After narrowing countless entries to the Braids and Brides contest down to 10 semifinalists, we asked the 10 talented stylists to create a braid-based special-occasion look. Our panel of judges and editors picked their five favorites!
The five finalists not only earn major bragging rights, but they also receive our sponsor challenge box packed with top-notch products and tools from some of our favorites—Ulta, Moroccanoil and Goldwell!
Congrats to our five finalists:
- To create this romantic style, Howard expanded small twisted sections at the top portion and pinned them in a crisscross pattern. At the center back, she braided a small accent infinity braid, shaped it into a crescent and secured it with a bobby pin. For the bottom of the style, she created a medium size fishtail/bushel braid, (bushel side out) draped it to the opposite side and pinned into a cascade of flipped bubble braids. The look was finished with pearl bridal accessories.
- The hair was colored by Khan with Celeb Luxury viral red and blow dried smooth with the ghd heat protectant spray. She then used a 1 inch bionic hair curler to curl the whole head and sprayed each section with Paul Mitchell extra body finishing spray. She then started creating her style at the top with a fishtail braid, which was flowed diagonally down to the side of the head. The fishtail braid was then deconstructed and small sections were pulled out on each side for a fuller look. She then took three sections under it and did a 3 strands braid along with some twists added to the braid, taking 1 inch section as she worked her way to the bottom. After that, she deconstructed the braid for more volume and fullness. Hair accessories were added for a nice finishing touch along with some Aquage shine spray.
- Ortega used Kenra Volume Spray and Working Spray to prep the hair and Kenra Working Wax for taming flyaways when creating the braid and finishing spray. The updo is supported by a hair donut/filler to help form a well balanced and firm updo. She teased the entire head, placed a donut or filler at the lower nape and started building the updo. She made sure tostay in the center so the updo didn't loose its shape. She created volume at the top and pinned right above the updo. Ortega incorporated the side pieces into the updo and then began the infinity braid. She said this was tricky because infinity braids are supposed to be narrow and tight! She pinned to the rest of the updo once she was satisfied with the braid and then accessorized!
- Domoney prepped the hair with Sexy Hair Surfrider spray. Using only the hair in the crown, she made a 1/2 up pony and twisted into itself like a topsy tail. She clipped it out of the way. Leaving out the fringe starting at the hairline vertically working back to the center, she French braided both side sections only to the center back and secured them with an elastic. She clipped it with the first section. She divided the back in two sections and used elastics to create a faux braid on both sections. She used Powder Play Lite to expand as she went along. Once she had the faux braid pigtails, she used a bobby pin to sew them together. She brought down the first three sections and gathered them into a ponytail. A small piece of hair was wrapped around to hide the elastic. She dropped down 2 1/2 inches and wrapped an elastic. She flipped this into itself for a faux fishtail and covered the elastic with hair. Domoney continued this to the end of the section and pinned it into the bottom braids. The style was finished using Spray & Play and flowers.
- Brasure used a combination of the bushel braid, half bushel/half fish tail braid, rope braid and faux fish tail braid. She also used a variety of pulled apart twisted curls and loose tendrils. She expanded a few of the braids for more dimension while others were left to their true size. For products, she prepped her sections with Sexy Hair Love Oil, added texture with Kenra Professional Dry Volume Burst + Design Me Puff Me, smoothed the ends of hair stands left out by using Paul Mitchell Gloss Drops and finished with Design Me Hold Me + Kenra Professional Shine Spray. To complete the design, she used sprays of crystals and pearl accents.
The finalists have ONE MORE challenge before one of them is named the grand-prize winner. Using products from the challenge box, finalists must have all hair up for the last challenge. Entries are due by 11:59 p.m. CST on February 25 and public voting is open from February 26 to March 4. Our grand-prize winner will be announced March 5!
BUT THAT’S NOT ALL! You can still hang with these guys AND get the chance to win some of the amazing prizes they’re snagging by entering our Braids and Brides giveaway—the winners go home with jaw-dropping loot.