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There’s no denying the beauty of a braided hairstyle. From French to Dutch to zipper, there are so many intricate styles to choose from! One of our personal favorites? The waterfall braid. This beautiful braid is the perfect special occasion hairstyle for your prom or wedding—or any day you want to feel extra amazing. Want to learn how to create this stunning long hairstyle? (Sorry short-haired friends, this may not be the 'do for you!) Keep reading for our easy, step-by-step tutorial.
Before you start braiding, wash your hair with a shampoo and conditioner that will keep your locks frizz-free. We love the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Frizz-Defy Shampoo and the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Frizz-Defy Conditioner. The line provides long-lasting humidity and frizz control, so it’s perfect for achieving a smooth style.
Brush your hair to ensure it’s free of any tangles and knots. Then, part your hair as you normally would. This style works with a side or middle part, so it’s totally up to you!
Start by grabbing a section of hair at the front of your head that’s about two inches wide. This will serve as the start of your waterfall braid. Split the section into three pieces of equal size and braid as you normally would by placing the right strand over the middle strand and then the left strand over the new middle strand.
Once you’ve anchored your braid, it’s time to begin your waterfall braid. First, add some hair to the right strand and move it over the middle strand. Then, let go of the left strand and grab a new piece of hair to replace it. This will create the cascading effect that distinguishes the waterfall braid. Next, move your new left strand over the middle strand. You’ve just finished the first stitch of your waterfall braid!
Repeat step four, making sure to guide your braid in a horizontal line across the back of your head. Once you’ve reached the other end of your head, secure your braid with a clear elastic and use bobby pins to tuck the end under your hair for a seamless, romantic look.
Add thickness and volume to your braid by using a pancaking technique. This involves gently tugging on the edges of the braid to loosen it, which will create the appearance of a fuller braid.
Now that you’ve finished your waterfall braid, complete the style by curling your locks. Use a wide barrel curling iron to create loose, carefree waves, or use a smaller curling iron to create thin ringlets. Curls complement this braided hairstyle well and amplify the waterfall effect. You can also opt to create some heat-free waves by using the L’Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle AIR DRY IT Wave Swept Spray on towel-dried hair prior to braiding.
Don’t forget to seal in your beautiful style! Use a strong hold hairspray, like the L’Oréal Paris Elnett Satin Hairspray Strong Hold, to keep your strands in place.
Want to take your waterfall braid to the next level? Add an accessory to further the dreamy ambiance of this hairstyle. Here are three ways to accessorize your waterfall braid:
While artificial flowers will totally do the job, nothing says romance quite like incorporating some fresh flowers into your ‘do. Place them throughout your braid and bobby pin them into place. If you’re really feeling the floral vibes, you can also add them throughout the length of your mane.
If your style is more on the glamorous end of the spectrum, you may want to add a jeweled hair accessory into the mix. Not only will this make your waterfall braid seriously elegant, but it’ll also balance the bohemian vibes of the braid with the luxurious aura of sparkly jewels.
Looking for an option that screams fun and carefree? This is for you. Temporary hair color sprays wash out in just one shampoo, so you can play, wash, and repeat as often as you’d like. We recommend the L’Oréal Paris Colorista 1-Day Spray or the L’Oréal Paris Colorista Hair Makeup 1-Day Color. Try adding a few colors to the ends of your curls for a dip dye effect.
For more braided hairstyle ideas, read our article, Runway Roundup: 4 High Fashion Braids to Spruce Up Your Style.