Half-Up Braided Crown

braid-tutorial-hair-cupofjo-blogWhenever we did hair tutorials in the past, we got tons of comments requesting curly hair and short hair tutorials. So we’ve put together four new posts—two for curly hair and two for short hair. Thanks for the encouragement! Here, my hair-stylist friend Reagan, who has gorgeous curls, shows how to do a half-up braided crown. Here are her steps…

1. Part your hair down the middle, and gather together a large section of hair on one side. (I like to pull pieces down in the front so I have softness around my face.)
2-4. Braid the section. Start loosely at the top, working backwards in the direction that you want the braid to go (so rather than braiding straight down, you want to braid back, so the braid is at a slight slant). Secure with an elastic.
5. Repeat on the other side.
6-7. Cross the first braid behind your head so that the braid swoops down to the nape of your neck (it’s a more feminine, flattering and grown-up look than crossing it directly across the back of your head). Pin in place with bobby pins, making sure to tuck in the tail. (If your braid is quite long, you can fold the tail in half and tuck it behind the braid.)
8. Repeat on the other side.

Thank you so much, Reagan! This would be perfect for Valentine’s Day or night out with friends; it’s so relaxed and beautiful.

P.S. 14 more hair tutorials

(Photos by Alpha Smoot for Cup of Jo. Styling and modeling by Reagan Baker of Hairdresser on Fire)

  1. Great tutorials, so easy to follow. Can’t wait to try them myself. Thank you!

  2. Savannah says...

    I love this! I have thin hair…will it work?

  3. gillian says...

    i’m super late to the party, but i wanted to ask – what lip color she wearing (the red)? i’ve been looking for a beautiful, not-too-bright red and this one might be the ticket.

  4. I love your hair tutorials! They always give me enough courage to do them myself, but the models look like they have normal thick/thin hair. I have pretty thick hair and I was wondering if you maybe could make some tutorials for thick hair? These tutorials aren’t quite working for my hair :/

    Love them, anyway!:*

  5. I’ve only “found” Cup of Jo recently, so am happy you posted this to Pinterest today. I love Reagan and her hair tips. She taught me how to flat iron, and that alone makes her a minor hero to me. :)

  6. Thank you soo much regan for this tip really very helpful.. i was very tired with the same look for my hair and going to parlour every second day gets very tough for me.. thanks for the hair style tips

  7. Really lovely! Thanks for this tutorial, I’ll probably get this braid for summer ;)

  8. Thank you for this tutorial, it’s just gorgeous! :D


  9. I’m not sure where you are getting your info, but great topic. I needs to spend some time learning more or understanding more. Thanks for excellent info I was looking for this info for my mission.billige extensions

  10. I appreciate the effort to help out us curly-haired ladies, but, yeah, my curls definitely don’t do this. They just laugh. Please don’t give up on curly hair styles, though! I’d love to see what you can find. I’m also about to cut my hair, so short hairstyles (like pixie short!) would be a welcome change too! Keep up the good work!

  11. This is simple but so lovely

  12. Great style, but all I want to know is what nail polish colour she is wearing!? haha


  13. uhhhhhhlala! BEAUTIFUL! Really, your hairstyle looks damn cute & perfect.

    Much love

  14. I love this style! My hair is a bit thin and flat to work with full on milkmaid braids but this looks really simple and pretty, I’m off to give it a try!

  15. I agree with many people above – this is a super pretty style, but definitely does not qualify as curly hair

    …on a slightly related note, could you do some simple make-up tutorials? keep it simple, pretty, normal – nothing wild or requiring uncommon makeup supplies… geared at the make-up naive? would love that so much!

  16. Wavy hair- but still amazing! I love it. Might be my go-to style for a while :)

  17. My daughter had tight ringlet curls as a little girl but her hair is down to her waist now so because it’s heavy it waves like Reagan’s hair with curls at the ends. This style will be perfect for her hair. Reagan is very pretty and that style suits her well.

  18. Pretty but definitely NOT curly!

  19. Love this one.. been doing a variation of it for awhile now, but excited to try this version at the nape of my neck!

  20. That´s so pretty! especially since your hair is getting more lighten at the ends.

  21. So nice that I have to try on myself!love it

  22. This comment has been removed by the author.

  23. I think the hairstyle is lovely- but as many say, not for curly hair. I think Reagan could model a style that would be nice for curly hair, but if someone with curly hair attempted this style, it would be hard to get the braid to lay flat, and the amount of volume would likely give it a funny shape. The tricky (and fun) thing about curly hair is that you have to think about it in more dimensions because it doesn’t just have length but also a very three dimensional shape.
    I do really appreciate the idea of having curly and short hairstyles though!

  24. Beautiful tutorial but I agree with a lot of people, that is not curly hair. If that’s considered curls I don’t even want to think of what my hair would be considered, lol!

  25. Beautiful tutorial but I agree with a lot of people, that is not curly hair. If that’s considered curls I don’t even want to think of what my hair would be considered, lol!

  26. that is definitely not curly hair, but the braid is nice.

  27. Yeah… definitely not curly hair. Straight hair with waves, yes. Curly, not at all.

  28. Love the tutorial. And your friend has gorgeous wavy hair. :)

  29. While I’m still laughing at the idea of this being “curly” hair, I do love this tutorial and will be trying it (since I have straight hair and, like Reagan, can use a curling tool). I am excited to try it!

  30. Love the tutorial. And your friend has gorgeous wavy hair. :)

  31. Beautyful hair model :)
    i want to collect in my Tablet PC

  32. It looks lovely. I wish I could get such lovely waves in my flat hair!

  33. This looks doable and oh so pretty. I’m totally going to give this a go for this week’s date night at “Wreck it Ralph”.

