How-To: Fall 2012 Braids

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by Chloe Karaskiewicz, Fashion Writer

Though braids were re-vamped for Spring 2012, the trend continues to show new variations this fall. Check out some of the designer styles and more wearable versions of these hair-raising trends.

Do the Twist

Twisted braids abounded at Fendi, with models sporting two twists as a headband, with pigtails of the same design. This trend is more wearable when toned down, so choose what you twist sparingly, using the hair as a focal headband or a jazzed-up ponytail.

To achieve these precise styles, twist two thin strands of wet hair separately and then around each other, securing with bobby pins.

Braided Bun

Double buns supported floppy hats at Marc Jacobs, and though they weren’t always visible, they are making a splash in the beauty world. To rock this trend, think less Princess Leia, more low pigtails in small buns.

Using your preferred part, divide your hair into two sections. If you are using a side part, consider dividing the back portion of your hair down the center to create more even sides. Secure a pigtail with an elastic band, then braid each section and secure again. Wrap each braid in a bun and secure with bobby pins.

Severe Structure

The well-coiffed hair of Salvatore Ferragamo’s models was parted down the center and slicked back before being braided and arranged in an oval shape. This structural hair can be achieved with bobby pins and lots of gel, and can be toned down in a looser form for everyday wear. The general idea is to keep the braid in an unexpected place: behind the neatly parted front and pinned up, not hanging down.

Braided Accents

A new take on hippie chic hair came from Rachel Zoe for fall. With textured, straight hair, these models showed a single skinny, long braid, the perfect understated accent for a simple look.

For this easy style, loosely braid a section from your part to the very ends of your hair, securing with an elastic band. The loose wave will stay better and last longer if your hair is texturized, achieved via product, sprayed saltwater or careful backcombing.

Around the World

Marchesa’s messy wrap-around braids were the buzz of the beauty world when they premiered on runways for fall. A tousled version of Valentino’s crown braids from Spring/Summer 2012, this look loosely braids the whole head without the harshness of cornrows.

Though Valentino’s look is less constructible without several extra hands, given the braid wraps seamlessly around the head, Marchesa’s iteration is a one-person task as it uses a side part as the starting point. Begin with a French braid from your part down the side of your head and across the back. Secure with an elastic band. Now braid down the other side of your head from the opposite side of your part and secure with an elastic band. Pin both braids to the back of your head or twist together into a bun to finish.


The classic double French braid got an update from Elie Saab. With a center part, these models had tight, Elizabethan braids that accentuated a heart-shaped face. The extreme tightness of the braid made the style more sophisticated than girlish.

Dress French braids up by pinning the ends around each other for a flat bun in the back of your head, or have a youthful play day by leaving them down.


Emilio Pucci’s thick braided headbands were reminiscent of 2006’s toast to the milkmaid braid, but brought a more delicate feeling to the look. With only part of the hair braided, this is a very wearable trend and has inspired many hair accessories, including braided faux hair and leather headbands.

To get this accessory-free look, braid a medium to small piece of hair from behind each ear, crossing them over the top of your head. Secure with bobby pins wherever the ends fall on top of your head, or behind the opposite ear if your hair is long enough.

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