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normani met gala 2021

Source: Sean Zanni/Getty; Yusef / Getty/

In recent years, more and more celebrities have opted to rock their own natural hair or sport natural hair-inspired looks to one of the fashion world’s most significant events, the Met Gala. On Sept. 3, “Wild Side” singer Normani served up sophistication in an over-the-top Valentino gown that she crowned with a slicked-back natural hair braided bun.

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As a protective style, your recreation of Normani’s hairstyle can be done over the weekend, in the evening or after your wash day routine, then preserved for some days by wrapping it up at night. Wearing a bonnet or scarf to sleep will help you get the most wear out of the style and it’ll save you time in the morning when you’re dashing out the door.

Yusef, The celebrity hairstylist who created Normani’s “elegant with an edge, braided high bun,” shared all the details on achieving the look below.

Step 1 – After shampooing, conditioning, and deep conditioning, the hairstylist recommended starting with a paddle brush to “easily detangle and smooth” your hair. 

Step 2 – Once you apply a heat protectant to your strands — he suggested Dark & Lovely’s Silky Slip Blow-Dry Cream — part your hair into four sections and blow-dry with the help of a wide-tooth comb. As seen in Normani’s look, the goal isn’t to blow dry your hair silky straight, but to lengthen your hair so it slicks back into the bun more smoothly.

Step 3 – After blow-drying, apply a “glossy frizz-free shine serum” to your hair before securing your tresses in a bun at the crown of your head.

Step 4 – Adding a pack of kanekalon hair to your bun, by securing the extensions with a hair tie, will add some drama and shape to your look. If you need help with this step, tons of YouTube videos are available for guidance.

Once attached, you simply part the kanekalon hair into three sections and braid the strands all the way down as a single braid.

Step 5 – Now it’s time to wrap your kanekalon braid around your natural hair bun. If necessary, add bobby pins as you wrap to help secure the braided bun you’re forming into place and mold its shape to your liking.

Step 6 – To finish up the style, Yusef suggested smoothing out the perimeter of your hair one last time with a “soft but sturdy” boar bristle brush and some more heat from your blow dryer. Lastly, sculpt your baby hairs into “dramatic swirls, swoops, or simple waves.”

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