Curved lace braid hairstyle tutorial inspired by Nicole Kidman at Cannes

by Hair Romance on May 28, 2013 · 22 comments

in Tutorials

Hair Romance - curved lace braid updo hairstyle tutorial

Looking for a unique upstyle for an event or formal? Try this curved lace braid hairstyle.

When I saw Nicole Kidman’s hairstyle at Cannes on the weekend, I knew I had to attempt my own version.

My lace braided hairstyle is a little simpler. My hair was already straight so my adaptation is neater. I love the texture in Nicole’s hair and will try this again with my curly hair. Nicole’s hair is actually braided from the middle out, but my version is easier to do in your own hair.

Hair Romance - curved braided updo hairstyle tutorial

This hairstyle is made up of two curved lace braids. A lace braid is the same as a French braid, but you only add in hair from one side. For this style, I’m only adding in hair from the top side. The braids are then twisted around and pinned in place.

Curved lace braid hairstyle tutorial

Hair Romance - curved lace braid updo hairstyle tutorial

Step-by-step hairstyle tutorial

  1. Let your hair part at the side or wherever your natural part sits. If you have a fringe / bangs, you can leave them loose of include them in the style. 
  2. Take a section of hair above your left ear and split into three. Begin to braid bringing the left over the middle, and the right over the left. Add in hair to the sections on the right (top side).
  3. Continue braiding straight across the back of your head, just above the level of your ear. You can gently loosen the braid to keep it in line.
  4. Keep braiding in a straight line until you reach the middle of your head, then start to curve your braid down.
  5. Keep adding in hair until your reach your right ear. Angle your braid down. When you find it hard to reach, move your hands around to the front.
  6. Finish your lace braid in a regular braid (plait) and secure the end with a small, clear hair elastic.
  7. Return to the left side and start your second lace braid underneath the first.
  8. Continue braiding in the same way, only adding in hair from the top side.
  9. Curve the lace braid around once your reach the middle of your head. Now add in hair from your hairline into the bottom of the braid. It’s still adding in hair to the same side, but it twists around into a circle.
  10. Once your’ve added in all your hair, finish your lace braid in a regular braid (plait) and secure the end with a small, clear hair elastic.
  11. Roll the second braid up into a spiral and pin in place with bobby pins.
  12. Curve the first braid around the second braid and pin in place with bobby pins.


  • If your hair is shorter, you can also fold the end of the first braid under itself and pin in place at the back.
  • If your hair is longer, start your braids a little higher at the back of your head, so you have more space to twist them into a spiral.
  • This is stunning in curly or textured hair, and works best if your hair is a little dirty as it will hold the style better. If you hair is freshly washed, use some dry shampoo or texture spray to add some grip so your braids stay in place.
  • This style looks best in lighter coloured hair, or hair with highlights. It will be hard to see the detail in your braids in very dark hair. In dark hair, just do the first braid and put the rest of your hair into a bun. Then wrap your braid around the bun to achieve a similar look.

Hair Romance - curved lace braid updo hairstyle

I hope you like this tutorial and I hope you try it in your hair. I’d love to see a photo if you do! Tag me @hairromance on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook so I can see your version.

Where would you wear this lace braid hairstyle?

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{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

Connie May 28, 2013 at 10:37 pm

Thanks for sharing this! I saw Nicoles hair and wondered…..I have dark hair and its fine, so I don’t know that it would ‘stick’ in this style. I think it would fall out. Might try though!


Hair Romance May 29, 2013 at 11:59 pm

Hi Connie, give i a try with the bun variation and let me know how you go x


Rebekka May 29, 2013 at 10:04 pm

This is gorgeous! I love all your braids but this might be my favourite. I tried it yesterday and everything was fine till “pin in place” – how exactly do you do that? how do you hide the ends and what can I do to make it all stay in place? my braiding looked great but bobby pins seem to hate me…


Hair Romance May 29, 2013 at 11:56 pm

Thanks Rebekka! I don’t open my bobby pins and push them into my hair, trying to weave them through so they catch the braid and the hair underneath. Hope this helps! X


Tasneem May 30, 2013 at 3:58 am

This looks lovely. I love how easy your tutorials are to follow. Definitely going to try this one soon.


Hair Romance May 30, 2013 at 12:39 pm

Thanks so much Tasneem! Love to see a pic if you try it in your hair x


Lisa S. June 8, 2013 at 12:58 pm

Hi Christina!

