Disclaimer: This post is part of a paid project with Head & Shoulders.
Ok here’s the thing: I have big hair. And I don’t mean big in a very extra, drama kween kind of way (although it sort of is that, too), but genuinely big. Large. Huge. However you want to phrase it, my hair is that. When I was younger, mum would save up bi-annual trips to the hairdresser for a rainy day (literally – all day), then plonk my twin sister and me in the capable hands of Mark, our family stylist, while she did whatever a time-poor mother of identical twin girls does with a spare day. As I got older and my blonde started to darken (I stoically described it as dark blonde but it was probably more light brown with sporadic, unpredictable highlights), salon appointments became even lengthier. Because foils. And by the time all that palava was over, there was little love left for the styling element. I learnt to straighten my hair to within an inch of its existence, and rarely strayed from my idol Avril Levigne as inspo.
Wierdly, though, my memory of big life events is punctuated by memories of how my hair looked. When I sat my A Levels, I was going through an extreme-high-pony phase. When I completed Officer training at Sandhurst, I had a flammable-grade amount of spray in my hair and enough Kirby grips to keep a small country afloat. But if I really think about it, my happiest memories tend to be with a braid. Braiding with friends at the sail school in Rock, flinging wet hair into loose plaits on balmy nights in Portugal, successfully Dutch braiding at festivals then resfusing to take them out for the subsequent week… Braids are a real hair happy place for me.
So why don’t I do it more often? I think the honest answer really has to be habit – I am a creature of habit, and once I find something that works for me I rarely change it. For years, I have worn my hair in loose waves than frame my face. My hair is always smoothed without taking out the volume of my signature style.
BUT. I have found the perfect compromise – a subtle braid that ticks that beachy wave box, demands attention and adds a bit of summer fun to my style without detracting from my boho style. Introdcuting the monobraid (plus waves. Obv). So if you’re in the market for a new style (or even if you’re not – cheat a little, I dare you…), here’s 6 easy steps to re-create my look.
Step 1: wash and condition your hair using Head & Shoulders new Supreme Moisture shampoo and conditioner.
Step 2: using a tailcomb, section your hair into three distinct sections. The easiest way to think of this is creating a triangle running backwards, starting from both temples. Secure the top section out of the way using a clip of hair tye (my hair literally laughs in the face of clips, but they do tend to be a little easier to work with for most people).
Step 3: using a round bristle brush, smooth dry your hair. Head & Shoulders Supreme Moisture contain argan oil and leaves hair feeling really soft and smooth, so it’ll take to heat styling well.
Step 4: take a section of hair from the very middle of your hairline and start to braid. Because my hair is so thick, I prefer a slightly looser braid, but it’s really up to you. The less hair you use, the tighter the braid will be.
Step 5: work backwards adding in the triangle of hair that your sectioning creates. Secure your braid with a small elastic or a blast of strong-hold spray.
Step 6: using a large-barelled tong, create loose waves through the remaining two sections of hair. I tend to use a lower heat and wrap the hair around the barell for longer because it helps the wave to last longer. Allow your hair to cool before you shake out your waves (fingers, wide comb or literal shaking all work here).
Note: if you’re just not a down-do kinda person, this is the moment to sweep your hair into a low bun. Still add the movement from the waves as it’ll help hair appear fuller from the added texture.
Et voila! I’d love to see your finished results – tag me on Instagram @OliviaCoxLondon.