A cool-girl trend of the recent past, the halo braid (also known as milkmaid braids) is ready to make a serious comeback in spring and summer, beyond the trendy crowd of outdoor music festivals, like Coachella or Bonnaroo.
Jennie Kim, from the BLACKPINK women’s group, was recently spotted wearing the flirtatious and playful hairstyle at Chanel’s Fall / Winter 2022 runway show at Paris Fashion Week. Softly adorned with little black ribbons, the whimsical, windswept look looked absolutely regal and elegant, but somehow young and fresh all the same. Woven, wrapped, and subtly mimicking a crown, the updo is surprisingly versatile, ranging from the light-hearted and cottagecore-inspired, to the gorgeously chic and front-row suit of the runway.
Takisha Sturdivant-Drew, Matrix ambassador and celebrity hairstylist of recent Oscar winner Ariana DeBose and multi-dash Kerry Washington, is no stranger to the world of intricate braids and eye-catching hairstyles. Known for her experience in working with naturally structured hair, she is also gifted with a deep understanding of wigs and extensions.
Read Sturdivant-Drew’s simple instructions for getting the trendy style below, plus some specific tips, tricks and tips for different hair textures.
How to create a halo braid
1. Prepare your threads
For those who have straight or wavy hair, or perhaps find their locks easily weighed down by the product, the halo braid is perfect for day two (or even day three) hair. Blot out unwanted oils with your favorite dry shampoo (I love Bumble and bumble’s proven Prêt-à-Powder) and blow dry your hair to get it ready for a clean hairstyle.
Sturdivant-Drew intuitively evaluates those with curly, curly and structured hair: “When I make a halo-shaped braid, I wash my hair with Matrix’s A Curl Can Dream Shampoo to cleanse, then [condition with] A rich curly mask that can provide deep hydration. Then I blow dry my hair until it’s smooth and put a small amount of A Curl Can Dream Lightweight Oil. If you have structured hair, it’s a great product to use – [though] I wouldn’t put oil on straight hair.
2. Create the perfect braid
Once your hair is prepared and ready to start braiding, Sturdivant-Drew recommends “sectioning the front hair to let the pieces hang,” [framing] the face. “For a little extra texture, you can curl or lightly curl those freehand pieces and give them a light mist with some texturizing spray.
Sturdivant-Drew goes on to explain: “Part your hair [at] the nape [of the neck]then separate it into three sections and start weaving [your hair, before tying it off with a clear elastic band]. So, [begin to wrap] the braid at the bottom and along the front, tucking the [end of the] weave underneath in the back, using bobby pins to secure it.
If you have thinner hair, she recommends adding volume with some extensions for a “natural and full” result. If you don’t have extensions on hand, feel free to stretch and amplify the braid before wrapping it in a halo, pulling each piece for a fuller effect.
3. Set the look
Once you’ve positioned your halo braid perfectly, using all the bobby pins it needs to feel secure, it’s time to set the look for a long hold.
For a sleek finish, rub a dime-sized hair pomade into your hands and dab any unwanted flourishes before spraying all over with your favorite hairspray.
For a more tousled look, opt for a texturizing spray that creates that beach vibe that pairs perfectly with spring sundresses and picnics.
Below, find product recommendations you can use to achieve the perfect halo braid.
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For curly / textured hair