Mara Hoffman Desert Braid Tutorial

This hairstyle is inspired by the gorgeous braid from the Mara Hoffman fashion show during New York Fashion Week 2014. It is done in three steps with the intricate braid then the side pieces wrapped over the hair band.

I took some liberty with the actual braiding portion of this hairstyle, taking small pieces from other strands, adding them in and cross them over each other instead of simply braiding the hair down into a single braid. There is really no pattern with how it was done but whenever one strand felt thicker than the others I simply divided it and only crossed half over or under the middle. Watch the video below to see exactly what I mean but try it out and play around with your own braid. It can be done a million different ways and still be shabby chic in the end.

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Get the Look: Mara Hoffman Desert Braid Tutorial

  1. Start with a deep side part; either side works perfectly.
  2. Separate out the front portion of hair on both sides, from the part down to the ear, and clip this out of the way.
  3. Tie the rest of the hair into a low ponytail.
  4. Divide the ponytail into three sections for the braid.
  5. Cross the left strand under the middle, then the right strand under the middle.
  6. Cross the left strand under the middle.
  7. Now take half of the center strand and add it to the right strand.
  8. Cross the right strand under the middle.
  9. Cross the left strand under the middle.
  10. Divide the right strand in half and cross only one half under the middle.
  11. Cross the left strand under the middle.
  12. Cross the right strand under the middle.
  13. Cross the left strand under.
  14. Divide the middle strand in half, add one half to the right side, then cross the right strand under the middle.
  15. Divide the left strand in half and cross only one half under the middle.
  16. Cross the right strand under the middle.

At this point in the video, I pulled the braid over my shoulder so the strands are now crossed over instead of under the middle section.

  1. Make two regular crosses on each side over the middle.
  2. Divide the next side strand in half and only cross half over the middle.
  3. Make two regular cross-overs.
  4. Then divide the next strand in half and only cross half over the middle.
  5. Divide the next strand and cross half over the middle.
  6. Make three regular cross overs.
  7. Divide the next strand in half crossing part of it over.
  8. Cross half the next strand over.
  9. Then tie off the braid with a clear elastic band.
  10. Gently loosen the sides of the braid by pulling on the edges.
  11. Remove the side clips.
  12. With the hair on the left side, cross it over the ponytail band and wrap the hair around the band.
  13. Secure the hair under the band with a hair pin.
  14. Take the hair from the right side and cross it over the band before wrapping it.
  15. Secure the end with a hair pin.
  16. Loosen some hairs around the face and spritz the look with hairspray.
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