The best most of us can do with our hair on a hike is a ponytail — maybe a bun if we're feeling adventurous. But leave it to Blake Lively to school us all with a red carpet-worthy knotted braid. "It was impromptu!" hairstylist Rod Ortega tells us on a call from Australia. He's there with Lively now filming The Shallows, and on a morning hike the duo got so inspired by the local leaves and branches (see image 2 for a comparison) that they took a break right there on the cliff so Ortega could weave the braid. Naturally, we had to get all the details.
"We were on this really beautiful cliff, with all these gorgeous leaves and branches, and thought, What if we create that with hair?" Ortega tells us. While it looks complicated, the look is, essentially, a knot placed between every full rotation of a French braid.
We were on this really beautiful cliff, with all these gorgeous leaves and branches, and thought, 'What if we create that with hair?'
hairstylist Rod Ortega
To copy the look, divide the hair into three sections — just like you would with a French braid. Then, make a knot with the top center portion. "A literal knot," Ortega says. As if you were knotting a rope, push the knot to the base of the hair. Then, start your French braid, stopping with every full rotation to create another knot with the middle section. Continue this all the way down your hair, until you've got a French braid punctuated with knots.
The final step? When you're done, go back and gently soften the braid. "With my fingers, I went through and opened each knot," Ortega says. Being trailside, the duo didn't have an elastic, but luckily, they didn't need one. "It stayed!" he says. If you want to try this look, the most important thing to remember is that it need not be exactly like Lively's, he adds. "It should not be perfect. A lot of girls think their hair should, but it should be loose and relaxed."