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There seems to be no end to the amount of variety that the humble braid can offer. It’s so diverse, that it should be your ‘go to’ style when you’re getting bored of simple ponytails and summer waves. The braid is also a really great choice for winter, because it holds the hair more securely and gives it more protection from the elements.
And besides, everybody gets a little bit lazier when the cold weather sets in; a cool braid allows you to leave the house with messy hair and still look amazing. We’ve even got a brand new technique for you to try. It’s currently rather hot in celeb circles, so if you get practising now, you’ll be the belle of the ball at every Christmas party.
It’s called the pancake braid, as it involves gently pulling sections outwards to create a flatter, thicker shape. It is really easy, can be put together in minutes, and you’re guaranteed to love it. Keep reading to find out how to create the perfect pancake.
Step One: Section Your Hair
The pancake technique starts like any other braiding method. You need to pick your style and divide your tresses into the right amount of sections. If you’re planning to wear hair extensions, as a part of the braid, try placing yours off to the side. This will allow you to braid outwards and away from the seams, which you can cover with a layer of your own hair.
Step Two: Start Braiding Like a Pro
You can use absolutely any style of braid that you want for this look. No really, French, Dutch, waterfall; they’ll all work fine. The only thing to be aware of is the way that feathered haircuts move and fall when they’re manipulated. If you’ve got sections of hair that are going to come loose when you start pancaking, it is probably a better idea to leave them unbraided and clip them back with a slide later.
Step Three: Work Your Pancaking Fingers
Once your braid is finished and you’re happy with it, use your fingertips to carefully tug apart each section of the braid. This should flatten it and make it wider, so that it looks a bit like a squashed pancake. Don’t worry about being too neat, but do keep your pressure low and be careful not to tug any sections completely loose. The braid should still feel secure when you’re finished styling.
Step Four: Shape and Perfect
It is up to you how dramatic you want the pancake effect to be. You can pull out the sections just a little, for a subtle style. Or, you can go full on glamazon and rock a chunky, oversized braid. The end result will look a little like a squashed fishtail, but without the tight intersections. When you’re satisfied that it looks hot, spritz with hairspray, smooth over any flyaway follicles around your temple, and you’re ready to go.