How to Braid Hair, Better: Tips from the Experts

The Bianca braid from DreamDry

The Bianca braid from DreamDry.
Photo: Courtesy of DreamDry

It’s Braids Week on Daily Makeover! Check in all this week for braided hairstyle inspiration, tips and tutorials.

Even after watching tons of video tutorials, we admit we still aren’t really braiding ninjas. So we turned to the experts to answer some of our most pressing questions about creating amazing braids. Read on for their genius tips to make braiding way easier.

What are your tips for braiding layered hair?

“Braid hair when wet or damp. This will allow you to catch all the loose ends and form a nice clean braid. Also, using a great texturizing product like Schwarzkopf OSiS+Flexwax helps create a clean and natural finish and holds layers in place.” — Patrick Melville, Patrick Melville Salon

“Braiding layered hair is best on hair that has not been washed for a day. It becomes more malleable and easier to braid. Start by spraying the hair with black 15and1 Hair Treatment. The treatment will help calm the frizz and give a smoother braid. Spray until slightly damp and then begin to braid. Choose a tighter braiding technique to ensure the layering holds inside the braid.” — Donna Tripodi, black15in1 Brand Ambassador – Eva Scrivo Salon

“Spray your hair with a light hairspray before braiding (I recommend Oribe) — this will prevent the layered pieces from falling out as much and will help keep them in place.” — Olivia Halpin, DreamDry

How can you make braiding your own hair easier?

“Do one single braid or two pigtails which you can pull back and tie together.” — P.M.

“Practice and be patient. It takes time to get your fingers moving correctly, especially if you don’t have the best dexterity. Sitting down in front of a mirror is also helpful, as you become more relaxed. Initially, choose simple, three-strand braids. Once you begin feeling more confident, you can try adding new hair to each strand to create a type of French braid. Then sky’s the limit – get creative! Remember that if you get lost in a technique you can always resume with a simple three strand braid.” — D.T.

“Watching videos online is always great practice — doing braids that are off to the side, such as a side fishtail braid, is easier than doing a braid straight down your back.” — O.H.

What’s the best way to make a braid last for more than one day?

“First day of the braid can be kept clean, while the second day you can play around and make it a more disheveled, broken up braid.” — P.M.

“Use a tighter braiding technique like a ‘fishtail’ or ‘halo’ braid. The tighter the braid, the longer it will hold. — D.T.

“Keep it tight for day one, and once you sleep on it, it will have that loose, messy look for day two. Also, sleeping on a silk pillow case keeps hair from frizzing or falling out of a style.” — O.H

Which braided styles that you’re loving for this summer into fall?

“I love the Game of Thrones look for braiding right now. Very ethereal and mystical looking.” — P.M.

“I love two to three strand halo braids (braids that wrap around the head). They’re great for long-lasting styles. Wear the braid for two to three days, then drop the hair down on your final day for mermaid waves.” — D.T.

“Currently, I’m loving the crown braid (our ‘Bianca’), and also the fishtail headband braid.” — O.H.

Read more: Do Not Attempt These Insane Braids without a Professional 

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