If you are like most people, you love the complexity and versatility of braids. You may have even had your braids done professionally in the past. But what if you could make your own braids?
Imagine the styling freedom you would enjoy if you could braid your own hair!
If you want to learn how to braid hair, you've come to the right place. In this article, we show you how to do different types of braids, from three and four strand braids to rope braids and Dutch braids. Let's get into that right away!
Hair braiding for beginners.
Many people avoid learning how to braid because they fear they won't be able to do it. Well, you will be glad to know that you can definitely learn how to braid. It just takes some good guidance (which you can get here) and a lot of practice. Read on for some practical braiding tips.
prepare your hair
When you braid your hair again, you might get excited to get started and think about braiding it when it's dirty. However, we strongly advise against doing this, especially if you plan to wear your hair in a braid for several days or weeks.
Here are some problems that can arise from braiding your hair while it is dirty:
- confusion. The braiding process becomes a bit of a problem when your hair is covered in dirt, products, and excess oil. Whatever is in your hair could make it difficult for your strands to slide past each other, which can lead to tangling.
- Dusty results.Another problem that can arise is that when you finish your braids, your hair will look dirty. During the braiding process, whatever is in your hair will get caught in the braids and you will have a hard time getting it out (if possible).
- Lack of proper hair care.Before styling your hair long term, you should always clean, condition, and moisturize your hair first. This way your hair has what it needs to be healthy in the braided style.
Step-by-step instructions on how to prepare hair for braiding
Preparing your hair for braiding plays an important role in the final look of your braids. Follow the steps below to get it right:
- Wash your hair well.Use a clarifying shampoo to remove any dirt or buildup from your strands. Rub your scalp well with your fingertips to make sure it's clean.
- Condition your hair.After washing your hair, you should always take care of your hair. Your hair needs moisture if you want it to be easy to manage, so be sure to use a moisturizing and conditioning conditioner.
- untangle your hair. While the conditioner is still coating your hair, use a wide-tooth comb to detangle from ends to roots. You can also use your fingers instead of a comb.
- Decide if you want to blow-dry your hair or braid it in its natural state. Blow-drying your hair will give you an overall smoother appearance. If you decide to straighten your hair with a hair dryer,Be sure to apply a heat protectant spray to prevent heat damage.. And remember, there are ways to style your hair without heat, like ties, braids, and twists. But you don't have to straighten your hair if you don't want to.
- Apply your favorite hair oil or moisturizerbefore braiding. This will make your hair easier to braid and will ensure the health of your hair while it is concealed in the braiding style of your choice.
Now that your hair is prepped, it's time to start braiding! The following sections provide step-by-step instructions for some of the best braiding styles.
three strand braids
Three-strand braids are braids woven from three strands, you guessed it. For the three-wire braids you need to know only one technique and it is like this:
- Start by dividing a section of hair into three strands. The strands must be of the same size, otherwise the resulting braid will be uneven. Make the sections small if you want a small braid, medium for a medium braid, and large for jumbo braids.
- Arrange the threads so that you have one on the left, one on the right, and one in the middle.
- To make a three-strand cable stitch, hold the left and middle sections in your left hand and the right section in your right hand.
- Bring the right section down and towards the middle.
- Bring the left section down and towards the center.
- Continue bringing the left and right sections down and towards the center until you reach the end of the braid.
check it outvideo guideto see how the three-strand braids are made.
Things to keep in mind when braiding three strands
Wouldn't it be great if step by step instructions were all you need to create perfect braids? That is not the case. But if you follow these tips in addition to the steps above, your tresses will come out neat and frizz-free:
- Make sure your fingers are close to the braid as you braid.. Holding your hair too far out of the braid you're creating can cause it to frizz. And if that's not the look you're after, you won't appreciate it.
- Hold the hair with some tension as you make each stitch of the braid.This doesn't mean you should pull your hair when braiding it; use just enough tension to smooth it out. Tightening your hair too much while braiding, especially at the roots, can give you a headache oreven develop hair loss.
- Take your time with your first braids.If you get the technique right, the speed will come with time.
- Don't get hung up on the placement of your fingers.The goal is to pull the left and right sections under the middle section of your hair, one after the other. However, you need to hold your hands to get this right.
use: You can create three-strand braids by pulling the left and right sections of the hairabovemiddle part in placelow(this is called overtwisting). If the above braiding method doesn't feel natural, try a top braid. The result will be similar.
four strand braid
A four strand braid is slightly more difficult to remove than a three strand braid. For this reason, we recommend that you master basic three-strand braiding before delving into four-strand braiding.
