Hair style how-to: The Valentino braid

Feb 23 2012 by
Categories : Beauty

Is this not one of the
prettiest hair styles you’ve seen in a while? It is in my books. As soon as I saw this picture of an update on the classic French braid, I instantly thought about how many times I could wear it in the summer. Weddings, the office, beach days, summer cocktails on a patio … and thank goodness I’ve decided to
grow my hair out longer so I can actually try this hair style out! It’s the braid trend we’ve seen over the past few seasons (remember Alexander Wang’s messy side braid from spring 2010?) with a sweet and sexy spin thanks to this Valentino knockout originally created by Redken Creative Consultant Guido Palau.
Our tips on how to recreate this pretty braid yourself come courtesy of celebrity stylist Susana Hong who is also a spokesperson for TRESemmé. If you’re not an expert braider (like me), you might need a bit of assistance until you get the hang of it. “I love it because once you’ve achieved it, it’s pretty low maintenance,” explains Hong. The look works best on
long, straight hair with very few layers. “If you do have curly hair, just blow dry straight but do not use a flat iron because that will flatten the cuticles too much making the hair harder to grip for the braid,” recommends Hong. And nix the flat iron, since it can make hair difficult to work with. “Hair with heavy shorter layers might prove difficult to style for this particular do. Though it can be done, it will take more product and hand strength to ensure the layered ends stay put in the braid,” says Hong.
Short hair tip: “You can use extensions, but the traditional ones that are clipped in most likely won’t work. You can use ‘braid’ hair – hair that is not attached to any sort of weave, it’s just loose hair. You would add that at the start of your braid, but it’s pretty advanced stuff for the average gal. But the best thing about this look is that it doesn’t have to be perfect,” says Hong.
To get the step-by-step on this hair style …

Susana Hong’s tips for the Valentino braid:
Expertise level: Intermediate if it’s all your own long hair. Expert level if you’re adding the braid extension.
1. This is a modern twist on the classic French braid. The major difference in achieving this style is the placement of the braid – instead of placing it at the back of the head place it around the crown.
2. As you would with a French braid, start by dividing your hair into three sections and add more hair to it each time you braid it into the "mother" braid. I would start from right behind one of your ears, and direct the braid upwards towards the top front portion of your crown, and continue until you get full circle to where you began. It’s important not to pull the added sections of hair too tightly as you go along so you get that softer romantic feel of the Valentino show.
3. When the end of the braid meets the beginning, tie the end of the braid with a thin hair elastic, tuck in the loose end of the braid (aka the "tail" of the braid) back underneath the French braid, and pin in place. This style can be a tough one to do on your own. It will take some creative maneuvering or the help of a good friend.
Must-have products: Hong recommends starting with TRESemmé Climate Control Mousse to give otherwise "slippery" hair a bit of grip, making it easier to maneuver with your fingers. Then finish the braid with a spritz of hair spray.
Do you love this hair style as much as I do? Or do you have any braiding tips? Leave your comments below!

Categories: Beauty