WATCH! Rope, Dutch, Fishtail – the three braids you CAN do at home

We just can’t get enough of braids, but trying to do them on ourselves can be tricky (cue lots of shouting at the mirror while wondering if our fingers and brain have always been so disconnected). But taking the time to really nail one or two different braids is worth it – the messy gym pony that always falls out becomes a tight-knit double braid that no amount of burpees will undo. Here, we’ve pinned down the three plaits that will work for whatever life throws at you, courtesy of super stylist Rachel Bartlett (pictured left) who, when she’s not flexing her styling skills for Layered, can be found at the salon-of-the-moment, Larry King in London’s South Kensington.

Rope braids

 

Rachel used:
Redken Fashion Waves 07, Redken Wind Blown 05, backcombing brush, sectioning clip and clear elastics

Step 1: Spray Redken Fashion Waves 07 onto dry hair and blow-dry through.
Step 2: Using a backcombing brush, part hair in the centre and section off one side.
Step 3: Take a horizontal section from your temple through to the centre parting and split this section into two equal parts.
Step 4: Begin to twist both sections anti-clockwise, wrapping your twists around each other in a clockwise motion (opposite to the way you twisted).
Step 5: To pull in more hair as you go, hold both sections in your left hand (if working on right side and vice versa), place your index and middle fingers on one twist and your thumb on the other. Next, with your right hand, and starting just above your ear, slide your finger along your scalp and into the middle part of your hair (horizontally). Add this section into your twist being held with your index and middle fingers.
Step 6: Continue twisting anti-clockwise and repeat this technique until you reach the nape.
Step 7: Revert to twisting technique along the length of your hair and secure with a small elastic.
Step 8: Repeat technique on opposite side.
Step 9: Finish with a spritz of Redken Wind Blown 05 over both the braids.

Dutch braids

 

Rachel used:
Redken Velvet Gelatine 07 Volumizing Blow Dry Gel, Redken Quick Dry 18 Instant Finishing Spray, backcombing brush, sectioning clip and clear elastics

Step 1: Apply Redken Velvet Gelatine 07 Volumizing Blow Dry Gel onto dry hair and comb through.
Step 2: Using a backcombing brush, part hair in the centre and section off one side.
Step 3: Take a triangle section from your front hairline into your centre parting and divide section into three equal parts.
Step 4: Braid this section once from right to left, feeding your sections underneath the centre (this is what will make your braid raised and not flat).
Step 5: Holding all three sections in one hand, use your other hand to take a horizontal section from front of your hairline into section being held by your other hand.
Step 6: Repeat on other side, going from centre parting to the main section.
Step 7: Continue technique around the curve of your head, maintaining a firm tension and secure with an elastic.
Step 8: Repeat technique on opposite side.
Step 9: Finish with Redken Quick Dry 18 Instant Finishing Spray to smooth down flyaways.

Fishtail braid

 

Rachel used:
Redken Guts 10 Volume Spray, Redken Powder Grip 03 Mattifying Hair Powder, backcombing brush and elastic

Step 1: Apply Redken Guts 10 Volume Spray Foam onto dry hair and blow-dry through.
Step 2: Using a backcombing brush, backcomb lightly around the shape of your head to encourage texture.
Step 3: Place your hair over one shoulder and separate into two equal parts.
Step 4: Take a small strand of hair from the underneath of the left section, wrap up and around and add this into your right section.
Step 5: Take a small section from the underneath of your right section, wrap up and around and into your left section.
Step 6: Continue this technique down the length of your hair, maintaining separation between your initial two sections.
Step 7: Secure with a small elastic.
Step 8: Sprinkle Redken Powder Grip 03 Mattifying Hair Powder along the length of your braid, massaging the braid with your hands and pulling at the edges to encourage a more lived-in texture.

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