We fell in love with the beautiful, braid-accented way that Denee Benton (the star of Broadways Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812) pulled her hair back on the red carpet recently, so we tapped hairstylist Vernon Francois, who also works with Lupita Nyong’o, Solange Knowles and more, to share his secrets in the How It’s Done video above.
In order to create the look, Francois preps the hair with Vernon Francois Curl Moisture Spray and divides it into three sections. He then sprays even more onto each section and rakes it through. Then, the pro pulls each section taut as he blow dries it with the Dyson Supersonic dryer, with a narrow nozzle pointed downwards. He repeats this step on the remainder of the bottom layer of hair, pulling the hair down as he goes in order to set the shape, which he locks in place by fastening a few bobby pins behind the ears.
Next, Francois takes the top sections down, and blows the hair backwards with a blow dryer, tugging the hair back away from the face. He then parts the hair to one side and slicks the front few inches back with a boar bristle brush and strong-hold gel, before setting it with a blast from the blow dryer.
Francois adds more bobby pins behind the ears and around the crown to secure the top half, which he mists with hair spray. Then, he adds the final touch: a braided leather-like necklace, which he says to choose in either a bold color, like the silver piece he used above, or a neutral color that matches your hair, like he used on Benton. Using the necklace as a headband, the pro fastens the necklace at the nape of the neck. He then blow dries the hair once more while tousling it with his hands, to add extra volume.
Would you try this look? Sound off in the comments below.