Long Hair Design: Updos are AWESOME

By Alison Alhamed | 12/18/2009 3:00:00 PM


I’m in my 10th week at Pivot Point, and we’re just wrapping up our lessons on long hair design. I love being creative, but I have a hard time getting started. Because I don’t have much experience, I need to have an idea of what I want to do before I begin—but I’m not at the point where I feel confident enough to create a wearable look that doesn’t look too prom-y or avant-garde. It’s like I’m having a tough time finding a happy medium.

Now that I got out the “Debbie Downer” in me, OH MY GOD! I love updos! Miss Marie has taught us the coolest tricks lately. Not to mention, I finally learned how to do a French braid! I know, it’s not an advanced technique, but it’s always something I wanted to learn but never took out the time to do it. Here’s some of what we’ve been up to:

Here's a fun twist we learned how to do: Twist from the scalp down. Make a loop, placing ends to scalp. Place pointer finger at center of loop and hold ends at scalp with other hand. Release finger from loop and this twisty loop will form.

It's the brains!!! Twist, twist, twist, twist, twist. And then, repeat.

Looks like a basket weave, huh?? Miss Marie showed us this little trick she learned. Take the center strand of a three-strand braid. Hold it down secure while you push up on the other two strands. Push up to scalp, or until the desired tension you prefer is achieved.

  Once you start to release those two strands, and pull them back to join the center strand, this is what it looks like as it forms. Kind of cool for detailing an updo!

Here, I learned how to do a five-strand braid! It was very difficult!! I still think I messed up the beginning, but the rest isn't too shabby.

This is the fishtail braid. I LOVE THE FISHTAIL BRAID! It's so pretty, especially when it's looped like a ribbon around a bun or on the sides of a back-centered updo, to add some "flair."

My first French braid EVER! Love it!

Here's the Overlap technique. Still a little rusty at it, but it was my first time. It's really pretty, and perfect for stabilizing a veil.

Hah! This is my first "updo." Everyone keeps saying it looks like "turds." It's just a bunch of big twists secured to the scalp with hair pins and bobby pins.

This is my first attempt at a French Twist. Boooo. She's lumpy and weird looking. A lot of girls in my class don't like the French Twist, but I love it. It's such a classy, timeless look.

Here, we were learning how to do loops. It's pretty! Maybe with some little flowers or a headband she could look "done up" enough for a special occasion. Maybe.

So then we were given the task of creating our own updo where we had to use at least two techniques we've learned. This is mine! Hah! She's a little too out there. We nicknamed her Fancy Nancy with this look. But it was really fun to get creative and play!

Then Miss Marie surprised us and said we were going to have a bridal updo competition. SCARY!! It could be anyone in the party—bride, flower girl, bridesmaid, etc. I had no idea how to start. I had to ask Miss Marie for help on how I should begin the process. She suggested creating two ponytails in the back and looping strands over each other. From editing pages at the Modern office, I knew to leave the hair out at the hairline for detailing later. I'm so glad I did because I think the french braids around the perimeter are what makes the look!

So, then we had to leave the classroom and the other classes  came in judge our work. When we returned we found out who won. Six people in the class got votes. But, it was no surprise that Roni won—hers was so beautiful. But, DRUMROLL PLEASE, I got two votes!!! Ok, ok. I know two votes aren't that much. But it made me SO EXCITED that two people thought my updo was the best in the class. Two people thought mine was the best they saw. THAT'S CRAZY AWESOME!!!

Roni's beautiful bridal updo that won the challenge!

This week, we start chemicals! Perms, here I come!! As always, thanks for the ongoing support and tips!

Alison Shipley






ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Alison Alhamed

Alison Alhamed, Editor in Chief of Modern Salon Magazine | Editor of First Chair

Since July 2008, Alison has worked across all brands under the MODERN SALON Media umbrella, including MODERN SALON, SALON TODAY, FIRST CHAIR and MODERN SALON TV. Alison’s passion for the beauty industry grew even deeper after she enrolled in beauty school, working as an editor by day and a student by night. Alison earned her cosmetology degree from Pivot Point International in Bloomingdale, Illinois, in May 2011.

You can find Alison on Google+ or e-mail her at aalhamed@vancepublishing.com.


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