How to make a 4 strand braid:
- Divide your hair into four equal sections.
- Pass the rightmost strand over the strand immediately to its left, and then under the next strand.
- Cross the leftmost thread under the thread immediately to its right, and then cross the next thread.
- Continue braiding in this manner, crossing the right strand over and under and then crossing the left strand under and over.
- When you get to the end of the braid, secure it with an elastic and voila!
Are you more of a visual learner? HeFour Strand Braiding Tutorialit will give you a visual demonstration that will help you a lot.
Four-wire braided tips
If you can complete the steps above, great! Most people can master them over time. However, if you want your four strand braids to look like they were done by a trained salon braider, consider the following tips.
- Keep the tension constant at all times.If you pull random strands tighter than others, your braid could become uneven. If you start the braid with very little tension, keep it that way throughout the braid. The same goes for situations where you use a lot of tension at first. Consistency is key.
- Straighten your hair throughout the braiding process.Four-strand braids will reveal lumps and bumps and may even break out of the braid. So if your hair is curly, frizzy or kinky and you want your four strand braid to look super sleek and neat, you need to straighten or straighten your hair first.
Rope braids are becoming more and more popular with people of all ethnicities with all types of hair. You can make them in different sizes to create many styles.
If you want to create the perfect rope braid, follow the instructions below:
- Separate a strand of hair into two parts.
- Make sure each half is free of tangles.
- Hold the left part with your left hand and the right part with your right.
- Twist both sections to the right close to the scalp.
- Cross the right section over the left.
- Then continue twisting both sections to the right and overlap them to the left until you reach the ends of the hair.
- If your hair isn't rolled very tightly, it could unravel at the ends, so use an elastic or rubber band at the ends to secure it.
HeRope Braid Video Tutorialit will be useful for those who are better visual learners.
Tips to keep in mind when braiding rope
Rope braids are relatively easy to do, but that doesn't mean you won't have problems. Take a look at the following tips for professional rope braiding:
- Keep your hair tangle free.If your hair starts to tangle as you braid it, take a moment to untangle it. Knotted hair does not lend itself to good rope braids.
- Don't get hung up on neatness when doing rope braids on textured hair.You can only have frizzy or curly hair this clean with gels and pomades. And remember, the more product you add to your hair, the less volume your rope braids will have.
- As you braid, keep each strand twisted to the right.If you don't, the hair will come undone before crossing the right section over the left. You must hold the hair tightly to prevent it from coming undone. And if it comes loose, just twist both parts to the right. Achieving this is crucial – it gives the rope braid its ropey look.
Dutch braids do not hang freely like three, four, or rope braids. They lie flat against the scalp and are often used to create more formal hairstyles such as crown braids and updos.
The best thing about this type of braid is that anyone can do it regardless of their styling experience.
To make a Dutch braid, follow these steps:
- Part the hair you want to braid into a Dutch braid. Dutch braids are typically large, so start with a large section of hair.
- Separate a small section of hair at the front of the section.
- Divide this section into three equal strands.
- Make sure that the hair is straight: the straighter, the neater the braid will be.
- Bring the right strand under the middle strand. The threads should change sides. Straighten the hair.
- Bring the left strand under the middle strand, switching sides as you go. He straightens the hair.
- Add some hair under the right strand, straighten it and place it under the middle strand.
- Repeat the two previous steps until you reach the nape.
- Braid the hair to the ends by repeatedly passing the left strand under the middle strand, then the right strand under the middle strand.
- Repeat the previous step until you reach the ends of your hair.
- Wrap an elastic band around the ends of your hair to ensure that the hair does not come undone.
Watch this for informationInstructional Video for Dutch Braidsto see the Dutch braiding process from start to finish.
Dutch Braiding Tips to Keep in Mind
Going down the steps of Dutch braiding should be your priority. Once you've done that, follow these tips to make your braids look like they were created by a professional:
- Make sure all your strands are about the same thickness., and the same goes for the sections of hair that you add to the strands. Any imbalance in your strands will result in an uneven result.
- You can take smaller subsections of hair to make the tighter Dutch braid.Instead, you can take larger sections to loosen up the braid.
