Grecian Up-Style

Hair styled in a Grecian up-style
Here's a style based on one I spotted on a magazine website that was touted as being a "cool new updo for prom season". The original style extended over a foot in length from the back of the head and was full of loose, curling strands.
While it was visually very interesting and would have likely been right at home on a fashion show runway, I really couldn't imagine a real person (as opposed to a model, whose duty it is to be little more than a walking mannequin) wearing the style in a public setting as it was shown.
So I decided to make some modifications and create a version I believe would be more appealing to a wider audience. This style is best suited for women with longer hair (at least 2 inches past the shoulder if straight, shoulder-length or longer if naturally curly).
Creating the Style:
Step One: The first order of business is to prepare the hair for styling. This style calls for curly hair, and if the hair is naturally straight or merely wavy, curls must be created. (If your hair is already curly, skip ahead to Step Two.) Therefore, step one is to shampoo, condition, and wrap the hair in a wet set - using a product that will give you strong curls - on medium-to-large rollers (depending on the hair length) as shown. Be sure to use smaller rollers along the perimeter of the hair. [See illustration.]
Once wrapped, the hair should be dried thoroughly and allowed to cool for maximum firmness of the curls. Remove the rollers and comb through the curls with your fingers. If you have roller marks (the partings of the hair sections that are created when rolling the hair) you can moisten your fingertips with leave-in conditioner and gently massage the marks to soften the base of the hair shaft at the scalp. This should alleviate the marks.
Continue finger-combing the curls until they hang in a loose mop of curls on the head. If you want more shine, try applying a small amount of shine serum to your palms and rub them together to distribute it evenly over the hands and fingers as you comb through the hair. This will help keep the curls smooth and well-defined as well.
How to make a Grecian up-style
Step Two: Section off a circle of hair at the rear crown of the head, for use in creating the base upon which we will build the final style. Use banana clips to keep the rest of the hair out of the way. Divide this section in half and use your vented brush to back-brush the hair near the scalp on each side of the parting 10-12 times. This creates a sturdier base and will allow your style to be more structurally sound. Rejoin the two halves and smooth the outer surface of the section with your vented brush.
Twist the section in the French Twist style and secure the twist using large bobby pins crossed at the scalp in an "X" and smaller bobby pins to secure the outer edge of the twist. When finished, you should have a twist that extends 3-4 inches from the scalp. This will be the base from which you will build your final style.
Step Three: Using your vented brush, or wide-toothed comb, bring the remaining hair back to cover the French twist base. It is okay at this point to make the hair fairly smooth, or at least, somewhat orderly. Clip the hair to hold it in place while you add the lacings. Or if you can, have someone else hold it for you.
Wrap the lacings (lacings being a ribbon, silk cord, or leather thong) around the outside of the hair at the base of the twist. Tie the ends into a half knot at the back of the twist base, and bring the ends up at an angle along each side to the top of the twist in front and make another half knot.
Now bring the ends around the top of the twist and make a half knot, then angle down toward the front base and half knot again. Finish the lacing by bringing the ends around to the back and tie them off in a bow or square knot. The finished lacing should look similar to the drawing shown.
Finish off the style either by twisting the remaining hair into a small bun and tucking the ends for a tidier look, or fluff the curls into a small poof at the top of the lacings. Lightly mist with a shine-enhancing spray for extra shimmer in the finished style. You can also loosen tendrils of curl at the sides and temples, and along the length of the laced area if desired.
Note that the style works equally well on hair with and without bangs, but if bangs are present you may need to use a curling iron to adjust the curls at the forehead and position them the way you want them.
Additional accessories can be added if you want more interest or sparkle (small flowers, jeweled hairpins, etc.), and you can substitute long strands of beads in place of (or laid over) the lacings.
See also:
More special occasion hairstyles
Up-style for short hair
Up-style for medium long hair