How to Braid Hair
Braiding hair is a great way to keep your hair out of the way. It can also look very fashionable and chic. You can create a variety of styles using simple braiding techniques, and there are lovely ways to make your braid look great. Once you master braiding, you can move on to more intricate braids, such as the French braid and fishtail braid.
Detangle hair with a brush or wide-toothed comb. Braiding goes a lot faster when your hair is knot-free. The comb should be able to pull easily through the length of the hair.
- If you're working with thick or layered hair, use a bit of water or leave-in conditioner to dampen the hair first. This will make it easier to handle.
- You can braid hair when it is damp or dry. If your hair is damp, it will have a very smooth, tight appearance while dry hair will give a messier look. Let your hair dry for at least 20 minutes before you braid it, however, as wet hair is fragile and easily breaks.
Start with a secure base (optional). If you tie hair into a ponytail or half ponytail with a hair tie, your braid will be easier to handle and turn out a little neater. Once you get the hang of it, try to start braiding loose hair at the nape of the neck.
Divide the hair into three even sections. These will be the three strands of your braid, so try to make them as even as possible.
- Grab the right section with your right hand and the left section with your left hand, letting the middle section hang free (for now).
- In your right and left hands, hold the strands so that you're grasping them against your palm with your middle, ring and little fingers, keeping your index fingers and thumbs free.
Cross the left section over the middle section. If your strands started out as A B C, they should now be ordered as B A C.
- With the index finger and thumb of your left hand, grab the middle section of hair.
- Using the index finger and thumb of your right hand, grab the left section of hair that's grasped against your left palm.
- The original left-hand section is now the middle section.
Cross the right section over the middle section. Your strands that are now ordered B A C will become B C A.
- In your left hand, shift the strand that's between your index finger and thumb so that your other fingers are holding it secure against your palm.
- Use your left index finger and thumb to grab the section of hair that's being held against your right palm (but not the one being held by the thumb and index finger).
- The original right-hand section is now the middle section.
- Typically, step 4 and step 5 in this braiding technique are called a "sequence" or "stitch."