The Grown-Up Fishtail: Incorporating a Braid into a Wedding Updo

Alison Alhamed | September 23, 2016 | 10:43 AM
Photo By Samantha James Photography Photo 1 of 3
Photo By Samantha James Photography Photo 2 of 3
Photo By Samantha James Photography Photo 3 of 3

Our most recent winner for #modernsalon's Wedding Party Wednesday contest Krystle Waivio blew us away with her entry that combined twists, turns, braids and bling. Waivio, who is a traveling bridal stylist and salon owner out of Grand Rapids, Michigan, told us that for her bride Danielle,  the only requests were a braid going back and somewhere to place the flower hairpiece. "Her hair is a couple inches passed her shoulder blades, medium density and highlighted," Waivio says. "Perfect for a whimsical updo!"

Here are her top tips to recreate this head-turning style! Scroll through the photos to see the beautiful photography of Samantha James Photography and floral styling of Forever And A Day Events.


Less is more when it comes to updos. "If your client’s hair is fine, limp, or too silky, spray in Neuma neuVolume Blow Out Mist for added volume," she says. Blow dry the product in using a paddle brush, over directing the hair near the part for added volume. Section by section, curl entire head with a -inch iron, curl away from the face. Lightly break up the curls with your fingers. Section out the sides with a side part.

Step 1: Lightly backcomb the crown at the roots, smooth over with a teasing comb, gather together in back and slightly twist. Secure with criss-crossing bobby pins. Pinch and pull small pieces in the crown to create lived in texture and extra volume.

Step 2: Begin the french fishtail braid on the heavy side, about and inch from the part. Continue braiding until behind the ear, leaving out wispy tendrils around temple and ear. Pinch and pull fishtail to create a bigger, more voluminous and textured braid. Secure ends with an elastic and lightly mist with Nuema Medium Hairspray.

Step 3: Start pinning up the back section, incorporating the end of the fishtail to secure and hide elastic. Leave some ends out, for a looser look. Very lightly mist with medium hairspray as you go.

Step 4: Divide weaker side into two sections; top and bottom. Bottom section first, lightly twist up and back, draping back into the curls. Remember to leave out a few wispies! Repeat with top section. Pinch and pull the twists for more volume, texture, and drape. Pin the ends into the rest of the curls in back. Finish with Neuma Firm Hold Hairspray.

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