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Braiding Hair

Different Styles of Braid

For a regular braid, take three sections of hair. From left to right, number the sections 1, 2 and 3. Take section 3 and place it over the top of section 2. Now from left to right, again the sections become 1, 2, and 3. The middle section is number 2. Take section 1 and place it over the top of section 2.

Continue taking the outside sections and placing it over top of the middle section. You will take section 1 and switch it with the middle strand, section 2. Repeat all the way to the end of your hair and you will be left with a braid!

If you already know how to do a regular braid and want to learn something a little more advanced, try a fishtail braid. For this braid, you will be working with two large sections. Section 1 will be on the left and section 2 will be on the right. Take a small piece of the back of section 1 and place it over section 1, joining it with section 2. Then take a small piece of the back of section 2 and place it over section 2, joining it with section 1. Repeat all the way down to the ends of your hair until complete and you are left with a beautiful fishtail braid.

French braids are easier to learn if you practice on someone else before attempting it on yourself. Take a section of hair at the top of your head and divide it into three sections. Begin a regular 3 strand braid. Then begin taking small sections of hair and adding it to the outside piece of hair before braiding it over the middle strand. Continue adding small sections of hair every time you braid a strand over the middle piece. Once you run out of hair to add, continue with a regular 3 strand braid and you are done!

A Dutch braid is also called a reverse braid or an inside-out braid. You will begin again by taking a section of hair at the top of your head and starting it off with a regular 3 strand braid. Again, you will take a small section of hair and add it to the outside strand of your braid. Instead of placing it over the middle strand, you place it under the middle strand. Then on the other side, take a small section of hair and add it to the outside strand. Then braid the strand underneath the middle. The steps are the same as a French braid except you are braiding underneath instead of over the top. Continue adding hair until all of the hair is added to the braid and finish it off with a regular 3 strand braid and you have completed your Dutch braid.

Five Ways to Curl Your Hair

Brunette Woman with Curly Hair

  1. This easy, no heat technique will give you tighter, more natural-looking curls. On damp hair, use long spiral rollers in varying sizes that you can get from Target. Start from the bottom and work your way up your head. Take a section of hair similar to the size of the curler you are using. Twist your hair around the curler, away from your face. The spiral curlers are flexible and you can fold the top and bottom of the curler over your hair to keep it in place. Then, simply go to sleep. When you wake up the next morning, start taking the curlers out at the bottom and work your way up. Gently use your fingers to separate your curls and use a lightweight oil like Dry Remedy oil. Depending on your hair density and texture, put 2 to 4 drops in your hands. Rub your hands together and scrunch the oil into the ends of your hair to eliminate any frizziness.

  2. An even easier, no heat technique that gives you more of a body wave. On damp hair, use a headband of your choice and place it over your head like a crown. Starting at your front hairline, take medium-sized sections of hair and wrap it around your headband, away from your face. Continue until you reach the back of your head and repeat on the other side. All of your hair should be tucked into your headband and you can go to sleep. When you wake up in the morning, simply unwrap your hair from the headband, take the headband off and you’re done. I like to use a large barrel wand or curling iron to touch up a couple pieces around my face but that’s optional.

  3. For another loose curl technique, you can use hot curlers. You can buy them in a set and they come with clips to use as well. On dry hair, starting in the back, take sections of hair similar to the size of the curler you are using. Wrap your hair around the curler and use the provided clip to keep your hair in place. After all of your hair is in curlers, get ready for your day. Do your makeup, get dressed, etc. After you are done getting ready, take the curlers out of your hair and gently separate the curls with your fingers. Use some hairspray and you’re done.

  4. Instead of hot rollers, you can use a wand or curling iron. Again, take sections similar to the rod size you are using, starting from the bottom, and curl everything away from your face. For beachy waves, use a larger rod or barrel size. For tighter curls, use a smaller barrel. For curls that last all day long, before letting the curls hang down, use a single prong hair clip or bobby pin to pin the curl in place. If you choose to pin your curls, get ready for your day with the pins in place. After you’re done getting ready, take out all of your clips or pins and spray with hairspray.

