A braid can be a fun accent to your hair and is great when you don't have much time to style your hair. It takes practice to produce a smooth, uniform braid. There are many braids you can try. Take the time to braid your hair using three common braid styles.
Method 1 of 3: Making Traditional Braids
Step 1. Comb your hair
This helps to produce a smooth and neat braid.
- Use a large brush or comb to smooth your hair.
- Brushing your hair before you start braiding will prevent knots from forming in your hair as you braid.
- Don't start braiding when your hair is wet. Hair swells when dry and can break in braids.
- Avoid using a lot of hair care products when you start the process, but you can try a dry shampoo to help with texture if you need to.
- Try using a dry shampoo if you have trouble keeping your hair still while braiding. Clean, dry hair may become too slippery to stay in position when braided. Dry shampoo can add texture that helps you hold your hair in place.
Step 2. Decide where your braid will fall
Before you start braiding, you need to decide where to start your braiding. Placement of your braid on your head can change the hairstyle for many outfits and events. It can be comfortable, casual or elegant, depending on the direction or location of your braid.
- Pull your hair to one side to create a side braid. Brush all of your hair to the side you chose to make sure there are no clumps or tangles. This results in a more elegant look that is an accent to go at night or during the day at the office.
- Starting with side braids can be beneficial if you are a beginner. It's easier to see and control what you're doing with side braids.
- You can braid at the back in an untied ponytail. This will be a more classic, elegant and more relaxed and unstructured braid.
- You can also start by making a ponytail in the middle or at the top of your head. This will add stability to the braid at the back but with a more casual look.
Step 3. Divide your hair into three sections
Gather and hold your hair with both your hands.
- You will have one section of hair on the left, one in the middle and one on the right.
- Hold the left section of hair between your left thumb and forefinger.
- Hold the left section of hair between your right thumb and forefinger.
- Let the middle part off first now.
Step 4. Start braiding
Start braiding by crossing the right section of hair beyond the middle section of hair.
- Grab the right section of hair, after jumping through the middle section of hair, between your index and middle fingers to secure its position.
- Pull the hair in the middle between the thumb and forefinger of your left hand.
- Pull all sections of hair in your hands to tighten the braid. This will ensure an even braid with no gaps.
- If you have longer hair, run your fingers through the hair at the bottom to make sure the hair doesn't twist when braiding.
Step 5. Continue to braid your entire hair
Now twist your left wrist to cross the left section of hair over the new middle section.
- Hold the left section of hair between your index and middle finger right after and jump over the middle hair.
- Secure the hair in the middle between the thumb and forefinger of your right hand.
- Pull the hair in your hands tightly to ensure that your braid pulls evenly as you braid.
Step 6. Repeat the last two steps
Do this until you reach the bottom of your hair.
- Cross the right section of hair over the middle section, then the left section over the middle until the braid reaches the ends of your hair.
- Be sure to pull your hair tight as you continue to braid.
- If your braid is too long when you braid behind your back, pull your hair over your shoulders and continue the steps above with your hair in front of you.
- Tie with a hair tie at the end of the braid. Make sure the tie is tight. If it's too loose, your braid will come loose.
Method 2 of 3: Making French Braids
Step 1. Comb your hair
This helps the braid to be smooth and tidy. This will reduce the twisting of the hair as you braid.
- It will be difficult to pull the hair into several sections into a braid when it is twisted.
- Finer hair is easier to braid and this prevents messy hairdos.
- Remember not to braid wet hair and not to use too many hair care products. However, if you have problems with your hair coming out of the braid, you can use a dry shampoo.
Step 2. Divide the hair on the scalp at the front of your head
Use a hairpin or a comb to pull out some of the hair at the front of your head.
- French braids are more complicated than traditional braids because they start at the top of your head and collect hair from your scalp.
- This first section should run from your temples to the top of your head.
- You can also separate your hair into sections by pulling your hair back along the sides of your hair from your temples to the back, using your thumbs.
- Comb sections of hair back away from your face to keep them slick or tangle free.
Step 3. Divide the hair starting from your forehead to braid, divide the hair into three sections, lifting the hair over your head
- Hold one part in one hand and two parts in the other, separating them with your middle finger.
- It is often helpful to hold two halves in the left hand and one in the right.
- Make sure your grip is firm on all three sections.
Step 4. Start braiding
Cross the right over the middle to start.
- Cross the left section over the new center section, as you would with a traditional braid.
- This is the start of your braid. It should start as close to the forehead as possible and look like a traditional braid.
- Pull all the sections tight to make sure the braid tension is even and not too loose.
Step 5. Continue your braid on the right
You can do this by taking a small section of hair and adding it to the hair that is being braided on the right.
