Be Brave With Braids – A 6 Step Guide to Braiding Your Hair

Be Brave With Braids – A 6 Step Guide to Braiding Your Hair

Kevin Fortune – The Hair Stylist You Can Trust

During one of our exclusive styling sessions for London’s illustrious fashion-industry personalities at the recent London Fashion Week SS14 shows, we had the great pleasure of welcoming Steffen Michels, fashion journalist and contributing feature writer for MenStyleFashion to our studio, just off Oxford Circus.

From the moment we had seen Steffen’s picture and his Amazing long hair on twitter the night before he popped in to see us, Kevin Fortune (whose famous clients include Alexa Chung, Kelly Osbourne, La Roux, Nick Gimshaw and Steve Jones) and myself knew that we wanted Steffen to walk out of his styling session with a style that was really unique and individualistic – making sure he stands out from the crowd at London’s infamously stylish Fashion Week circuit.

YES – he does have really cool, long natural hair – but our work at the Academy focuses on session-styling in the worlds of fashion & advertising editorials, TV and music – so we absolutely wanted to try a style that was out-of-the-ordinary & sending him off for his London Fashion Week engagements with a simple blow-dry was never really an option.

Steffen turned out to be a dream-client, as he was really open to Kevin’s ideas and willing to try something new – just for the hell of it. Hey – There’s simply no better occasion to try something a little ‘out there’ than LFW, right?! Kevin loves that element to his work – a client really putting their trust in him, without knowing or discussing what the final outcome will be. It really allows him to let inspiration take over and just ‘be’ with the person and have fun with styling. That’s the beauty of session styling, really! You can try out absolutely anything and play with different ideas, without having to commit to getting your hair cut. YES, people – No big news here – but (whether we’d like to admit it or not) us men really can be just as obsessive about our hair as women. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that!!!


Funnily enough, I think it wasn’t actually so much the braided style that convinced Steffen at first, but having told Kevin that he sometimes thinks about cutting all his hair off, it was the fun of having a short-hair style for the day that made him play along. The look Kevin created on the day actually was born out of this very idea – to create a style that, at first glance from the front, looks like a short hair-style – with the intricacies of the braids only revealed upon taking a closer look.

Key to making this style work, of course, is not styling the braids too neatly – so it looks masculine, effortless and, most importantly, not too ‘try-hard’.

Many of you black boys and men out there have been braiding and twisting your hair for years, creating really intricate and quite technical styles, which YES – do require you to sit at your local barber’s for a substantial amount of time! But we think IT’S TIME that we all embraced the fun to be had with styling our hair more imaginatively. There’s nothing too ‘hippy’, ‘girly’ or ‘gangster’ about this style if it’s done right – but a stylish, modern take on a look that has been around for many year’s but is now, in our eyes, seeing a fresh, modern & stylish revival.

Six Simple Steps To Recreating This Style

  1. Prepping Hair – Slightly dampen hair before using a couple of hair-care products to smooth and nourish hair. Kevin first used a small amount of label.m protein cream all over the hair & label.m Argan oil just at the ends – to make hair more easily manageable and avoid too many fine fly-away hairs when plaiting.
  2. Blow Drying Hair – Always use heat-protection spray when blow-drying. A light spritz all over the hair will make sure hair is protected. Blow-dry on a low heat to help seal the products into the hair.
  3. Plaits / Cane – Rows – It was very important to Steffen that the look is modern and not too feminine – so Kevin created a side-parting to emphasize the masculinity of the style. Make sure to keep plats loose and not too tight, or it will look too much like a traditional cane-row style – not a look many of us white boys can pull off easily.
  4. Centre Quiff – Kevin decided to have one plait run along the side, while a second cane-row was plaited slightly off centre at the top of the head – to create a slight Mohawk effect. The key here is to find a parting that really complements your face. It’s a good idea to start from where you normally wear your parting. It goes without saying – centre parting is a big No-No here.
  5. Tightening – When plaiting the hair towards the back of the neck – make sure your stylists pulls the hair quite tight around the sides of your face. It’s all about the slight quiff-effect at the top and you don’t want it to end up looking bulky on the sides. You can then decide whether you would like the two plaits to fall naturally, or secure them by simply using a few pins to hold the braids in place!
  6. Finishing The Style – To ‘finish’ the style, just look in the mirror and gently run your hands over the sides of your head to make sure that final look is not too neat and tidy.

YES! We are encouraging you to try a look that is clearly more ‘structured’ than most of you guys would normally wear – But let’s get real: No man wants to look like he’s put too much effort into his hair. The key to this look is to make people think that you did the style YOURSELF. Most importantly: HAVE FUN WITH YOUR HAIR & don’t be shy to try out something new once in a while!

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To find out more about the Kevin Fortune Hair Styling Academy, please visit our website, or follow us on twitter @KF_HSA! If you are a hair-stylist, or are looking to kick-start a career in the world of session styling, we currently offer various short course modules and our fantastic three week (full-time) course: The Art Of Hair Styling at the Academy. Don’t be shy about getting in touch if you are interested.

Tel.: +44 (0)207 871 3057

Kevin Fortune Hair Styling Academy London Fashion Week Braids

Steffen Michels talks about his experience

Walking into Kevin Fortune’s Hair Styling Academy, I knew exactly what I wanted: leave all the decision making up to him and just go with whatever he thinks would suit me best. Upon first arrival I immediately noticed how driven both Kevin and Martin were to create something special which was perfectly fine with me. With a bit of time in my LFW schedule and the willingness to try something new, I let down my hair and went into relaxing mode. Time really goes by quickly when getting your hair done by Kevin as he is lovely to chat to (so is Martin by the way; they are both little superstars). Since I have had long hair for years but never really tried plaits, I was eager to see what they would look like. Without further hesitation, Kevin used his magical hands and created a beautifully-constructed yet rough-looking hairstyle – within a matter of only 30 minutes. The result was amazing and got me loads of compliments at events later that day.

I would recommend Kevin Fortune’s Hair Styling Academy to anyone in the styling / make up industry willing to widen their background and field of professional activity. With 20 years of experience, a good deal of celebrity customers and a lovely personality on top, there is no one better to pass on their knowledge than Kevin Fortune


Kevin Fortune Hair Styling Academy London Fashion Week Braids

Kevin Fortune Hair Styling Academy London Fashion Week Braids

Kevin Fortune Hair Styling Academy London Fashion Week Braids

Kevin Fortune Hair Styling Academy London Fashion Week Braids

Kevin Fortune

Martin Wall Kevin Fortune Hair Styling Academy London Fashion Week Braids

Martin Wall

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