June 14, 2024
Braiding your hair is a great way to add a pop of style to any outfit. This ultimate guide covers everything you need to know about braiding, including step-by-step guides for different types of braids, tips to perfect your braid, how to accessorize them, braids inspired by celebrities, and the history of braids.

Introduction

Braids are one of the most versatile and practical hairstyles, and have been around for thousands of years. Not only are they a great way to keep hair organized, but braids can also add a pop of style to any outfit. Now, with so many different types of braids and accessories, we can always find a braid that will suit our mood or occasion.

In this article, we’ll take you through the basics of braiding, a step-by-step guide for different types of braids, tips for a perfect braid, and how to accessorize them. We’ll also look at different types of braids popularized by celebrities and braids that suit different hair types. Lastly, we’ll delve into the cultural significance of braids around the world and how braids have evolved over time.

Step-by-Step Guide

Before we start with different types of braids, let’s get the basics right. Here are a few tools and materials you’ll need to start braiding:

  • Comb
  • Hair clips
  • Bobby pins
  • Hair ties (preferably clear)

There are various types of braids, each with its own unique style and difficulty level. Some of the most popular braids include French, Dutch, waterfall, fishtail and braided ponytail. Here is a step-by-step guide for each:

French Braid

  1. Brush your hair to get rid of any knots or tangles.
  2. Divide a section of hair from the top of your scalp, separating it into three equal parts.
  3. Take the right section of hair and cross it over the middle section so that it becomes the middle section.
  4. Repeat with the left section of hair, crossing it over the middle section so that it becomes the middle section, holding onto the section of hair to prevent it from slipping out of your hand.
  5. As you repeat the steps above, adding new sections of hair to each section as you go. Make sure to gently pull and tighten each section as you add a new section to it, to keep the braid firm.
  6. Continue until you reach the nape of your neck, or wherever you’d like to tie off the braid.
  7. Secure the end of the braid with a hair tie.

Pro tip: For a neat French braid, start with smaller sections of hair, and add larger sections as you progress. This will help create a sleeker look.

Dutch Braid

  1. Brush your hair to detangle it.
  2. Divide a section of hair from the top of your scalp into three equal sections.
  3. Take the right section of hair and pass it under the middle section so that it becomes the middle strand.
  4. Repeat with the left section of the hair and pass it under the middle strand, so that it becomes the middle section.
  5. Add a small section of hair to the right section and cross it under the middle strand.
  6. Repeat with the left section and add hair, crossing it under the middle section.
  7. Repeat the steps, adding hair as you go until you reach the nape of your neck or desired stopping point.
  8. Secure the end of the braid with a hair tie.

Pro tip: For a sleek Dutch braid, add smaller sections of hair each time.

Waterfall Braid

  1. Start by brushing your hair and taking a small section of hair from the top of your head.
  2. Divide the section into three equal strands and start with a regular braid.
  3. As you cross the left section of hair over the middle section, drop the right section of hair.
  4. Pick up a new section of hair and add it to the right section, then cross it over the middle.
  5. Repeat steps 3-4, alternating sides to create the waterfall effect.
  6. When you reach the desired stopping point, braid the remaining hair and secure it with a hair tie.

Pro tip: For a more dramatic waterfall effect, try teasing the hair before braiding.

Fishtail Braid

  1. Brush your hair to eliminate tangles.
  2. Take all your hair to one side of your head and split it into two equal parts. Hold one section in each hand.
  3. Take a small section of hair from the outside of the right section and cross it over to the inside of the left part.
  4. Repeat this step, taking a small section from the outside of the left section, crossing it over to the right section.
  5. As you continue braiding, pull up tighter on the sections to achieve a neat, secure braid.
  6. Stop when you reach the end of your hair and secure the braid with a hair tie.

Pro tip: For a thicker looking fishtail braid, try fluffing it out by gently pulling apart sections of the braid.

Braided Ponytail

  1. Tie your hair in a ponytail at the desired height.
  2. Take a small section of hair from the ponytail and braid it until the end, securing it with a hair tie.
  3. Wrap the braid around the hair tie of the ponytail and secure it in place with a bobby pin.

Pro tip: For a unique look, try creating multiple braids and wrapping them around the hair tie.

Tips for Getting the Perfect Braid

Here are some tips to ensure you create a perfect braid every time:

  • Never begin braiding with wet hair – this will make the braid look untidy.
  • Use clear hair ties to secure braids, they will blend into the hair and give a polished look.
  • Pull tightly to prevent the braid from unraveling.
  • Secure the end of the braid with a thin hair tie, if you’re not going to continue the braid any further.
  • Experiment with different products to tame flyaway hair and to add texture and volume to the braid.

Video Tutorial

If you’re more of a visual learner, then this video tutorial will help you tremendously.

Celebrity Braids

Celebrities have inspired many popular braided hairstyles over the years. Here are some of the most popular:

Kim Kardashian’s Boxer Braids

To get Kim Kardashian’s coveted boxer braids, follow these steps:

  1. Part your hair in the middle and separate it into two parts.
  2. Apply some hair product to keep your hair in place.
  3. Braid each half of the hair, starting at the nape of the neck.
  4. Secure the ends with a hair tie or ribbon.
  5. Use hairspray to make sure your braids stay sleek and polished all day long.

Blake Lively’s Braided Updo

Blake Lively’s braided updo is the perfect hairstyle to rock at an elegant party. Here’s how to recreate it:

  1. Start by parting your hair to the side, and sectioning the hair into three equal parts at the front.
  2. Create a Dutch braid by passing the two sections over the middle section.
  3. As you braid the hair, keep adding more sections until you reach the nape of your neck and secure with a hair tie.
  4. Twist the braid around until it forms a bun and secure with bobby pins.

Braids for Different Hair Types

Here are some braids that work well with different hair types:

Straight Hair: Crown Braid

Straight hair looks great in a crown braid that wraps around the head.

Curly Hair: Halo Braid

A halo braid is the perfect way to show off your curly locks while keeping them in place.

Thick Hair: Fishtail Braid

The fishtail braid works great for thick hair as it adds texture and isn’t too heavy on the hair.

Thin Hair: Waterfall Braid

A waterfall braid adds the illusion of thickness to thin hair, without needing to add extensions.

Accessory-Filled Braids

Accessorizing your braids is a great way to add a hint of personality to your hairstyle. Here are some ideas for accessories you could use:

  • Ribbons
  • Beads
  • Flowers
  • Headbands

Now, here are some examples of accessorized braids:

Fishtail Braid with Flowers Woven in

This style is perfect for weddings, festivals, or any outdoor event. Simply weave small flowers into the sections of your fishtail braid to create an effortless and boho-inspired look.

History of Braids

Braids have been around for thousands of years, and have taken on various meanings across different cultures. Here are some examples:

  • In many African tribes, cornrows where a popular braid style. It was used to denote social status, marital status, religion or age.
  • In Japan, Geishas would braid their hair into intricate styles, which would show off their hair’s natural length.
  • During the Viking Age, the warrior class would braid their hair for social status and a sense of unity.
  • In the 90s braided headbands were a popular accessory for school going girls.

Conclusion

And that’s everything you need to know about braiding! We’ve covered different types of braids, tips for perfecting them, celebrity inspirations, and braids that match different hair types. We’ve also looked into accessorizing braids, the history of braids, and how they have evolved over time. Now it’s your time to experiment and try some of these fabulous braids yourself. Just remember, the more practice you get, the better the result will be.

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