Recently, I’ve been doing some research on new hair products from which to draw inspiration for my own line. This results in a tremendous amount of time playing with my hair to see how the products affect it, and also results in me getting to practice and try out new braids. I also have been doing some “research” on braids by totally binging on a few seasons of Vikings and man, is there a lot of inspiration on there!
Yesterday, I woke up with a crazy head of hair, mostly from not blowing it out the day before, and then also from putting 2-3 different products in it, so it seemed like the best day to truly start experimenting with my Lagertha look since I was already halfway there. Lagertha, according to Wikipedia and Vikings, was both a queen and a warrior, so I’d say this is a solid look for a festival or a party, or whenever you want to be both fierce and beautiful. This look works really well with my texture of hair – which is naturally fairly wavy, thin but abundant, and on the dry side. If you have totally straight hair that is tremendously healthy to start with, this might be a bit harder to pull off easily, but try curling it first and add some product, like dry shampoo, to give it a bit of texture. Also, teasing the look by picking up the hair and backcombing towards the head at the end will give it even more fierceness. The two products I had in it to start were IGK Rich Kid Coconut Oil and Dry Bar Prep Rally Detangler. I may have also finished off with a bit of finishing spray to calm the flyaways, but I definitely didn't need any hairspray to weigh down the look at all. Depending on your hair type, it may look better to add a little at the end, especially if your hair is super clean and you want to tease the back and sides a little bit.
Braid Bar Box – Now Available!
Sorry/not sorry about the shameless plug about my store before we get to the good stuff. Recently, I’ve added a new product to my website which I think you will all really like – the Braid Bar Box. Basically, it combines all the tools you need to do this and all the other braids on the braid bar, so get one now. The box contains all the necessary products (with suncare for your hair), a strong rattail comb, and a generous pile of bobby pins and elastics. For this look, you'll want two clear plastic elastics, the rattail comb, and probably the dry shampoo and the finishing spray.
Now onto the good stuff.
How to Do the Signature Little Side braids against the Head
I didn’t do step-by-step instructions on this as I’ve only attempted to do these a few times, and only once on myself, so I’m hoping that I can practice a little more and then come back and edit this section, but here’s the info I’ve gathered so far:
- Dutch braids – you really only want to do Dutch braids when doing the tiny braids against your head, as French braids will definitely get lost
- Separate out a clear section – to get the right hair, use a fishtail comb to separate out the area and tightly tie down the surrounding sections of hair.
- Labor-intensive – while fairly straightforward in concept, the braids are rather challenging to execute, as you need to be careful to take more or less the same amount of hair for each pass. I was definitely having challenges with keeping track of whether the hair was coming from the appropriate section or not. If I had to do it again, I would start with the two braids on the top and then do the side braids afterwards
- Time-consuming – I’m sure I will speed up at this, but prepare for some tired arms when working with this style
- No need to elastic the ends – as long as your hair isn’t freshly washed, there should be enough grip and tension that the braids don’t actually need to be finished off at the end. It definitely looks way better without them, and mine lasted all the way through a hot yoga class without coming out.
- Do more if you want! I think this look would only be improved with a few more accent braids if you have the patience and the time, but don’t focus on this too much. If you want, do a few just normal braids, and backcomb them (tease them a bit)
- Careful – little braids have a tendency to knot up if you’re backcombing so be careful to only do stuff that you have the patience to take out. Some conditioner or detangler will probably help get the job done if you need
Step-by-step instructions on the Lagertha-inspired braid (with pictures)
- Separate the top section of hair by taking your two pointer fingers or a rattail comb and parting the hair approximately at the end of your eyebrows on either side.
- Starting with a horizontal section in the back, lightly tease the entire top section of hair. Use some dry shampoo or other texturizing product to create more volume.
- Part down the middle using a rattail comb
- Tie down the side you aren’t working on with a clip or elastic making sure the part is exposed.
- Start with a small triangle of hair at the front of the section, and execute a French braid with the entire half of the section, and stop at the back of the head.
- Attach a clear elastic ponytail to the back of the head, and tease the remaining ponytail.
- Lightly pull on the sections of the braid to create more volume.
- Repeat on the other side.
- The finished top of your head should look like this:
- You can also attach the two ponytails together and create one voluminous ponytail (tease it again), or even a messy bun a top, if you’d prefer.