Sometimes a ponytail is good for a run. Other times, like during a big race, you want to up your mane game. French braids take a little extra effort, but they stay in place better than your basic pony, and they look cool in race-day photos too. At the Nike Women’s Half Marathon in San Francisco last fall, runners lined up to get their tresses styled into creative braids by pros from Paul Mitchell. And, lucky for us, Rachel Hausman, a runner and hair stylist for Paul Mitchell, offered to tell us how they’re done.
Best for: Taming the flyaways in fine hair.
Step 1: Start this braid on either the right or left side of your head, whichever you prefer. Measure about three to four inches above your ear on the side where you want to start and then one inch back from your hairline. Grab the hair at the beginning of this section and separate it into three strands.
Step 2: Take the strand closest to the forehead and cross it over the middle strand. Take the strand from the back and cross it over the first strand. Repeat these steps, grabbing more hair from the section and working it into the braid.
Step 3: When you reach the other side of your head by your ear, secure the braid with a bobby pin. Grab all of your hair and pull it into a ponytail. Once your hair is secure in the hair tie, you can remove the bobby pin that’s holding the braid in place.