As the weather turns from spring to summer, and maxi skirts turn into mini’s, our wardrobes won’t be the only thing we see changing. Soon you will start to see parades of pony tails strutting down 6th Ave, high buns on top heads at the beach, and braids basking in the suns light. One of the most popular trends in braids this season is the milkmaid braid. Worn by starlets like Ashley Olsen, Zoe Saldana and Nicole Richie, the milkmaid braid has become one of the top hairstyles for Summer 2011. Summer brides and fashionistas alike, are turning to this carefree hairstyle to beat the heat, and keep their hair looking neat. For anyone who has ever avoided leaving the house from July to September, frightened by what the heat and humidity might do to your hair…Your prayers have been answered. Here is a step by step tutorial on how to achieve this summers hottest look…The milkmaid braid!
Things you will need…
Bobby Pins (Preferably that match your hair)
Brush your hair out and part it down the middle. Then pull it into pig tails that sit at the half way point of either side of your head. TIP (If you have short hair you are going to want to place your pig tails higher on your head.) Next, wrap a piece of hair around each ponytail holder, to disguise the elastic. You can bobby pin the hair around the elastic to stay down, or just tuck it into the elastic itself.
TIP: If you have a lot of layers in your hair, you are going to want to spray your hair with hairspray to make it easier to work with. Also, day old, unwashed hair, is the best kind to work this kind of style. It just takes better. Freshly washed hair is usually harder to work with.
Braid each pigtail into two loose braids, fasten with ponytail holders at the end of each braid.
Pull the right pigtail to the left ear and fasten with a bobby pin. Pull the left pigtail to the right ear and fasten with a bobby pin.
Hide the end of each braid under the opposite braid by tucking under and pinning. Use as many bobby pins as you need. The hairspray comes in handy about now also, helping flatten any fly aways or stubborn pieces. If your hair is short, simply bring it up to meet the first braid close to the center of the top of your head. This is why it’s good to start your pig tails higher if you have short hair. If your hair is long, lay it behind the first braid. Bobby pin away, and spray for extra security.
You can arrange the braids over your head however you like. Having a hand mirror on hand is helpful, so you can see different angles, and what looks best for your hair type. You can bring the braids across your hairline to create a hair headband
Or you can keep your braids further back, if you have bangs and still want your bangs to show.
This look is both simple, and practical. It will keep your hair off your neck when it’s hot out, and it’s just as easy to pull off as the pony tail. Just remember the key to this look is, it does not have to be perfect. A few loose pieces around your face add to the carefree nature of this braid. A loose braid can look just as chic as a taught braid. You simply can’t go wrong, however you choose to wear yours.
For more help with the milkmaid braid, you can also check out several really great “youtube.com” tutorials that I have posted below. You can also comment with any questions you might have and I will be sure to help you out.
I can’t wait to see what all you creative Chictopians create, be sure to post your pictures so I can see them!
Tutorials on YouTube…
Image via Paris Vogue, June/July Issue, Aaron de Mey.