- take your timeto learn the braiding technique before delving into neatness.
use: If your hands hurt when braiding, you should loosen your grip.
An essential part of conventional braided styles.work in braids. These braids are very similar to Dutch braids but are slightly different and require a specific braiding technique. If you want a chic and casual braided look, braids are the way to go.
Now let's see how to make a braid.
- Separate a section of your natural hair. The section can be as big or small as you like. But since you are a beginner, we recommend doing the section medium or large and extending it from the front hairline to the nape of the neck.
- Detangle your hair with a comb. Use a detangling product and a wide-tooth comb if your hair is very curly or frizzy and won't hold. The braiding process becomes much easier when your hair is not full of tangles.
- At the beginning of the section, separate a small section of hair.
- Divide this subsection into three separate chapters.
- Start by making a three-strand braid, but each time you bring a strand down and toward the center, gather new hair under the braid you're creating.
- Continue the previous step until you reach the nape. You will then braid three strands from there.
- Secure the end of the braid with an elastic or rubber band as needed.
Watch this video for avisual demonstration of cornrowing.
Things to keep in mind when doing braids
With the above steps in mind, you are ready to learn some expert tips for creating the prettiest braids.
- Do not look at the bottom of the braid as you braid.Keep your hands flat on your scalp and close to the braid you are making.
- Run your fingers through your hair from time to timeto prevent the lengths and ends from knotting.
- When you reach the nape, tilt your head forward as you braid.That way, when you tilt your head down after finishing your braids, the hair at the nape of your neck won't pull too much.
- Do not open your fingers too wide when adding hair to your cornrow. You should only add a little bit of hair at a time. And try to place your fingers at the same width each time you grab more hair. This way you get a consistent result.
Mistakes people make when braiding their hair
You now have some great braiding techniques in your proverbial back pocket. Still, problems can appear out of the blue when you learn to braid your hair.
We'll help you avoid common hair disasters by sharing some of the most common mistakes people make when braiding their hair.
- braiding hair too tight.There is no reason to pull your hair with all your might when braiding. The tension you use should be somewhere in the middle, not too loose and not too tight. So if you feel pain when braiding, you are probably braiding too tight.Wear tight braidsIt is one of the main causes of hair loss in black people. Avoid this problem by being careful how hard you pull your hair. And if you ever do your braids professionally, tell your braider when they're pulling too hard on your hair. And if they don't relax, feel free to get up from your chair.
- Do not get your fingers close enough to the braid.. If you don't want your braid to be loose and uneven, keep your fingers close to the braid. If you have trouble gripping your hair, add a littleOintmenton fingers to make them sticky. After that, you shouldn't have any major problems.
- Applying too much product to the hair.It's a good idea to dampen your hair before braiding it. It may also help to add somesoftener productthroughout your hair for cleaning. But it's important not to overdo it with hair products; this can make your hair slippery and difficult to braid.
Can I do braids if my hair is short?
All of the tutorials we linked to in this article featured mannequins with medium to long hair. But that doesn't mean you can't get braids if your hair is short. As long as your hair is long enough to hold, you can braid it.
Most people can comfortably grip hair that is at least 3 inches long. If your hair is shorter, you may have to pull it too tight to braid it.
The key to braiding shorter hair is to get your hands as close to the scalp as possible while braiding. Only then will you be able to grab the hair and weave the braid.
However, remember that grabbing your hair too tightly will result in braids, which will do more harm than good, causing traction alopecia, headaches, scalp irritation, and more.
Most braided styles require long hair to achieve. If your hair is short, you can go for extension braids, where braided hair is added to the braids to make them appear longer and thicker. This process is a bit more involved than braiding natural hair alone.
Braided styles for short hair
Wondering which braided styles work best for people with short hair? If you're looking for a style that doesn't require hair extensions, choose a style where the braids lay flat against your scalp, such as cornrows or Dutch braids. Hanging braids on short hair tend to look too shaggy, which many people will find unappealing.
How to braid hair for men
Braiding men's hair is not much different from braiding women's hair. Braiding techniques are all the same. But you have to consider the look you're going for: tomboy buns, straight backs, low braided ponytails, and other styles that complement a masculine rather than a feminine aesthetic.
Another factor that you should definitely consider is the hairline.
