From ancient Greeks, Celts, Vikings, to Frida Kahlo, the halo braid has been a statement hairstyle that never gets old.
One of the greatest lessons my grandma gave to me was teaching me how to braid. She was truly a braid artist, and although I might never reach her level of expertise, I think I can still create some nice-looking styles. The thing with braids, and the reason why I love them so much, is that they are so beautiful and can give a nice touch to any hairstyle. Whether you make them the star of your look, or you use them only as a complement, braids can really make a difference in any given style. Now, with this in mind, we’re going to talk about a particular braid style that can be used basically on any occasion, from formal events to a night out, or when you want to travel in style.
One of the braid hairstyles that have been around for thousands of years is the halo braid, also known as crown braid. Ancient Greek women rocked them in daily life. Celtic and Viking women also adapted it into their looks. Aristocratic women in the Middle Ages had to cover their hair, so one of the styles they used was a compacted crown braid. And you don’t even have to go back that far... One of the most important female icons in history, Frida Kahlo, made of her traditional Mexican crown braid style her signature look. The idea of the style is simple: a braid that goes all around the head as if it were a halo or a crown, and there are so many ways to do it, and so many different styles to choose from that you can actually rock one for every single occasion.
This is the basic halo braid, and the great thing about it is that you can do it with short hair (at least chin-length). The first thing you need to do is apply some spray or dry shampoo to add some texture to your hair, so the braid doesn’t fall apart. The idea here is to braid throughout all your head with a dutch braid, for this, you must start braiding more or less from the ear down so that you can actually conceal where the braid starts and make it look as a well-closed circle. Now, dutch braids are those in which the external strands of hair are braided underneath the middle one to create a more voluminous effect. Go all over around the edge of your head adding strands of hair on each side. When you’ve run out of hair continue the braid normally and tuck it with the braided part to close it. For a more voluminous look, pull apart throughout all the braid and add a bit more of spray to set it. If you don’t know how to make a dutch braid and if you have long hair you can actually create it with a normal french braid or fishtail braid and wrap it all around your head.
Half Halo Braid
Here the idea is basically the same with only a few changes. This time you have to part your hair on one side and start braiding in the same style. Once you’ve reached the upper side of your ear you must stop taking equal strands of hair in the lowest external strand; actually, now you have to take very thin layers to continue with the braiding effect but assure that you’re not taking that much (continue in the same fashion with the upper strands). Once you’ve reached the other side, continue braiding and tuck it in one of the braided strands.
Subtle Headband Braid
Here we’re trying to create more of a tiara effect that will be perfect for those days you want to add a nice touch to your loose hair or simple updo. The idea here is the same but not grabbing too much hair when adding it to the strands, in this way it’ll look thinner and more subtle. If you have long hair you can go for a regular braid and assemble it around your head.
Messy halo braid
This style is great to give a romantic and yet kind of crazy style to your casual look. Make a halo braid as normally, making sure to leave some locks loose. Once you’re done with the braid, pull apart the braid to make it even messier. For a more dramatic look, you can apply some spray before starting and with a thin comb backcomb some strands. Once your braid is done it’ll look messier and more voluminous.
Crown with a Loose Braid
This look is for medium to long hair. The simplest idea is to create as half halo braid as described above you can go for a loose style or a tight one depending on how much hair you add to each strand. With the remaining hair, you can create a regular braid or a fishtail braid (which I personally think to look gorgeous). In both cases to make it look more voluminous, you can pull apart the braid, seriously, this can bring a nice dimension to your style.
Halo Braid with a Ponytail
There are basically two ways to create this look and it’ll depend on where you want to place the ponytail. If you’re a fan of high ponytails the first step is making the ponytail in the place you want it making sure to leave hair around it to make the halo braid. Once it’s in place secure that strand in a bun or with a hair clip to leave loose only the hair you’re going to braid. Make the halo braid as instructed it before and free your ponytail. Again, if you want it to look voluminous and with more dimension, pull apart the braid. Now, if you want a lower ponytail do exactly as in the look posted right above but taking the crown a bit lower or you can do it as with the upper ponytail but placing it wherever you feel more comfortable.
Updo Halo Braid
This one’s perfect for formal events since it’ll look more elaborate and intricate. There are also two ways to achieve this gorgeous and romantic look. So the first advice I would give you besides spraying your hair is to curl it to make it more voluminous and neat. So, having said that, the first one is following the steps of the half halo braid but bringing a little bit lower. There are many options here, you can start by tucking small strands of hair to the lower part of the halo crown and secure them with bobby pins. You could also create small regular braids and tuck them as well to make it more intricate, or you could end with a nice bun, it’s up to you.
Double Halo Braid
Double halo braids are amazing because they bring more dimension to the look, and it’s not that hard once you’ve mastered the halo braiding technique. So to start with, create a centered ponytail leaving enough hair to make the first halo braid. Once you’re done with the first one, lose the ponytail and repeat the instructions. To make it more interesting you can leave some locks loose and pull apart the braids. You could also mix techniques by making a dutch braid and then a fishtail or french braid. The idea is to play with textures and shapes.
As you can see, halo braids might be a little intimidating to try but it isn’t that hard once you get the idea and the process. Moreover, by mastering the basics you can actually get as creative as you want and adapt it to basically any situation or event. Plus, as my granny would say, braiding your hair makes it grow longer. I’ve never wanted to actually find out if it’s true or not, but for me, anything she’d say is a fact so let’s leave it that way.
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