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Tutorial: Messy Ponytail with Braids

Messy texture is best for summer hairstyles when the heat and humidity are bound to interfere with cleaner looks. My philosophy is if you can’t beat it, work with it!

I opted to add some texture to my straight hair but you can skip this step if you prefer. If you know how to create an inverted French braid or Dutch Braid, this style shouldn’t take longer than 15 to 20 minutes to replicate. If you don’t know how to Dutch braid, now is a great time to learn. The technique is the same as for a French braid except that you fold the strands under instead of over. Follow this how-to post to master the technique and start enjoying all of the fun styles you can create with these versatile braids. It’s ideal to create this pretty ponytail on hair that isn’t squeaky clean so skip the shampoo and let’s get started.

Click through the slideshow below for the step-by-step tutorial.

How to Create a Messy Ponytail with Braids 1 of 17
Click through for my step-by-step tutorial!
Step 1: Gather Materials 2 of 17
For this hairstyle, you will need:


Clips

Texture iron (I used Sam Villa Textur Texturizing Iron)

Hairspray (I used Paul Mitchell Express Dry Stay Strong Hairspray)

3 small hair bands

Ribbon or other decorative hair accessory (optional)
Step 2: Section the Top 3 of 17
Create a deep horseshoe-shaped section on the top of your head and clip that hair out of the way.
Step 3: Divide Hair 4 of 17
Divide the remaining hair into two roughly equal sections at the nape.
Step 4: Section and Spray 5 of 17
If you are using a texture iron, create a thin horizontal section from one of your side sections at the nape and apply hairspray.
Step 5: Iron 6 of 17
Iron the section to give it texture and body. Start by roots and work your way down to the ends.
Step 6: Check the Texture 7 of 17
The section should now look like this. It doesn't have to be perfect.
Step 7: Complete the Side 8 of 17
Continue taking small horizontal sections working up your head until you’ve completed the entire section.
Step 8: Repeat on the Other Side 9 of 17
Again, starting from the nape, texturize hair in thin horizontal sections until you've completed the second side section.
Step 9: Begin Braiding 10 of 17
Starting at the temple, take a small section and divide it into three roughly equal strands.
Step 10: Dutch Braid 11 of 17
Dutch braid the side by folding the strands under and incorporating hair as you work. If you used a texture iron or if your hair has natural texture, the braiding will be easier.
Step 11: Secure 12 of 17
Use a small hair band to secure the braid by the nape.
Step 12: Braid the Other Side 13 of 17
Dutch braid the other side and tie off with a small hair band.
Step 13: Widen the Braid 14 of 17
Use your fingers to gently pull the braid apart, making it wider and more messy.
Step 14: Release the Top 15 of 17
Remove the clip and tease the top with a teasing comb or rat tail comb.
Step 15: Create the Ponytail 16 of 17
Smooth the teased top section, gather with the two side braids, and secure the ponytail with a hair band.
Step 16: Embellish 17 of 17
Finish the style by adding a ribbon or other hair accessory, if desired.
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