Trend on Trial: Plaits

Trend on Trial: Plaits

Can you pull off plaits over school age? I did!


I have a confession. At 43, I long to wear my hair in plaits. Not because I hanker after my childhood self, but because braids are A: a practical way to secure hair off my face when I’m at the gym or running errands, B: Learning how to plait my hair will come in handy in instances such as backstage at my daughter’s dance recital, and C: plaits are constantly on-trend. So I set myself the task of learning how to create a plait - or two - for no other reason than it’s a styling skill I’d love to learn. Confession: I did think of cheating. Before writing this, I was introduced to my daughter Lily’s friend Bella, who is seemingly an expert at ‘Dutch’ plaiting hair in under 10 minutes. On at least one occasion each week, Lily arrives home with catwalk-perfect plaits, courtesy of Bella. But, as that would defeat the purpose of the exercise, which is to add said skill to my beauty armoury, I googled and you-tubed until I sort of nailed the art of self-braiding hair – which I must stress is as tricky as immaculately painting the right hand of your nails. Here’s what I learnt:

Do, look at tutorials: It’s so easy nowadays to find expert videos on line that make learning any new beauty skill ten times faster than if you go it alone.

Wash and blow-dry hair first: This isn’t necessary once you know how, but when you first try plaiting start with freshly washed and blow-dried hair that’s brushed and smooth, as it creates a smooth canvas to work with meaning less lumps and bumps at the end. I used Herbal Essences Daily Detox Shine Shampoo and Conditioner RRP £3.99 which leaves locks tangle free.

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Video yourself: Get someone to film your first tries on your phone. This way, you can correct where you went wrong and spot the moves you got right, which makes ironing out rookie mistakes a faster process.

Here’s what you need: If you’ve got thin hair, apply a blow dry prep spray to damp hair before you blow-dry. This will give slippery hair more grip and hold. We recommend Pantene Pro Perfect Hydration Spray RRP £4.49. Next, have a tail comb to hand for a razor-sharp parting. Finally, tame flyaways with a hairspray like Pantene Pro-V Ice Shine Hairspray RRP £3.00. And, for a seamless finish invest in some hair-coloured bands without the metal clasp to avoid snagging and damaging ends.

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I've spent the last few years practising various plaits on myself and my daughters, YouTube is fantastic for tutorials!

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