Rope braid tutorial: Learn how to do this twisted updo in 4 easy steps

rope braid tutorial holiday hair

rope braid tutorial holiday hair
Photography by James Lourenço. Hair and makeup by Margot Keith. Model: Mackenzie/Plutino Group

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We have one last holiday hair tutorial to share, and this one is a New Year’s Eve-ready twist on the rope braid. First of all, don’t be intimated by this braiding technique. It’s much easier than it looks, especially because you’re only working with two strands of hair, not three. So if you’ve ever felt like you could use a second set of hands while attempting a French braid, the rope braid may just be the hairstyle for you.

Our step-by-step rope braid tutorial was developed by Toronto-based hairstylist Margot Keith, and breaks down everything you need to know to master this twisted updo. Oh, and did we mention? The other excellent thing about this holiday hairstyle is that it works best on second-day hair—meaning you can skip the shampooing and the blowdrying and instead enjoy a well-deserved bit of holiday relaxation. Ready to try? Read on for the full rope braid updo tutorial.

rope braid tutorial holiday hair
Photography by James Lourenço. Hair and makeup by Margot Keith. Model: Mackenzie/Plutino Group

Holiday Hair Tutorial: Rope Braid Updo

1. This updo may look like a halo braid, but it’s actually two French rope braids that come together at the nape of your neck. Section your hair in half, pigtail style. Start each braid at the side of your head, above your ear. Take two 2-inch sections of hair, twist the pieces a few times and then criss-cross them over each other—you’ll want to criss-cross twice. Now, just like a traditional French braid, add some hair to each section. Twist both pieces and criss-cross again. Repeat.

2. Continue braiding until you reach the nape of your neck. Loosely rope braid the remaining hair and secure each braid with an elastic. Tip: Make sure not to tug too tightly on your hair—you want the braids to hang comfortably and no part to be visible at the back or top of your head.

3. Tuck the ends of your first braid under and coil it up like a bun. Pin it into place. Repeat this step with the second braid.

4. Pin any larger, loose strands of hair into the braid but leave any smaller pieces loose. Add a light mist of hairspray to hold it all in place and you’re done—bring on the holiday parties!