Urban Outfitters
Urban Outfitters
Free People
Free People
Free People
Free People
Free People
Free People
Urban Outfitters
Urban Outfitters
Barefoot Blonde
Barefoot Blonde

Braids For Grown Ups

Author: Miranda Eason

Last week the entire Rock My team got together for two days in Birmingham to discuss future plans for Rock My Style, Rock My Wedding and super-exciting Rock My… soon to be launched (in the not too distant future) shiny new blog. It was an inspiring two days, and not just on the blog front. There was some excellent hairspiration going on, specifically braidspiration.

On morning two, three members of the team arrived wearing their hair in very different hairstyles, all involving some kind of plait. Rock My Wedding editor Fern had her long dark hair tied back in a single loose, chunky plait, casually pulled over one shoulder. Founder of all things Rock My, Charlotte – who always gives good hair – had her long locks pulled back into a messy (in a good way!) gravity-defying up do, complete with a few teeny-tiny barely-there braids. Whereas Rock My designer Becky had her mid-length blonde hair up in two French plaits with the ends casually pinned up at the back. It looked complicated, but she swore it only took her five minutes.

And then on Sunday, when I went to watch my sister run the Hackney half marathon, I noticed that lots of the female runners were wearing their hair in double French or German plaits instead of the perky ponytail usually favoured by longer haired long distance runners. Proof if it were needed that braids can be practical, as well as pretty. On Monday Charlotte posted a picture from her holiday working a super-cute plaited do on her Instagram feed. Hershesons are launching pop up braid bars in Topshop stores around the country (find out if there’s one near you here). And increasingly on my commute I’m noticing women with all different lengths of hair sporting all kinds of plaited styles. Braids, plaits, whatever you want to call them, they’re having a moment. I know we’re not even halfway through the year yet but I’m calling it, 2015 is the year of the braid.

There’s braidspiration all over the internet. Two of my fave stores Free People and Urban Outfitters are increasingly using braids in their summer 2015 imagery (see some of my favourites in the slider above). Barefoot Blonde aka Amber Fillerup Clark is quite possibly the queen of braids in the blogosphere and provides regular braidspiration that even those of us with shorter hair (er, that would be nearly everyone one the planet) can be inspired by. And, of course, we have a Rock My Style braid board, Braids For Days, on Pinterest.

I’d kind of assumed I’d left braids behind in my twenties but having fallen back in love with the look lately I’ve been plaiting my shoulder length locks in favour of tying them back in a low pony or a messy top knot (even though you can plait short styles, I’m kinda of glad I went very long bob, as opposed to very short bob when I got my hair cut earlier this year). To get my fine hair to stay in a plait I spritz it with a texturising spray like bumble & bumble surf infusion before plaiting which has the added benefit of keeping the waves in place for longer when I take the style down and shake my hair loose. I’ve not yet got to Becky’s level of braiding expertise and so far I’m favouring a single French plait but I’m determined to nail the double French braid up do she was sporting last week before summer’s out, I reckon it’s the perfect holiday hair do.

Anyone else loving braids right now? Already working the look? Any tips for improving my plaiting skills? Spotted any great braidspiration? Favourite celebrity braider? What are your tried and tested products for keeping your plaits in place? As ever, leave a comment below!

Born in Yorkshire. Lives in East London. California girl at heart.
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16 thoughts on “Braids For Grown Ups

  1. This is my new favourite Pinterest obsession! Just a few days ago I was sat watching tv and attempting to do a double french plait. It was not too bad an effort, but a mirror would definately be helpful next time. I’ve been a bit in love with the Heidi look since I saw Lauren Laverne presenting Glastonbury with this style last year. I’m not going to any festivals this year but I would be busy perfecting this style if I was.

    1. Glad to know I’m not the only one who’s still at the practicing stage Claire! The Heidi look would be perfect for festivals. Tbh I think there’s a braid that’s appropriate for almost every occasion!

  2. I love a plait! Although usually only on other people. I managed to master the art of plaiting quite early on (thank you pony obsession, lots of practice plaiting ponies every weekend of the summer!) but for some reason I haven’t quite managed to create the right “look” with plaiting my own hair. I like a high style personally (as in, I NEVER wear my hair down – weird, I know) so trying to fit in a plait but keeping the height just gets me all in a fluster!

    1. I learnt to plain on ponies too Maddy, I used to do own a pony weeks in the summer at my local stables and one of my fave bits was plaiting my pony’s mane and tail for the gymkhana on the last day!

  3. I am wearing a plait today Miranda, so perfect post! I do my hair in heidi plaits around my head quite often but it is quite a ‘look’. A bit too trendy for me sometimes! I have never heard of Baretfoot Blonde and my hair is about the length of hers so will be trying out all her styles from now on! x

    1. I bet it looks fab! So much braidspiration on Barefoot Blonde, you have the perfect length hair to try all of her styles! x

  4. Oooh I can’t do my own hair 🙁

    I always wear it down or if decorating or netballing I have a rubbish unstylish ponytail. I never mastered doing my hair when I was little, so some tutorials for some of these lush braided looks and also some simple but stylish updos would be much appreciated!


    1. We talked about doing hair tutorials at our meeting Kitty, especially in light of all the creative hairstyles that the team were rocking. Watch this space! x

  5. my sister is amaze at all braids! She can do more or less any kind and it takes her minutes! I on the other hand am rubbish and since having the chop last year im dreaming of longer hair again just to do a simple one where hopefully all my layers behave! Seriously short layers are a braids nightmare for me I hate getting to the bottom and one strand has loads left one has all but gone and ones in the middle!!! Arrgh! No more layers for me haha! X

    1. So annoying Alex and I find that however careful I am when I do two plaits one’s always chunkier than the other, however careful I am to divide the hair equally! x

  6. I love a hair braid/plait, but my thin, fly-away baby like hair will not play ball. It will barely stay put in a hair elastic. For all you long haired braid loving lasses out there (not jel at all..) this blogger has incredible hair and shows you how to do loads of braid tutorials (using clip in hair and all.. serious commitment) http://www.barefootblonde.com/hair/

    I was so happy that I ended up having a cute braid in my hair on my wedding day (it fell out by about 9pm, but oh well). It was a last minute decision to “cover-up” an emergency alice band… i had a ridiculously heavy head piece shebang a bang that just wouldn’t stay put in my aforementioned ridiculously crap hair so we ended up wiring it on to a headband!! Although i never had a hair trial (error!) having a braid felt right at the time and on the day. Thumbs up for braids (and the people who can do them!!)


    1. I love wedding braids Nicola! And yes, a hair trial is definitely a good idea before the big day! x

  7. I was all over braids last summer – I even purchased the lady from Hair Romance’s braid book (forgotten her name, oops, but google Hair Romance – many many potential braid styles).

    I thought I was done with braids and chopped all my hair off, however I’ve discovered since that a bob braided with the ends pinned up can look like long hair in an up do! Score!

    My curly/fluffy hair texture definitely helps to hold the style and provide the requisite bulk – but I definitely recommend putting something in it to create a bit of ‘grit’ – surf spray works, or dry shampoo, or those volumising powders you can get.

    It’s a great summer look and works when it’s dishevelled which is always a winner in my book!

    1. You were way ahead of the braids trend Kate! The Hair Romance Braids Buns and Twists book looks ace, as does the site, so much inspiration on there. Dry shampoo is a good shout for braid-prep, I always have a can of Batiste knocking about. Love a dishevelled summer look too!

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