Hair Braiding

How To Braid Hair For Beginners

Braiding hair feels like magic when you watch others do it. But, when you try it yourself, your hands and arms get cramped and you soon give up. How do they do it and how come you can’t? for that reason we are going to talk about how to braid hair for beginners.

How To Braid Hair For Beginners
How To Braid Hair For Beginners / Image from Missy Sue video

Here are a few short and simple tricks to help even the biggest newbie learn how to braid hair. After you adopt these techniques, you’ll be able to do any kind of braid on any kind of hair — with your eyes closed!
Braiding is a way of life and there are all sorts of braids. Learn from as many sources you can and find inspiration everywhere: in shows, magazines, cartoons or wherever else. You will see each type of braid expresses one type of personality. There are practical braids, simple braids, those with flowers, fancy braids and so many more. Explore them all and have fun doing so. you can check our blog for more ideas.

How To Braid Hair For Beginners — Avoid All Fatigue

The biggest problem with hair braiding is that you’ll start out with great zest but then quickly get tired. You’ll yearn to practice some more but your hands and arms will just be too tired to carry on. The solution is to always pay attention to your comfort level and make yourself as comfortable as possible.

You want to put your body in a position where you can basically fall asleep by just closing your eyes. So, lay down on a sofa, put a pillow under your head if need be or just arrange everything in a way that doesn’t hurt or feel awkward. There should be no tension in your body and your movements should feel smooth. Your fingers should also not twitch, tingle or otherwise feel uncomfortable.

Avoid all fatigue and as soon as you notice cramping or tingling in your hands and arms, take a break. You can stretch out as well, which will help circulation. Change body, hand and arm position regularly so your muscles don’t cramp up.

Video Tutorial

Practice, Practice, Practice

You can make a braid out of anything stringy, so do it! If you have a patient dog who will endure your braiding, practice on it. You can practice on anyone with long hair while they’re seated as well, which most adults find charming. Moms, sisters and aunts should yield readily but if they won’t, that’s fine too.

Use tassels on any piece of clothing or those on drapes. Get your fingers used to all kinds of materials, textures and lengths. This will actually give you a wonderful instinct when you start braiding for real, since you’ll see there are different types of hair as well. Some materials will stay together while others will need more tension and a tighter fit, just like different hair types.

You want your fingers to automatically reach for anything stringy and make a braid without you even thinking about it. At that point, you’ve got the braiding impulse and you’ll be able to braid any hair in any place and with no effort.

Keep Your Eyes Closed

Ever tried solving a Rubik’s cube? If you have, you know it’s near impossible to do it at first if you keep looking at it. Instead, you should close your eyes and create a mental map of the cube. The same applies to braiding hair.

The more you look at hair or your head, the less sense it will make. You will feel like your fingers have a will of their own and work against you. That’s why braiding your hair while looking at yourself in the mirror won’t help at all.

But, if you close your eyes, you will get a feel for your hair, for the position of your body and where everything should be. That will also help your fingers move on their own and braid faster than the thought.

If you can set up a camera to record you, that can work great so you can later review how you did and where you made the biggest mistake. Don’t think too much of your mistakes and just focus on what you did right.

Use Small Bunches

If sounds strange but the smaller the braid and the bunches, the easier it is to make. When you start out, practice with whatever feels comfortable and make it as small as you can hold. This will also let you get a feel for different hair lengths.

Short hair acts differently in a braid compared to long hair but it’s one thing to read about it and quite another to feel it. If there’s one braiding tip that beats all others, it’s to create and nurture that feeling for braiding, which only comes from doing all kinds of braids on all kinds of hair.

You should eventually be able to do all kinds of braids on any length of hair. There’s the completely cropped hair that’s unworkable, but other than that all lengths of hair can produce some kind of braid.

How To Braid Hair For Beginners — Clean The Hair

Dry, clean hair is the best kind of hair for a braid. It is easy to work with and it’s even enough that you can predict what it will look like. You can eventually work with any kind of hair but dry, clean hair is easy mode, so go with that first.

If possible, try to brush it as well to get all the knots and tangles out. If the hair isn’t dry and clean, brushing will work too but don’t fret about it too much. Dirty hair can look splendid in a braid, though it’s a bit harder to get repeatable results and use the same technique.

You will feel the dirty hair resisting your attempts to braid it. The solution is to keep it tight and cinch the hair as much as possible. If it still won’t work, dampen it by spraying it with water or dab it with a wet towel and it should go just fine.