Ooh la la, the French Twist has so much polish and style and class! It got us thinking about weekend updos. By definition, an updo is any hairstyle fastened away from the face: ponytails, buns, beehives –– they all count. But the most sophisticated, the most chic, and probably the most underused, is the French Twist. It is created by gathering hair in a low pony (not secured) and twisting the ponytail upwards until it turns in on itself against the head. It is then secured with pins or clips. It can be tricky, so today we are Style Noting a basic French Twist technique –– use it to make a dynamic addition to your own hairstyling options.
Step: You’ll need bobby pins, big hairpins, hair spray, and a flat brush. It’s actually better to leave your hair unwashed for this technique as one or two days of unwashed hair will give your hair a natural texture that works better for holding your twist in place.
Step: Begin by using flat brush to make a nice side parting and brush each side of your hair to the back. Keep your chin up –– this ensures your twist will be tight; if you let your chin fall, the skin at the nape of your neck will be loose and so will your twist.
Step: Now fold and twist one side into place. It’s best to first work on the side nearest the part and use your hands to cup the seam, nice and tight. Take your brushed back section, spray it with holding spray, and gather into your hand –– as if you were gathering into a low ponytail –– and twist and hold this piece of hair in place over the back of the center of your head.
Step: Take three bobby pins and place in the bottom, middle, and top of your half-a-twist, the half-a-seam you’ve just created. Start at the bottom because this will help support your seam structure. Lock them inside your seam. These bobby pins will keep it nice and sleek but you should now use a bit more holding spray on the side of the seam to aid hold and sleekness.
Step: Now you’re in great shape. You have your base – one side of the twist – held back with bobby pins, across the center of your head. This means one half of the preparation is firmly in place. Now take the opposite side, the half with most of the hair. Brush back as before, but be sure to brush hair over the pins of the half-a-seam you’ve just created. Grab this second section of hair with your hand, low and central to the back of your head, then twist hair upwards, over the top of your original half-seam, and cup in place with your hands. You are cupping the area where you placed your three original bobby pins.
Step: Now take one big hairpin and place it where your fingertips are applying pressure to hold the second part of your twist in place. It’s also important to place the pin in from the same direction your hair has been brushed back. For example if you’re coming from the left, place the pin in from that direction too. This aids the stability of your twist. Be sure to catch the top surface of the original folded twist with your pin, and once the pin goes in sharply twist the pin back, fixing it back on itself in an action much akin to a classic sewing technique — back and forth, over and under.
Step: Now spritz again with your holding spray to hold and shine the second part of your perfect twist. Pull out a few pieces of hair for disheveled elegance.