Upon transitioning down to a more flexible schedule, one of the first things I did was reach out to my friend Jay to see if he’d be game to work on a series of hair tutorials. Jay (Jackson) is my most favorite stylist at DreamDry and also senior stylist/educator and member of their creative team. The man is majorly talented. He first did my hair for this event, when I walked in on my lunch break with 45 minutes to spare. Miraculously he did my hair in record time (that included the wash… and my hair is so thick!) A friendship (and undying blowout loyalty was born.)
We chatted about how fun it would be to do a regular series of hair tutorials, but I never had the time to do it. But now I do, so we went for it. We got DreamDry on board (note – this post is not sponsored, but they covered the photography expenses and I got my hair done + some awesome content to share here, so it seemed like a good trade to me!) I wanted to do a crown braid but Jay had the idea to do something a bit more versatile… a crown braid where one side was braided slightly looser so that you could take half of the braid down at night or the next day. I love a multi-tasking hairstyle (and the idea of wearing my braid all the way up for work and then taking one side out for a date or party.)
Read on for a fun tutorial (packed with loads of tips from Jay.) If you have things you want to learn or questions for Jay, let me know in the comments section and we’ll try to cover them in a future project!
Start with freshly blown-out hair (as we did here), or second/third day hair (which is even better as it will give it a little more hold.)
As my hair was freshly blown out, Jay added an ample amount of Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray (my favorite — it smells SO good.) This gave it a little texture/grit to help the braids hold.
And then, he began braiding. He used an inside out french braid (also called a dutch braid) vs. a french braid.
“The difference between a normal french braid and a dutch braid is that when you french braid you grab hair from the outside and go over the middle or starting strand, when doing a dutch braid you grab hair from the outside but you’re going underneath you’re starting piece.”
Another dutch braiding tip from Jay:
“The key is the twist for the braid and when I say that, I mean that when you grab hair from the outside and cross it over with a french braid the three strands stay flat on the head. With a dutch braid, when you’re grabbing the hair it will naturally twist on the outside of itself so you can see the actual braid.”
On Instagram, a few of you asked about how to avoid puffy sides (by the ears) while French braiding + dutch braiding (I have the same issue when I braid my own hair.) Jay says that the keys to this are pomades, gels, and humidity resistant hair sprays.
So you’ll see, we have a tighter dutch braid on the right side. Next, we tackled the left!
First, Jay pulled out a few of my front layers to frame the face. Then, he began a looser dutch braid on this side.
To make the crown braid, he wrapped the braids around each other (as demonstrated), pinning as necessary.
To create a seamless look, tuck the braid ends underneath the beginning of the opposite braids. Jay recommends using a hand mirror to make sure that however you anchor/tuck your braid, it’s tucked under the interior of the other braid… and that no bobby pins are visible.
And there you have it… the double crown braid!
Like I mentioned above, we liked the idea of switching things up for night (or the next day if you sleep in the crown braid. Doing this is really easy!
First, Jay just unraveled the looser braid on the left side… leaving the other braid pinned up into the beginning of the looser braid.
Then he curled the ends to touch it up, and we were good to go!
photography by Lydia Hudgens.