Coiffure Class 101: French Side Braid

I've not done many hair tutorials on here, but after receiving some requests, especially over the past year or so, I thought it would be fun to show you (with a little help from my styling maven of a sister) how to create some of the styles I wear on a regular basis. First up, the French-style side braid. This is a simple twist on a classic summer look, and a favorite of many a camp counselor. Having invested many years in summer camps, this fun, oversized braid is a subtle, styling nod to those happy memories. It looks so pretty, and in the high temps, will also keep you feeling nice and cool! A few subtle tweaks take it from camp-style to chic in a matter of seconds. 

{Step 1}
Brush out your hair, and sweep all of it over to one side. For those of you with thin or extra silky hair, a spritz or two of texturizing or styling spray will help with a little extra grip. For added volume and fullness, I like to use Big Sexy Hair Powder Play, and for extra hold and to zap oil, Psssst Dry Shampoo is pretty fantastic. 

{Step 2}
Begin by french braiding*, starting a few inches back from the top, pulling hair across the back of your head to keep the braid on one side and not down the middle of your head. 
*If you need help french braiding, here's a good tutorial

{Step 3}
Finish braiding off the rest of your hair, making sure to keep the braid tight, and secure with a hair tie. 

{Step 4}
Here's where the magic happens! Start loosening up or pulling apart the braid to give a softer, fuller effect. Begin at the top of the braid and work your way down; this gives your braid the 'Disney Princess hair' effect. If you have super thick hair, this step will alleviate a lot of the pressure and weight that comes from braids pulled tight on your scalp. 

{Step 5}
Fluff up the end of the braid, as well as around the top and crown of your head. Tuck in any super loose ends, but remember, this looser-style braid will naturally have a few pieces that may stick out, that's part of the casual I always look this fabulous charm of the hairstyle. For those of us with lots of layers, myself included, you may need to employ the help of a few bobby pins to keep the larger, shorter pieces from falling out, but use your layers to your advantage to keep the style from looking too slicked back from your face. Your braid should look full and effortlessly glam, not sloppy. 

{Step 6}
I always pull out a few pieces around my face for a little extra softness, and because I think it makes the style look better and less 'done', if you know what I mean. After you've tweaked it to your liking, I always finish the look off with a spritz of natural hold hairspray and a bit of shine spray. I like to use Chi Enviro 54 Natural Hold and Mermaid Hair Shine Spray (It has the perfect hint of coconut, tames frizzies, and makes your hair super soft and shiny!). Voila! Enjoy your fabulous, french side braid!

Happy Styling!

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