- Take a small section of hair from the right side of your head.
- Add it to the section of hair that you hold in your hand. Then cross the right section over the middle section of hair.
- Pull the hair tightly at the end of each cross to ensure the braid stays neat in an even pull.
Step 6. Continue the braid and on the left side
This will follow the same method you used on the right side.
- Take a small section of hair from the left side of your head.
- Add this to the hair you are holding in your left hand.
- Cross over the hair in the middle.
Step 7. Repeat this process, alternating between the left and right sides
Continue picking up hair before crossing it into a braid.
- This combines the unbraided hair into a cohesive braid.
- Make sure you take an even number of hairs from each side of your hair. This ensures that your braid is even and straight in the back.
- The braid should follow the center of your head, from the forehead to the base of the neck.
- If you have longer hair, run your fingers through each section of your hair to make sure it doesn't tangle while braiding.
Step 8. Braid the rest of your hair
You can use a traditional braid once all the hair on your head is in the three sections you used to start the braiding.
- When there is no more hair to braid, tie the ends of the braid with a hair tie.
- If you have long hair, you will need to bring your hair forward to continue braiding.
- Try this braid variation. You can make two braids in this French braid style by dividing your hair in half and braiding them both on each side.
- You can also braid from the bottom side of your head. This is called a French lace braid.
Step 9. Done
Method 3 of 3: Making Fishtail Braids
Step 1. Comb your hair all the way to the ends
This will loosen any twists or tangles and make the braid easier.
- This type of braid is easier to do on longer hair. If you don't have longer hair, you can use extension hair to make it easier to braid.
- Make sure there are no tangles in your hair before you start braiding.
- Use a regular comb or brush to do this step.
- It's much simpler to do a side fish tail braid when you're first learning. The multi-layer construction makes it difficult to do behind the back if you are not familiar with the process.
Step 2. Divide the hair into two sections
Use a hairpin or a comb to divide the hair down the middle, into two large sections at the nape of your neck.
- Make sure the two halves are equal so that your braid will also be even.
- If you want, you can comb each section to make sure the hair is smooth and well divided.
- This is different from traditional and French braids, which use 3 sections of hair.
Step 3. Start braiding
Pull small sections of hair, about 1.3 cm thick from the outside of each section of hair for this braid style.
- Pull a small amount of hair from the front, beyond the right section of your hair.
- Use your middle finger to separate the smaller section of hair from the larger section on the right.
- Cross this smaller section of hair over the right section of your hair and tuck it behind the left section of your hair.
Step 4. Do the same for the left side
You will need to hold both left halves with your left hand and both right halves with your right.
- Once you've joined each small outer section, you'll need to back down to the two braids.
- This is much more complicated than the other braids. Work slowly and carefully, so as not to drop small sections of your braided hair.
- It's different from other braids in that you're working with two fixed sections while creating a third section instead of starting by having three sections that stick to the steps.
- For a more intricate or detailed braid, use a smaller section of hair.
Step 5. Continue to braid the hair following the last step
Keep alternating left and right sides.
- Cross the small outer right section that is closer to your face to the center.
- Join this section of hair with the large section in your left hand.
- Cross the small one, outside the left to the center.
- Unite this small left part with the larger right.
- Make sure to pull the braid tightly. This ensures a tight and neat braid.
- Repeat this process until all of your hair is braided.
Step 6. Tie the end of the braid with a hair band
You can use a small transparent rubber or thick colored rubber if desired.
- Once you've finished the braid, give it a textured look by gently pulling out sections of the braid to make it look thicker.
- Be careful doing this because you can loosen the braid until it comes off.
- For a more messy braid, run your fingers along the length of the braid and pull some hair out to create a wavy look.
- Wash and dry your hands before braiding your hair. This will keep your hands from sticking to hair products or lotions that could cause your hair to stick to your hands.
- When you are going to braid your hair, remember to comb it first so that it is easy to braid.
- To make the braids do not fall and stay in place, spray hairspray.
- You can also braid your hair on one side and pull it to the other side of your head and secure it with bobby pins.
- If you're having trouble learning these steps, try performing them in front of a mirror. But there are those who think that when you first try braiding your hair without a mirror it will help you to understand the taste of braiding your own hair. This improves muscle memory so you can learn to do more complex braiding techniques in the future.
- Add embellishments to the braid and secure the ends with bobby pins instead of a hair band. Tie the ends of your hair and attach the bobby pins into the knot. This creates a natural end to your braid.
- Don't braid when your hair is wet. The braids are heavier and the hair swells when dry. This can cause hair to break and break.
- Use as little product as possible in your hair when you braid it. More products cause hair to be stiffer and not braided properly.