How-to: Cheryl Cole's grown-up plait
A lady can learn a lot from Cheryl Cole. "A lot" could include how to hit high notes, how to move one's body to a musical rhythm in both a sexy and coordinated way, and how to apply make-up in a flawless and flattering manner. One could also steal many hair tricks and styles from Ms Cole, starting with this impeccable voluminous plait.
Now, despite my obvious affection for this ‘do, I'm not much of a braid or a plait person. This could be because I'm rubbish at styling my hair. It could also be because I always end looking like a five-year-old when sporting both hairstyles. Or it could be both of these reasons. (I'd roll with the latter...) But there's just something wonderfully feminine and ladylike about this plait. It’s not really schoolyard appropriate, but what I'd call a grown-up plait instead.
To fully take on its glamorous finish, let's look at Chezza from the front...
...and let's shift that camera view around to the back:
Divine, isn't is? In a black tie event kind of way; not in an I feel inspired to now style my daughter’s strands in a different way kind of way. And even if you don't have a fancy event to attend – or aren't convinced you're a true blue plait lady either – I'm assuming you'd still like to know how to recreate this beautifully textured, loose plait. After all, you never know when an invitation to a wedding/engagement/baptism could arrive in the post...
How to recreate Cheryl Cole's glam voluminous braid
Step one: apply a dry shampoo like Hair Nutrition Dry Shampoo to the roots and lengths of dry, day-old hair. Doing so will add all-over grit and texture, as well as soak up any oil. Then, sprinkle something like Sexy Hair Big Sexy Hair Powder Play Volumizing & Texturizing Powder onto your roots for even more oomph.
Step two: use a teasing tool like Lady Jayne Teasing Brush to backcomb small sections of your hair at the crown. This will create that extra volume and height at the top of the head.
Step three: create a bouffant-like half-up 'do and loosely pin this section at the back of the head, allowing the lengths from ear level downwards to flow freely. This is will create a similar structure up top to Cheryl's.
Step four: begin very loosely plaiting the lengths of your hair. When you're around ¾ complete, tie a thin 5-10cm long leather strap around the braid to create a statement feature. Don’t have leather strap? Use a decorative hair tie instead.
Step five: continue to plait the hair loosely until you reach around 5cm before the end of your locks and secure the hair once again using a thin leather strap or something similar.
Step six: using your fingers, gently loosen the plait even more to create extra texture and a lived-in feel. Then, spray with a light hold hairspray like TONI&GUY Flexible Hold Hairspray to maintain the style, without leaving behind a crunchy, firm finish.
Styling note: always wash and prep the hair by blow-drying in body-boosting and root-lifting products the day before you plan to wear this style. Second-day hair has a lot more texture and hold, which means your 'do is more likely to stay-put and have lots of volume.
What do you think of Cheryl Cole's striking braid? Do you think it's more grown-up than childlike? Would you ever recreate a ladylike hairstyle like this?