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How to braid your own hair (for beginners)

This blog post is about How to braid your own hair for beginners: learn the classic three strand braiding technique and two strand twists

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How to braid your own hair for beginners

Have you been disappointed by your hairstylist and been stranded not knowing what to do? Or do you want to save up on some money and finally learn how to make your hair yourself?

Hair braiding is one of the most useful skills you can ever learn. The best part of learning how to braid is that you don’t need a lot of tools or money.

In this blog post I’ll be focusing mainly on teaching you the basics of braiding and twisting hair. 

I’ll be showing you how to braid using the three strand braiding technique and how to twist hair using the two strand technique.

What is three strand braiding?

This is a braiding technique that involves wrapping around three sections of hair in a particular sequence continuously in order to archive a braid.

This is the most common type of braiding technique because it is quite easy to learn. 

The three strand braiding technique can be used to achieve various different types of braid which makes it super versatile.

This technique is the basis for making different common hairstyles like your classic box braids, knotless braids, goddess braids and lots more.

So learning this technique is the first step to learning how to make all these other hairstyles.

What is two strands twist technique?

This is a twisting technique that involves wrapping around two sections of hair repeatedly to make a rope like braid.

There are different twisting techniques but the two strand twist technique has to be the easiest to learn.

The two strand twists can be wore as a natural hairstyle or done with extensions or it can even be used to get twist outs.

Why learn to braid your own hair?

Learning any new skill is a great way to increase your value in terms of what you can offer to society and yourself.

There are so many reasons why learning to do your own hair is important.

Not only will you not need to depend on a hairstylist especially when they disappoint you, you get to save up on the money you could have paid the hairstylist.

Learn to make hair is a useful skill that you can end up making you a lot of money if you decide to start taking on clients. 

Check out this blog post on “How to start your hair salon in college”.

If you’re someone who is looking to earn some money on the side, or if your in college learning how to make your own hair is the first step to learning how to make hair for others so that you can be financially independent.

Useful terms for braiding 

Parting : This is the process of dividing the hair into appropriate sections to be braided or twisted. The parting design depends on the hairstyle you’re going for and the size of the hairstyle. The neatness of your parts is one of the first things you will notice in a hairstyle.

Sections: This is the part of the hair that has been set out to be braided or twisted. 

Grip: This is the force you apply to the hair section before you start braiding. This will determine if the beginning of your braid or twist is loose or tight and firm.

Tension: This is the force you apply to the hair sections while braiding.

Control: This refers to how well you are able to manipulate the hair and prevent unnecessary flyaways that can make the braid or twist look rough.

The right set up to braid your hair

There are different positions that I’ve seen where people do their own hair.

Although, since starting college I’ve been doing my own hair and I’ve found that this position is that most convenient for doing it.

Sitting up write on a chair with a good back support with a table (of a convenient height) and mirror positioned in front of you.

The table give you a place to rest your elbow when your arms get tired. It is also a  good place to place all the tools you’ll be needing.

Tools you will need

  1. Mirror
  2. Cutting/parting comb
  3. Wide tooth comb
  4. Hair cream
  5. Edge control (optional)
  6. Phone camera 

Tips for parting your own hair

Divide the hair into two big sections from behind one ear to the other ear.

The front section is the part you and can see and that is where most people’s attention will be. So you want to focus most of your efforts at the front.

The back section is always the more difficult part to do especially if you’re aiming at achieving a box braids look and not the random kind of sectioning.

My tip is that after sectioning out each row. Use your phone to record a video of what it looks like from the back. Then you’ll be able to see what parts need fixing and you can try to correct it.

Here are 13 easy steps to braid your own hair.

Step 1

First step to braiding hair

Section the hair you want to braid. You can do this with a small tail comb or a cutting comb. Just make sure the edge is a little sharp (but not sharp enough to hurt you) so that you can part the hair properly.

Step 2

Section hair into 3

Divide that section into 3 smaller subsections using your fingers.

Step 3

Grip the left and right sections with your respective hands

Using your thumb, index and middle fingers only, grip one subsection in your right hand (this will be your right subsection). Grip another subsection in your left hand this will be your left subsection. Now you have one subsection of hair in each hand and one subsection that is just hanging this will be your loose subsection.

Step 4

How to braid hair

Using the index finger of your dominant hand, (mine is my right) push the loose subsection towards your other (left) hand. Then hold it in place with your left hand. Hold your right subsection between your thumb and middle finger.

Step 5

Learn how to braid hair

Transfer your left subsection to your right hand. Then use your right middle finger to grip it and hold it against your right index finger. Your index finger should be in between two subsection.

Step 6

Grip the subsection that is being held in place by your index finger with your left hand. Using your thumb, index and middle finger.

Step 7

Release the subsection bring held by your right middle finger in between the strands held by your left and right hands.

Step 8

Use your left index finger to push the middle subsection towards your right hand and  hold it in place.

Step 9

Transfer the subsection in your right hand to your left hand and grip with your left middle finger. Using your middle finger to hold the subsection against your left index finger like in step 5

Step 10

Grip the middle loose section with your right hand between your thumb, index and middle fingers.

Step 11

Release the strand being held by your left middle finger in between your right strand and the strand being held between your left thumb and index fingers.

Step 12

Use your right index finger push the strand towards your left. After, hold the strand in place with your right index finger.

Step 13

Completed braid

Repeat steps 5 to 11 until you’re done braiding your hair.

Steps for twisting your own hair

Step 1

Start the twist off by braiding the hair for a firm grip.

Step 2

Divide the hair third section of hair into parts and add to the two other sections ensuring that the now two sections are equal.

Step 3

Roll each section of hair between your thumb and index fingers to make a supercool effect.

Step 4

Exchange the rolled sections of hair between the two hands continuously to produce a rope like braid.

  • The tighter you hold and pull your strand the tighter your braid will be.
  • For beginners I’ll always advise to braids without any oils on the hair. Oils can cause the hair to slip between your fingers and make the hair looking loose. Of course this doesn’t apply if you’re trying to braid loose braids.
  • Practice constantly and understand the movement involved in braiding hair. Braiding is a very repetitive process and if you understand all the steps I mentioned above you’ll be braiding like a pro before you know it.

Here are my easy tips to learn how to braid and twist your own hair.

Knowing how to do your own hair is an important skill that can come in handy whenever your hairstylists disappoints you or you want to save a little money. You can even decide to start your own business.

Have you tried braiding or twisting your hair by yourself?

If you have, how did it go?

Let me know in the comments below.

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