Today’s Norway is the homeland of Vikings, who were famed for being strong, fierce warriors. Their women were powerful, independent and wore pretty braids. Let’s show you how to revive some of their pizzazz through the charm of Norwegian braids.
Norwegian Braids — Hair Prepping
The best hair for braids is dry and neat. Take a hair brush and straighten out all the stubborn knots and tangles. Your goal is to get a hair that can be easily divided into as many small bunches as you need. Tilt your head forward or to the side as your braiding or brushing to reduce arm fatigue.
If you want to go for a rugged look, that works too. Use dry shampoo and give your hair a little bit of texture. You don’t have to wet your hair unless you find it fluttery. A light dab with a wet towel does the trick most of the time.
Especially if you’re a beginner in braiding, you will spend a lot of time with your arms up in the air. Practice as much as you can but minimize strain. If you find that you’re most comfortable braiding when laying down or inclined, do so. You can practice braiding on dolls, tassels, shaggy dogs and whatever else you can find.
Elastic hair bands, hair clips and bobby pins are your friends. Use them to sort of save your progress while you’re working on another part of the braid.
All braiding styles have the same idea — take up some hair and divide it into bunches. It can be small or big. There’s no set rule on how much that should be, so take however much you can fiddle with without strain.
This is your first bunch. Make three of them and practice holding them in one hand or the other, between fingers and so on. Experts braiders shift bunches back and forth so quickly that it looks like magic but it’s simply subtle hand movements practiced to perfection.
Here you’ll make side braids but later you’ll be expected to know how to make a French braid. All Norwegian braids are made out of:
- two braids of any kind down each side of your head
- a French braid in the middle
Don’t panic if you don’t know how to make a French braid, we’ve got you covered.
Pick up all the hair that’s above your forehead and growing forward. Fasten that hair on top of your head.
Pick up all the hair growing on the left and on the right from the hair you just fastened. You need to divide the hair on each side into two rows: top and bottom. The top row hair will be one braid and the bottom row hair another braid. Secure everything in place.
Making The Side Braids
Start off with the top row hair on whichever side of your head. You will make a rope braid out of it, which means splitting the top row hair in two bunches. Twist one bunch clockwise and the other counterclockwise. When they’re tight, cross them over and keep twisting.
The end result should be a tight and neat rope braid, with some loose hair at the end. Fasten the rope braid part and then take the loose hair to make a classical braid:
- split the hair into three bunches
- bring the right over the middle and under the left bunch
- take the left bunch over the right one and under the middle
- cross middle with the left and middle with the right until you run out of hair
Don’t obsess over making them perfect if you’re going for the rough style. Put the braid over your ear and tease it a bit. This means you comb it against the direction it’s growing in. That way, you can hide any clips or bands you used to secure it.
Repeat the same process on all four rows. At the end of this step, you should have 4 braids, two on each side of your head. You can tie them together or just let them hang. If you push these braids up, you will get a more frizzy look, which also fits the Viking theme.
The Main Braid
Now comes the top part of your head. Unfasten the hair you’ve clipped at the very start of this adventure. You will make a French braid out of it. Don’t worry, you got this. You’ve actually already done a French braid each time you finished a side braid.
Remember: three bunches, the right goes over the middle and under the left, which then goes over the right and under the middle one.
You can stop halfway through or finish it all the way down. Whatever you choose, secure it in place with a clear elastic hair band. Do the same kind of teasing you did with the side braids. This will give your main braid a more adventurous look.
You can use some hairspray though that might be an overkill.
That’s it, you’ve done your very own Norwegian style braid!
Norwegian Braids — How To Look Like A Viking Angel
This one is called “undercut halo” and will make you look like an angel. Prep the hair and split it in two bunches, one running down each side of your head and down your chest. You don’t need to make it a perfect 50-50 split since you’ll have plenty of ways to hide imperfections.
Start from the nape of your neck. This is the spot where your neck meets your head. Take some hair and start a Dutch braid. It’s the same as the French braid, except that it goes under the middle bunch instead of over.
Keep making the braid but take it around your head, right near your hairline. Use the hair from the other bunch as you go along. Secure the braid with an elastic hair band and then fasten the braid near the nape of the neck or next to the ear. All done!