Thanks to stars like Nicole Richie and Faith Hill, braided updos have become a summer staple for women of all ages. During the day, they're playful and fuss-free. And in the evening, they're the epitome of boho chic.
To help us achieve the ultimate, "effortless" braided updo at-home, I've enlisted the expertise of Teddi Cranford of Bumble & bumble Downtown in NYC (the wonderfully talented and charming stylist who created my Nicole-inspired hairstyle, above):
Step One: Put Some Back Into It
Begin by applying Bumble and bumble Surf Spray to damp hair, focusing at the root. Rough dry the hair using your fingers to bring out natural wave and texture. Tip: direct hair at the root upwards for extra volume. Create a messy center part with your fingers (don’t worry too much about perfection).
Create a large round section at the crown of your head (the top of the section should be about half way between the crown and the hairline). Tease hair underneath with a comb and secure section with a large clip or pin, keeping it separate from the rest of the style.
Step Two: Divide & Conquer
French braid the remaining hair on either side of the part, and secure with an elastic at the bottom of each side.
Release the center section from your pin, and break down some of the teasing so it isn’t so bouffant-y. Beginning at the bottom of the round section, loosely French braid hair to the ends and secure with an elastic.
Wrap the three French braids around each other (again, don’t focus on perfection) and begin pinning them to the head. Start by pinning to one side, then wrapping the length to the other side and pinning there, repeating until all the hair is pinned into an oval-ish shape. If you need to, secure the ends underneath with a final pin to hide them.
To mesh the center section with the French braids at either side, use small pins to connect at a few places until you see the parts blending into a unified style.
Step Three: Set Your Style
Finally, take your hands and rub the look to mess it up a bit so it isn’t so fussy – A few flyaways will provide a softer finish. Apply Bumble and bumble Spray de Mode all over for hold that maintains the texture and allows for movement with memory.