• 05 Dec - 11 Dec, 2020
  • Mag The Weekly
  • Beauty

Learning how to braid your own hair is a breeze for some, but for others – like us – it's a struggle. Whenever we attempt the twists and turns of a fishtail or dutch braid, it ends up looking more like a bird’s nest than something we did on purpose. And we know we’re not the only one with a braid horror story in my history. So, we’ve compiled braiding tips from professionals. Hint: Just like the perfect winged liner, a neat plait requires practice.

1. Second-day hair is best for braids. But if your hair is clean, dirty it up with products

It’s much easier to get your hair to do what it’s told if you put in some product – not loads, but just a bit. When your hair is just washed, it is very slippery. Plus, the braid will usually last longer if the hair is two to three days old. You can use a pomade or hair wax to add some grit to the area you’re trying to braid. Dry shampoo and dry texture spray also work to help get a good grip on hair.

2. Practice your parting

The most important step of a stellar braid is a straight part. And you’ll need a rattail or pintail comb to get it just right. Use the long wire end of the tool to part. Then, section off the hair with clips so that the hairs don’t wander back into the parting. So what about the back of the head? Use two mirrors: one stationary and one handheld to see hard-to-reach areas better.

3. Detangle first

Knotty strands will cause hair to snag and tangle while you attempt to braid. Make sure to detangle all your sections from roots to ends before braiding. And clip away the sections you’re not working on to avoid getting tangles midway through your plait.

4. "Pancake" for Pinterest- worthy braids.

Start by creating a tight braid, and secure with an elastic. You can’t start out trying to do a messy braid because then it comes uncontrollable, especially on a dutch braid or a fishtail. Once the braid is set, tug the edges and pull them out to make it bigger and add volume. Work your way from the top of the braid down to the ends. This special technique is called “pancaking” and your braid will double in size.

5. Get a sleek finish with hairspray. Or add purposeful flyaways with salt spray and a blowdryer

The finishing touches you put on your braid are all about the look you’re trying to achieve. If you want a sleek, shiny finish, spray the hair around the hairline with hairspray. Then, use the rattail comb to smooth everything back before the spray dries. On the other hand, you can get natural-looking flyaways by using salt spray on your strands. Then, use a blowdryer as a wind machine to get a subtle halo of texture.

6. Sleep in a silk scarf 

The biggest question we get: How to get longevity out of the braids. You can keep a lot of tighter braids in up to week if you sleep with a silk scarf, a silk pillowcase, or a pair of silk knickers over your head. It stops friction, so it stays neater for longer.