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The Perfect Updo

Cloud 9 Salon and Spa owner Kim Cloud-Skidmore and Hair Stylist Alex Pikes Offer Advice on Creating a Tousled Braid

Article by Stephanie Hasbrouck

Photography by Dawn Michelle Photography

Originally published in Cross Timbers Lifestyle

It’s almost homecoming! Time to find the perfect dress, don the fanciest mum and show off the loveliest hair style. This month, Kim Cloud-Skidmore, owner of Cloud 9 Salon and Spa, offers advice on creating the perfect, modern updo for any special occasion.

Kim has been proprietor of the popular Cloud 9 Salon in Flower Mound for more than 16 years. This fall, Cloud 9 Salon and Spa will break ground on its new Bartonville location (across from Marty B’s).

“We look forward to being frontage and offering a new state-of-the-art salon for our customers,” Kim says. “With this larger space, we will be offering full salon and spa services.”

The new Cloud 9 will offer massages, lashes, facials, permanent makeup, microblading, makeup application, skincare products and “every hair service you can imagine,” Kim says, including styles for special occasions.

For those looking for a fun and sophisticated DIY hairstyle, Kim suggests a tousled braided updo. “The trends for summer and fall of 2021 are more relaxed styles,” she says. “Boho messy is what Cloud 9 Salon and Spa is calling the new trend. The greatest part of this look is that it is great for a formal, but also for a fun night out on the town.”

Cloud 9 Hair Stylist Alex Pikes shows the step-by-step process. She suggests letting the hair go unwashed for a day before creating an updo. Before styling, use dry shampoo to add volume and hold.

Step 1 - Alex prefers using a flat iron to achieve a firm curl. She divides the hair in sections and begins at the bottom, working her way up, spraying each section with hairspray as she completes it. She alternates the direction of the curl to give a pattern and add interest.

Step 2 – As Alex begins placing the hair, she uses clear bands or hair pins for a secure hold.

Step 3- Alex adds dimension and uniqueness to the style by creating two fishtail braids, framing the model’s face.

Step 4- The braids are then integrated into the style, and a small amount of hair is used to wrap around and gather the curls.

Step 5 – Alex lightly backcombs the soft curls for a more tousled look and uses Amika Touchable Spray for a soft, workable finish and to tame small fly-away hairs.


Dry shampoo

Hair pins

Clear hair bands

Hair spray

Flat iron

Tip: Kim suggests curling in 1-inch-by-1-inch sections when using a flat iron. “The trick to curling with the flat iron instead of the traditional curling iron is to keep moving through the hair and not crimping the ends as you release the hair,” Kim says.