Half-Up Braids with Mermaid Waves

Pretty! Half-Up Braids with Mermaid Waves (click through for tutorial) Summer can be a bit tricky with hairstyles. It’s too hot to have all your hair down and in your face, but you’re tired of keeping it all up everyday. So what’s a girl to do? How about a half-up-half-down option to the rescue?! I just learned how to do a reverse French braid (aka inside out braid, boxer braid, Dutch braid), and it’s been my go to move to keep my hair out of my face. For a more romantic look, I thought it would be pretty to do just the top half in braids and let the bottom hang in some soft, loose curls.

Pretty! Half-Up Braids with Mermaid Waves (click through for tutorial)    For this style we’re excited to partner up with NuMe Products! I used the 32mm Magic Wand because the larger barrel gives a looser wave as opposed to a tighter curl, but they have several options depending on what type of curl you are wanting. If you’ve been looking for a great styling wand, NuMe is offering ABM readers any Classic or Magic wand for $29 (retails up to $149) plus a free bottle of Argan oil! (NuMe Argan oil retails at $49.) Just visit this link and the code ABMCURLS will be added at checkout. This special promotion is only available through July 31st!

Pretty! Half-Up Braids with Mermaid Waves (click through for tutorial) 1. First you’ll want to brush all your hair and remove any tangles (very important for braiding). Spray the top of your head with a smoothing spray to keep any fly aways from popping up.
2. Separate the front 3″ section of your hair. 
3. Separate the section into three equal parts.
4. Take your front section and pass it under the middle section so that the front becomes the middle and the middle becomes the front.

Pretty! Half-Up Braids with Mermaid Waves (click through for tutorial)      5. Take your back section and pass that under the middle section so they switch places too.
6. With your thumb, grab a small section of hair near your front section and add the hair into that section. Pass the front under the middle again. Grab hair near the back section of your hair and add the hair into that section. Pass the back section under the middle section again. Try your best to keep each section as tight as you can and pull the braid tighter as you move sections around. I’ve noticed that as long as I keep two sections pulled tight, I can let go of the third to readjust or grab more hair and it won’t all fall apart.
7. Repeat process of adding more hair to the front and back sections and passing them under the middle section until you have braided down to the middle of your ear. Use a clear hairband or bobby pins to secure. Repeat the braiding process down the other side of your head.
8. Sprinkle some plumping powder onto the braids and gently pull on each braided section to pull out each section and make the braid look thicker (hold the base of your braid as you pull each section). You can always use a bobby pin as needed to push in any pieces that are out of place.

Pretty! Half-Up Braids with Mermaid Waves (click through for tutorial)       9. Heat up your curling wand and wrap your hair around the wand starting near the base of your scalp and winding down to the end. This curling wand is great because it heats up very quickly and has precise temperature controls so you use just the right amount of heat for your hair – it’s really versatile, plus the curls hold for a long time! I usually wrap my hair towards my face, but you can wrap away from the face, and it would look about the same.  Spray the waves with your smoothing spray, and you’re done!

Pretty! Half-Up Braids with Mermaid Waves (click through for tutorial)Pretty! Half-Up Braids with Mermaid Waves (click through for tutorial)The ins and outs of the braids compliment the soft waves and give a bit of that festival look without going “full Coachella.” For me, this would be great for a summer date night look or a cute brunch with friends. And if you feel like you aren’t good at braiding, keep practicing! When I first started, it took me several times of doing this braid before it started looking like anything actually pretty. So don’t give up! Happy braiding! xo. Laura

Credits // Author: Laura Gummerman, Photography: Elsie Larson.