Braid How-To: The Wraparound

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Maybe it’s the never-ending braid fever, or perhaps the recent Hunger Games hair obsession, but we just can’t stop thinking about a wraparound braid! Unlike the tightly coiled, Heidi-style ‘dos that were popular this past year, we’ve been rocking a relaxed, tendril-trailing bohemian version instead, and it’s perfect for summer. Think Katniss Everdeen-meets-the-beach: A plait that begins at the top of one side of your head and gradually cascades to the bottom of the other. And for extra volume, we’re going Dutch! View our how-to, master the wound-down style, and learn extra tips and tricks along the way.

STEP 1

PART WAYS

First, section your hair deeply to one side—isolate any fringe using a clip or bobby pin. Then, grab a bundle of hair from the thickest side of the part you just created (around three or four inches wide) and separate it into three even strands with your fingers.

STEP 2

GO DUTCH!

To give this style more volume and definition, we’re braiding it inside out—Dutch-style. Instead of weaving counter-clockwise like a regular plait, we’ll be twisting the strands clockwise—in an over-to-under motion. Grab your three strands and begin to braid Dutch a couple of times, then gather your strands from your scalp with each additional loop—like you would a French braid. Keep going until you hit the area over your ear.

Beautylish Tip: For extra volume and structure, don’t weave the braid too tightly into your scalp. Keep your fingers firm, but your hands relaxed and loose.

STEP 3

PIVOTAL PLAIT

When you’ve hit the top of your ear, slowly manipulate and turn the direction of your braid to wrap around your nape diagonally instead of directly down. Reposition your fingers at the back of your head, and continue slanting the braid towards your neck.

STEP 4

LOOSE WEAVE

When you’ve reached the bottom of your nape, keep weaving your hair, but direct the plait away from your scalp. Let the hair fall loose as you wind your braid down the side of your collarbone.

STEP 5

TAIL-END TOUCH

Finish the braid with a clear elastic or a decorative hair tie. Loosen the plait for more volume and dimension. Rock the romantic side-swept wrap as is, or twist the tail into a bun at the side of your head for an elegant alternative.