Hair braiding has a long and glorious history from cultures all around the world—be it Asia, Africa, Australia or the Americas. It’s this braiding tradition that has captivated up-and-coming hair stylist Nikki Hazell from é Salon in Australia. In her collection, Intertwine, Hazell used traditional weaving, braiding and threading techniques to create sophisticated looks with a subtle nod to rope-focused fashions from elegant houses, such as Balmain. And, to keep each strand perfectly in place, Hazell used a variety of Sebastian Professional styling products.
Head On (top)
This full-on cap of braids involved 50 strands of hair extensions prepped with water and Sebastian Professional Craft Clay. Hazell precisely braided the hair into tiny plaits with varying widths and shades. “I then molded each extension piece, and pinned and glued it to her scalp using eyelash glue,” she says. Hazell finished the look with a misting of strong-hold Sebastian Professional Re-Shaper.
To give the side of her model’s head a bit of braid drama, Hazell prepped her hair with Sebastian Professional Mousse Forte. Then, for extra grip and neatness, she applied a mixture of water and Sebastian Professional Craft Clay. “I used inside-out braiding through the top section and pulled out every few pieces to add a different shape,” she says. “I braided the second section of hair toward the face then guided it around the hairline and toward the back to create a ‘U’ shape.”
For the softest and most flowing look in her collection, Hazell wanted this style to have a texturized vibe. “That’s why I didn’t worry about flyaways,” she says. “Starting at the crown, I took a small piece of hair and weaved around the head, pulling out some pieces at the end to give it more shape.” And, for added movement, she curled the ends off the face using a large curling iron.
Highlighting the center of the model’s head, Hazell sprayed the top section of her hair with water and Sebastian Professional Craft Clay. “I then braided a crown-like shape through the top of the head as a guideline, and continued to braid the sides of the head,” says Hazell. “In between the crown braid, I tied elastics, leaving about a one-inch gap in between, and pulled out the hair.” To enhance the model’s head shape, she used a small dollop of gel and combed the bottom section of hair into the scalp.
Photographer: Milos Mlynarik
Hair: Nikki Hazell
Wardrobe: Lydia-Jane Saunders