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How to Braid Your Own Hair: A Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners

Braiding your Own Hair

In achieving a beautiful and presentable appearance, there is always a time when there is no someone to help. Doing a hairstyle is one of the most difficult things to do, especially, for those who have long hair, styling depends on how healthy the hair is. Unlike doing makeup where the face can be seen completely through a mirror. Furthermore, braiding hair is more complicated than just doing a simple ponytail or pigtail. It is because the braid needs to be hair to be crossed meticulously for it to look pleasant. Thus, a proper way of braiding a hair must be learned to avoid inconvenience and to do it with ease. 

With that, the step-by-step guide is carefully created to provide people planning to braid their hair in a simple and paced way. Especially for beginners where errors are more anticipated, the step-by-step guide can help to lessen those problems being encountered. Braiding the hair has three phases; preparation, execution, and protection. The preparation starts with combing the hair and ends with dividing it. The execution starts with the actual crossing of the hair to create a braid and ends when the hair also ends. Lastly, the protection is where a band is used to tie the ends of the hair to avoid destroying the braid as it does not have a support. 

1. Comb and prepare your hair.

Comb and prepare your hair

In braiding the hair, the first step is to prepare it. Bring a hair comb and a moisturising gel to the table. Start combing the hair from the head down to the ends of the hair. Make sure to do it gently as it may cause a painful feeling when done aggressively. Another important note is to comb from root to tips of the hair, it is to make sure that all hair parts are well-prepared. The purpose of combing is to break any tangled hair part, as it may interfere with the braiding of the hair. After combing, a moisturising gel must be applied. The moisturising gel will help to have easy braiding and also to keep the hair healthy. 

2. Divide your hair into sections.

Divide your hair into sections

Depending on the chosen style of braid, the division of the sections can be based on preference. There are different types of braid; the most common are, the braid with only one tail; the braid with two tails where it is being divided into two parts, and the multiple tailed-braid. With a one-tailed braid, the sections can be divided into two parts, with one in the centre; it starts in the head and ends on the end of the hair. The two-tailed braid is divided into four subdivided parts, as these parts are to be crossed to achieve two little tails. The last one, which is the multiple tailed-braid, depends on how many tails the person wants. It just needs to double the numbers based on how many tails are desired to have.

3. Cross one of your side portions over the centre section by picking up the other side.

Cross one of your side portions over the centre section by picking up the other side

Crossing the portions of the hair is where the execution phase begins. The crossing of the portions of the hair starts on the sides and ends in the centre, where another hair portion is located. However, in other styles of braid, the rule is not necessary. The first side portion that will be crossed must start with the dominant hand’s side, as it is considered the guide for the entire process. Starting with the non-dominant side might negatively affect the braid. It is important to note that all the hair strands must be included in the crossing to avoid having a weird and horrible result. 

4. Take the part from the other side and cross it over the center section.

Take the part from the other side and cross it over the center section

After putting the first side portion of the hair, which is recommended on the dominant hand’s side, it is not time to cross it with the other side. Start by holding the hair portion and make sure to have a strong grip on it. It is also critical to be cautious of the hair strands that might not be included in crossing. Cross the other side over the centre section and the first side portion that has been crossed earlier. 

5. Continue Step Three and Four until you get to the ends of your hair.

Step 3 and step 4 are the foundation of the entire braid. Thus, it is very significant to take the next actions carefully. The braiding is just like a simple weave; it must be continued until the very end of the hair. Make sure that the crossing has been done correctly, no overlapping, no strands that have not been included, and no side portion crossed more than once. Another thing is that it must be tight enough to secure that the braid is firm and pleasant to the eyes. Having a loose braid looks weak and unfinished. 

6. Held Together the ends of your hair with clear elastic.

The braid must be protected for it not to be destroyed. Thus, a clear elastic must be used to tie the ends together, preventing the braided hair from slipping away from each other. The purpose of opting for a clear elastic is for the braid to look clean and natural. However, the person can also opt for something colourful if it is the preferred one or there is just no available clear elastic. 

What are the things to know before braiding your hair?

Braiding the hair might seem a simple thing, but it is not. There are important things and rules to be followed and to be knowledgeable about before even trying to get a braid. Listed below are the things you need to know before you get braids.

  • Prepare the Hair: A thing will not succeed if it is not prepared. Thus, great hair preparation is needed to make sure that the braiding of the hair is well-done and pleasant. In preparing the hair, start with just simply combing it. Through proper combing, the hair will be conditioned, and the tangled hair strands will be removed. After combing, apply oils or moisturisers for seamless braiding and healthy hair. 
  • Choose the Perfect Braid Style: There are countless options of braid styles that can be done in the hair. Some will take several minutes to accomplish, while others will take a few to several hours, depending on the length of the hair and the difficulty of the braid. Another factor is that these braid styles vary in maintenance. Therefore, in deciding on the perfect braid style, one must consider their preferred style and their ability to maintain it. 
  • Taking Care of the Braided Hair: The braided hair may be protected, but it also needs to be taken care of. It is very important to know before having braided hair that, it needs much more care than what is expected. It must be kept in a nice structure and must be applied with hair care products. 
  • Braided Hair Must be Washed Gently: Hair that is braided is interconnected with each other. Thus, aggressive washing may result in pulling the hair, resulting in hair loss and a damaged scalp. Do it instead with gentleness, and wash the hair slowly. 
  • Consider Intervals: After the braid removal, it is very essential to consider intervals. Give the hair some time to breathe. Get a braid after several weeks. 
  • What are common mistakes of braiding your hair?

