Saturday, 27 March 2010

It's all about braids

My hair used to be long. Really quite long. Then in November 2008 I just went temporarily crazy and for some reason unknown even to me (probably because of the hassle it is to keep long hair healthy) I cut it. I was thrilled for about 48 hours, then I realised short hair didn't really suit me that much. I felt like Samson must have felt without his hair. Or like Irina Lazareanu for that matter. Let's face it: Irina belongs with long, hippyish hair, and so do I. So for the last year and a half I've been desperately taking care of my poor, mutilated hair and now it's sort of getting back there. My dream is to have intriguingly long hair (enough to be able to completely cover my boobs) and my nightmare still is trying to keep it healthy. Thin, fragile hair like mine needs a whole army of thickening shampoos, glossy conditioners and nutritive masks. And then you need to blow-dry and brush and... Frankly, it never ends.
So I couldn't be more thrilled when I discovered one of the big hair trends this spring are braids: they are easy to make and feminine and flattering and you don't need to spend 2 hours doing a brushing before doing braids! So, at least for me, this will be the Summer Of Braids.
If I could achieve Alexander McQueen's hairdos... I would be a professional hairdresser. I simply love the kind of medieval, warrior-like spirit of Plato's Atlantis' hairstyles. But although nothing would make me happier than strolling down the street wearing that hair (and, why not? The Armadillo shoes as well), I realize that look wouldn't really be suitable or easy to wear on planet Earth. Luckily there are other options.
I've loved Oscar de la Renta's braid crowns. They are chic and feminine yet they have a somewhat traditional costume flavour. Paired with long earrings they really do the trick.

Also, you can make them more special and dressed-up by putting a ribbon in one of the three sides of the braid when making it. I used to do that when I was about 12 and it looked lovely. Unfortunately, the provincial town I lived in was not very partial to braids, so it got me more laughs than admirative glances. Still, if de la Renta says it's chic, there's no doubt it is. Just one piece of advice: always use a ribbon of a shade that suits your hair colour.
Diane Von Furstenberg offers a more realistic alternative to McQueen's hair. It's also simple to do: just part your hair several times and braid it from the top, keeping it next to your head ( you can do that by constantly using new streaks of hair whilst doing the braid instead of doing it with only 3. It requires a bit of patience and maybe practice but afterwards it's really easy to do).
Super classic braids were the bet at Dsquared2. You all know how to do them. The trick for these ones is just to bring your hair back and start both of them from the back. That way they look more sophisticated and slightly less girly.

Finally, if what you want is just one long braid, there are also several options. Roberto Cavalli's is a cool, easy one: just one strict, tight braid. Perfect to wear after the beach or the swimming pool since it looks lovely worn with wet hair (yeah, I know it's only March and I hear in Paris it's raining cats and dogs, but I'm already obsessed with beaches and swimming pools).
Missoni's hair is cool as well. I would tend to ignore the slightly alien-looking things on top of the head of the model, but "spike braids" look amazing. I used to have a tip about how to make them but I must admit I can't completely remember it. Something about taking little streaks of hair out of the three big ones you would normally make the braid with. If any of my readers remembers how to do it, it would be lovely if you could post a comment explaining!
Otherwise, you can opt for the biggest hair trend of the season: the slightly messy-looking, side braid. Now, I am 200% certain that Miu Miu hairdressers spent several thousands of euros in hair extensions for the show (there is simply no way a human being could have as much hair as the model in the picture above).
Luckily Dsquared2 are showing a more realistic version. As you see, it's uber-easy to do: just do a normal braid sideways and deliberately mess up your hair afterwards (you can take the little bits of the braid and pick some hair out of them for a more casual look).

Alexander Wang definitely got the look. Just remember to put some hairspray on so that your hair stays just as messy as you want it to, not more!


  1. great post! i know what you mean, my hair used to be down to my waist, but then i cut it and have regretted it since. it's slowly growing out again. love love love braids, but i never have time to style my hair ;)
    oh, and i do know how to do the "fishtail" braid: split hair into two sections, then pull a small section from the back of one side and cross it to the other. repeat on the other side until you get to where you want to end it. get it? i was planning on doing a tutorial for it if you need a visual reference :)


  3. Esa trenza que dices la usé muchisimo era Porque Una manera de ir bien peinada y que no se nota que tengo el pelo pobre, al menos a mi me lo parece, Aunque tengo amigas que les encanta, poque claro ellas lo tienen rizado el mio y es completamente lacio y fino.
    Ya veo que te han explicado cómo hacerlo.
    Un beso

  4. I need to find a fishtail braid tutorial desperately! I attempted it the other day and it did not work at all. Very annoying!

    Lovely post :)

  5. The classic braid crown looks really odd with my face, so I avoid that style, but I've become a fan of the loose side braid lately.

    When making fishtail braids, like at Missoni, I use the same approach as the first commenter. It's a great look, but it's a little challenging (at least to me) because my arms start aching when I'm only half done ;)

  6. Love the braid roundup...I really, really want hair extensions to make my braid look like Miu Miu's braids!

  7. I have never got the hang of braiding - whenever I try it looks awful on me! And they don't last for more than 20 minutes! Must practice!

  8. I looove braids and use my hair like that very often. I'm sad for my long hair from last month. I got a crazy mood and had it cut too :(
    although is more healthy, i miss my long hair, it use to touch my waist line, now its above my shoulders. I'm hoping it grows fast.
    Lovely post and gorgeous ideas for different braids**

  9. all i want this summer is a long wind blown side braid! im obsessed.

  10. Oscar de la Renta's braids are so lovely! They make me wish I was without a fringe!

  11. i think i'll always like the alexander wang braid the best. :)

    helen xx

  12. I agree, braids are absolutely perfect ! I use to wear the alexander wang-style last summer everytime, because I was in my 'short but I want them long' phase :)
    Now that I have them long and hippie-ish and half-straight half-curly braids are going to be even cooler !!!

    ....and then I'll shave one half of the head, and I will regret it like you did for your short hair ;D

    Great article as usual !

  13. you just reminded me of a friend that knows how to make every kind of braids in the world and let me tell you something: long and super straight haired girls appreciate a friend like that

  14. Ohh, I know how you must have felt. I only had short hair once and wasn't happy at all. Short hair also needs so much more styling than long hair. I absolutely love the braids, too. Wearing one pretty much every day now.

  15. It is so cool and also easy sometimes, when you are in a bad hair day ;)

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Thanks for your lovely comments.