How To

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How to: The Braided Updo

Fri, 14 December 2012 1:43PM

Disclaimer: The braided updo is one of those ‘dos that actually doesn’t really need a how-to. That’s because there aren’t really any hard-and-fast rules about how to style it – and that’s because there are so many ways to wear the look.

Take, for instance, just some of the variations on the style that have appeared on the red carpet this year …

AJ Michalka

Dianna Agron

Bérénice Bejo

Jaime King

Kirsten Dunst

Nevertheless, when ghd sent us this exclusive video of hair maestro Alan White creating his version of the look, we couldn’t help but play it for you.

If you can’t play the video just now, here’s the cheat sheet:

  • After blow-drying, mist ghd Final Shine Spray, $20, 1300 443 737, through the ends of your hair, and work through with a paddle brush.
  • Create a low side-parting and section hair in two halves.
  • Start French braiding on the larger section of hair. Keep the braid loose so it stays looking modern.
  • Work the French braid down the side of the crown, pulling in hair from the back. Keep French braiding around towards the nape, and then plait off the hair to the very ends. Secure with a clear elastic.
  • Repeat on the other side.
  • Use your fingers to gently tease the loops of the plaits in order to loosen the look a little, and create more texture. Don’t worry if some ends come out of the plaits as you do this.
  • Take a bobby pin and attach one braid up at the underside of the main top braid.
  • Now, simply wrap and twist the remaining lengths around the back of your head, using as many pins as you need to tuck and secure everything all in place. Again, don’t stress if any bits fall out.

True, you need a certain length of hair to work this version, but mine isn’t super-long and I still managed to come close. Here’s my version, quickly whipped up at home last night:


Not bad for a first try, huh?

What think, Primpers, inspired to style yourself a braided updo this party season?

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  • Posted by: anitas.artistry Master Fan // Fri, 14 December 2012 03:36pm

    Nice work Kat!
    I did a braided up do for my last Christmas Party.

  • Posted by: SarahSayers2012 Supporter // Fri, 14 December 2012 04:25pm

    Love this updo on you Kat! Dianna Agron’s fishtail variation is also beautiful/whimsical xx

  • Posted by: PrettyPrincess Master Fan // Sat, 15 December 2012 06:39pm

    I’m terrible at braids!
    Jealous of the people who can do it themselves.

  • Posted by: missselin Master Fan // Sun, 16 December 2012 02:38pm

    I love this!

  • Posted by: daylight dancer Master Fan // Sun, 16 December 2012 05:42pm

    Oh lovely. Thanks so much for the inspiration!! I love braids so ill try this out for sure.

  • Posted by: Sparkles17 Master Fan // Sun, 16 December 2012 09:51pm

    Looks so beautiful, wish my hair was long enough for this!

  • Posted by: adriennne Master Fan // Mon, 17 December 2012 11:44am

    I love me a braided up ‘do.

    I haven’t been able to watch the video yet but I will and hopefully give the technique a go!

  • Posted by: bluebird Master Fan // Mon, 17 December 2012 02:05pm

    This is gorgeous! I have a bob so not enough length to braid.

  • Posted by: CandiH Devotee // Tue, 18 December 2012 10:22am

    Hi Bluebird I found when I was growing my hair out and it was at that bob length that sometimes adding a little braid and pinning it underneath the rest of hair gave it a new feel and when I was going out somewhere nice I would curl my bob and pin the loose braid underneath the curls

  • Posted by: wittyusername Devotee // Tue, 18 December 2012 10:29am

    I’m braidedly challenged… I can’t braid my own nor anyone else’s hair. I have very long hair that would look great braided, but, no luck.

  • Posted by: p3charmed Master Fan // Fri, 4 January 2013 03:04pm

    I love this, but i have enough trouble with one french braid let alone 2, mine always looks so messy and uneven but not in a good way :(

  • Posted by: GorgeousEmeralds Master Fan // Thu, 24 January 2013 09:36pm

    That looks fabulous, I try to do this look for myself every so often.

  • Posted by: jo77 Master Fan // Tue, 9 April 2013 12:21pm

    I am definately a candidate for braid boot camp, I have never been able to do those darn things!

  • Posted by: cookiesandcream Devotee // Thu, 2 May 2013 04:19pm

    this look is so pretty but i suck at braiding my own hair

  • Posted by: aliasam47 Master Fan // Tue, 6 August 2013 01:55pm

    I love all of these, especially Bérénice Bejo’s and yours, Kat

  • Posted by: talkalot Master Fan // Sun, 28 September 2014 10:34pm

    I don’t mind the braid updo, can’t say it would be my first choice in hairstyles though.

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