The Beauty Desk
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Couture A/W ’12: The Double French Braid at Elie Saab (and How to Do it)
Thu, 5 July 2012 12:15PM
I really didn’t think that Elie Saab could top the sleek waves from his Spring/Summer ‘11 show, but considering my love of a good braid, this ultra-sleek yet feminine double-French version has pipped them at the post.
It strikes the perfect balance for not looking too Princess-like or milkmaid, but I think that’s what I love most about this style – its versatility. You can try it sleek like the sculpted runway version here, but it’s also such a soft and pretty style to recreate for everyday wear too.
It all depends on the way you want to wear it. If the braids are pulled too tightly, it can all look a little ballerina-slash-bridesmaid. So when you’re giving it a whirl at home, loosen the style by softly tugging at the hair to let some strands fall free, or while you’re braiding, try not to pull it too tightly. This also makes it look like it has a little more body, too.
And if you still need more convincing, Nicole Richie, Emily Blunt and Kourtney Kardashian have all been seen with the softer variation on the red carpet.
Here’s how to do it, step-by-step:
- Begin with second-day hair, or add some sea salt spray or dry shampoo throughout so that your hair has enough grit and texture to hold the style.
- Using a tail comb, create an even centre part, drawing a line from the middle of your forehead to the nape of your neck, and comb your hair down at the sides, securing one side with a clip. This way no hair will fall into the other braid. Don’t worry if the part isn’t perfect!
- Use your fingers and separate a small section at the front of hair (note: kind of like the bit you would pull into a fringe) into three even sections
- Then – and I find this easier if you don’t look in the mirror – weave a section of hair from the left across the middle section, and then cross the left section over the middle section so you have the beginning of a plait.
- Here’s where it gets a little trickier. Go into the next section of hair and add more hair to the section on the right before you cross it over the middle section.
- Do the same on the other side, gathering more hair into both the left and right sections until you reach the end. Use a silicone elastic to secure the ends.
- Repeat the process on the other side of your head so that you have the two French braids. For a softer finish, you can pull out and loosen a few sections of hair. Quick tip: rubbing the braids between your hands also makes them a little softer.
- Then, plait the braids together so they become one braid, and tuck it underneath to hide the elastics. Or, like the runway version, you can pull the hair into a bun or twists and secure it with bobby pins.
How ‘bout it, Primpettes?
Did you used to wear the double-braid when you were at school?
How do you fancy taking it for a spin now?
How are your braiding skills going?
Posted by: Hayley Bennett