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Behind The Hair - Sarah Potempa Blog
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How-To: Perfect Your Banana Bun

The banana bun (a close relative of the über chic French twist) is the ultimate cool-girl style. It’s timeless, elegant and one of the most versatile looks—dress it up (it’s the perfect bridesmaid ‘do) or down (is it just us, or does it pair perfectly with a fuzzy fall sweater?)so we’re thrilled it’s back and trending for fall.

Below is our version of the classic banana bun. Tuck in the ends for a formal vibe, or leave them out for a more casual look! Here's how it's done. 

1. Curl hair with the Beachwaver S1, then brush through the curls with an On Set Pro Brush for soft waves. Pro tip: for extra shine, spray your brush with a flexible hairspray before brushing. 

2. Pull all hair to one side and twist the top third inward, then secure with large bobby pins.

3. Roll the next third of the hair inward, slightly below the first section. Secure with large bobby pins, and gently pancake the bun for volume.

 

4. Roll the last section upward, and pin. Tip: For a more casual, daytime look, leave out about an inch of hair at the bottom.

5. Spray with a flexible hairspray, then Beachwave the front pieces once more if desired.

 

6. Brb. Trying this right now and every day this season. 


 

Emily Blunt's Elegant Crown Braid

If there's one person who loves braids and waves as much as our founder and celeb stylist Sarah Potempa, it's Emily Blunt! When Sarah styled her hair for a charity gala for the American Institute for Stuttering in NYC Monday night, Emily opted for a soft, ethereal crown braid (accentuated with face-framing Beachwaves) to match her stunning Christian Dior gown. 

Here, Sarah shares all the deets on how she did it! 

1. Curl with the Beachwaver S1 for texture and volume.

2. Section the hair behind and just below the ear, and use a Darby Clip to section the rest of the hair out of the way. 


3. Separate the hair into three pieces, and begin braiding, repeating the mantra, “Left under the middle, right under the middle.” Continue to Dutch braid, adding hair from the root as you work your way around the head, leaving out a couple of the Beachwaved pieces around the hairline.


4. When you’ve gone all the way around, complete the braid to the ends of the hair, and secure with a clear elastic. Take the tail of the braid and tuck it under the side you started. Secure the ends with two bobby pins.


 
 

How-To: Emily Blunt’s French Braid Bun

 

Need some chic summer updo inspiration? How about this celeb-approved French braid bun from Founder of the Beachwaver and celeb stylist Sarah Potempa (@sarahpotempa)?!

Sarah whipped up this style for her stunning client Emily Blunt for Monday’s NYC premiere of her new film "A Quiet Place." The horror flick co-stars Emily and her husband John Krasinski (who’s also a former client and longtime friend of Sarah’s!). Paired with Emily’s strapless velvet Oscar De La Renta gown and ruby Lorraine Schwartz earrings? It was a red carpet style to die for ;) 

Check out the behind-the-scenes photos below, then follow Sarah’s tutorial to recreate Emily’s red carpet style! 

1. Apply a volumizing spray, and loosely blow-dry, directing the hair upward.

2. Using the Beachwaver Coast Pro, take small sections around the hairline, and smooth the root upward.

3. Smooth the hair back using the Mini On Set Pro Brush, and separate into three sections.

4. French braid down by following the mantra “Right over the middle, left over the middle,” adding hair from the root each time. Repeat until you reach the nape.

5. Secure with a clear elastic, then roll the braid under and pin it at the base.


 
 

How-To: Topsy Tail Faux Braid

This stunning topsy tail updo by hairstylist Diana Giannini (@lzhouseofhair) may look super intricate, but, trust us—you can totally master it at home. To find out how, we visited Diana—an OG Beachwaver user—during one of her recent coloring and braiding classes, where she was demoing the Beachwaver Pro 1.25

“The Beachwaver really is the only iron I ever use!” shares Diana. “It cuts down on styling time, and it’s great for hairstylists because it keeps our alignment straight, which takes pressure off our wrists.” 

Want to try this look for an upcoming summer wedding, prom and—let’s be honest—EVERY special occasion in between?! Follow Diana's steps below to learn how to create your new favorite ‘do.

1. For the perfect foundation for the style, Beachwave all the hair at a slight angle using a 1.25” barrel. Use a smaller barrel (like the Beachwaver S.75) around the face. Spray hair generously with a dry texture spray.

 

2. Take a small section from the top, and twist inward and back. Holding the ends with one hand, pinch and pull (pancake) the surface to add volume. Repeat on the other side, then secure with a clear elastic slightly right of center and slightly below where you want the pony to end up.

3. Repeat step 2, but this time secure slightly left of center (Pro tip: crisscrossing the ponies this way conceals the elastics).

4. Repeat this process on the left, then right, then left, etc. As you work, take a small section from the underside of each pony, and pull gently to tighten.

5. Once you reach about halfway down the head, continue to take hair from each side but do NOT twist. Instead, secure with an elastic, then open the pony, and pull the hair through (create a topsy tail). 

 

6. Once you reach the end (you can go as far down as you want—Diana chose to leave a few inches out at the bottom), secure, then spray with dry texture spray. Pancake any pieces that feel tight to add volume. Tease the ends with a comb or your fingers.

Voilà! Now you're ready for any special occasion the summer season throws at you! 


 
 

How-To: Sweetheart Bun

Choosing the perfect Valentine’s Day style is no easy task! You want it to be cute AND practical (and it wouldn’t hurt if it looked good enough to ‘gram!). We have just the thing. This festive, heart-shaped bun is sure to turn heads, and with our Wrap Up, you can recreate this look in just five minutes! Check out the step-by-step below to learn how.

1. Start by gathering hair into a ponytail and securing with an elastic. Open a Wrap Up, and mold it into a V shape.

2. Pull the pony through the Wrap Up, pinch it closed and slide it to the ends of your hair. Then roll the hair up until you reach the top of the pony.

3. Using one hand to hold the Wrap Up in place, shape the bottom of the Wrap Up into a point (the bottom of the heart) with your other hand.

4. Secure the Wrap Up to your head with long bobby pins—one on the bottom and two on each side.

5. Next, fold the sides of the Wrap Up inward to create the top of the heart. Slide the hair up over the side of the Wrap Up to conceal.

6. Use one hand to hold the heart shape in place while you pin the Wrap Up to secure.

7. Use a duck bill clip to help maintain the shape as you mist with hairspray for hold, and to smooth flyaways.

Voilà! The perfect, Insta-worthy Valentine's Day style!