If you plan to have your hair cut by a stylist, do so before you braid it. You don't want to go through the whole styling process and then have a stylist accidentally cut your braid. So make sure you do things in the correct order.
Can men wear extension braids?
Ultimately, you can wear your hair however you want - it's your hair. So experiment and have fun – it's one of the main reasons people braid their hair in the first place.
Interestingly, more and more men are incorporating braided hair into their braided styles. Sometimes it's done to correct thinning, but other times it's just to make hair appear longer and thicker.
How to maintain braids after styling.
After putting all the time and effort into creating the perfect tresses, it is important to take proper care of them. That is, if you want them to last as long as possible.
Here are some tips to take care of your braids after styling:
- Keep them clean.Just because your hair is braided doesn't mean it's impervious to dirt and oil buildup. Anytime you notice your tresses getting greasy, taking on a grayish sheen, or showing signs of buildup around your hairline, it's time to wash them. But you don't have to go the shampoo and water route every time; you can use a dry shampoo orBraid Wash Sprayto refresh the scalp and tresses. But if your braids are super dirty, it's best to wash them thoroughly with shampoo; Many find that diluting their shampoo makes the washing process a bit easier.
- Oil your scalp regularly.When your hair is braided, your scalp is exposed to the elements, leading to dryness, flaking, and irritation. So do something good for your scalp and apply something regularly.soothing and moisturizing oils. You may not need to oil your scalp often, only when necessary.
- Cover your braids at night.Cover your braids with a satin scarf or bonnet.before bed to make sure your braids don't frizz prematurely. This also helps retain moisture and prevent breakage.
- Try not to pull or manipulate your braids too much.While it can be tempting to play with your braids, do all you can to combat hand-in-hair syndrome. The more you tug, rub, or play with your braids, the faster they look unkempt.
How long do the braids stay
When you get all of that, you may be wondering how long to leave your braids. The answer depends on the type of braids you use, whether you used straighteners, pomades, or braids during the process, and what your nightly hair routine is like.
You can't expect big braids to last more than a week; the bigger your braids, the shorter their lifespan. Instead, small braids last more than a week.
The braiding process has a lot to do with the longevity of your braid. If you used a pomade or straightening product on your hair while braiding, your braids will likely last longer.
If you haven't, they will start to frizz in about a day.
Braids with extensions last weeks or months on average. While braids made entirely of natural hair rarely last more than a week.
Last but not least, night protection increases the longevity of your tresses. While it's hard to know how many days you can go without a braided look, when you cover it up at night, it makes a world of difference.
To sum things up, check out the list below:
- Extension braids last weeks or up to two months.
- Product-free braided tresses last for days.
- Braids with holding or straightening products will last a week or more.
- Large braids age faster than small ones.
So there you have it: everything you need to know about braiding. We hope you found all the information you needed, and we wish you the best of luck experimenting with DIY braiding styles!
Kenneth ByrdHe has a BS in accounting and management information systems and an MBA from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. With over 15 years of experience, Kenneth has been in hair care since 2008 when he co-founded Curl Centric® and Natural Hair Box with his wife. As a team, they promote healthy hair care practices through their comprehensive platform, Curl Centric.centered curlis a website run by a married couple that promotes healthy hair care. At Curl Centric, we want to help our readers take control of their hair care and make good decisions about personal care products, styling, and techniques. We also have strict editorial integrity; Here is an explanation of ours.editorial guidelinesand how we make money.
How many braiding techniques are there? ›
The four types of braids are regular braid, fishtail braid, French braid, and Dutch braid.What braids don t pull? ›
- Twisted Chignon. ...
- Crochet Locs. ...
- Two-Strand Twists. ...
- Clip-In Extensions. ...
- Braided Ponytails. ...
- Faux High Pony. ...
- Halo Twist. ...
- Knotless Braids.
Similar to the blonde streak hair trend, peekaboo braids refer to box braids whereby a section of the hair is braided with extensions in a bright colour in contrast to the rest of the hair which stays a different colour.What is a mystery braid? ›
Introduction: The Mystery Braid
Traditionally, braids have one closed end and one open end. The open end is twisted in a manner to create a braid and is then tied off. This braid intends to throw all of your preconceived notions about braids out the window. This braid has two closed ends, and is made with magic.
