19/07/2012 12:19 | By Sarah Hecks, fashion & beauty editor, MSN Her

Get the look: Beyoncé’s braids

Celebrity hairdresser Mark Woolley gives his advice for braiding hair.


Beyoncé Knowles has shown off her new hairdo whilst shopping with baby Blue Ivy in New York. The singer has opted for blonde braids, which is a big departure from the softer waves she has been favouring of late.

Byonce Knowles (© Rex Features)

Beyoncé experimented with braids during the early days of Destiny's Child. We think her new 'do is very reminiscent of Ereka Badu's early style and was no doubt influenced by Solange.

"The style of the braids is perfect for summer, although transcend all seasons and frame her beautiful oval face perfectly", says Mark Woolley, Director of Electric Hairdressing brand.

Here Mark gives his advice for anyone thinking of braiding their hair:

1. Ensure your hair is in as good as healthy condition as possible, put some ground work in by treating your hair to a deep conditioner at least a week before braiding it.

2. Relaxing your hair before putting them in braids is a personal choice that must be carefully considered. If you choose to relax your hair (either to make it easier to manage, or meet the texture of your extensions) be sure to do so at least two weeks before braiding. We do not recommend relaxing your hair and braiding it on the same day, this is because relaxing hair often leaves it weak and putting your hair then into individual braids can damage the already fragile hair.

3. Choose your style and extensions carefully. When it comes to picking a hairstyle, remember what works for one may not necessarily work for you. If your hair is brittle and weak, putting them in microbraids will only further damage your hairline.

4. You can choose between either human or synthetic extensions (budget usually determines this). Human hair extensions tend to hold more moisture, while synthetic hair tends to strip hair of moisture - so be sure to always moisturise when wearing synthetic hair.

5. It is essential to moisturise when hair is in braids as it often loses its moisture, making it easier to fall out. Use a moisturising spray regularly, we like Kerastase Soleil Micro-Voile Protecteur as this not only contains lightweight micro oils but also protects the scalp.

6. Be careful of product build up, the best way to avoid this is to wash your hair with a diluted shampoo such as Electric Hydrate Shampoo (£17.50, electric-hair.com) that contains meadow-foam seed oil and sugar beet extract which will keep your braids looking fresh, deeply restore moisture, strengthen hair cuticles and smooth hair. Massage your scalp to release the product build-up, move along to the rest of your hair, and be careful not to pull on your braids. We recommend washing your braids twice a week.

7. Remember to condition your hair with either a leave-in conditioner spray or gently smooth some L'Oréal Professionnel Mythic Oil onto the hair.

8. Finally, protect your hair whilst you sleep with a silk scarf or soft net to avoid braids loosening.

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