We wanted to create an ambitious and romantic hairstyle for Valentine’s Day this year, and Erica Rae did not let us down with this incredible half-up look. As senior stylist at Roar Salon in Austin, Erica was able to dissect this complicated knot in no time. “It took me a couple of tries,” she laughs, “but once I practiced a bit I learned that it’s actually pretty easy to do.” Inspired by the graphic knots found in ancient Celtic art (and modeled by interior designer Sarah Wittenbraker) this look goes beyond regular romance to (dare we say it?!) almost bridal vibes. Read below for Erica’s steps to the Celtic knot:
- Start by creating a section of hair on the left side of the face. Be sure and start the section a few inches behind the hairline for a softer look. The section of hair should be at least two inches wide so that you have enough hair to work with.
- Create an equal section on the right side of the face. You might want to have someone help by holding the first section for you while you create the second.
- Take the section from the left and pull it to the back center of the head. Create a loop by using two fingers from your right hand, wrap the section around your two fingers. Be sure to leave enough hair hanging to create a “tail.”
- You then want to pin the loop in place using a bobby pin. This will make the entire process much easier and will keep you from having to hold the loop in place as we create the knot. It helps to have your assistant or friend continue holding the other section while doing steps 1-4.
- Once you have pinned your loop in place you can then start working with the other section. This section will go over under, over under, over under, until the knot is done. You can now continue this look without the assistance of your friend. Start by taking the remaining section and cross it OVER the “tail” of the pinned section.
- This is where it starts to get tricky. You want to proceed by being very delicate with your touch. Try not to mess up what you have done with the pinned section. Carefully take the section you have placed over the tail and thread it UNDER the base of your other section. Use your thumb to open and hold the loop in place and use your index and middle finger to grab the opposite section, you can then pull and thread the section through the base of your pinned section.
- For your next step you are now going to go OVER the outside of the loop. So take your thumb and open the loop, grab the hair from your section.
- Next you will then thread that section through the loop and pull the hair through the loop.
- Pull that same section UNDER the base of the opposite side. Hold on to the section with your left hand and use your index and middle finger to carefully lift the base and grab that section as you pull it under the base of the right section.
- This is the last part! Almost done.. Once you have completed the step before you will then take that remaining section and go OVER the outside of the loop. So take the loop, put your fingers through it, grab the hair, and then pull it OVER the top of that outside loop. All that’s left to do is to remove the bobby pin. Once you have removed the bobby pin you can then grab both ends and pull the knot to tighten the knot. You can make the knot as tight or as loose as you would like. If you make it too tight you can also loosen it to make it larger. The knot should stay on its own but you could also use a bobby pin to pin it in place.
Erica’s Pro Tip: This look really works best with long hair that doesn’t have short layers — short layers will make this technique incredibly difficult. The knot should stay on it’s own, but you can always add a bobby or two to keep it secure throughout the day.
photographed by kristen kilpatrick
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