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4 Ways to Embellish a Braid

May 15, 2018

Whether you’ve been to a festival this year or have simply seen everyone’s festival photos on your social media feeds, there’s a solid chance you’ve already picked up on one of this year’s biggest hairstyle trends—embellished braids. In years past, braids have been a stand out hair style for festivals and other summer events and the same thing holds true in 2018. The only difference is, instead of sported the same old fishtail and French braids, everyone’s taking their styles to the next level with an embellishment (or two). Ready to find out how to upgrade your own braids for both festival and everyday wear? Here are four ways to embellish a braid along with the products, such as hair spray, that you need to create each look.

Braid Embellishment #1: String

Have you been looking to repurpose a ridiculous amount of embroidery thread since abandoning your friendship bracelet making hobby? If you answered in the affirmative, you’re in luck—you can turn that thread into a free embellishment for your braid(s). The latest and greatest braided style features pipe braids with string woven through. Seriously, go peep your favorite influencer’s festival pictures, chances are they rocked this look.

Get the look by following these simple steps:

Step 1: Separate Hair into Two Sections

You can achieve this look with a single braid but why not have two? It’s double the fun! Begin by splitting your hair down the middle so that you can have a braid on each side of your head. 

Step 2: Create Pipe Braids

We’ll admit, pipe braids aren’t the easiest braid to create. So, be prepared to take your time. Start by taking a small piece of hair from the top of one section, which will be your main strand. Then, take another small section of hair and pull it underneath the main strand, creating a “4” shape. (This a technique you may remember from your friendship bracelet days, it’s extremely similar!) Next, bring the tail of the strand you crossed underneath overtop of the main strand and pull it through the loop in the “4” to form a knot. Once you’ve made your first knot, switch the places of the two strands you’re working with, and pin the secondary strand out of the way.

Then, repeat the steps you’ve just taken with a section of hair on the other side of the main strand. When you’ve pinned that section out of the way too, it’s time to return to your original secondary strand. Bring it down and create another knot using the “4” method, but this time, combine the strand with your main strand instead of pinning it. Do the same with the other pinned strand—and you’ve completed your first set of knots. Continue creating knots in this way until you’ve reached the send of your braid, then tie off with a clear elastic. Repeat on the other side of your head.

Step 3: Pin a Piece of String on Each Side

Thread a long piece of string through a large blunt (read: not sharp!) needle, then secure the opposite end of the string to a bobby pin. Insert the bobby pin underneath the top of your braid to hide where the string starts. Do this on both sides of your head.

Step 4: Weave the String Through Your Braids

Take the needle from one of your strings and begin threading it through your braid. Wrap the string around the pipe braid, working your way down. Don’t worry about perfectly placing the string, a messy crisscrossed pattern is encouraged! Once you reach the elastic, wrap your string around it a few times before securing it with another pin. Then, repeat with your other braid.

Step 5: Spritz with Hair Spray

Since this look takes more time than your average braided style, it’s doubly important that you lock it in place. Before you do anything else, spray your hair with the L’Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle LOCK IT Bold Control Hairspray

Braid Embellishment #2: Hair Rings

News flash: Jewelry isn’t just for adorning your neck, ears, wrists, and fingers. You can use it to dress up your hair, too! Hair rings—tiny metallic rings that can be placed throughout a braid—are one of the most popular choices. And they can even have charms on them! Pair them with a Dutch braid for a truly on-trend style.

Get the look by following these simple steps:

Step 1: Use a Texturizing Spray

Hair rings create a funky look, so don’t bother trying to make your hair perfectly smooth and frizz-free. Instead, give your hair a boost of texture and volume with a texturizing spray, like the L’Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle Boost It Air-Blown Texture Mist. Spray directly on your roots, then move right along to step number 2.

Step 2: Create A Dutch Braid

Use your braiding know-how to create a Dutch braid down the back of your head.

Step 3: Place Hair Rings Throughout

Good news, hair rings are practically full-proof to use. When you’re ready to add them to your style, simply twist the rings to open them, then slip the ring through your braid wherever you want. Once it’s placed, twist the ring closed, then turn it so the spot where it opens is hidden. Repeat, adding more rings until you’re satisfied with how desked out your Dutch braid is.

Braid Embellishment #3: Flowers

If flower crowns are starting to feel overdone but you still aren’t quite ready to give up on adding a natural touch to your hairstyles, we know just the thing. Instead of donning a crown made of flowers, place tiny flowers throughout your braid. You’ll look like you’re straight out of a fairy tale—promise.

Get the look by following these simple steps:

Step 1: Create Any Braid You Like

One of the best things about accessorizing a braid with flowers is that it works on literally any braid. So, pick your favorite and get to braiding!

Step 2: Add Shine with Hairspray

Remember, hairspray isn’t only for keeping your braid together. Give dull strands shine with a few spritzes of the L’Oréal Paris Elnett Precious Oil Satin Hairspray.

Step 3: Stick Flowers in the Braid

Another bonus about embellishing with flowers, it’s literally as easy as sticking the flowers through your braid. Just leave a small piece of stem on the flowers, and push the stems directly into your braid. Ta-da, a floral ‘do.

Braid Embellishment #4: Temporary Hair Color

Guess what? Color counts as an embellishment too! If you don’t want to stick anything through your braid, there’s always the option of brightening it with a splash of color.

Get the look by following these simple steps:

Step 1: Apply a Volumizing Mousse

Bump up the volume on your strands before braiding by using the L’Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle BOOST IT Volume Inject Mousse. Apply evenly through damp hair, then allow your hair to air dry. (That’s right, all of these beautiful braids are heat-free styles!)

Step 2: Create a Fishtail Braid

Everyone loves a good fishtail braid, especially for summer. So, go ahead and create one. When you’re done, pull it over one of your shoulders and carefully pull apart sections to fluff it up.

Step 3: Spray with Temporary Hair Color

When you’re satisfied that your braid looks amazing, it’s time to make it look even better by adding a pop of color. Simply spritz the braid with one (or a few) of the L’Oréal Paris Colorista 1-Day Sprays. Our suggestion? Create a trendy ombré effect with multiple pastel shades!

Step 4: Finish with Hair Spray

Give the temporary color spray(s) a few minutes to dry down, then you’ll want to finish off your look with a layer of hair spray. Spray the L’Oréal Paris Elnett Satin Hairspray Extra Strong Hold Volume all over your braid, and you’re finished.

Think you might need to refresh your braiding skills before attempting to embellish your hairstyle? In that case, head on over to our article, Braiding Basics: How to Braid Your Hair—which covers how to create four types of popular braids.

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