1. Practice, practice, practice – practice on yourself, practice on your friends, practice on your dog. Just practice! I learned how to French braid by practicing on my American Girl doll. (Shout out to Samantha). And I learned how to Dutch braid by mistake. Every time I tried to French braid my own hair, my hands were upside down and all turned around from me looking in the mirror, so naturally rather than bringing the braid from the outside in, I braided from the middle, out.
2. Loosen up! – loosen every braid once you have the hair tie secure. This makes your hair look thicker and makes your braid look fuller! For classic French braids, I only loosen the bottoms. For Dutch braids, I loosen the entire braid.
3. Another reminder to practice – it took about two years of braiding at slumber parties for me to finally get braids that were tight enough and even on a head. And that was just on my dolls and my friend’s heads! It took another two years on top of that for me to create tight, even braids on my own melon! Don’t let braids break you! You can do this!
4. Dirty little secret – second and third day hair is best for braids. Clean hair is slippery and doesn’t stay well when teased and tugged. Second day hair holds better in a braid and loosens beautifully (as pictured below).
- Dutch braids are always a yes. I add them to as many hairstyles as I can.
- French braids are my go to for active days, workouts, and days when my hair is greasy but it’s unacceptable to wear a baseball cap.