. Don’t blow-dry too much product in either, as this will make it harder to section.
Begin your braid in the middle of the forehead as a normal plait, and gradually add a piece from either side to the centre section, staying tight to the scalp.
Secure with elastic when you reach the end, then use pins to secure the braid closer to your scalp.
* Condition with: KMS TameFrizz Smoothing Reconstructor, €18.35 ( www.FeelUnique.com plus p&p)
* Prep with: KMS Hairplay Playable Texture, €15.84 ( www.FeelUnique.com plus p&p)
THE FIGURE OF EIGHT
Kieron Fowles, creative director at Supercuts, demonstrates how to re-create an on-trend figure of eight braid, worn by Michelle Keegan at the BAFTA awards:
Start by applying TIGI Bed Head After Party to wet hair, to create a solid foundation and shine before blow-drying.
Create a strong side parting and comb hair around to the side of the head. Secure the hair with elastic just below the ear.
Split the hair into three sections, with two thicker ones on the outside and a thinner one in the centre. Take one of the side sections and cross it over the central section and back, repeating on the opposite side to create a figure of eight.
Continue the braid technique down half the length of the hair and secure with elastic at the bottom, before carefully cutting the elastic at the top to loosen the hair.
* Prep with: TIGI Bed Head After Party, €16.95 ( www.lookfantastic.com free p&p)
* Finish with: Sexy Hair Smooth Frizz Eliminator Smooth & Sleek Serum, €17.70 ( www.BeautyBay.com plus p&p)
THE HAIRLINE BRAID
For a more laid-back take on Miranda Kerr’s slick Met Gala do, try this boho hairline braid from the Sean Hanna creative team.
Prep the hair and make a ‘c’ section, by parting at the temple and clipping away the rest of the hair. Take a small section from the front of the hairline and start a three-strand braid.
Follow the three-strand braid along the hairline, pulling hair from the top of the ‘c’ section into the braid. Take equal sections and incorporate into the braid.
Tension is key, so as the braid continues around the ear, you may have to adjust your hands to keep it taut.
Continue the braid along the hairline until it reaches the ends of the hair, then secure with a small clear hairband and loosen the rest of the hair.
* Prep with: Label M Sea Salt Texturising Spray, €14.45 ( www.lookfantastic.com free p&p)
* Finish with: Charles Worthington Style Setter Brush Out Strong Hold Spray, €8.49 ( www.boots.ie )