Girl on Fire Hunger Games Braids

The Hunger Games Wedding Stylist Shares Her Braiding Secrets

When this amazing Hunger Games wedding photo shoot went viral, most people thought "what pretty pictures!" The images are obviously stunning, but it's the gorgeous deconstructed braid stylist Danielle Bennett created for "Katniss" that had us wanting to know more.

We asked Bennett how she constructed the impressive plait above and found out how to get these elaborately woven braids — even if hair is short or fine. See Danielle's advice (and check out her jaw-dropping interpretation of Katniss's Girl on Fire hairstyle) now.

BellaSugar: How did you create that amazing Hunger Games wedding braid?
Danielle Bennett: When I met our model, Jill McQuary, for the first time, I was so excited to see this long, beautiful palette for me to work with. I knew I wanted her hair to be a thick, long braid. I used extensions and braided them in right at the root.

BellaSugar: For the Girl on Fire braid (above), you created so many small plaits. With a complex style like this, how do you keep everything in place while you're working?
DB: I also used extensions for this look. I did lots of different braids, and then braided those braids together. The braid on top of her head is all extensions, actually. It's what I call a ladder braid: you do one braid of your choice — fishtail or a regular three-strand braid work particularly well. Then, while you're braiding, you pull a little piece out of one side every second time you intertwine your plait, and then connect all the little pieces into your next braid.

BellaSugar: Messy braids are on everyone's hairstyle to-do list, but the average woman has a hard time achieving the look. Any tips?
DB: Messy braids are such a great look this season. When braiding your hair, the best thing to do is make sure you're not using too much tension. When you've finished the braid you can always use your hands to pull it apart a bit. For a more textured braid, one of my favorite things to use is a little bit of Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray. It has salt in it to create a bit of grit in the hair, which makes it easier to get that carefree, beautiful boho braid.

BellaSugar: We're all coveting long, luxuriant braids, but a lot of us have short or fine hair. Are there any braid styles you recommend for us?
DB: I love braids in short hair! Putting a nice three-strand plait on the side, and then gathering it into a little ponytail, is super cute. I think a big key in having different styles with shorter, fine hair and having it hold is product. Sometimes that fine hair needs support. Spraying wet hair with a support product makes a world of difference. I love using Bumble and Bumble Thickening Spray, blow-drying, then putting a braid or two in.

Photos courtesy of Courtney Clarke

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