Festival Braids with Zoë Irwin

If there's one person we trust with our hair, it's ghd brand ambassador and style queen Zoë Irwin. We caught up with her for the low down on how to rock this seasons braid trends.

With festival season just around the corner, you've probably started planning your look. Summer festivals are known for high temperatures, dry heat and long days and so where better to turn than summer's best hair friend - the braid - to keep you looking cool, calm and collected all day long.

This season steer away from the fishtail braids of years gone and look towards the catwalks for maj braid inspo, we're talking micro braids from Louis Vuitton, corn rows at Valentino and side braids at Herve Leger.

Prep the hair

When braiding the hair it’s important to get a good hold and grip on the hair so the prep is essential. To get the perfect texture for braids that will last the whole day, spray damp hair with root lift spray before blow-drying. For micro braids or extra soft hair you need to spay the hair with lots of hairspray before beginning the braiding, this will keep the micro braids in place.

Braid 1: Micro-braid 

As seen on the Louis Vuitton catwalk, this style is perfect for just-washed hair and is the perfect technique to add some texture.


Take small pieces of hair from behind the ear and braid every 4 cms apart – this will give braids that peek out from underneath the hair as opposed to being on the top of the head.

Spray with hairspray before braiding.

PRO-TIP: Instead of using an elastic at the bottom, backcomb the ends with a comb that has been spritzed with hairspray and this will hold them in place all day…and maybe even longer. This gives a more effortless, relaxed look.

Braid 2: Side-braid 

The side braid gives you the best of both worlds, long flowing waves on one side, and controlled pretty French plaits on the other, ideal for day two when your hair has just the right amount of grip.


Starting at the crown French braid from the parting down, feeding hair from underneath so that the braid is raised up and sits on one side along the hair line. Secure into a low pony at the nape of the neck and pull over your shoulder.

PRO-TIP:You can keep this style of braid in for the whole festival weekend as this becomes more ethereal as it softens and loosens; embrace the loose falling hairs!

Braid 3: Hippy Doll braid 

A big forecast trend for this season, and as seen at the Valentino show, the dreadlocks look is easy to create and has a funky edge. Taking inspiration from African cornrow braids but with an added softness


Twist the hair back to create small sections of cornrows and secure with small see-through elastics at the back.

With the hair that is remaining at the back you need to create a dreadlock effect. This look can be created by twisting small sections of hair and setting with the ghd platinum® styler. The heat from the styler, followed by a lot of hairspray to set the look, will keep the dreadlocks in place all day.

Then twist the hair into a loose bun and secure by criss crossing pins into the bun.

PRO-TIP:The key to this look is to frame the face and create a more feminine, luxe look.


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