How-To: Tale of Two Braids

Braids are one of the oldest documented hairstyles, and they’ve certainly been enjoying a renaissance. Surprisingly, hairdressers, who are always on the lookout for the next big thing, haven’t tired of them yet, possibly because they offer endless variations. Carla Gentie, co-owner of Harper Salon on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles, has come up with two new versions of the most popular trend of 2016. Here she shares the how-to’s for recreating a tight chignon and a more relaxed look on long hair.


Step 1 Leave the hair slightly damp and apply a light styling spray like Dallas Thickening Spray from R&Co. 

Step 2 Find the part and take a very skinny triangle section from the back end of the part to the front hairline. Create a cornrow braid until you reach the hairline. Then continue the braid until you reach the ends.

Step 3 Now do an outside braid from the part on each side of the ear. Continue the braid down to the ends on the left side. On the right side, separate the three strands and create three more braids from this one. Secure the ends with a clear band.

Step 4 Separate the back of the hair that is left from the crown to nape into two loose sections and begin the braid at the nape, working your way toward the ends. Now take the strand with three braids and use it as one section to braid the three back sections together, leaving out the braid from the left side.

Step 5 Twist these braids into a chignon and secure with hairpins.


Step 1 Take the chignon out and dry the braids with a diffuser or under a hood dryer. When the braids are dry, loosen up the two middle braids and backcomb slightly to create an airy feeling. Next, crisscross the braids from the side, creating a low crown or barrette-type of look. 

Step 2 Finish with a little Dry Texturizing Spray from Oribe to create even more airiness.