How-To Video: Lasting Braid-Like Bridal Styles

In this Premiere Orlando Facebook Live video, in partnership with SalonCentric, we caught up with the updo master herself, Laura “Lala” Kaszoni (@lalasupdos)—who’s known for her big, fluffy, wedding-worthy updos. Her goal for the session on behalf of Sexy Hair: Letting you in on her secret technique for creating lasting braid-like styles.

Braids are all over social media, and clients—especially brides and prom-going teens—can’t get enough of them. “But the problem with big fluffy braids is that they don’t last,” says Kaszoni. “And a wedding usually goes for 12 hours or more.” After spending days brainstorming a solution, Kaszoni figured out a cheating technique that makes the hair look like a braid, but it can go the distance of a long event. What’s also great about Kaszoni’s faux-braid method is that it can be transformed into three different looks: a faux-braid, a curly down-do and a curly updo.  

To prep the hair, Kaszoni used Big Sexy Hair Powder Play Lite Soft Volumizing & Texturing Powder. “What I love about this product is that it’s very light, so you’re not going to get that heaviness or wetness,” says Kaszoni. “I used to tease and hairspray the hair to keep extensions in place, but over time I realized that powders work better. They do the job without making the hair feel dull, and you can control the amount that you’re using because it has a focused pump.” Because new extensions—which you’re probably using on a bride—can be tangle-prone, Kaszoni suggests misting the extensions with Vibrant Sexy Hair Rose Elixir. “That’s what I use to comb out those new extensions and make them blend in well with natural hair. It’s very light and it gives you that shine you want without leaving the hair greasy. And, it smells like roses. If a bride forgets her body lotion, she can use it on her skin as a body spray.”

The faux-braid technique is all about working with the side sections—not the middle. “When you grab your side sections and secure them together, you’re not going to incorporate them into your next one,” says Kaszoni. “You’re just going to secure new side sections on top of your previous one.” Repeat this step over and over, all the way down the head. Once a section is secure, Kaszoni recommends pulling the sides outward, giving the faux braid extra fluffiness and drama. “Go as big as you want,” says Kaszoni. “What I love about this technique is that it last the whole night. I have clients that say they went to their wedding with it in, slept on it, and it last through the second day.”

To make it a curly down-do, hold the elastic on the first section, and pull out small sections in a bricklayer pattern. Repeat with all the sections. “Don’t be afraid to really pull, the more you pull the fluffier the curly down-do will look,” says Kaszoni. “We’re faking it, but it looks completely different just by pulling out those tiny sections. You get lots of curly fullness with this trick.” 

To make it a curly updo, “just tuck those tail ends inward,” says Kaszoni. “If they don’t want the crown flat, use this technique as a base and leave the crown out.” Curl five to six sections in the crown that you left out, and pin them onto the base. “So instead of curling the whole head, I use this technique and I’m done in 15 to 20 minutes.”   

Lala’s Top 5 Updo Tips:

1. Add some lightness. If they have dark hair that’s just one tone, go a tone lighter when you put in extensions. “You’ll see that the style will look bigger when there are more tones in the hair,” says Kaszoni. 

2. Brush ’em smooth. When you grab your sections, brush them really well before you secure them with the rubber band. “Once you start to pull, if the section isn’t brushed smooth, you’re going to see that, and it won’t look pretty,” Kaszoni warns. 

3. Curl short strands. If they have short layers, but they still want the braid to be big, curl the hair before you start. “It doesn’t have to be crazy curly, but enough of a bend that if the short layer sticks out, the ends will follow the pattern of the design,” says Kaszoni. 

4. Flip the tail. When you get to the last section, it usually sticks out a little bit. “When that happens, go in and flip the tail over into the hole above the elastic. That way everything falls smoother,” Kaszoni recommends. 

5. Hide the elastics. After you’re done, take a pointy brush or comb handle and push down the elastics so they don’t show. “You can also cover up the elastic with a flower or jewel if your client wants something more ornate,” suggests Kaszoni.