How to rock schoolgirl plaits
- Renee Puno (The Philippine Star) - June 15, 2012 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The coiffure du jour of late, the unassuming braid, has made a comeback in a big, big (did we say big?) way. Once the rage during times we’d rather forget, the braid has made its resurgence with current cooler-than-cool status, substantiated by its ubiquitous presence on the runways, celebrities and cinema’s “it” girls.

But don’t be fooled, gone is the plain-Jane braid of its heyday. Our little friend has emerged prepared, having gone many a makeover to keep up with fast times. Here’s a rundown of the braid’s recently spotted incarnations — eight new ways to seriously rock a pretty plait.

The French Braid

 Similar to the classic braid (you know how that goes — right section over middle section, left section over right section, and so on and so forth), this style starts closest to the scalp, with more strands of hair added to each section as the braid moves along its path. We’re crazy about Valentino’s soft and gorgeously loose updo take on this romantic style — it is nothing short of dreamy. Merci, Monsieur Valentino, for this delightful mane attraction!

The Waterfall Braid

An offshoot of the French braid, the Waterfall is its bohemian-spirited younger sister. Employing a technique that lets some locks hang loose, the result is a pretty, partial French braid with lovely cascading tresses. The Waterfall exudes a nonchalant I-never-try-too-hard casual cool that’s the craze in this boho/hipster –obsessed day and age.

The Dutch Braid

The young (and young at heart) may associate this one with Katniss Everdeen, femme fatale and über heroine of the cult-favored The Hunger Games trilogy. Basically a reverse French Braid, the Dutch style opts to cross strands of hair from below rather than above.

The Fishtail Braid

Though this one bears an uncanny resemblance to its sea-dwelling namesake, there’s nothing fishy about this sort. Similar to a French braid in its smoothly woven appearance, the fishtail takes a slight detour and divides the hair into only two sections instead of three, creating a lovely, intricate pattern that’s easy on the eyes.

The Halo Braid

Quell your inner Blair Waldorf and drop that headband addiction: braids are the new bands. Seen on runways in half-up-half-down, or all-up variations, braids swooped around the head seems to be the look of choice for the crowning glories of even the most discerning beauty junkies.

The Disheveled Braid

Tousled, teased, and oozing with sexy attitude, this ‘do isn’t for the faint of heart. Case in point: Michael Kors’ spring 2012 interwoven mess was so bad, it was good.

The Microbraid (a.k.a The Cornrow)

Bigger isn’t always better. Dainty little plaits are a veritable hair option, as proven by the trend’s resurfacing in recent days. We’re especially digging McQueen’s edgy-eerie remake of the woven classic.

The Braided Updo

 The French, the Dutch, the fishtail, or what have you —pin your braids up in a twisted bun and you’ve successfully recreated the must-have chignon of the moment, all while keeping your tresses out of your face. It’s a win-win.

You’ve seen the rehashed alter egos of this chameleon of a hairstyle; it’s time to make the look your own. 

Salon Experts

For those feeling fancy and not quite willing to go the DIY route, here are salons to check out for styling by the pros:

Azta Urban Salon

The budget-friendly chain offers braid and cornrow styling, by appointment. Visit its Katipunan Avenue branch, 2nd level, SMRC Building, Katipunan Avenue, corner B.Gonzales Street Loyola Heights, Quezon City (in front of Miriam College). Tel. 434-6733 or check out

Creations by Lourd Ramos

The new eco-friendly branch, Lourd’s second location, beckons at 2F Cedar Executive Bldg., 1006 Arnaiz Ave., Brgy. San Lorenzo, Makati City. Store hours are from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Louis Phillip Kee

The G/F unit 116-117, Forbeswood Heights, Rizal Drive cor. Burgos Circle, Fort Bonifacio Global, Taguig City. Tel. 856-3388 or 856-4848 or 0918-8424888 

Emphasis Salon

Ground level, Joya Tower, Rockwell, Makati. Tel. 403-0119 and 403-0117.

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