Posts Tagged ‘crown braid’




We love a braided half updo during the fall/winter months because it’s not only gorgeous with that big thick braid, but also leaving half your hair down keeps your necks warm! I think we can all agree this would look amazing any time of year, but today we’re pairing it with a sweater and turning it into our cold weather coiffure!

braided half updo hair tutorial the beauty department

  1. Prep your hair by giving it some soft, loose waves. I’ve really been in love with the piece-y waves I’ve been getting from my  NEW IRON. It’s a 1 1/4 barrel which is half ceramic and half metal. It was an serious hair investment but I’m feelin it! As you know, favorite budget friendly version of this iron is THIS ONE! I curled away from the face and put a couple drops of THIS GLOSS through the middle and ends, which smells ahhhhmazing.\
  2. Next up, create a hairline braid. You’ll want to do it inside-out because you’ll get a fatter looking braid. With a regular french braid, the bulk of the braid gets tucked underneath as you go, whereas an inside-out braid puts the bulkier part of the braid on top! If your hair tends to be really slippery and soft or if you just washed it, try adding a dab of BRAID PASTE or WATERBASED POMADE to the section before your braid. It will help you get a lot more control over your braid without making it sticky or greasy.
  3. Use THIS TRICK to fatten up your braid.
  4. Take a fine tooth comb and tease a very small section in the back of your head. Tease as close to the scalp as you can. This is where you’ll “anchor” your braid, so put it as high or low as you want it. I like to do it right at that bone you can feel in the back of your head, called the occipital bone. It’s a good safe place to anchor the braid if you’re not sure. Use a strong holding bobby pin (and a little strong holding hairspray if you need it) to anchor your first braid to your head.
  5. Repeat the same thing on the other side and then join them together in the back of your head, tucking the second braid into the first braid. Get them to blend together as best you can. I think of it like doing a half knot. I tuck the second braid up, over and then push it into the first braid.
  6. Use a hand mirror to check it from the sides and the back to make sure you have good balance!

Tip: go to a beauty supply and get the strongest bobby pins you can find. It makes the biggest difference with a hairstyle like this! A strong holding bobby pin will not slip and slide all over the place! You can typically feel the difference between the ones you buy at the drugstore and the ones you buy at a pro beauty supply. I love THESE ONES! This links to gold ones but you can get any color and they’re SO strong and fairly inexpensive. Get them, it will be worth it!



Okay, I know this isn’t an actual full braid tutorial but I felt like I needed to throw this in as part of our ongoing “Summer Braid” series because it’s a pretty epic tip. Anyone with fine, thin, straight or super healthy hair that tends to slide right out of a bobby pin will definitely need to grab a bottle of this stuff, STAT. It’s called texture powder and it makes all the difference in the world when it comes to updos and braids. When I first tried this stuff a few years ago, I was terrified. It felt too starchy and dry when I put a light layer of it all over my long hair. I like soft shiny pretty hair and I felt like this made my long hair look matte and dry. Well it’s supposed to! It was designed to “bulk up” the hair you have and give it additional volume so I should have only been applying it at the root. Once I figured out the deal with texture powder, I started using it to get bigger, fuller braids and my hair kit hasn’t been without it since. A lot of products are like that– you just have to find the right way to use them!

So here’s what Nora’s braid looked like before adding the powder. As you can see, it’s gorge and there’s nothing wrong with it so if you prefer to wear it like this then that’s amazing. But trend-wise, we’re always craving a bigger, messier, more textured looking braid than before. All of you pretty peeps who say “I wish my hair was that thick” or “I wish my hair was that long”, should know that Nora has a fine head of hair and it’s cut just above her shoulders, so at least give this a shot!

So here’s how I like to use the texture powders…

Shake a decent amount onto a dry braid. Don’t put it on wet hair. Don’t worry about it looking like a George Washington wig… it fully blends/disappears with the next step.

Once you apply your light layer of texture powder, tap, tap, tap it into your braid. You’ll see your visible powder magically disappear.

Now pull the loops of your braid and that’s it. No, joke it’s that easy. There’s no crazy skill involved. You’ll just instantly have fuller braids that won’t slip out of place while you’re pulling on them to get volume.

There are many brands making texture powders now and here are some of my current faves…

  1. OSiS- Dust It
  2. Bumble & bumble.- Pret-A-Powder
  3. Batiste- XXL Plumping Powder
  4. Big Sexy Hair- Powder Play

Seriously though, if you’re having trouble getting big braids, invest in one of these little game changing bottles! This isn’t the same as a dry shampoo so don’t get them confused! If you do this, hashtag your photo with #TBDbigbraids so we can see yours!



Sometimes when I’m cruising the ol’ www, I get a major case of texture envy when I see these beautiful blondes with so many swirly colors wearing these braids that look so dimensional. My own hair is solid red and to be honest, I love it and I have no interest in changing it by adding highlights or lowlights. I do, however, want to see more texture when I braid my hair. I’ve tested this method a few times now and I’m so hooked on it and I wanted to share. I’ve been using tape extensions, sometimes called “skin wefts” to get color variation without adding another color permanently.We’ve talked about tape extensions before right HERE. I use them in a temporary way which last about 1-5 days depending on how oily your scalp is. I’ve tried getting color variation with clip-ins, which works, but it’s just not the same. Clip-in extensions can make the hair look bulky and sometimes you can’t get the braid the way you want it because a clip-in is in the way. To find tape extensions, you’ll have to visit your local hair extension store or order online. I always send people to The Hair Shop which you can shop online if you don’t have a store near you.

Okay, so below you see a photo of some tape extensions in-hand. See how they’re all slightly different colors? Pick 2-3 colors and get 4-6 pieces total. They don’t need to match the color of your hair because that’s the whole point! If your hair is warm, go with lighter warm colors. If your hair is neutral or ashy, go with something lighter but stay in that family. To apply them, peel the adhesive off and stick them to the root, I always say: “like a post it”. You’ll still have to work around the place where you stick them, but they’re nowhere near as hard to deal with as clip-ins. I often plan out my braid first and then apply them in a way that works with the braid. For example, I laid them horizontally in the image below to do the fishtail braid. Then when I did the crown braid I laid them vertically so they would be going the same direction as the braid.

To remove them you don’t need the hard core remover that you need when you’re wearing these in a permanent way. I just spray THIS leave in conditioner or THIS one, let it set for 3 min and then they peel right out.

Below I’ve created 2 examples of braids without tape extensions and 2 with tape extensions. And for the record, I still think the ones without extension are beautiful. The extra color just adds so much texture and makes the braid look a bit more fun. If you try it out, I’d love to see a photo! Tag @thebeautydept on your instagram pictures!