How To Recreate My Braided Updo

I was fortunate enough to give my aching feet a rest while having my hair braided by the fabulous Tasha Jetter from the John Barrett Braid Bar during New York Fashion Week. But, because this pit stop couldn’t be all fun and no work, I had Jetter walk me through every step required to create the above look, which she did in like 10 minutes. Not kidding. She’s a bit of a braiding genius.

Here’s the scoop on how to get this edgier take on my signature braided halo:

Step 1: Start with dirty hair. Braids are a great way to hide grease, and dirty hair has more grip, which will help your look last.

Step 2: Part your hair where you usually do then pick up a one-inch section of hair on one side and start braiding it using an inside-out French braid technique. It should wrap from the front of your hairline down to your ear.

Step 3: Once you reach your ear, regular braid the rest of that section and secure with a clear elastic. At this point you should have a funky-looking braid hanging over your ear.

Step 4: Move to the other side of your head and create a similar braid on that side of your hairline. Now you should have the front of your hair braided with two braids hanging out over your ears.

Step 5: On to the back of your head. Pick up a two- to three-inch section of hair on one side of your head and braid it. “Just go for it,” says Jetter, “you don’t need a plan.” Secure the braid with a clear elastic.

Step 6: Create two additional braids in the back of your head. One should be parallel to the braid you just created, and one should be below those two and use up any remaining hanging hair. Again, secure the braids with elastics.

Step 7: At this point you have five funky braids hanging. Now it’s time to start pinning them up. Start with the bottom braids. Wrap the three braids in the back across your head in an S shape and secure them with bobby pins.

Step 8: Wrap one of the front braids back toward the larger braids and secure it to the top of the braids with bobby pins.

Step 9: Finish by wrapping the final braid back into the larger braids as well, but wrap this one down along the side of the back braids. Secure with pins.

Though this step-by-step sounds a little complicated, you should really just have fun with the braids. Don’t over think the style. And, “don’t try to be too neat, [the braids] should be whimsical,” says Jetter. Her one main suggestion is to start out with smaller amounts of hair at the front of your head, which will give you more control right off the bat while creating a more sophisticated look in the front. As Jetter says, this look is “business in the front, party in the back”. I thought that phrase was only used to describe a mullet, but I’ll go with her on this one. The look was more polished from the front, and the back caused peers to tweet about my braided updo and strangers to compliment me in the line at Starbucks.

I will be wearing this again. And actually I did — the very next day. I slept on the braids and they were completely intact the next morning. So now tell me, will you give this hairstyle a try?

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