    Braiding the hair is a great way to be fashionable and look presentable. However, braiding the hair improperly can make it damaged. Therefore, these are the common hair braid mistakes to avoid.

  • Braiding the Hair When it is Wet: It is highly prohibited to braid the hair when it is not totally dry, it can make the hair damaged and fragile. If in a hurry, opt for a hair dryer instead to dry the hair faster. 
  • Not Moisturizing the Hair: After removing the braid from the hair, moisturiser should be applied to refresh the hair and prevent it from drying. Dried hair may result in severe hair damage, which is not good.
  • Braiding the Hair Daily: The hair also needs to rest and breathe, set someday for hair to rest. It is time to apply hair care products to the hair to strip away the oils and avoid them from damaging and breaking. 
  • Brading the Hair Loosely: The foundation of the braid is directly based on how tightly packed it is. A loose braid will only appear weak and is prone to damage.
  • Not Preparing the Hair: As what is mentioned, the hair must be well-combed and well-moisturised to be able to achieve a good braid. Doing a braid without even having a good preparation will result in a horrible outcome as the tangled hair strands and dry hair are likely to take over the braid. 
  • Inconsistent Braid Pattern: The braid will be asymmetrical and will likely appear ugly once the braid pattern is not consistent. Especially when portions are not equal in volume.
  • What are the tips and hacks of braiding your hair?

    The step-by-step process is not enough to perfect your braiding. Thus, listed below are answers about, “what are the tips and hacks of braiding your hair?”

  • Do the Braid on the Next Day: The second day is the best day to braid the hair. During the first day, it is great to wash the hair with hair care shampoo to nourish it. Doing the braid on the same day is not suitable as the hair is still dry from the strip-off caused by the shampoo. Thus, on the second day, the hair has now moisture and is ready for braiding. 
  • Untangle the Hair Through Combing: Combing the hair will help it get rid of tangles caused by dry hair strands, So when being braided, it may not result in a seamless braid every person wants it to be. 
  • Apply Moisturiser or Oil: Braiding dry hair interferes with the braiding as it will stick with the hands due to friction. It is also prone to pain when braiding with dry hair, as unintentional pulling is highly expected. Thus, applying oil or moisturiser is a great choice as it lessens friction. 
  • Learn How to Properly Divide Portions: Well-divided portions lead to a beautiful and symmetrical braid. Therefore, it is very important to at least learn basic skills in properly dividing the hair into equal portions to achieve a great-looking braid that lasts long. 
  • What are the different kinds of braid?

    Braiding, just like cosmetics and beauty products, also has its own types and kinds. There are various styles of braids that a person can try, which also come with several procedures and techniques. Listed below are the different types of braiding techniques that are the most popular and easy to do.

  • Classic 3-Strand Braid: The Classic 3-Strand Braid is the most common type on the list. It consists of 3-divided portions which must be crossed with each other in the centre to form a braid. It is also recommended for beginners as it is very easy to learn and accomplish. 
  • French/Dutch Braid: French/Dutch Braid is somehow similar to the Classic 3-Strand Braid, where three portions of the hair are being used. However, the distinction between them is that the French/Dutch Braid starts on the top of the head and down to the very end of the hair. The braid style usually sticks closer to the head, unlike the regular braid style which is freely moving. There is also a distinction between French and Dutch Braid. The French cross starts over the other hair portion, while the Dutch begin under it. 
  • Fishtail Braid: The Fishtail Braid is formed through 2-portioned hair. Using the hair divided into two portions, use some strands from one of the two portions and insert it in the centre. After inserting or crossing in the centre, hold it tightly and proceed to the other strand for the opposite portion. Just follow, the process continues until the end of the hair is reached. 
  • Plait Braid: The Plait Braid is another similar process to the Classic 3-Strand Braid where the portions of the hair are crossed in the centre. However, with the Plait Braid, the person is allowed to use more than three portions; thus, making it more complicated yet stunning. 
  • Rope Braid: The Rope Braid, as its name implies, signifies the appearance of a rope. It is a simple way of braiding the hair, as it only consists of two portions being crossed together in an opposite direction. 
  • Is braiding your hair harmful?

    No, braiding is not harmful. Actually, braiding the hair has protecting benefits that can make the hair withstand any stress caused by external factors such as pulling. It is important to note, however, that braided hair must be taken care of for it to last and not cause any damage. The hair must be cleansed gently to avoid hair loss and accumulation of dirt that can ruin the quality of the hair.