Hair How To: The Perfect Braided Updo

The Perfect Braided Updo

By Alexis Wolfer

Updos don’t have to be reserved for special occasions. So long as they’re not over done, we here at The Beauty Bean think that you can wear them everyday.

We do not, though, think that our “everyday” hairstyles should require a trip to the salon. In fact, even when we do have a special occasion, we don’t always want to pay the hefty price for the salon visit.

So, to help you achieve the perfect updo in your own bathroom, we turned to Vanessa Fernandez, at NYC’s Butterfly Studio Salon, to walk us through an easy braided updo. The look is flirty and fun and as wearable with a casual sundress and flip-flops as it with a gown and stilettos for a black-tie affair.

How To DIY The Perfect Braided Updo

Step 1: Beginning with damp locks, divide your hair into small sections and twist each section with your fingers as you dry your hair with a blow dryer. Don’t worry too much about the look, this first step is designed to dry your hair and create some texture.

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Step 2: Prep hair with Shu Uemura IronDesign ($33) before using a ¾ inch curling iron to create beach waves. Wrap small sections of hair around the iron (don’t clamp the hair inside) and pull at the ends of your hair to reduce curl. After your whole head is curled, gently massage your scalp for added volume, but be careful not to “mess up” the curls.

Step 3: Spray underneath each sectioned curl with Shu Uemura Sheer Lacquer Finishing Spray ($33) to help maintain the separation of the locks. Keeping the curls in their respective sections, backcomb gently with a wide-toothed teasing comb at the roots – you don’t want to mess it up, or make it frizzy, just add more texture and body.

Step 4: Pulling aside any bangs or shorter pieces you have in the front, part your hair down the middle.  Take first half and gently, without breaking the curls, divide it into 3 equal sections (depending on the volume of your hair, you may have 1 to 4 curls per section). Braid these 3 equal sections back and away from your face. Tie the end with a clear rubber-band (or tease it) to hold it in place.

Step 5: Pin the end of the braid you just made behind your opposite ear, under the other half of hair, with two perpendicular bobby pins. If you’re hair is really long, wrap the end of the braid in a bun or fold it over itself (you won’t see the end so don’t worry too much about how it falls).

Step 6: For the second half of your hair, begin the same way: divide carefully in 3 sections and braid away from your face. On this side, though, pay particular attention to the direction of your braid so that it is horizontal across the back of your head and on top of the other braid. Again, pin it behind your opposite ear.

Step 7: If you have shorter pieces around your face, twist them away from your face and tease them together to ensure they stay pulled back. Add spray or bobby pins if needed. Note: If pieces fall out, it’s your call whether or not to pin them on or leave them loose. We personally like the messier look, especially for daytime!

Read this before your next pedicure.