Now that the DVD is out and I have been able to pause and closely analyze Katniss’ side-braid in as many shots as possible, I would like to revise my hypothesis about there being three distinct braid styles in the Hunger Games movie. I think it’s really just two, the District 12 braid (that Katniss styles herself, so when she’s in the Games her hair reverts to this by day 3 or so), and the Tribute Training/Arena braid that her stylist team does for her. When she’s entering the Arena, it does look like the fanciest, most elaborate version, but I think it’s the same as when she’s training, it’s just the training room is pretty dark so we never get a great look at it. When she walks in the sunlight to get on the Arena-bound hovercraft you can really see the intricate twists on the back of her head.
So, as mentioned earlier, her basic hairstyle is a dutch braid that starts on the left side of her head and hangs over her right shoulder. The braid wraps low around the base of her hairline on her neck. When she styles it herself, that’s all it is, and her right ear is covered by the hair going straight down her head into the braid. This is what most of the youtube tutorials end up with, too.
When Katniss goes to the Capital and is in the hands of professional stylists, her has has a bit more texture. (I mean when the character is in the hands of professional stylists; obviously Jennifer Lawrence had stylists for the entire movie, but I think they did a pretty good job of making her look fairly believable for the character’s changing situation and resources). This youtube video, with input from Linda Flowers, the lead stylist on set, shows how to get the texture for those top strands that twist into the braid. The tutorial does end with the hair on the right side of the head covering the ear, though, and when Katniss is Tribute Training the hair on her right side is actually pulled back away from her ear.
I *think* there is actually a small braid made from some of the hair on the right side of the head that then joins the larger braid. (Another blog thought so too, although they reversed the direction of the braid.) I didn’t catch a glimpse of the smaller braid until I saw the film on the big screen, and I’m not positive in some of these shots if it is a braid or a twist.
When Katniss and Peeta are eating in their suite after a day of training, she has her hair down except for a small braid, which I thought might be evidence for my theory until I noticed it’s hanging on the wrong side of her head…still, it could just be flipped to that side, or an entirely separate braid created by her stylist team, or a continuity error.
I still think the Tribute Training/Entering Arena braid also starts higher on the left side of her head here than when she is in District 12 (or days into the Arena).
Here is a compilation of images of Katniss’ hair just before she enters the Arena, to give you an idea of what the braid looks like from all sides. They are all from the same scene, (when she’s talking to Haymitch.)
Honestly, when her hair is its most elaborate braid, it’s sometimes kind of a mess in the back:
I haven’t been able to try the braid on my own head lately because I cut 10″ off several months ago to donate, but maybe by the time Catching Fire comes out it’ll be long enough to try again. The other thing that complicates trying to replicate this look exactly is that Katniss has shorter pieces of hair in front that frame her face, so if your hair is all long it will actually stay in the braids better and longer than hers does but you won’t look quite like her. Anyway, hope this is helpful to those of you wanting to have Katniss hair.