5 TIPS On HOW TO Create The Perfect Updo

Maggie Mulhern | July 9, 2014 | 8:32 AM
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MODERN found Dawn Atkinson (@hairartistrybydawn), a stylist at the Rod Sickler Salon and Spa, Champaign, Ill when she tagged us on instagram. It was just this awe-inspiring French knot that made us click through. She started her professional instagram account just the day before and had uploaded a handful of shots. When we first visited she had 21 followers and after MODERN reposted her image on our page, she jumped to more than 250 in less than 2 hours. So far MODERN has more than 1600 "likes" in less than 12 hours on the knot shown here. "It may not be my favorite," she says, "but it is my favorite saved on my phone. I've done so many braids, knots and upstyles, but I didn't always take a picture and save it." Atkinson advises that all salon professionals take pictures of their finished looks.

Frequently called the "Braiding Queen", Atkinson clearly has this knotting thing mastered. She is an educator and Master Artist for Sexy Hair traveling the country teaching Sexy Hair systems including upstyling and just about everything else but color.

We asked her for her tips for creating the perfect braid/updo:

1. Make sure the hair is in a polished state (not necessarily shampooed that day, but fresh).

2. Make sure to have a good working pomade to keep the work neat and controlled (Atkinson uses Healthy Sexy Hair Soy Paste, "It's my favorite," she says.)

3. Allow the hair to "talk" to you and do not try to force or manipulate it. "If the hair is unruly, you may want to slightly retexturize with any heated tool," she says.

4. Make sure to have a smooth cuticle."This is key," says Atkinson. Again, she uses the Soy Paste to smooth the hair but advises an anit-frizz spray for frizzy or unruly hair. Atkinson emulsifies the paste in her hands and then applies as she works from mid shaft to end in one or two inch sections depending on the design.

5. Use a great workable and finishing hairspray while working, not a firm hold spray. "I use the spray to control and to create a bulidable hold while creating a design," she says. "A firm hold spray may make it too tacky or difficult to place."  (Atkinson uses Healthy Sexy Hair Soy Touchable.)

In her profile she says: “I am a passionate hairdresser that loves creating art through hair design as well as educating and inspiring others.” We agree!

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