How to get Cara Delevingne’s punk braided hairstyle

Interpreting the theme of punk can yield a great many different looks – as this year’s Met Gala proved. Cara Delevingne‘s outfit of a studded Burberry dress wasn’t the most extreme, but it did stick in the mind for being the kind of look any girl would want to make her own. And much of the effect also came down to her smokey eyes, studded jewellery, and glamorous yet punkish hairstyle.

The hairstyle is one you might call a faux half-shaved head: featuring a side part and a small, tight braid sitting close to the scalp. Like many of this year’s favourite elements of fashion, it’s both feminine and tough – making it a perfect hairstyle for 2013 to add to your repertoire.

We’ve put together some steps on creating the look after the break.

Cara Delevingne punk braid hairstyle

How to: Cara Delevingne’s faux-shaved side hair with braid.

What you’ll need.

The tools will vary depending on your hair type and preferred products, but we’re going to work with the following:

  • A texturising spray or volumiser (if your hair is finer)
  • A blow drier
  • A hair oil such as Argan oil
  • A tail comb
  • One small rubber band or hair tie

The steps.

You can do this style with hair that’s a day or two old for a grittier look, or start from freshly washed hair for a smoother take.

If starting from washed hair: apply a volumising spray to the roots while hair is still damp and blow dry the roots upwards to create a bit of lift in the hair.

Once hair is dry, brush it out to remove any tangles. Using a tail comb, create a clean, deep side part on your preferred side (Cara’s parting is on the left.) Next, create a vertical sectioning from the top back of the head (where the side-part ends) down to the nape of the neck, about half way between the center of the head and the back of the ear (so if your parting is on the left, you should now have a section that takes up about a third of the hair on the left hand side).

cara delevingne punk hair
Punk pals Chanel Iman & Cara Delevingne at the 2013 MET Ball.

Tie or pin back the bigger section of hair to keep it out of the way while we braid the smaller section of hair.
To create the braid on the smaller section of hair: start by using the tail comb or your fingers to divide the hair into three small strands at the hairline. Cross the left strand over the middle strand, then the right strand over the first strand. Next, take the strand that’s now on the left and cross it over the middle, adding another small section of hair to it as you do.

Add another section of hair to the right strand and cross it over the middle. Keep repeating this process of crossing the hair over the middle, first left then right, adding a bit of hair with each crossover.

Keep braiding horizontally across the side of the head, then winding the braid down towards the nape of the neck. When you reach the nape of the neck you should have all the hair from the section included in the braid.

Cara Delevingne Sienna Miller kissing
Cara Delevingne & Sienna Miller at the 2013 MET Gala.

From the nape of the neck onwards, keep going with a regular plait until you’ve plaited to the very ends of the hair. Secure the end with a hair tie or small rubber band.
Now for the large, unbraided section of hair. For a glamorous but punkish effect, rub some Argan oil into your hands and then run them through the hair, brushing it forwards over one eye as you do. Use the fingers to tousle up the hair a little so it’s not too neat.

If you want an even more rock-chic, heavily textured effect you can also use a sea-salt spray or some wax product in the free-flowing section to make it grittier.

Finally, spray the braided side of the head with a strong hold hairspray to keep it in place and keep any flyaway strands at bay.

Once you’ve mastered the art of creating a small, neat braid (which can take a bit of practice) this hairstyle will serve you perfectly during the day with jeans and boots, as well as to add a bit of punk attitude to a sweeping gown at night. Add an ear cuff to really complete the look.

Cara Delevingne MET Gala punk look

Photos courtesy Burberry & @CaraDelevingne.

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Some people's wardrobes are about a small selection of pieces that all fit within one aesthetic - Tania Braukamper isn't such a person. With a wardrobe that spans three different rooms, her approach to fashion is a mixture of current-season key pieces mixed with vintage finds she's sourced on innumerous shopping trips around the world's more cultured capitals. Despite a disparate approach to shopping, Tania is adamant that the key to mixing vintage with new season is to stick to key looks and colours that work for oneself. And it's a theory that she works into her writing for Fashionising.com, where she serves as the publication's Editor.