Ask A Seattle Stylist: Three Easy Braided Hairstyles

July 8, 2014 5:00 AM

Jennifer Lawrence (Photo by Paul A. Hebert/Getty Images)

fishtail braid Ask A Seattle Stylist: Three Easy Braided Hairstyles

Fistail Braid (Credit, Kristen Ryan)

Lately it seems that everywhere you look, women and girls are wearing braids like never before. Could this have anything to do with TV shows like “Game of Thrones” or movies like “Frozen?” Local stylists think so.

Nan Langstaff and Kristen Ryan
BreCyn Salon
8300 Beverly Blvd.
Everett, WA 98203
(425) 348-9288

Nan Langstaff and Kristen Ryan are stylists at the BreCyn Salon, which has served the Everett community for 25 years. Both stylists not only enjoy what they do, but they stay on top of the trends. They take pride in their craft and BreCyn is not shy about showing their work on Facebook. In addition, Langstaff was recently featured in the newest “Men’s Inspire Book.” Here is what the two have to say about the trend of braids.

Are braids really more popular than ever?

“They have really made a big comeback with a lot of people coming in and asking for them, unlike the last several years,” says Langstaff. Ryan agrees: “I’d say that they really have taken off the last couple of years. A lot of college girls in the sports world are braiding with ribbons, and then there are the influences from TV shows too. Girls come in wanting their hair to look like Elsa (from the animated movie, “Frozen”).”

What is the most common braid?

“The French braid is a classic braid that is used a lot in different ways because it can be inverted or you can change it up so that the braid stands on top,” explains Langstaff. “The French braid is a three-strand braid and it is worked by picking up pieces of hair and adding from each side. When crossing the strand, if you cross over, it makes the braid inverted. If you cross under, it makes the braid stand on top. So you get two different looks from that one technique. It is pretty much a standard braid that people ask for and you can do it in different directions on the head. You can do it from the nape up or you can do it from around the head and across. It’s a very versatile, basic braid.”

braids 2 Ask A Seattle Stylist: Three Easy Braided Hairstyles

Double Waterfall (Credit, Kristen Ryan)

What is the most popular braid?

“Well after doing a lot of prom hair recently, I would have to say that the waterfall braid is very popular this year,” says Ryan. “What girl going to a dance doesn’t want to have something a little bit more intricate than just your hair down in curls? It sort of gives you a half-up result.” The waterfall braid is also a three-strand braid that is similar to a French braid, but one side is dropped in the length. In a traditional French braid, all of the hair is pulled up.

Which braids are your favorite?

“Fishtails, but those are kind of hard,” says Ryan. “I don’t stray too far from the typical French braid.” The two-stranded braid is sort of “mermaidy” looking, says Langstaff. “You divide the hair into two sections, taking hair from the outside. You pull the left section under the right section. Then you take the right side and go under the left. As you cross over, it just gets that look of a fishtail. These kinds of braids are usually used for braids that hang down. The cool thing is that when the hair is fastened, you can pull the sides out to give it volume.”

Why should you get a braid done at a salon?

“Well from personal experience, it is a heck of a lot easier to have someone else do your braids for you than to have to reach around in awkward positions and do it yourself, especially if you want it curved around your head or whatever the case may be,” says Ryan. “No one wants a messy braid. If you go into a salon to have a braid done, you expect it to be perfect. You’re paying for the expertise.”

Is it expensive to have this service done?

“No more than a typical haircut. It’s pretty reasonable.”

Can everyday women learn to braid their own hair?

“There are so many tutorials out there on YouTube or Pinterest that you can just look something up and watch someone instruct you on how to do it,” says Langstaff. “After watching and practicing it over and over again, then you can have that look down. The key to it is really practicing. The more you do it, the better it looks.”

prep hair Ask A Seattle Stylist: Three Easy Braided Hairstyles

Do you have any other suggestions?

“Prepping the hair is very important to braiding if you prep it with product,” says Langstaff. “Also, hair should be freshly washed or it will be slippery to work with. Second-day hair is usually ideal for braiding. Also, the use of a texturing iron will add volume to the hair, making the braid thicker. It’s a great solution for women with thin hair.”

Jeffrey Totey is a freelance writer living in Seattle. He has a love for the arts and is a student of pop culture. He covers stories about the performing arts, theater, museums, cultural events, movies and more in the greater Seattle area. His work can be found at

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