How To Do A Viking Braid

Vikings have been described as having “rope-like” hair in chronicles and sagas. Hence, tv shows and movies ran with this characteristic to come up with their own rope-like hairstyles using different braiding techniques. 

As you may know, there are plenty of ways to do a braid. But, when it comes to doing a Viking braid, there is one that has arguably gained the most attention.

We are talking about the braid style worn by Travis Fimmel when playing Ragnar Lothbrok from the hit tv series Vikings.

So, in this article, you are going to learn how to make the iconic Ragnar Lothbrok Viking braid. 

Now before we get started, it is worth pointing out that doing a Viking braid on your own head, while possible will be extremely difficult. You will achieve a much better result if you can gain help from someone else, especially when it comes to hair cutting.

Step 1: Get an Undercut

Undercuts have been a recent phenomenon in men’s hairstyles. Furthermore, in the tv series Vikings, the majority of the male cast have undercuts, including Ragnar Lothbrok

An undercut is characterized by a sharp contrast between the shaved hair underneath the long hair on the top. Care needs to be taken when shaving the hair at the sides and at the back to create straight lines that suit the person's head.

For best results head to your local barber and don't just ask for an undercut, but also let them know the exact style you want to achieve. Showing a picture or a video of the final result will ensure they cut your hair exactly as needed for the next steps.

Step 2: Split Your Hair Into Sections & Braid

There are several ways to split the top part of your hair into sections but using clips will ensure you stay on track.

Clip your hair into three sections to make a clear division of the different sections you’re going to braid. Start with the top and do a french braid to the entire length of the hair, then, do the same for the other two sections. 

Make sure you don’t make it too tight to get the messy look we’re going for. Also, start your braid on the middle part to loosen the front part of the hair a little. You should end up with three sections of rope-like braided hair.  

Step 4: Combine the Braids

Combine the braids by french braiding the three braided sections. This will give you one “rope-like” hair like the one from Ragnar Lothbrok’s.

Since this is already divided into three, all you have to do is to have the braided hair on the right go over the middle (therefore switching place) then the left side go over the middle. Repeat the process until the braid is complete. 

Lastly, lock the hair in place using a band. In the tv series, Rangnar’s hair is combined by tying 4 large elastic rubbers.

Step 5: Mess it Up

To give it a little bit of texture, rub your entire head of hair with your hands to loosen and mess it up. You can even pull some strands from your braided hair to create the desired messy look.

You can also backcomb the bottom part of your hair to give it a textured matte finish. 

The thing that differentiates a Viking braid from a princess’ is the mess. So, don’t be afraid to pull out strands or loosen up the braid in some areas.

Pro Tip: Skip the Shampoo & Conditioner

Shampoos and conditioners weren’t a thing back in the Viking ages. Furthermore, anyone who bathed once a week, which many of the Vikings did, was considered a “clean freak”.

In comparison, many Anglo-Saxons living in the medieval ages only bathed a few times a year! 

With that in mind, Vikings didn’t have shiny straight hair like most of us do nowadays. The hairstylists for the TV show Vikings knew this and so made Ragnar Lothbrok’s hair matte and textured.

To do that, skip the shampoo and conditioner for a few days or use a texturizing spray.

Final Thoughts

There are plenty of Viking braid variations you can try, but we have given you an easy one to try. Ideally, this style is suited for men with long hair that runs from shoulder length to mid-back.

But don't be afraid to customise this method to suit your own style or achieve a different yet similar look. There are plenty of shorter hair versions too as worn by Bjorn Ironside and Ivar the Boneless.

So no matter the length of your hair we hope you have fun rocking a Viking braid!

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