Swirled Braids And Rhinestones: The Updo Heidi Would Wear To The Club

When I first saw this incredible hairstyle on the runway, I thought two things: that is the best hair I’ve ever seen, and I’ll never ever be able to do it.
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Alyssa
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When I first saw this incredible hairstyle on the runway, I thought two things: that is the best hair I’ve ever seen, and I’ll never ever be able to do it.

I’m not very good at things that require too much patience. I tend to get frustrated if I have to focus on one thing for too long, so I multitask to maximize productivity. 

This, of course, means that I am terrible at knitting, painting my nails, and complex hairstyles. At some point during all of these activities, I usually end up throwing my hands in the air and storming away (often with nail polish/yarn/hair all over me).

When I first saw the incredible braided crystal updo that Honor chose for their models' Spring 2013 hair, I thought two things: that is the best hair I’ve ever seen, and I’ll never ever be able to do it. 

image via pinterest

I’ve never been a strong braider, and the idea of ever executing such perfect French-braided gorgeousness with my thin hair just seemed too far-fetched. I pinned the image to my beauty board on Pinterest, mentally filed it away in my list of wishful-thinking hairstyles, and tried to forget about it.

But I kept coming back to the image. I decided maybe I didn’t have to perfectly recreate the look; maybe I could cut myself some slack and aim for a more “inspired by” end product. With the self-doubt and pressure lifted, I drank some calming green tea and went to work. I told myself that as long as I didn’t end up crying and ripping out handfuls of hair, I’d be happy. 

After a number of failed attempts where I dropped braids or ended up with my hair in a tangled mass, here’s what I came up with.

Step 1.

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Separate your hair into four parts, two at the back and two toward the front/side. I kept my hair side-parted, which resulted in a more messy look, but if you want to look polished like the Honor models, middle-part your hair and brush it smooth before sectioning it off.

Step 2.

I momentarily considered just leaving my hair like this because it’s so very attractive

I momentarily considered just leaving my hair like this because it’s so very attractive.

Braid the two back sections into long braids that fall down your back like two braided rat tails. Secure with tiny clear elastics.

Step 3.

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French braid each front chunk of hair along the side of your head to the back. Secure each braid with a tiny clear elastic.

Step 4.

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This step is pretty open to interpretation. Basically you need to swirl the braids around at the back of your head in a chunky formation. Because my hair is thinner at the ends (the price of bleach breakage, sadly), I wasn’t able to fill in as much space as I wanted to on the back of my head, but I was able to make a little heart shape instead. (Perfect for Valentine’s Day, don’t you think?)

To accomplish this shape, I basically just crossed the two back braids over each other, twisted them into loops, and then pinned them into place. Then I tucked the front french braids into the bottom of the style and solidified it all with some Davines Fixative Crystal Lacquer.

Step 6.

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Crystalize! I used a combination of dollar store sticky craft crystals (in all different sizes), and chunky rhinestones on bobby pins, which I made in about five minutes with a glue gun.

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I wasn’t able to find any non-circle shapes sadly, but the internet is filled with glorious shapes that you could order for a special occasion.