FC Tutorial: Voluminous Braid

Has anyone out there watched Luther, the BBC police procedural? Great show, really dark and interesting (available streaming on Netflix and on Amazon). Bonus–you get to watch Idris Elba prowling around London, catching bad guys in his moody way. Stone. Cold. Fox. Anyway, in the last two episodes of Season 2, actress Aimee-Ffion Edwards, playing a former sex worker under the protection of Idris Elba, sports a fetching ‘do that caught my eye.


It’s a “French” fishtail braid, with a lot of volume on top and in the front, plus a headband. (How about that turquoise eye makeup, eh) Here’s a back and side shot:


Bad news is that I can do a French fishtail on other people but I can’t do it on myself (see instructions for a fishtail how-to here). Boo-hoo. But, I still loved this style and wanted to try it out on myself, using a regular French braid instead. All that volume on top, plus the headband speaks to a retro look, very Brigitte Bardot. The addition of the braid gives it some modern flavor. I also suspected that this would be a good ‘do for unwashed hair…and I was right.


Step 1 is teasing the hair up top, and on the sides in front (I had already sprayed my trusty Clean Freak Dry Shampoo). I use a brush, although I suspect a comb would actually work better. Your hair should look really messed up if you’ve done the teasing correctly…which is what I was trying to show in the photo at right…instead I look like a Stepford wife who got into the wine at 9am.


Step 2 is braiding the hair. I just did a regular French braid instead of attempting a fishtail. I started the braid about an inch above my ears. I like securing braids with thin, clear bands so that they’re less visible.


Step 3 is pulling apart the braid. I learned this trick from the blog Hair Romance. You braid your hair tightly initially, but then after the braid is finished, you pull it apart along the center of the braid so that your hair looks really thick. It also makes your hair less perfect and more effortless. At this point you also want to take a look at how your hair looks from the front. If you’ve lost some of the volume you created with the teasing, pull small sections of hair up on top of your head and at the crown. You don’t want to pull the hair completely out of the style, but pull it out a little. The dry shampoo and teasing you did earlier will make it easier to get some volume at this point.


Step 4 is adding the headband. I like a plain black stretchy headband but you could wear any kind of headband with this look. Also, you’ll notice I did my hair with much less volume than Aimee-Ffion Edwards has in Luther. Too much volume doesn’t suit me so I took it down a notch. But if you want more, tease it more, use a good hairspray on the underneath teased area, and really pull up on those sections of hair at the top of your head.

I’ve been wearing this ‘do often. The combination of teasing, dry shampoo, dirty hair, and braid make it a great all-day style that doesn’t budge.

2 Responses to “FC Tutorial: Voluminous Braid”
  1. This is such a cute style! I love it x