If you’ve been paying any attention to the runways recently, then you know that braids are on trend for the season. They work great for everything from a casual day look to a unique updo for a night out or wedding. But as pretty as they are, they are definitely not easy to make or maintain. Hairstylist Meg LaViolette of Salon MJH shares some popular braids that you can do at home.
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Meg LaViolette, a stylist at Boston’s Salon MJH, has seen a huge uptick in clients coming in asking for braids now that the warm weather is starting to hit. She recommends smoothing the hair with a flat iron before you begin your braid, but if volume is a concern, she says clean hair can be dried on large rollers to give it that added umpf. Here is a list of some cute, easy braids that you can do at home.
Fishtail or herringbone braid
If you’re concerned that braids are just for little girls, consider trying the fishtail style to get you started. This modern take on the classic braid is as grownup as it gets. The look is polished enough for the office but interesting enough for any occasion. Even better, the fishtail braid looks great pulled to the side, bringing together two of the best looks of the season in one great hairstyle.
“The fishtail is a stylish and chic braid for long hair,” says LaViolette. “It looks complicated but is not. It can be stitched tightly and then pulled to loosen and create interesting variations in the texture.”
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Dutch waterfall braid
“The Dutch waterfall braid is popular with the prom crowd but can be worn by grownups, too,” LaViolette advises. “It is interesting because the hair can be worn long and still look elegant. The waterfall braid is created by dropping a stitch and picking up a bottom section.”
While this is a slightly more advanced braid to master than the fishtail, the final look makes the effort more than worth it. Most people wear it very clean and slick. But a great variation on this braid is to stitch it loosely in curled hair. This creates a bohemian fairytale look that pairs perfectly with a casual summer maxi dress or one of the season’s popular peasant tops.
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Depending on where you grew up, you might already know the Dutch braid under the name “inside out French braid.” In fact, if you know how to French braid, you already know how to do the Dutch braid. All you need to do is separate the hair into three parts, and braid just as you would in the French braid, only instead of crossing the pieces over the middle part, you cross them under.
“And remember,” adds LaViolette. “A dab of styling cream or pomade on each section keeps frizz and fly-aways under control.”
Renee Mallett is the author of several books about art, culture, and New England. She was the owner and director of an art gallery and has written about arts and entertainment on a national level for several print and online journals. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.