I LOVE your site and all the creative hairstyles. But I have a question (laced with some jealousy). I (think) I have hair that is similar to yours: fine, but lots of it and wavy (not curly unless I cultivate with product and diffuser). BUT–I simply can NOT get my braids near my head to be nice and thick like yours. Like doing a simple small braid to pull back the front of my hair or do a french braid headband across the front and the like. My hair produces small, skinny, thin, flat braids that are a big bummer. Doesn’t look anything like your pictures. I have pretty long hair that doesn’t have much in the way of layers in it. Maybe my hair is just too fine. Do you have any pointers for me to make them look more like yours? Thanks!


Hair Romance June 9, 2013 at 9:29 am

Hi Lisa! I think my hair is probably a bit thicker than yours so my braids will be wider, but I also stretch them to look that way. Gently pulling at the sides of your braids makes such a difference. I can’t even tell you! Next time, pull at your braids. It’s a bit like a shoelace, in that you have to start at the end and work up to keep the stretch even. Then pull even more just at the edges of your braid so that it stays tight but each sections looks thicker. Let me know how you go. Christina x


Lisa S. July 1, 2013 at 1:08 pm

Thanks for the tip! You do have amazing hair and great ideas :o)


Teri July 9, 2013 at 2:39 pm

I was bored one day, lazy for work, and started braiding my hair like this.It ended up zigzagged instead of bun likein the back…nice to know what it actually is supposed to look like when I try it again. I have fine, but THICK hair and found It’s Got To Be Beach Waves a good product. It gives me the texture, but is brushable when I take my braids down. Thanks for showing what I’m actually supposed to do. Lol


Hair Romance July 9, 2013 at 7:33 pm

Thanks Teri! I’ve heard that beach spray is great, I’m going to get some x


Theresa July 29, 2013 at 1:11 pm

Just tried this now — it looks amazing and all my coworkers think it’s stellar.


Hair Romance July 31, 2013 at 10:13 am

Thanks Theresa! x


Brittany December 19, 2013 at 8:30 am

Wore this style for my office holiday party and have gotten many compliments! Love all the braids and easy tutorials-pics, words, and all!


Hair Romance December 19, 2013 at 1:54 pm

Thanks Brittany! So pleased you tried they style xxx


sarah December 25, 2013 at 10:44 am

Your braids look so lovely in straight hair, but how do you get them to stay? When my hair is straight, it is so silky that it just slips out. I usually do braids with a mixture of spray wax and hairspray for grip, and usually I don’t bother to straighten it, but it doesn’t look as nice.
By the way, I love the idea of this website, loving your hair, and I find that I hardly use heat on my hair at all anymore. I am starting to love my hair!
Merry Christmas everyone.


Hair Romance December 27, 2013 at 2:59 pm

Thanks so much Sarah! Your hair will love you back the less heat you use on it too! I treat my hair enough so it can handle a little heat ;) Hairspray and dry wax are great products for adding grip to your hair for braids. My other secret trick is dry shampoo. It adds just enough body to your hair without being too sticky. I also braid my curly hair so don’t worry about it looking messy. Messy hair is the best. Christina x


Alena April 8, 2014 at 12:59 am

This is so pretty, would it work with layers in your hair?


Hair Romance April 8, 2014 at 8:03 am

As long as your layers are long enough to reach the top braid it will work, or you can use hairspray to keep them in place. I’d also recommend curling the ends of your hair under before you start to braid. This makes your layers less noticeable as they curl into the style rather than poke straight out.


Carrie April 10, 2014 at 12:40 pm

I think I may have just found my hair style for prom! Thank you so much for this website. It is just fantastic!
On to my slightly unrelated question. I have a lot of trouble doing buns because I have so much hair (it’s fairly thick and reaches around the small of my back), and I was wondering if you know of any way to do buns that is secure and doesn’t look ridiculous with a lot of hair? They all end up so huge that they won’t stay and they look a bit odd. The only way I can do it is to twist it, and then twist the twist around into a bun.


Hair Romance April 10, 2014 at 10:09 pm

This would be gorgeous for prom Carrie! Have you tried spin pins? Those spiral pins do the job of 10 or more bobby pins and are great for thick or long hair. I would do a bun just as you described, twist your ponytail then curve it around to form the bun. Good luck! x


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