Lately, I’ve been spending my lunch hour at a bar. Not that kind of bar. I’m referring to John Barrett Salon’s recently opened Braid Bar. As its name suggests, the bar (actually, just stylists and their chairs), offers braids—but these are no ordinary braids. At my first appointment, I perused a “menu” full of every kind of twist imaginable from a braided updo a la Nicole Richie to milkmaid plaits to dreamy, loose side braids. (Could I replicate these styles at home? Not a chance, but you may be more nimble-fingered than I.) So far, I’ve tried three different looks (this Katie Holmes version might be next) and have managed to avoid looking like a von Trapp child.
The salon charges $45 for braids (more if you want your hair washed and blow-dried too). So the service is cheaper than most blowouts, and faster too; in the hands of my stylist/braid guru, Kayley, my appointments have taken less than 30 minutes each. And the braids have staying power. (The secret: Wrap your head in a silk scarf before bed to keep your style secure.) I recently sported my plaits on a trip to Austin, Texas, where temperatures reached 112 degrees. The ‘do survived four days—through the incredible heat, a canoeing trip, and a sudden windstorm. Sure, my hair was so full of bobby pins it set off alarms at the airport, earning me a full-body pat down. But it was totally worth it.
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