The Conch Shell Braid!—Get the How-to!

Lauren Salapatek | March 29, 2012 | 11:50 AM

Braids are all the rage! I just got the scoop from owner and lead stylist of SalonCapri in Newton and Dedham, MA, Nick Penna Jr. on how to do the technique for a "conch shell" braid! This versatile style can take your clients from day to night, beach wedding to elegant evening affair and everything in between. This look works best on hair that's been washed the day or night before you plan to style it. Penna says you want the natural texture of your hair to assist you in keeping the braid intact.

The Conch Shell Braid!—Get the How-to!


1.)   Begin this look with a great blow-dry, Penna's go to product to use on hair before he blowdries it is Shu Uemura’s Kaze Wave, a texturizing mousse that adds ample volume with texture to hair.

2.)   Once hair is fully dry, use a brush to bring hair over to one side of the head. You want to create the illusion that there is no part on the client.

3.)   The key in beginning the braid is to start it about a half inch away from the forehead, so it’s not too dramatic and tight. There should be a little bit of looseness so the look appears carefree and not severe.

4.)   For added volume, lightly tease the front of the hair where the braid’s starting point is, especially if the client has thinner hair. Use a fine tooth comb and hairspray to amp up the volume.

5.)   Using the normal technique for creating a fishtail braid, begin the braid. Penna always likes to keep a shaping cream or wax handy to aid his fingers in keeping the braid in place.

6.)   When you complete about 10 rotations of the fishtail braid, begin to coil the braid’s creation to the left (think the shape of snail shell), heading towards the crown of the client’s head. You want to make the curve noticeable, not subtle.

7.)   Finish the fishtail as normal and tie with a clear or hair-colored elastic band.

8.)   As you would create a normal bun, turn the braided ponytail around in a circular manner, also similar to a seashell’s shape. When all of the hair is in a bun-like shape, take the end of the hair and pin it in or under the bun using hair-colored bobby pins. You want the finish product to appear unfastened, so every tool used to secure the look must be hidden.

9.)   To complete the look, liberally applying secure hold hairspray to make sure the style stays put whether the client is headed to a dance or just a dinner date.

Photo credit:


Facebook Comments

More from Students

Hair Color Trends
Hair Color Trends

Teal To Big Chop To Tasteful Brunette Bob

Maggie Mulhern | February 8, 2017

When we saw this makeover on Instagram, we had to know more. Hairdresser Nicole Boccio of Cactus Salon and Spa  (@cactussalonsmithtown), Smithtown, New York, says "I had been doing a doubled processed blonde on Kelly Sampson for some time now. She came requesting 'mermaid hair'. She had 2 inches of level 5 roots." Here Boccio shares the details for this makeover.

Hair Color Trends Four session to silver
Hair Color Trends

MAKEOVER: Four Sessions To Silver

Maggie Mulhern | February 5, 2017

Kim Bruce (@themisfitblonde), co-owner of Monroe on Mane (@monroeonmane), Sturbridge, MA., specializes in blondes and hairdressing. "This guest has been a client of mine for almost a year now. It has taken four sessions to achieve our desired shade of silver blonde." Here Bruce shares the details for the transformation.

Awards & Contests Krystle Waivio
Awards & Contests

Announcing the Braids & Brides Top 10 Semifinalists!

Lauren Quick and Alison Alhamed | February 10, 2017

After receiving nearly 3,000 entries since the launch of the Braids & Brides contest, it was extremely difficult to narrow the pool of beautiful special-occasion styles down to 10! Take a look below to see who our semifinalists are, and stay tuned as they submit their best braid work for judging.

Load More