If A Hair Novice Like Me Can Figure Out This Braided Updo, Then Anyone Can

Out of every hairstyle there is, my absolute favorite is anything having to do with braids. I think they’re a cool, simple way to class up just about any outfit, and they work on any hair type, which is great for me because my hair type changes every single day depending on the weather or how well or poorly I’ve decided to treat it. So, when I saw Shailene Woodley‘s stunning braided updo at the MTV Movie Awards last weekend, I just knew I had to try it out.

Shailene Woodley MTV movie awards braid hair
(Photo: Steve Granitz/WireImage/Getty Images)

Okay, well, maybe not that style exactly, because here’s one hitch in my plan: I’m a total hair novice. I went through a long period of time of struggling with very unruly, frizzy hair, and an even longer period of time of frying it half to death with a flatiron every other day. It took me upwards of four years to figure out how to blow dry, and it wasn’t until earlier this year that my roommate finally showed me the proper way to curl it. Needless to say, complex braids scare the complete crap out of me.

However, after some research, I came across a style that’s totally doable, and guys, if I can do it, then so can you. Here’s the style I had in mind:

Kardashian Kollection Launch Party
(Photo: Jason Merritt/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images)

Doesn’t Kourtney Kardashian look amazeballs here? It’s such a simple style, but it’s so pretty and neat-looking. Plus, the braided kind loops around her bun in the back, and it’s v. classy if you ask me.

(Related: Mindy Kaling’s Giant Side Braid Is So Perfect, It Would Make Even Elsa Jealous)

After staring at the photo for what was probably a little bit too long, if I’m being honest, I think I’ve got it pegged. It looks we’re dealing with a center part, two classic French braids, and a simple bun in the back. Now, here’s the dealio: I’m terrible at French braids, and I look like a fool when I part my hair down the middle. HOWEVER. I can do a pretty neat snake braid and a, well, passable waterfall braid, so I’m going to modify this look a bit if that’s alright with you guys.

Everyone onboard? Great! Let’s get this party started. Here’s the hair I’m dealing with:


As you can see, it’s very long and straight—I did my usual blow-dry routine last night, so I guess this is technically second-day hair. As you can also see, I am incapable of taking a normal human being picture of myself. All good things in braid land, right? Cool, glad we’re on the same page.

I decided to keep my natural side part and go with a somewhat modified version of a French braid. Well, it’s actually more of a twist than it is a braid, really. Here’s one side is done:

Side Braided

It’s got the braid feel, but it’s WAY easier for a novice to master. Essentially, you split your hair into two pieces, cross the front one over the back one, then keep doing that, adding more hair as you go. It’s pinned at the bottom with two bobby pins, but I have a feeling I’m going to need to take those out to finish off the style. And before you ask, no, I have no idea why my ear is awkwardly lobster-red. #PaleGirlProbz.

Now here’s the other side:

Braided Updo Side

And a front view:

Braided Updo Front

So far, so good, right?? Now, all there’s left to do is put my hair back! Here’s the final product:

Braided Updo Final

And the back:

Braided Updo Back

No bobby pin removal is required! The bun is pinned with two spin pins (they look like this, and they’re a godsend).

I kinda love it! It’s not exactly like Kourtney’s, but it’s pretty damn similar if you ask me, and the twist is unbelievably easy to master. So, take it from me, guys: If I can pull off a look like this, then with a little practice and patience, anyone can.

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