Create the Perfect Halo Braid in Under 15 Minutes

Get in on the hottest hair trend with halo braids!

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We love trying out the latest braids as a way to style our hair, and one of our favorites is the halo braid. About a half-step more complex than (but just as awesomely Pinstagrammy as) the crown version, the halo braid has a similar headband effect that can work for weddings, work or jaunts with your friends.  This time, however, instead of the braid just going across your crown and stopping behind each ear just like a regular headband, this particular braid look circles all the way around the head from the forehead to the nape, like a full-on—you guessed it!—halo.

Perfect for gals with medium to long hair looking to step up their festival hair game (so much more original than a flower crown, trust us), the braided halo is especially stunning and with highlighted or ombré-colored hair, as color imparts braids with more dimension. To help you in trying how to do a halo braid on yourself, we’re sharing three ways in which you create this cool braided style. First up is an angelic holiday halo braid on short hair featuring vlogger Ingrid Nilsen, then we have the classic halo and finally a messy and whimsical halo as seen at the Alice + Olivia show for NYFW. Read on to learn more about how to do a halo braid on your own hair today!

Step 1

Wash and condition your hair.

To begin your style wash and condition your hair with Suave Professionals Deep Moisture Coconut Oil Infusion Damage Repair Shampoo and Suave Professionals Coconut Oil Infusion Deep Moisture Damage Repair Conditioner. This system works to cleanse and provide your hair with weightless moisture.

halo braid starts on clean hair
Step 2

Blow-dry your hair and brush.

Blow-dry your hair until it’s completely dry. Then brush through your hair to create a smooth base before styling.

halo braid for the holidays: brush your hair
Step 3

Create your section.

Create a deep side part, then continue parting your hair towards your ear. Hold this back section of your hair in place with a large clip.

halo braid for the holidays: section hair
Step 4

French braid on both sides.

Braid each side of your hair French braid style all the way down to the ends. Then secure it with a hair elastic.

halo braid for the holidays: braid your hair
Step 5

Massage or pancake your braids.

Pull your braids apart to pancake them, or use Ingrid Nielsen’s massaging technique. Either method you choose will widen your braid and give it a chic undone texture.

halo braid for the holidays: pancake braid
Step 6

Create your updo.

Take sections of hair from the back of your head, wrap them around and pin to secure. Continue until the entire back section is pinned up. Pin your braids into your back section, then massage your hairstyle to create volume and a slightly undone texture.

halo braid for the holidays
Step 7

Lock in your look.

Use TRESemmé Tres Two Extra Hold Hairspray to lock in your halo braids updo style.

halo braid for the holidays: use hairspray
Step 9

Final look!

Now it’s time to show off your gorgeous and angelic style!

halo braid for the holidays

Step 1

Start with clean hair.

Clean, freshly washed hair gives the best traction for updos like braids. Shampoo and condition with Dove Oxygen Moisture Shampoo and Dove Oxygen Moisture Conditioner, and then blow-dry as usual.

halo braid step 1 clean hair
Step 2

Section and French.

Part hair as you normally do, with one section thicker than the other. Starting with your thicker section, begin a normal French braid, or a braid that incorporates hair from the scalp as you go along, from the part line downwards.

halo braid step 2 hairline french
Step 3

Continue French-braiding.

Continue weaving your hair into a French braid near your hairline.

evening hairstyles halo braid
Step 4

Continue along the nape.

Continue French-braiding even as you reach your neckline, moving the plait from behind the ears across your nape.

halo braid step 4 continue behind ear
Step 5

Move across your neckline.

As you direct the braid across your nape, your braid might thicken in width. This “pancaking” is part of the look and gives more texture to your overall halo braid.

halo braid step 5 move across nape
Step 6

Continue till the opposite side.

Make sure to incorporate hair consistently as you French braid towards your opposite side.

halo braid step 6 opposite side
Step 7

Continue with a regular braid.

Continue French braiding till the opposite end of your neckline, then detach the plait from your scalp once you hit your other ear by switching to a regular three-strand braid. Secure the ends with a clear hair tie.

halo braid step 7 three-strand plait
Step 8

Connect and secure the plaits.

Overlap the two parts and secure together with bobby pins, making sure to tuck and conceal all pins and seams.

halo braid step 8 secure as headband
Step 9

Pancake your plait.

If you want a more uniformly-shaped halo all around, carefully flatten your braid by gently tugging at the loops.

halo braid step 9 pancake
Step 10


All finished! If you want a more texturized, diffused feel (see picture), skip on the hairspray. Otherwise, spritz on a light mist such as Nexxus New York Salon Care Comb Thru Finishing Mist to keep the braid and frizzies in check. 

Party Hairstyles for Medium Hair halo updo

Step 1: Start in the shower.

Wash your hair with a smoothening shampoo that also leaves strands radiantly shiny and healthy-looking from root to tip—crucial for a braided updo that entails some tugging. We like TRESemmé Keratin Smooth Shampoo and TRESemmé Keratin Smooth Conditioner. Rinse well and towel-dry.

Step 2: Get foamy.

Squeeze a dollop of some mousse onto the palms of your hands, then apply evenly onto your hair. Tip: Break the product through by blow-drying while squeezing hair with your hands—this also helps create some texture and a manageable hold.

messy halo braid from New York Fashion Week
A messy halo braid is all about imperfect sex appeal, so don’t stress over a bit of lopsidedness. Photo credit:

Step 3: Tease your hair!

Using a rat-tail, fishtail or teasing comb, gently backcomb hair all throughout your head, from tip to root, to create even more texture. Avoid the pieces in front or at your fringe area.

Step 4*: Or… you can hack around this with dry shampoo.

In a pinch, you can skip the wash with a messy halo braid and refresh hair instead with a volumizing dry shampoo. Next, inject more volume and a deconstructed feel by teasing with a paddle brush. Feeling confident/have more time on your hands? Utilize a curling iron or flat iron to create more texture all throughout.

messy halo braid tutorial from New York Fashion Week
Swiss miss: A middle parting really adds to the alpine charm of this look. Photo credit:

Step 5: Part hair in the middle, then braid.

Grab a section of hair on each part of your head, a few inches from your forehead (leave some hair at the fringe area to wisp around for later). Braid each strip using a regular three-strand braid (or a fishtail—whichever you fancy) and secure at each end with a hair elastic. Slightly pancake or pull each chain apart for a looser, more fashionable-looking plait.

messy halo braid tutorial from NYFW
Fine, thin hair? No prob: Use a skinnier strip of hair to braid for a more delicate “headband” effect. Photo credit:

Step 6: Create your messy halo braid by looping each across.

First, bring one braid up to the front, cross it over to the opposite side and fasten with pins behind the ear. Repeat with the other braid. Twist the hair on your fringe area around your finger to create some tendrils, then lock everything in place with a hairspray to prevent any unfurling as you go about your day. You’re all set and learned how to halo braid with an edge.

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