The primary upgrade from the classic 3 strand braid is the French braid. I have also included the Dutch braid in this post because the structure of the two braids is quite similar and I particularly love it.
- Detangle your hair in advance
Both types of braiding require a lot of sections to be separated and there is nothing worse than getting your fingers stuck in a knot when you try to braid at the back of your head. (From experience, it’s painful!) Make sure to either thoroughly brush the hair in advance or separate it in sections. I would recommend the brushing because it takes less planning however this does not work on all hair types such as very curly hair.
- Spritz some water on it
When the hair is slightly damp it grips better and you get less flyaways. The trick here is to only use very little water. If you already have a spray bottle that will work nicely because it will disperse the water finely. If not, you can put one hand under running water and then shake the excess water off and run your hand through the hair you are about to braid. You don’t want to go out with wet hair but if it’s damp it will quickly dry into the shape you made.
- Pull a bit harder on the sections
The thing about braids is that if they are tight they can be loosened, but the reverse is not possible without reconstructing it. It is always preferable to pull a bit harder on your strands when you create your stitches because you can always go back in to pull the edges of your braid to loosen it up or make it more voluminous. Keep in mind that during the day braids do loosen up!
Master tip: Practice, practice, practice
Ultimately, muscle memory is what gives the edge to all those people you watch and envy when they easily twist their hair into whatever they want on a whim. When you decide to learn how to braid, especially more complicated styles, what is best is to try it out a few times. Don’t jump into doing the braid at the back of your head either, do it on the side of your head where you can see it in the mirror more easily so you can spot the mistakes. Play around with your hair and find out what works for you!