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Learn how to recreate this surprisingly simple boho-sexy updo.

Pair your effortless-looking hairstyle with a peaches-and-cream makeup palette— like Makeup Artist Scott Spencer Miller of White Salon and Spa did here.
Pair your effortless-looking hairstyle with a peaches-and-cream makeup palette— like Makeup Artist Scott Spencer Miller of White Salon and Spa did here.

It’s July in Atlanta and it’s hot and sticky out there. A halo braid looks stunning whether you’re off to the gym or walking down a red carpet, and ensures that your hair stays off your face and neck. Surprise—this day-to-evening updo is actually two French braids that meet together, and easier to pull off than you think. Try your hand at this ’do with step-by-step tips from Max Sanchez, owner of Buckhead’s White Salon and Spa.

IMG_2228-11. A fresh start. You can start with freshly washed and blow-dried hair, but a halo braid is also a great style for “next-day” hair. Either way, make sure to spray your roots with a dry shampoo, such as Kevin Murphy Fresh Hair Dry Cleaning Spray ($29), holding the product about six inches from your scalp. “Dry shampoo absorbs oil, adds volume and gives texture, which is a very important part of this style; otherwise, it’s going to be too slippery,” Sanchez says.

2. Play your part. Find where you would like to part your hair at the top of your head near the hairline; section hair into two parts (they don’t have to be even); and begin French braiding on one side. Separate strands for the first braid into three sections. Take one section and add it to the center, then pick up a piece of the loose hair from the other side of that area and add it to the center. Wherever you place your hand that is holding your hair is where the braid will go. “I move my hand all around the hairline, circling in the shape of a crown,” Sanchez says. “Make sure that it is nice and tight around the ears so there are no bulging pieces.”

3. Neck step. Once you pass the nape of the neck, stop the French braiding and create a normal braid on the rest of that section all the way down to the end of the hair. Secure the ends with a small elastic band that is close to your natural hair color so that it blends in.

IMG_2325-14. Keep up the French. Now repeat steps two and three on the other side of your head with the remaining loose hair.

5. Tuck away. Grab the ends of both braids, crisscross them and use bobby pins to tuck, secure and blend them into the opposite braid.

6. Smooth moves. Smooth out the sections as necessary with your fingers, “the best comb in the world for a more natural look,” Sanchez explains.

7. Fashionable finish. Rub a dime-sized amount of molding paste, such as Rene Furterer Vegetal Styling Modeling Paste ($25), into your fingertips and use it to define and set the hair. Next, top your braid off with a finishing spray, like Rene Furterer Vegetal Styling Finishing Spray ($28), to set the style with a long-lasting hold. “This hairstyle could actually last for a couple of days if everything is nice and tight,” Sanchez says.

IMG_2467-1How do you make sure you look more high fashion than Little House on the Prairie with your halo? “The key thing is using the right products,” Sanchez says. “This style is a bit matted— that’s what’s cool about it. It doesn’t look clean clean. There’s texture.”

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Atlanta 30305

STORY: Karina Timmel Antenucci
PHOTOS: Sara Hanna

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