Rapunzel, Rapunzel, Braid Your Hair
It just may be your only hope against summer heat
The Farmer’s Almanac predicts that this summer is going to be “oppressively hot and humid for the New York area.” Doesn’t that sound fun? Doesn’t that sound especially fun for your hair?
My hair likes to do this cool thing where the area around my forehead and ears explodes into curls while the middle section flatlines, then the back ripples as though I’ve sent it through a large-pronged crimper. The best thing it does, however, is create tight bundles of tangles right at the nape of my neck that can only come undone with the help of a razor and so, by the end of the summer, I more or less have an under-shave that I didn’t ask for.
Your hair probably goes rogue too. Maybe you frizz. Maybe you fuzzle. Maybe your straight hair stands on ends and your curly hair taps out, or, if you’re like Leandra, this happens:
Which is totally great. I think big hair is awesome. My own motto is the higher the hair, the closer to heaven.
BUT. Should you need a respite from the heat, from the frizz, from the unruly curls and all of the completely out of control rat’s nests living underneath your mane that you do not, for the fifth summer in a row, feel like cutting off — try braids.
At Kenzo’s Resort preview this week, models sported reverse-French braids in sets of 4. It looked fresh, athletic and unfussy. Simone Rocha, Marchesa and Tibi sent braided manes down their Fall 2014 runways as well, and I’ve been in the mood for woven plaits ever since. Luckily for me/you/us, my mom has been braiding my hair since I was old enough to grow it, and I quickly learned her technique by way of my trusty American Girl Doll horse who never once complained that I was pulling too hard.
And now you too can “get the look.” All you need is a brushed, slightly dirty head of hair, a comb, and hair ties of your choice. (By all means do this when you’re freshly scrubbed as well, but I find it harder to grip.)
Step one: Divide the hair with a comb into however many sections you want to braid. Secure each section with a tie to keep the extra hair out of your way. I’m doing 4 braids on Esther, a la Kenzo Resort.
Step two: Take one section, and divide that into three sections. Begin as you would with a regular braid, only instead of crossing OVER, we’re crossing under. Begin with the left side, cross it under so it becomes the middle strand. Then cross the right side under that piece to become the middle. Repeat twice — left, then right.
Step three three: Begin gathering a little bit of hair with the left side. The point is to start anchoring the braid down to the head. Cross it under, just like we did in step 2. Now grab a little bit of hair with the right side. Cross it under. I’m doing all of this in the gif below.
Repeat the pattern, tightening as you go. When you reach the nape of the neck, continue the braid going back to the old method: left under center so that it becomes center, right under center so that it becomes center.
Now it’s your turn. Think you’ll try this hairstyle? Or do you have a better alternative? Tell us, tweet us, put comments in the pictures, throw pecans in the air, ride an ostrich, etc.
Let’s all say a big thanks to our model Esther who, like my American Girl Doll horse, didn’t really complain either, and our intern Krista Anna Lewis on the kick drum! Aka she took the pictures!