When it comes to braided hairstyles the possibilities are literally endless.
The possibility we’re exploring here is the whimsical halo braid.
This is a wonderfully intricate looking hairstyle ideal for those with shoulder length or longer hair.
Still the longer your hair the better because that makes it easier to create this super stylish look.
Also having thicker hair is an added plus.
Yet that doesn’t mean fine haired girls are left out of the fun. A halo that has been generously pancaked to add the appearance of more fullness and volume to the plaits can pack plenty of awesomeness to fine hair too.
Now if you’ve ever researched this braided style online one of the first thing you should have noticed is there are videos showing how to do this with a French braid and with a Dutch braid.
To clear this up the Dutch braid is preferable. That’s because that will make for a more eye catching plait that stands out more than if it was a French braid.
And don’t worry, if you don’t already know, the Dutch braid simply moves the strands with the added hair under rather than over as with the French. You might say it’s the reverse of the French braid.
Plus a Dutch braid makes it look like you draped the braid around your head. Which is just the illusion you’re going for.
Also, depending on your braiding skills, this might be considered more of an advanced style. So it may take a first timer some praticing to get the hang of it.
Just the price to pay to be a boho hair goddess I guess.
That also means that once you do master it you’ll feel all the more excited knowing you can produce a romantic look others think they can not.
But don’t worry. The second video here offers a way to cheat and still get the look if your braiding skills aren’t up to it. You might say it works almost like magic for those who kinda suck at braiding.
Plus between the first and second video some halo hacks are revealed you don’t want to miss.
Okay so this video will walk you step-by-step through the potentially tricky process of halo braid creation.
How To Do a Halo Braid
When first starting your halo do what you can to keep the braid close to your hairline. You also want to angle downward slightly towards the nape of your neck on this side.
Note again that she did a Dutch braid. Like any braid, you’re constantly adding new hair to one strand and taking the other strand under and into the middle.
BONUS: As more pieces of hair are incorporated they help to hold your halo securely in place.
In essence there are four stages to your typical halo braid.
- The first takes you from start down the first side.
- The second is when you have braided back as far as you can using the same hold. To start braiding the hair in the back of your head you’ll need to switch hands. Seeing it done in the video helps makes this clear. You just have to keep track of where you were in the braid and move the hand furthest from the braid first so you can start braiding the other side.
- The third stage then is obviously moving from the back of your head and up the other side. Doing this can be tricky. And pay attention as she changed how she was incorporating new hair into the braid as she made her way back up to the front.
- The final stage comes when you’ve run out of hair to add. Simply finish things up with your typical three strand braid and secure the end with a clear elastic.
As you come full circle around your head the trick is not losing your way each time you transition from one stage to the next.
Just take your time, get your bearings and continue adding hair as you go. I mean it’s not like your hair is on fire or something.
When you reach the end of each stage, if you can, take the time to gently tug at and loosen the hair you’ve just braided.
What you’re going for is a full, fat, fabulous braid.
After watching a number of halo braiding videos this one seemed to be the most helpful. That’s because of a couple of tricks she uses.
- One is explained when coming back up the opposite side she started on.
- Two how she hides the end.
Neither have I seen mentioned elsewhere.
Okay so yeah we’ve got the end to hide out of sight.
There are three ways to handle this.
- Wrap the last bit around to the back and tuck it into the braid in back from the top and secure with a bobby pin.
- Stick the end under the braid in back again pinning securely.
- Wrap it around and pull the end through a loop in the braid pinning the end up underneath.
Where you end up doing any of that depends on how long your hair is obviously.
Running the bobby pin through the elastic can help insure the end stays where you put it.
Well placed bobby pins can help aid braid security. So go back and pin anywhere else things feel a little loose to help hold the braid firmly in place.
Done right, you’ll create a braid that encircles your head and looks practically seamless. The point being to effectively disguise the start and end points.
We all know braids and second day hair are meant for each other. So it helps to begin with the hair best prepped for what’s to come – and that would be second day hair.
But what if you have a freshly shampooed mane? In that case things might benefit from some “manufactured” texture. (Oh and if you do wash your hair consider using a volumizing shampoo.)
Now one way to manufacture texture is to prep clean hair with dry shampoo or texturizing spray.
I know, right?
As an added benefit prepping like this will also dramatically boost the volume while helping prevent dreaded braid slippage. Simply part your hair a couple of times just above ear level all around your head and lightly spray the product at the roots taking care not to overdo it. Then work in with your fingers.
Remember it’s best to work with hair that’s completely dry.
Brush out your mane to both smooth and detangle.
Some report running a curling iron lightly through their locks helps the braided hair to lock onto itself.
Imperfect Section Selection
When grabbing additional sections of hair to add to the braid don’t worry about being too precise. Varying the size of pieces incorporated will produce a more fun, carefree, playful plait with a slightly mussed-up vibe.
Bigger Is Better
Along the same lines this is a braid that to me looks better full and sassy. So try to take larger sections of hair (at least half an inch or so in width) especially when first starting out. You can increase the amount of hair in each section once you’re braiding strong.
Don’t panic if you forget to do this because you can always pull at the braid to loosen up what you’ve done to make it look fuller. Having more hair in each section just makes fullness happen as you go.
When you’re done and to add to the carefree look here you can also gently tug on the hair at the crown of your head to loosen it up just a bit too. While face framing wisps of hair can help to soften the overall affect while adding more of a boho element too.
Lock In Place
You might want to lock in the style with a light misting of extra hold hairspray. It can’t hurt to use hair spray to tame any frizz that developed either.
It helps to keep in mind you’re not looking for perfection here. So don’t get frustrated. By loosening the braid you will have a slightly messier undone look that appears to have been done imperfectly on purpose. So that’s a way to hide anything that in your mind didn’t come out quite right.
All of which is totally fine. You want to totally embrace any messiness – real or created.
Now for those who find following the instructions in the first video too hard here’s an easier variation that involves doing two fishtail braids and then wrapping them around your head.
HINT: Of course you could always do two Dutch braids instead.
Super Easy Version of the Fishtail Halo Braid
- Divide the hair in two sections
- If you want any hair to frame your face now’s the time to pull it out
- Divide the first half and fishtail braid it
- Before securing the end with your elastic loosen the braid just a bit
- Repeat with the hair the other side
- When done you’ll have two braided pigtails
- Take one of the pigtails, pull it over the front of your head and pin it in place much like you would for a milkmaid braid
- Take the other and string it around the back of your head and pin it in place
The result is an insanely pretty braid that coils around you entire head and looks striking from any angle.
Is that a genius hair hack or what? We’d like to think so.
Don’t you agree that halo or crown braids are the ultimate “I should have washed my hair today but didn’t have time to” style?
Or what some might call braided bliss?
Yet being able to produce a slightly unkempt natural looking halo braid or even one that has a more polished or elegant edge takes your styling cred well beyond a mere second day hairstyle. Leaving you with an attention grabbing look perfect for more formal events or a casual night out with girlfriends.