How To: Easy Braided Updo

The Info—Stylist: Yesenia Guinea of Ketér Salon in Berkeley / Photography: Hart & Sol WestMichelle Govang / Venue: The Box SF / Flowers: Green Snapdragon Floral Design / Dress: Little Borrowed Dress / Jewelry: BrideBlu Vintage + Handmade Jewelry

Now, before you look at this updo and think that it’s way too complicated to pull off, let me just stop you right there. Because this might actually be the easiest, quickest hairstyle of the whole bunch. (Yes. Seriously. Thanks P&G!) I think sometimes the reason that we get scared to do our own hair and makeup (or let’s be honest, people try and convince us that we should be scared to try and do it ourselves) is because weddings have a limited amount of prep time built in, and we’re afraid that if we try to do something ourselves, we won’t realize we’ve screwed it up until it’s too late and we’re supposed to be at the ceremony in ten minutes.

Which is what makes this look so great. It’s all about braids, and they’re not even complicated braids at that. So, unlike other hairstyles that require curling or straightening and a lot of patience for the payoff (which, admittedly, I don’t always have), you pretty much get instant gratification here. And the best part? There is no chance of omg-what-have-I-gotten-myself-into whatsoever. It took Yesenia less than ten minutes to do Emily’s hair (for us mere mortals this probably means closer to twenty), which means that if you mess up the first time, you can just take it out and start all over again. Right? I know.

Even though this style is super easy, there are still a few tips for making it work to your best advantage:

Prep: This is actually a universal tip, but any time you are going to be doing an updo (even if it’s going to be a little loose or curly) you want to prep your hair by applying product (for Emily we used Herbal Essences Touchably Smooth Smoothing Mousse to add some volume) and then blow-drying it out with a round or flat brush. This smooths out the hair (especially at the top of your head where it counts) and makes it easier to work with.

Braiding: This is a simple if obvious tip, but make sure you have help for this one. (I mean, you knew that, right?) Unless you were that girl at summer camp who was somehow a wizard at crossing three strands over each other and making magic, French braiding the back of your own hair is going to make you want to cry.

Finishing The Look: A lot of what makes a DIY hairstyle look like a pro did it, is in the finishing details. In order to make this style look like one cohesive updo instead of three random braids, make sure to tuck away any loose ends so that they are incorporated into the rest of the hair and then hide your bobby pins by sticking them into the hair, not over it (and then do a little creative bobby-pin hiding with the hair around it). Side note: bobby pins (because of their shape) tend to reflect light weirdly, so even if you can only kind of see them from afar with your naked eye, there is a chance that a camera will pick them up anyway, so try to cover them up as much as you can.

Also, since let’s face it, most of us aren’t actual hairstylists, the looks we’ve chosen are meant to be executed with a little looseness to them. So when you’re finishing out the bun, don’t be afraid to mess it up a bit and pull out some strands to give the bun more interest. This way you won’t be worried about every small piece being perfectly in place and the finished look will have an air of I wasn’t trying that hard, this just looks awesome by accident. Which I’m pretty sure is tattooed somewhere on Jennifer Aniston’s body.

And that’s it! If you know how to braid, you know how to do this hairstyle. And if you don’t know how to braid? Well, maybe it’s time to rekindle your friendship with that girl from summer camp.

Have questions about how to modify this hairstyle, or which products would be best for your hair? We’ll do our best to answer them in the comments, but you can always direct your questions at @PGBeauty for their expert advice (or if you’re not on Twitter, post your questions on their Facebook page for more info).

Download a PDF of the shopping list for this look here.

**This post was sponsored by P&G Beauty. Thanks P&G for helping make the APW mission possible!**

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