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You probably grew up weaving traditional three-strand braids—and since then, your braiding repertoire may have expanded to include all sorts of braids like the fishtail, French, and Dutch. After all, sometimes it’s fun to switch up the kind of braid your wear! But have you heard about the skeleton braid? This new braided style is quite intricate—which may explain why it has taken social media by storm and earned a name for itself as one of summer 2017’s must-master looks. The layered labyrinth of stitches and weaves looks totally stunning. So, if creating a seriously photogenic-looking braid interests you, follow our nine-step tutorial below. This could very well be your prettiest-looking braid yet—and it’s not as difficult to create as you might think.
There’s just something about braids that can instantly elevate any look. If you’re bored with the traditional three-strand braid and want to learn a new technique, you’re in the right place. Create a skeleton braid by following the step-by-step instructions below.
Step 1: Spritz on a texturizing spray. Since the skeleton braid is all about tucking loose hair into a braid, it’s a good idea to add some grip to your strands to help keep the style in place all day long. Do that by lightly spritzing your hair with a texturizing spray from roots to ends.
Step 2: Detangle your hair. Like with most braids, your best bet when it comes to creating the skeleton variety is to start with tangle-free tresses. That way, you won’t have to restart your entire style when you come across a knot. So, glide a boar bristle brush gently through your hair to help untangle any knots.
Step 3: Create a braid at the crown of your head. Divide a small section of hair out from the rest of your hair at the crown of your head. When pulling this section of hair out, think of it as horizontally parting your hair for a half-up look but keeping the front half of that section free. Using this section of hair, braid a traditional three-strand braid so that it’s hanging loose down the back of your head. Tie your braid off with a mini elastic.
Step 4: Pancake your braid. Gently tug at each stitch of your braid so that it looks slightly more textured.
Step 5: Bring your skeleton to life. Starting at the front of your face, pull small sections of hair back and tuck them into each loose loop of your braid. As you entwine these new sections of hair into your braid, make sure you pull them all the way through so that they become part of the other side of your hair.
Step 6: Take out the elastic. Once you reach the end of your braid, take out the clear elastic and weave that small section down towards the ends. Since you’re continually adding more hair into each stitch of your braid, it’s going to get longer—that means you’ll need to re-braid the ends to be able to incorporate the loose hair at the ends. Once you finish braiding, re-secure your braid with the clear elastic.
Step 7: Fluff up your braid. Gently tug at each section of your skeleton braid so that it gets wider and looks a bit more carefree. Remember: Braids aren’t supposed to look perfect!
Step 8: Pull out face-framing strands. One of the easiest ways to amp up the romance factor of a hairstyle is to pull a few whimsical strands out surrounding your face.
Step 9: Finish with hairspray. Since your skeleton braid will be pretty loose, make sure to finish it off with a spray of the L’Oréal Paris Elnett Satin Hairspray Extra Strong Hold to help keep things in place as you go about your day.
Now take a look at that! Gorgeous, right?! Whether you’re headed into the office, a yoga class before brunch, or a night on the town, a skeleton braid can be the perfect complement for any situation. Once you’ve mastered this look, try your hand at our waterfall braid tutorial.