Do you want to learn how to braid curly hair? Then this article is for you! You will find secrets and tips from a curly-haired expert who can create amazing hairstyles with braids.
Braids are the most versatile way to style curly hair. You can use braids for protection, for setting your curls (also known as braid out), or for creating beautiful braided curly hairstyles.
The key to braiding curly hair is to do it when it’s wet, because it’s easier and better for your hair.
You can choose to do three or two braids for braid out, depending on how much volume you want. For convenience, braid your hair in front of a mirror.
Step 1: Sectioning Your Curls
Pull all of your hair back, then visually divide your hair into sections. Morgan uses a comb to separate her part. Then she takes the section by her ears and does a quick two strand twist. She repeats the process on the other side.
Why the twist? It helps hair maintain moisture while you’re working on sections, this keeps it from drying out and frizzing while you work on the other braids.
Step 2: Smoothing Your Hair
Next, make your hair as smooth as possible in the middle section by finger combing your hair back. You want your hair to look as straight as possible. Take a very small section near your hair line and divide it into three, then begin braiding.
Now Morgan actually recommends avoiding a French braid – at least for a braid out. Because when she releases her curls she ends up with more of a zig-zag pattern than a curl.
Instead she uses the dutch braiding technique aka the same technique used for cornrows. Same process – just different names. These braids when finished have more lift on the scalp, as opposed to French braids that lay flat against the head.
See how the braid is lifted up, rather than flat?
Step 3: Braiding
So how do you do a braid? You simply overlap each of the three mini sections you’ve created, one section of hair at a time.
For a Dutch Braid/Corn Row, the middle section goes OVER the outside sections.
Move each section of hair to the middle position at least once, and then for your next cross over, add more hair to the outside piece.
Overlap the middle piece over that section, then repeat with the outside piece on the remaining side. Continue down your scalp until you run out of pieces to add.
Then braid your hair to the itty bitty ends and secure with a thin hair tie.
In case you’re wondering, yes, this is your arm workout for the day.
Things to keep in mind:
- When you’re adding hair into each section, the smaller the sections you add, the more “curls” you’ll have when you release the braid.
- If you finger comb your sections as you braid them in, you’ll have fewer fly aways.
- Make sure you pull as tight as you can while braiding (but don’t pull so hard that it hurts). The tighter the braid the more formed your curls will be.
- To keep your ends of your braid from looking frayed, when you secure your hair with a tie loop the ends in the hair tie as shown here.
When braiding for a braid out your technique doesn’t have to be perfect to get a good result, but the more you do it, the better you get at it, and the better your results will be.
And if you get REALLY good like Morgan, you can wear your braids out of the house as a style, and release them two days later. And then wear your hair out for two to three days.
Check out how she styles her hair:
She simply completes her three braids, then wraps them into a bun, securing in place with a tie. GENIUS.
Now what about if you want to braid on dry curly hair?
It’s possible, but you’re going to have some challenges.
Braiding on dry curly hair takes longer, because sectioning the hair is harder.
You have to work through all of the tangles. And in the process you’ll probably tear through a few and cause some damage.
If you’re going to do this, be sure to use a product to give your hair some extra slip, like No-Comb Detangling Spray. This will speed up the process and it will also help fight frizz.
Braiding dry curly hair is also “bumpier” aka its harder to get the curls to stay smooth without the help of a styler. If you’re going to go this route, consider using a styling cream or a gel, adding product into each small section as you go to help hold the curls in place as you braid.
There’s also a technique used by some curly girls with tighter curl patterns, where girls will actually blow out their hair first and then braid it.
The purpose? Stretching their curls. If you’ve got a super tight curl pattern this can definitely help you maximize length, but keep in mind that using heat on your hair and stretching it can definitely make it more fragile. If you go this route, consider using a reparative mask, like Deep Sea Repair to deep condition your curls post-braid out.
Have you ever tried to braid your own curly hair? If so share your best tips and tricks in the comments below!