Part Renaissance Faire and part chic hair statement, the intricate braided crowns (which we dubbed cage braids for their scalp-encompassing effect) from Marchesa's spring '13 show have been haunting our dreams for the past few months. Clearly, extensions came into play for this look, but surely there must be some way to recreate this woven wonder without having to resort to fake hair.
Lo and behold, where there's a will, apparently there's a way. We teamed up with Woodley & Bunny stylist Adrian Clark to show you how to recreate this divine 'do at home. Best of all, we used a short-haired model to prove that you don't need Rapunzel strands to pull this bad boy off. Click through to get the scoop on this mane masterpiece, plus a few of Clark's best tips on braiding, updos, and how girls with short hair can master both.
Photographed by Jacqueline Harriet; Hair by Adrian Clark for Woodley & Bunny; Model Georgia Lifsher.
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While you can do this look with any length of hair, it's particularly beneficial for girls with short hair because it allows them to expand their mane repertoire by working with what they've got. "With shorter hair, playing with textures, incorporating tools, and trying new products are important to achieving something exciting and new," says Clark. Braids in particular are a good option for cropped locks because they can function as more of an accent, rather than being the whole hairstyle, so you can dress up a 'do without needing tons of hair at your disposal.
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Start by saturating the hair with mousse to help create texture. The shorter your hair, the more product you should put in, as you will need your hair to have grip and be able to hold bobby pins without slipping. Gather your hair back into a ponytail, keeping the front sections (from the top of the head to the hairline) loose.
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Create a center part and section out the loose front hair into five separate pieces — two on the side where your part is and three on the opposite side. Begin braiding the hair in a fishtail braid, making sure to direct the hair down and back — if you braid it toward the front of your head you are going to have a weird lump when you try to pull the braids to the back of your head.
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Continue braiding each section until you have five braids. Begin pulling the braids back, marrying the ends into the roll at the back of your head and pinning in place. The braids should looked stacked and be spaced out to create the illusion of a crown or net of plaits. Don't pin the braids to the side of your head quite yet — they should remain loose and unpinned, except at the back of the head.