When speaking of nostalgia in the beauty industry, braids are the flag bearers. Pink make-up and glitter nailpaint are not too far behind in the list, but a braided hair-do brings back memories right from the toddler days till about high-school years.

This is one hairstyle that can be twisted, scrunched, turned and pinned to any capacity, and yet appear classy, glamourous and modern in all its glory. Braids have particularly been popular in the recent runway shows; an exhibit of which was seen at Elie Saab’s Haute Couture fall 2012 show, last week in Paris.

Bordering fairytale goddess and a sophisticated modern woman, this braided look contradicted itself in its aesthetic, however, proved to be a winner amongst all other hairstyle seen during the week. The braided chignon does call for some practice or an experienced braiding hand. If you’re serious about making this one of your fall 2012 hairstyles you could even get a mannequin, some fake hair strands and start practicing before creating this braid on your own head.

To offer assistance, hairstylist Annika Bowen has put together a how-to for this braided chignon that can be easily done at home. Follow along after the break.

The How-to: 

Prep hair by using a volume boosting spray in the roots of your dry hair. Leave the product in your roots for about two minutes and then blast a hairdryer on high heat on your entire head.
Create a centre parting, straight from the front of the hairline, down to the nape of the neck. You should have two sections of hair by this stage; clip one out of the way.
Starting from the front hairline of the right side of the part, take a small section of hair in the shape of a triangle and divide it into three sections (as though, you’re about to start braiding). Do note that this is just a small section of hair from this side.
Start braiding from under – right piece goes to centre, left piece goes to centre. This is essentially a three-strand braid, but with a little twist. The centre strand doesn’t move, and the other two strands are tucked under it.

tutorial double braided chignon

Continue taking sections from the front hairline and adding it to right piece that is being tucked under the centre piece of the braid.
Similarly, take a section of hair from centre parting, add it to the left piece and tuck it under the centre piece of the braid.

double french braid

Continue this process all the way till the nape of the neck. Pick up sections of hair along the way as you go. Once you reach the nape area and have no more hair to pick up from either side, continue to plait all the way down. Secure with an elastic hair tie. You should have one chunky braid on one side of the part by this step.
Do the same braided plait on the other side, except this time when you section the hair into three parts, the left side would go under the centre piece and then the right side. Mirror what you did on the other side.

Once you have braided both sections, take the plaited ends and create a bun at the back of the head. You can inter-twirl them, knot them together or wrap them around to coil in a circle – choose whatever suits your hair type and length of braids. Secure in place with bobby pins, when achieved the desired look.

double braid chignon how to

Use hair spray on the style to keep the look in place and smoothen down all flyaways.

You now have a double braided chignon that’ll easily take you from day to night.

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