On A Mission: Braids, Take 1

My life has always, to some extent, revolved around my hair. As I mentioned before, I initially started doing TV so I could expense my blowouts- this motivated me to book a segment every Thursday so I could have good hair for the weekend. And having good hair and being in good shape have always been mutually exclusive- there was no chance I was risking smooth locks with a sweaty session at the gym.

With baby weight to lose, and a new freelance lifestyle to adjust to, I decided the time had come to be the master of my 'do domain- and braids seemed like a good place to start. The goal here is to find simple styles that work well with post Core Fusion hair that may or may not have been washed in recent memory, and will stay out of my face and off my neck for minimal futzing and sweating. Additionally, the look has to not simply accept, but in some ways encourage, flyways- between frizz and split-ends, there is no way around them.

Note that when it comes to hair, I am generally incompetent. Makeup I can do- and I enjoy the process. Hair just stresses me out- I don't have the dexterity, or the patience. So this self-imposed mastery of the mane is no easy feat.

This look is my first success- hopefully more to come. Here is how I did it (yes, it is so easy and not terribly precise):

  1. Part dirty, frizzy hair down the middle and brush it out to smooth the top.
  2. Spray on a texturizing mist just to give it extra hold- my favorite is Beach Blow Texturizing Mist by Blow Hair Care.
  3. Take 2 inch sections of hair right in the front on either side and do one basic braid on either side- they end up being about 1/2 inch thick, nothing fancy. Just make sure the top stays smooth, if not, you gotta start all over again.
  4. Finish them off with clear elastics- they are easy to find at drugstore and beauty supply stores- personally I have just collected random ones from shoots over the past few months and built quite a collection so don't have a particular brand to recommend here.
  5. Twist the leftover hair and the bottoms of the braids together into a bun and fasten with a combination of hair pins (these are like bobby pins but shaped in a wide V so they grip more hair, not as secure of a hold but good for placement) and bobby pins until it feels secure.
  6. Spray a strong hold hair spray all over (I am a L'Oreal Paris Ellnet fan) and throw in a couple extra hair pins for good measure.

The pictures below are from Saturday night on our way to dinner with old friends. For the first hour of our meal I was consistently accused of getting my hair done by a pro. Which initially annoyed me. I mean, do you think I am that high maintenance as to get an updo before a casual catchup dinner? Or is it that you assume I get out so little these days that a double dinner date is such a huge occasion in my  life that a glam squad was in order?

However, once I calmed down and polished off a deliciously salty dirty gin martini, I realized my friends were simply giving me the ultimate affirmation that I am well on my way to successfully completing my mission of total braid domination. One 'do at a time.

Oh- and since is this one of my favorite outfits lately, I may as well tell you about it. The blazer and shorts are old, from Theory and alice + olivia respectively. The tank is one of my maternity go-to camis from Gap- seen here in a Maternity Style post last year. I keep the maternity camis in rotation because they are nice and long so they tuck in well and don't ride up.  But the main reason I love this outfit is because it gives me an excuse to sport the two accessories I love most this month- the tribal-y necklace I picked up at Yumi Kim on the Upper East Side ($62 too, great price for such an amazing piece) and my new-ish red YSL clutch.