Soft locs also known as butterfly locs have a specific installation method with a softer finish, less tension and a lighter weight than traditional faux locs. Soft locks can be created by crocheting pre-made soft-locks into the cornrows or by individually wrapping hair.What are faux locs? ›
Faux locs are exactly how they sound: locs that are not real and use either synthetic or human hair to achieve the style. Installing faux locs can take hours. First, the hairstylist must braid your natural hair in box braids and then hair is wrapped around the braid to give the illusion of locs.What are the locs stages? ›
The five stages of locs are: starter, budding, teen, mature, and rooted. While your loc journey can take between 18-24 months, some loc-wearers find the beginning and end phases to be the easiest, because the middle stages present their own set of challenges.What are Bobo braids? ›
Bob box braids are a type of box braids that resemble a bob haircut. They are usually between short to medium in length; they can be as short as chin-length and as long as collarbone length.What are goddess braids? ›
Goddess braids are essentially thicker cornrows. They're bigger in size and raised higher, and are also braided closely to your scalp. They can be styled in so many ways for every occasion; you can go from the gym straight to work, then out to drinks, all while protecting your hair and looking superchic.Which braid is used for messy locs? ›
Regardless of the method you choose, Marley hair, Freetress bohemian braids or Freetress water wave hair can be used to wrap the locs.
What is banana braids? ›
Yes there are different names for different hair do. This style mostly known as slant braids or curvy braid is actually called banana braids.What are lemonade braids? ›
Lemonade braids are a protective style sported by black women. These braids start at the front and are woven and swept to one side. Their name was inspired by Beyonce's album Lemonade.Is it easier to braid wet or dry? ›
Braids, twists, and extensions are usually installed on dry hair. Some styles just come out better on dry or damp hair. If just a few spritzes of a water bottle or refresher is all that is needed to create a style, then that is still considered a dry or damp style and you are working with hair when it is strongest.Is it easier to braid hair wet or dry? ›
The reason they're so great in wet hair is that it's easier to section your hair and get neat braids when your hair is wet. When you have big frizzy curly hair (like me), getting neat braids is tricky. So braiding your hair when wet is the solution.What is the hardest braid to do in hair? ›
The only difference between a French braid and a Dutch braid is that in a Dutch braid, instead of crossing the strands of hair over each other, you cross the strands under! This is my favorite! This is (to me) the hardest braid. Split your hair into four equal sections.What type of braids last the longest? ›
What is the longest-lasting protective style? Ghana braids and cornrows can last for as long as three months.What is the difference between a French braid and a Dutch braid? ›
The main difference is that with a French braid you're crossing sections of hair over one another, and with a Dutch braid you'll be crossing them underneath. That's why the Dutch braid is frequently labeled as a “reverse French braid” or “inside-out braid,” thanks to this “underneath” technique.What braids are not cultural appropriation? ›
These types of braids are not cultural appropriation:
French Braid. Crown Braid. Chinese Ladder Braid. Three strand braid.
Thin Braid Downsides
Even though you can space out salon appointments when you have thin braids, they can take hours to create. Depending on how many braiders are available, you can expect to be in the salon chair for up to 12 hours.
"Knotless braids are definitely a better option because [they put] less stress and tension on the hair and scalp," says Williams. "Braids can still be heavy if too much hair is used in the extension," she adds. But, she notes that when the technique is done correctly, you can help prevent traction alopecia.
What braids are easiest to maintain? ›
There's a reason box braids are one of the most popular protective styles—they're easy to maintain, yes, but they're also super versatile, meaning they don't have to be boring.What are African American braids called? ›
CORNROWS. 'Cornrows', 'canerows' (in the Caribbean), and 'boxer' braids are all the same thing. Three-strand plaits that are tight to the scalp, with the strands woven underneath so they pop off your head.What braids to avoid? ›
Avoid tight braids
Tight braids can cause a lot of tension, which is harmful to your scalp and hair's health. It is painful to sleep in, and braids that are too tight can also cause small bumps along your hairline. Not to mention breakage!
“The origin of braids can be traced back 5000 years in African culture to 3500 BC—they were very popular among women.” Braids are not just a style; this craft is a form of art. “Braiding started in Africa with the Himba people of Namibia,” says Pace. “These people have been braiding their hair for centuries.Are braids part of Mexican culture? ›
Not Just a Hairstyle, Braids Can Be a Powerful Connection to Mexican Culture. The artist shares how braiding honors her abuela and their shared Indigenous roots.