Your expert guide to braids – right in time for 17.mai

By Esteban G Villanueva
norske fletten for 17 mai


First thing’s first, don’t wash your hair. For the rest, keep on reading

In celebration of the day the national constitution was signed, every 17.mai Norwegians from all over the world unite to celebrate National Day. When it comes to fashion and beauty, the Bunad, a traditional folk attire, is a favourite look for the day and with it, braids.


“For national day we want the focus to be on the dress, therefore we don’t go crazy on the hair,” explains Ina Coucheron, senior hairstylist at Hair & Wellness, a salon in Bergen, Norway. “The traditional braid that works perfectly with the look is the crown-braid”. The look in itself is quite easy to achieve. According to Coucheron, the hair should be split in a side part, braided from the biggest side all around the head towards the neck and then connected into a ‘braid-bun’ in the back. “Some people even braid in a silk scarf that matches their bunad. And if you’re not good at braiding, just braid the front of the hair and spice it up with a matching bow to the outfit,” finishes Coucheron. Now, if braiding isn’t your top talent, Coucheron lists her three top tips on how to get the best braid right in time for 17.mai.


Don't wash your hair

The key to a good braiding is a proper hold, volume and texture – most things that are best achieved one or two days after hair is washed. “The braid will last longer this way, and you don't have to worry about fixing it up later in the day,” she explains. Now, for those who pausing the washing cycle isn’t enough, texturising powders and dry shampoo also aid in giving volume, texture and hold. “Also, make sure you put enough bobby pins in the bun to make it stay there. You can easily do the 'stay in place' test, by shaking your head fast. If it feels loose you'll need to secure it more. If it feels steady, then you're ready to go.”

Photo: Siren Lauvdal og Model: Ingvild K.M./Team Models

norske fletten for 17 mai



Go for a modernised look

Playing around with the original style is valid for those who wish to achieve a more updated look. Coucheron’s bet would be to go for a more volumised and ‘messy’ look. “Instead of putting it in a bun in the back, you can have it in a low ponytail. If you want a more Hollywood look, you can skip the braids on the side by making a sleek middle part ponytail, and then braid the ponytail in two pieces. These two pieces don't need to be perfect. The more messy they are, the bigger it would look. Then you roll those two pieces up in a low bun. A classic, but sexy look.”


Petra Henriette Rufi (left) goes for two simple braids at the front. Photo: @petrahenriette

Janka Polliani opts for a flower to complete her braid. Photo: Janka Polliani


Don’t be afraid to try other styles

While the ‘crown braid’ is the classic national day look, Coucheron makes a case for opting for other styles of braids according to one’s preferences and personal style. “Other similar alternatives to the traditional crown braid that are easy to do yourself are the french braid, the dutch braid and my favourite, the pull-through braid.” In her own words, these alternative styles of braids are not only easy to make but will allow for more time with family and friends on the big day. “If you have some small flowers laying at home, feel free to put some in the braids. It will add those extra finishing touches.”