How To Get Better At Braiding Your Own Hair

by Emily McClure

Braiding your own hair doesn't have to be a struggle. In fact, there are several ways to improve your own hair braiding skills without being a natural beauty guru. It's all in tweaking your styling methods. Now, I know what you're thinking: "Is practicing the style the best way to figure it all out?" In short, yes. However, while practice does usually make perfect when it comes to hair styling, it isn't the only way to get a fabulous braid. In fact, there are several hair hacks out there that are helpful for getting a manageable, tangle-free hairstyle that any braiding skill level can achieve.

One of the main reasons that hair can be so tough to braid is that the strands are clean. In order to get a fabulous braided style, it's often helpful to start off with slightly dirty hair. The grit will help to give your hair texture, and allow it to hold the shape and style of the braid better than it would if it was freshly washed. You can add your own bit of grip as well to the hair by using dry shampoo or hairspray before styling. Either product will help to give the hair more dimension and make it easier to style. Wondering what else you can do for a fabulous looking braid? Here are 11 hair hack that will make it easier for you to braid your own hair.

1. Know When To Use Product

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If you're looking have smooth, shiny looking braids, Refinery29 suggested reaching for a serum. In contrast, if you're looking to give fine, slippery hair more grip, spritz your hair with a texturizing spray before braiding.

2. Don't Add Water

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For girls with natural hair, don't step into the shower before braiding your strands. According to Sally Hershsaberger stylist Mia Santiago in an interview with Refinery29, adding water to natural strands will cause the hair to further expand, and make it unmanageable for braids.

3. Go Tighter

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Braiding hair that is layered can seem like such a hassle. However, it doesn't have to be. In an interview with, Donna Tripodi mentioned that those with layered hair should use tighter braiding techniques (think box braids or fishtail braids). Adding hairspray to the hair prior to braiding will also help to keep your layers in place.

4. Start Off To The Side

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This may seem like a no-brainer, but braiding your hair is a lot easier if you can see what you are doing. For beginners, start off by learning how to braid your hair to the side before trying out the style straight down your back. This way you have a better idea of what you're doing.

5. Amp Up The Volume

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Give your braids some body by pulling on the edges of the braids. Simply take the loops on the outer edges, and pull. This will give the appearance of more volume and hair without teasing or damaging the strands.

6. Start Off Simple

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If a three-stranded braid is getting the best of you, consider trying a rope braid. Simply split your hair into two sections, and then join them together by twisting the sections in opposite directions. It's an easy introduction into the world of braiding.

7. Keep It Clean

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According to Women's Health, the secret to a perfectly tousled braid is to start off with a tight, perfected one. By starting off with a tighter braid, you can create the mess yourself without sacrificing the hold or the structure of the braid. Simply use your fingers to pull edges of the braid out and loosen the braid.

8. Try Styling It Before You Braid

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For those of use with hard-to-braid hair, it may be our hair's own natural texture that is working against us. suggested giving your hair better grip by adding curls to your hair prior to braiding. While this may seem like more work, it's worth it in the end for a gorgeous, fuller looking braid.

9. Keep Your Sections Separated

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As you braid your hair, the bottom seems to braid right along with the top. In order to keep your strands tangle-free while braiding, suggested keeping your sections separated as you go. Try raking your fingers through the small sections after each twist of the braid.

10. Try Extensions

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It's rare to find a hairstyle on the red carpet that doesn't involve extensions. The same goes for braided hairstyles as well. If you want to achieve a thicker, longer braid, suggested using extensions for the look.

11. Grab A Clip

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When braiding your hair to the side, sometimes strands like to move around, and get left out. Keep your strands in place by clipping your entire hair to the side. Simply place a large claw clip at the nape of your neck once your hair is pushed over to keep it in place. Remove once the braid is completed, and marvel at your new style.

Now, go out there, and rock your new braided style.