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5 Stylish Ways To Wear a Braid

Chandler Rollins | January 6, 2015 | 1:55 PM
Fishtail French Braid
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Side French Braid
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Half French Braid Wrapped Ponytail
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Goddess Braid
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Loose Headband Braid
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Miami based Master Stylist Raphael Reboh, owner of Femme Coiffure Salon and stylist to the stars (think Jennifer Aniston, Cameron Diaz and Adriana Lima), is revamping the everyday plait with a healthy boost of chic. Here she details five looks that show the versatility of our three-stranded hero. 

Fishtail French Braid

  1. Start by taking a section of hair near the part on the heavy side. 
  2. Divide into 2 halves. 
  3. Now take a small piece from the edge of the right side, cross it over the top and add it to the left side. 
  4. Do the same from the left side, crossing it over the top and adding it to the right side. 
  5. Repeat step three but after crossing the strand over the top, add in a section of hair from that side of the head. 
  6. Repeat these steps until you reach the top of the ear then begin pulling in hair from the opposite side of the head, stretching it around the back, and adding it into the braid. 
  7. When all the hair is pulled in, finish with a basic fishtail braid and gently loosen the braid by pulling out the edges. 
  8. Tie off the end with an elastic to finish off. 

Side French Braid

  1. Part slightly damp hair on the right side. Optional: Add a little mousse or gel to keep her intact and to prevent flyaways. Next, take about a 2-inch chunk of hair from the front of the right hairline, and begin a French braid. 
  2. To start a French braid, section this portion of the hair into three even strands, keeping them separated with your fingers (whichever one feels the most comfortable to you). Now, start a normal braid; take the right strand and cross it over the middle strand. Next, take the left strand and cross it over the middle strand.
  3. Once you have this small foundation braid, begin adding more hair with each crossover. To do this, gather a small bit of hair from the hairline, add it to the far right strand, and then cross it over the middle strand. Pull it tight, but keep the strands separated at all times. Repeat on the other side by gathering a small bit of hair closest to the side part (away from the hairline), adding it to the far left strand, and then crossing it over the middle strand. 
  4. Continue this braiding pattern until you are about one inch away from the right neckline. At this point, start to braid horizontally across to the left neckline. Tip: Keeping the braid tight and separating the three sections of hair at all times, will help you control the direction of the braid.
  5. Try to gather all the hair into the French braid by the time you hit the bottom of the left ear. Once all the hair is incorporated, finish braiding traditionally. Secure with an elastic. 

Half French Braid Wrapped Ponytail 

  1. Begin by parting the hair off center on the right side. Part further back on the top of the head.
  2. Part down to the ear and secure the remaining hair in the back for now.
  3. At the top on the left side of the part, start plaiting a braid. Once you've plaited one round of the braid, grab some hair from the top and add it in (like you're French braiding). Only add in hair from the top.
  4. Once you've run out of hair to add and have reached the back part, stop adding hair and continue to braid down to the end of the hair. Secure temporarily with a clip.
  5. Flip that braid up and of the way. Smooth all remaining hair around to the left side of the head. 
  6. Make a low side ponytail and flip your braid back down. Wrap the braid under the ponytail and bring it back around to the top. If you wrap it over the top, it tends to pucker. 
  7. Loop the end of the braid back around and under itself so it's close to the head. Secure the braid to the ponytail with a rubber band. 
  8. Cinch the rubber band up and it will disappear under the braid. 
  9. Unbraid any leftover braid that is hanging down into the ponytail that is below the rubber band. 

Goddess Braid 

  1. Begin by making 2 parts, one on each side of the head near the ear.
  2. Comb the remaining hair backwards into a ponytail
  3. Then take the right side of the hair and braid, lifting it around the head. Wrap an elastic at the bottom of the right braid and repeat on the left. 
  4. Lift both braids and wrap them around your head, positioning them toward the front. Secure both braids along the bottom of the head with a bobby pin. 
  5. Release the hair in the back. 

Loose Headband Braid 

  1. Start by taking 2-inch wide sections of hair from behind the right ear. Tie the remaining hair back with a hair tie to keep out of the way. 
  2. Comb the 2-inch section of hair toward the left ear, over the top of the head so that it's primed to go in the direction you will be braiding. If needed, use a blow dryer or hair spray to help pull hair in the right direction. 
  3. Divide the 2-inch section into 3 pieces and begin braiding a simple braid, going over the head to form a headband. Aim for the headband to rest between 1 and 1.5 inches behind the hairline. Secure the braided section behind the left ear with a hair pin. 
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