One of my favorite styles in the spring (or anytime of year really) is a cool braided hairstyle. But when I see an Instagram-worthy 'do or an amazing voluminous crown braid, I can't help but feel a little jealous. Sure, my hair is pretty thick, but it's also fine and slippery. Tired of my wimpy looking braids, I had to figure out how to braid fine, slippery hair so that it looked as amazing as the styles I see all over Pinterest.
Turns out, there are a couple ways to make sure your braids look good and stay put when your hair is fine and slippery. It's all about creating styles that have texture that will stay in place and using techniques that will make your hair hold the style more easily. And when in doubt? Add some sort of hair accessory or extra volume. "The key to styling fine hair is making sure you always have a strong focal point," Matt Fugate, a stylist at Sally Hershberger Salon, told Cosmopolitan. "It adds dimension and the appearance of thickness, tricking one's eye into thinking you have more hair."
If an accessory isn't exactly your style, here are some more tips that will guarantee your braid is full, not wimpy.
1. Try Braiding Hair While It's Wet
In a Howcast video, hairstylist Jacqueline Bush said most people braid on hair that's dry. But if your hair is slippery, it can actually be better to braid it while it's wet. It'll hold the style better, and when it dries you can adjust the braids to look more voluminous.
2. Make Sure You Braid Tightly
Christine, who runs the website Hair Romance and wrote a braid e-book 30 Braids in 30 Days, stresses how important it is to maintain tension while you braid if your hair is slippery. The tighter your braid is, the better it'll stay in place. And if you don't like how tight the braid looks, you can always loosen it later.
3. Try Spraying Your Roots With Hairspray
L'Oreal Paris Elnett Satin Hairspray, $11.39, target.com
Another tip from Bush is to spritz your roots with hairspray as you're braiding near them. I like this tip because pretty much everyone has hairspray on hand, so you don't need to buy any new products. They'll give your roots some grip and help the braid stay put better.
4. Spray Your Roots — And Tips — With Dry Shampoo
Batiste Original Clean Dry Shampoo, $5.99, target.com
Hairstylist Brian Magallones of Exclusive Artists Management told Women's Health that when he's doing a braided hairstyle, he adds texture and volume by spraying both roots and ends of hair with dry shampoo. "Clean hair can be too sleek and slippery to braid, so the dry shampoo gives hair the perfect texture to work with," he said. Even if your fine hair forces you to wash every day (I get it) a little dry shampoo is a great styling agent.
5. Rough Up Your Roots With Pomade
Redken Rough Paste, $22, drugstore.com
Pomade is pretty much the last item I expected to add to my beauty product arsenal, but hairstylist Kristin Ess of The Beauty Department says that a water-based pomade is her "dirty little secret" when it comes to braiding hair. She massages it into the scalp of her clients and braids stay put way better, even if hair is clean and slippery.
With these tips, even those of us with slippery or fine hair will have the braids of our dreams.