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The braided knotted updo: a unique hairstyle for the holidays

Traditionally one of summer's most popular looks, the braid is back on trend this winter - and in a big way! First spotted a few seasons back on the runway at Giorgio Armani, this look is fast becoming one of the standout styles of the season. Read on for our tips on how to make this classy chignon work for you.

Bountiful braids

This season's emphasis is on the multi-braid, so don't be afraid to go wild with your style! Mermaid-style double braids have been on trend for some time now, but stylists at Giorgio Armani took the look one step further with a stunning braided chignon as seen above. Chic, delicate and classically feminine, this bohemian style is a great look for the holidays, whether for those cosy nights in front of the fire or an elegant New Year's soirée.

A step-by-step guide

Love this glamorous look, but worried about being forced to spend hours in front of your bathroom mirror? Don't be fooled: achieving the perfectly braided bun is far easier than it looks. Start out as though you were styling your hair into a half-up, half-down ponytail, separating your hair's top layer before tying the rest up out of the way. Part your hair down the middle, separate into two sides and braid around halfway down, before tucking the rest into the sides of your hair and pinning into place.

Now, untie the lower part of your hair and separate into two parts, as before. Braid each side as if you were continuing from above, then gently twist both braids up and around each other for an elegant chignon. Avoid braids that are too tight or overly neat - you should be aiming for a gently windswept, mussed effect that doesn't appear too rigid or overdone.

Fix your hair in place

A touch of ethereal charm is key when it comes to pulling off this elegant style, but how to stop a few artfully teased strands from coming undone and spoiling your look? The answer: bobby pins, and then more bobby pins (in a shade that matches your hair, obviously), teamed with a strategic spritz of hairspray for extra holding power. Gently pin wherever you feel is necessary to hold your chignon in place, before lightly spraying with hairspray in short, deliberate bursts. This helps secure the look and subdue flyaways while still leaving your hair with some of its natural movement. Result? You can dance the night away - without worrying that your chic chignon will come tumbling down at the stroke of midnight.

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