  34. n. says...

    what lipstick is she wearing (the red) – love that shade!

  35. yay for short hair tutorials! I look forward to them! x

  36. This is the first Cup of Jo hair tutorial I actually want to try!

  37. Have to agree with all the above…that’s a straight-haired girl’s version of what curly hair is…Real curls are underrepresented everywhere. Nevertheless, lovely.

  38. her hair is lovely, but i want to know what her nail polish is!!! i love the dark, dusty, not-quite-forest green shade, & i MUST have it.

    • I love her nail polish too! I looked around a bit and the closest thing I saw was OPI’s Ski Teal We Drop.

  39. pretty. But, if you are going to offer ideas for curly hair, it might help to show a curly haired model… just a thought!

  40. Yay!! Just yesterday or the day before I had thought while looking through your tutorials, ‘Man! I wish she’d do something for curly hair!’

    Thanks for reading my mind, Jo! xx

  41. Thanks for the curly hair love! :) so pretty.

  42. H says...

    Joanna I love when you do hair tutorials becuase you always highlight styles that I’ve either always wanted to try but didn’t know how, or that I’ve never even heard of but are so beautiful just the same!

  43. What a gorgeous hair! Wish mine was even just little bit like hers!

  44. i love it! I have done two million versions of braided hair but never this one… well not since high school when romeo and juliet with claire Danes in the angel costume came out!

  45. Love it. I’m going to try this tomorrow. :)

  46. I have to agree with the other posters that while this girl has very pretty hair, it is not what I would call curly… :)

    • Ha! Glad you guys wrote in – I saw the photos and was wondering if it was a joke!

  47. Ohhhhh I loooove this!! ;) Great idea for greasy hair. ;)


  48. gorgeous! i love this, definitely will use!

  49. i would try this on my daughter who has long wavy hair but in my truly curly hair braids just get lost, i’ve tried it.

  50. Reagan cut my hair recently! Love her and her blog.

  51. Obsessed with this! Can’t wait to try it!

  52. Pretty but not curly ;)

  53. Pretty but not curly ;)

  54. I absolutely love this! Thanks for sharing. These photos are gorgeous.

  55. So chic and beautiful! Thanks for sharing. I want to curl my hair just to try this out.

  56. This is so pretty! It makes me wish my hair would hold a curl. It also makes me want to keep my long hair for a while yet before chopping it off!

  57. So pretty! I wish I had those natural waves in my stick straight hair! But this is a great option for straight-haired gals too. Although, mine’s way too short now to even think about fancy things like this…

  58. This lady has lovely hair, but I would not consider it curly!!

    • I’m going to have to agree with you. That’s definitely not curly hair, even if it is very pretty!

    • Super pretty hair, but no way that is curly hair… maybe slightly messy straight hair? vaguely wavey?

    • Love her hair and tutorial. But I have to agree with some of the other comments. That is not curly. Where do we send in our hair pics? I can show you curly hair :)

    • Yep, I’d say her hair is more wavy than curly. it’ll be nice to see some real curly tutorials. But anyways, these tutorials are lovely, I’m pinning them to when I use my hair straight! :)

    • cute but her hair is definitely not curly! what i would give for straight hair like this that lays this flat….sigh ;)

    • It is beautiful (as is most of the content here on this blog!), but it’s definitely not a curly style. Braiding ringlets is pretty impossible

    • Hahaha, I was going to say the same thing! My hair, curly and short, can hold up a box of pencils and several crayons, no way that is curly hair!

    • Oh, gosh – thank goodness I’m not alone! My hair looks like that *after* I iron it (but frizzier, LOL).

      Very pretty though! Can’t wait for my hair to get that long again…

    • Same issue here: I appreciate the effort, and love the style (and your lovely friend!), but that is distinctly NOT curly hair. Curls come in all different kinds, on lots of kinds of gals, but that girl’s hair is wavy. Not curly. (And if she does have curlier hair naturally, but altered it in order to obtain that hairstyle, it doesn’t count as a curly style tutorial.)

    • Agreed.

    • I see a lot agree with me – that is FAR from curly hair! Mine is curlier than that after I blow it out straight.

    • AGREED! Lovely look, but this is wavy hair not curly!!

    • I was thinking the exact same thing. Her hair is barely even wavy… definitely not curly! I suppose this hairstyle could work on people with tight curls (like me!) but it wouldn’t look like hers at all.

    • Agreed – this is pretty much dream hair. This is what my hair looks like after I blow it out, straighten it, then using a curling iron. Nice try though. Sigh…

    • Yes! A lovely tutorial but definitely not curly hair. This is, at most and stretching it very far, wavy hair. ;) Curly hair is curly from the root! And it forms actual curls and spirals, not open waves. Also, unfortunately, it frizzes a lot…

    • Yep, my thoughts exactly. Do you have any friends with curlier hair? Because those are definitely waves, and the style would look quite different on a super curly girl.

    • It’s looovely, but now show us reaaaal curly hair tutorias

  59. i love doing my hair like this! you always have the best, easiest to follow hair tutorials, joanna :)

  60. as someone who usually air dries her hair, i appreciate the messy-ness of this style! looks great and is very doable.

  61. Oh! I always love doing my hair like that. Just so lovely :)

  62. i love the half-up braided crown. seems much more doable than the full braided crown, and it’s a bit sexier.

  63. Dangit that’s cute! I’m always looking for something fun since my primary hair style is a bun.

    The Cheeky Cafe