Hair
Nov 2, 2015

Your guide to perfect holiday braids

By: Carli Whitwell

Imaxtree Author: Elle Canada Credits: Imaxtree

Hair
Nov 2, 2015

Your guide to perfect holiday braids

By: Carli Whitwell

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Your guide to perfect holiday braids

How to get perfect holiday braids

Save the beach waves for summer pool parties. The holidays call for pretty, polished plaits. “For me, the holidays are always about playing up your look because you have so many parties to go to,” says celebrity hair stylist Sarah Potempa. “Braids you can make  very classy, very beautiful and very glamorous.”   READ MORE: How to get New York fashion week's "it" look: the braid crown

By: Carli Whitwell Source: Courtesy of Imaxtree Credits: ELLE Canada

Your guide to perfect holiday braids

How to get perfect holiday braids: Prep hair

If you have curly hair, Potempa recommends combing out knots during shampooing. Then, use a dollop of styling cream such as L'Oréal Paris EverCurl Sculpt & Hold Cream-Gel and let hair air dry. If your date is picking you up in half an hour, you can always blowdry hair roughly to bring out its natural texture. Better yet, skip the wash altogether. The texture of hair that hasn’t been washed for a day or so will help hold the braid.   L’Oréal Paris EverCurl Sculpt & Hold Cream-Gel ($14.99), at drug stores and mass-market retailers.   Read more: 7 highlighters to make you look more awake than you feel

By: Carli Whitwell Source: Courtesy of L’Oréal Paris Credits: ELLE Canada

Your guide to perfect holiday braids

How to get perfect holiday braids: Prep hair

If your hair is fine – and therefore more likely to slip out of a braid – spritz on some texturizing spray. “That will give it that grittiness,” says celebrity hair stylist Roger Medina, adding it also makes the braid look fuller. No spray? Dry shampoo will also add texture.   Balmain Texturizing Salt Spray ($32.50), at balmainhair.com.   READ MORE: 10 celebrities who are giving us major fall hair inspo

By: Carli Whitwell Source: Courtesy of Balmain Credits: ELLE Canada

Your guide to perfect holiday braids

How to get perfect holiday braids: French braid

This is a great choice for braiding beginners. Start with a small amount of hair at the top of the head. Separate hair into three strands. Start weaving the three pieces in the pattern "left under middle, right under middle," pulling tight to lock strands together. When you need to add more hair to the braid, take two of the strands and hold tight with one hand and use the other hand to grab hair for the piece. Good luck!   READ MORE: The right way to spray perfume in your hair

By: Carli Whitwell Source: Courtesy of Imaxtree Credits: ELLE Canada

Your guide to perfect holiday braids

How to get perfect holiday braids: Fishtail braid

This perfectly imperfect look – a red-carpet favourite of Blake Lively's – looks much more difficult than it is. Start by separating hair into two sections. Hold one section in each hand. Separate a small portion of hair on the outside of one of the sections. Cross this to the opposite section. Tighten and repeat on the other side until braid is complete. If this looks too polished, run you hands up the braid from the bottom to the top to mess it up à la Mrs. Reynolds.   READ MORE: 3 ELLE Canada editors make dramatic transformations to their hair

By: Carli Whitwell Source: Courtesy of Getty Credits: ELLE Canada

Your guide to perfect holiday braids

How to get perfect holiday braids: Crown braid

This is our favourite holiday party look! Starting at the side of your head, just below the ear, take a section of hair and divide it into three. Tilt your head to the side and braid the hair, picking up more strands as you go, over the crown until you reach the bottom of your other ear. Do a simple three-strand braid to the end and secure with a clear elastic. Using bobby pins, pin the tail of the braid under the ear where it started.  Medina suggests criss-crossing the pins, with one facing up and one facing down, for maximum hold.   READ MORE: Iconic celebrity looks that may inspire your next haircut or colour

By: Carli Whitwell Source: Courtesy of Imaxtree Credits: ELLE Canada

Your guide to perfect holiday braids

How to get perfect holiday braids: The five-strand braid

If you perfected the French braid at your fifth grade sleepovers, challenge yourself with a five-strand braid. (Bonus: all the kids on the adult playground will be jealous.) Separate hair into five pieces and start with the stand on the outside, going over and under. Repeat with the strand on the outside of the other side of the braid. “It’s like basket weaving,” says Potempa.   READ MORE: Could dry shampoo be ruining your hair?

By: Carli Whitwell Source: Courtesy of Sarah Potempa Credits: ELLE Canada

Your guide to perfect holiday braids

How to get perfect holiday braids: Make it last

Sure, satin sheets are very romantic. They are also very practical for extending the shelf life of braids. Medina recommends sleeping with a satin pillowcase to prevent the braid from getting roughed up. You can also pin up your tail to protect it.   READ MORE: 11 pumpkin beauty products we're coveting this fall

By: Carli Whitwell Source: Courtesy of Getty Credits: ELLE Canada

Your guide to perfect holiday braids

How to get perfect holiday braids: Go ultra-polished

Once you’ve finished your braid, spray a fine-tooth comb with hairspray and then comb the flyaways around the hairline.   Kérastase PARIS Laque Couture ($36), at kerastase.ca.   READ MORE: Behati Prinsloo talks beauty, travel and her favourite scents

By: Carli Whitwell Source: Courtesy of Kerastase Credits: ELLE Canada

Your guide to perfect holiday braids

How to get perfect holiday braids: Play with accessories

“I think braids and hair accessories  go really well together because they balance each other out,” says Potempa, who styled this braid for Jamie Chung. “Especially for the holidays when you can have a little more fun and be a little more glamorous.”   READ MORE: Here's exactly how to copy Elizabeth Olsen’s high-fashion TIFF bun

By: Carli Whitwell Source: Courtesy of Sarah Potempa Credits: ELLE Canada



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Your guide to perfect holiday braids