How To Create In Detail Plait Hairstyles – SS12
The models at Just Cavalli sauntered down the catwalk with hair laced with various embellishments and feathers, tapping into the global style trend, while eyes were outlined in sea toned eyeliner to augment the carefree tone. If you’re keen to try out the look in a more wearable way, Greg Mendham Senior Stylist at Michael John has shared his top tips.
‘To recreate the styles at the Just Cavalli show, keep the hair as smooth as possible by using Perfect Setting Blow Dry Lotion by Wella (£7.50) before you dry your locks. Then divide hair into clear sections with a tail comb - start with a centre parting and plait the two front sections of your hair. While the stylists at Cavalli tied plaits with feathers to keep them pristine, trade them for clear elastics to make the look wearable for day time.’
For an even more wearable way to work the trend, Herbal Essences ambassador Ben Cooke suggests creating messy braids. ‘Messy braids make a great way to introduce volume to your look while keeping it low maintenance. Plait hair using different sized sections to produce a more textured and uneven plait, then twist the plaits together for a textured finish and add a spritz of shine spray. ’
If you usually wear your locks loose, adding an in detail plait a la Jessica Chastain is an effortless way to tap into the trend, update your look for summer or disguise a grown-out fringe. Keep the focus firmly on creating a smooth flyaway-free style to start with by following Sebastian Professional’s UK brand ambassador, Adam Reed’s, top tips.
‘Blow dry your hair with Sebastian Professional Potion 9 (£16.50) beforehand – the rich, leave-in conditioner makes hair more malleable, easier to style and will give you super smooth locks. Once your hair is dry, spritz the spray lightly onto finger tips and work into tresses like you would a finishing product, before plaiting hair one section of your hair for a long-lasting style.’
‘To keep the lengths of your locks as frizz-free as Chastain’s, spray a Mason Pearson brush with Sebastian Professional Zero Gravity hairspray (£14.50) and brush through the hair – it’ll keep your style sleek and help combat humidity.’
‘While some catwalk shows focussed on a looser feel and flyaway detail, Chastain’s style is super groomed so secure your plait at the top and bottom with a clear elastic for a polished finish or take the look from day tonight by twisting your plaits and pinning them into a relaxed up-do,’ Reed suggests.
Backstage at Just Cavalli models’ locks were coiffed into half up half down styles which saw plaits tied with embellished leather strands to lend the look a festival feel. Channel the look and give your locks texture with celebrity stylist Leo Bancroft’s top tips.
‘Matt textured or dry hair is the best hair for recreating the plaits spotted at Cavalli as silky, sleek hair can often become untied and look limp. Try not to make your plaits too perfect – plait different sized sections instead and add a texturising powder to help create a messy hairstyle that’ll still stay in place. Leo Bancroft’s Revived dry shampoo (£4) is great at creating textured hair. To keep your style in place all day, spritz on Secretly Styled hair spray (£4) by Leo Bancroft.’
‘To keep hair looking grown up, try plaiting the hair all the way down to the tips rather than leaving a little out at the ends as it makes the style much more elegant and grown up. Or try twisting the plait around into a small chignon at the name of the neck and add a little glitz by adding some small pearls into the hair,’ Bancroft suggests.
Translating the in detail plait trend into a chic chignon, The Duchess of Cambridge braided bun illustrates an effortless way to incorporate plaits into your evening look. For a similarly polished finish, Aaron Carlo, art director at Headmasters, recommends using a shine-boosting serum when styling.
‘If you’re trying to channel Middleton’s neat, intricate look, adding a serum, such as Kérastase Elixir Ultime Oil Treatment (£27.55) to the back of your hands will help them glide through the hair to prevent fluffiness for a polished style. Also trade your usual hair brush for a flat cushion brush as it’ll flatten and smooth your hair without adding volume.’
‘If you favour a more mussed-up style then try spritzing on L’Oreal Professional Tecni Art Pli (£9.45) to damp hair before styling to give your locks a volume and texture boost. The beauty of braids are the fact that they last, they will however become more textured and messy over time. Embrace the mussed up texture and always take extra pins so that any pieces can be secured back into the braids and try using a dry shampoo.’
Backstage at Michael Kors, rather than neat, uniform plaits, the onus was on creating irregular, earthy patterns to complement the urban tribal feel of the clothes. Leather strands were woven through locks to juxtapose the super-shiny tresses, giving hair a summery festival feel. A great summer style, celebrity hair dresser Richard Ward believes plaits have many benefits. ‘Plaits are fantastic for summer as they protect hair from humidity and UV rays. When you’re on holiday, wear your hair in a plait – the sun will naturally highlight your hair without the salon price tag.’
‘The key to creating mussed-up plaits is to focus on products that give hair texture and hold –waxes and hairsprays like the Couture Hair Stabiliser Hairspray (£18) by Richard Ward are great products to use. Although the feel backstage at Michael Kors was effortlessly undone, the starting base was sleek and shiny, so apply a little bit of wax like Shu Uemura’s Defining Flexible-Cream (£22) to your fingertips while plaiting locks to keep flyaway hairs at bay, or leave hair unwashed for a day or two - the added oils will help your style last longer.’
‘For a more wearable look, try incorporating plaits into your pre-exisiting hairstyle – if have your hair down, add small plaits running through your style or if you wear hair in slick backed chignons, try plaiting locks before you coif style your up do. To take your look from day to night, use your fingers or a tail comb to pull out small sections of hair for a dishevelled feel – the rest of your hair can then be pulled up and styled with plenty of volume, ’ Ward concludes.
Taking inspiration from the Michael Kors models’ tousled and teased locks, proving that plaits don’t have to be pristine, Blake Lively’s side-swept style is an effortless way to coif locks this summer. To get a similarly unstructured plait, Kendal Stratton, style director for Nicky Clarke, suggests adding a texturising product to styled hair. ‘Dust on a bit of Nicky Clarke’s Tease Me Instant Backcombing (£14.50) and shake through the crown and plait, ruffling the hair, pulling out random tendrils and loosening at the hairline to create a softer, more laidback feel.’
‘There are a range of plait styles for any hair texture depending on the particularly look you’re hoping to achieve. While Lively’s thick hair is suited to a mussed-up style, straight, sleek locks can be worked into a similar style if you use the right products. If you have fine hair, prep hair while it’s still damp by adding a strong-lasting product like Nicky Clarke’s Hair Rising Spray (£16) before plaiting to boost volume and create texture, or if your locks are prone to frizz, smooth on Instant Calmer (£12) by Nicky Clarke before blow drying to make hair more pliable and your plait sleeker.’
‘To keep your style grown-up, be aware of the positioning of your plait and avoid styles high on the head which have a younger feel. A long-hanging plait tied at the nape of the neck with a clear elastic or wrapped into a bun shape will transform the trend for any age,’ Stratton concludes.
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