  5. This technique uses a wand or curling iron, is a little faster, and will give you looser curls. Simply tie your hair up into a loose, high ponytail. Take medium to large sections of hair and curl them. After all the hair in your ponytail is curled, gently take your ponytail out and touch up some curls around your face. Spray with hairspray as needed.

Ballerina Bun

Woman with Ballerina Bun

Get your hair off your neck for these hot summer months with a ballerina bun! I’m going to explain different ways to achieve a ballerina bun depending on whether you have a hair donut, a long sock, or just bobby pins. Depending on the technique, you will also need a hair tie or elastic, brush, a comb, hairspray, and scissors.

You start by brushing your hair into a ponytail and tying it with a hair tie or elastic depending on the density of your hair. If you have thick hair, a hair tie would work best. If you have fine hair, you can use either a hair tie or an elastic, whatever you prefer. I find that the ballerina bun works best with a high ponytail on the top of your head, but you could also do a low ponytail.

If you have a hair donut, pull your ponytail through the center of the donut and place it at the base of your ponytail. If you have long hair, a larger donut would work best; with shorter hair, a smaller donut is better. For thicker hair, spread your hair all around the donut and place a second hair tie or elastic over the donut. If you have finer hair, take sections of your hair, spray it with hairspray, and backcomb before placing your second hair tie over your hair and the donut. This will help to make your hair appear fuller and conceal the donut better. The mids and ends of your hair will be left out of the donut. You can either twist that around the donut, and bobby pin it to conceal the hair tie, or you can braid the mids and ends then wrap the braid around the donut to conceal your hair tie. Then use hairspray for any fly-aways and you’re done.

If you don’t have a hair donut, you can also use a long sock or tube sock. Try to find a sock that matches the color of your hair. Simply cut the toe part off of the sock and begin rolling the sock into a donut shape. The longer the sock, the larger the donut will be. Then take the same steps from the first technique, just use the sock as your donut.

If you don’t have a hair donut or a sock, pull your hair into a ponytail and spray sections of your hair with hairspray before backcombing small sections of hair. When backcombing, backcomb the bottom side of the strand so when you lay the hair down, the top of the strand will be easier to smooth. After you backcomb, take medium-sized sections of hair and bobby pin them in a donut shape. You will bobby pin the ends of your hair to the base of your head, close to your ponytail. After all of your hair is bobby-pinned in a donut shape, use your fingers to pull and stretch the sections you bobby-pinned so there are no gaps between sections. Then use your comb to lightly smooth the top of your bun and hairspray it in place.

You can pull out some face-framing pieces of hair for a messier look or hair spray everything nice and smooth for a sleek look. You can accessorize with a headband, flower, large bow, and anything else you desire.

Tortoise Shell Hair

Tortoise Shell HairstyleBeyond popular ombre and balayage hairstyles, there’s a slightly different look showing up in the hair of celebrities like Lauren Conrad and Jessica Alba. Very similar to balayage, it’s a new technique called tortoise shell. Khloe Kardashian sports another good example of the tortoise shell look, which is also known as ecaille.

Tortoise Shell hair is a little softer. You start by either coloring your natural color a little darker or balayage darker highlights to add some richness to your natural hair color.

After you deepen your hair, you put highlights on top of that. These highlights will generally start higher up than a traditional ombre and, instead of a dip-dye look, you will be left with something multi-dimensional.

Instead of gradually fading from dark to light, you focus more on specific shades. Highlights will be warmer tones like honey, caramel, chocolate, and mahogany.

Since you are changing your natural color to a slightly darker shade, the maintenance is similar to regular color or highlights and will need to be touched up every 4 to 6 weeks as your roots grow out and begin to show. If you would like something a little less noticeable between your color appointments, you can use a toner to darken your natural color, instead of using permanent color, so the darker shade will gradually fade over time.