Braiding for Beginners

As I mentioned in my previous #LearningProject post, the latest hair technique that I have been working on is braiding.  I’ve been learning how to braid for just over a week now, and it is proving to be the most challenging task that I have taken on yet.

I started by learning how to do a basic braid.  For a basic braid, you simply take a chunk of hair, section it into three equal pieces, and then continuously cross the outside pieces over the middle piece, like so:

It took me awhile to get the hang of the basic braid, but now I can do one quite quickly. I think the most difficult thing about braiding is learning how to hold and cross the pieces of hair without losing any of the pieces or without combining them together.  Another problem that I ran into was that, at first, I was crossing the outside pieces under the middle piece instead of crossing them over.  Although this isn’t really an issue for a basic braid, a French braid (the other type of braid that I wanted to learn) requires the overhand technique; if I were to “French braid” underhand, it would technically be called a Dutch braid, or an inverted French braid.

Photo Credit:

After I mastered the basic braid, I moved on to the French braid.  The only difference between a basic braid and French braid is that you add hair as you go:

Photo Credit:

I find that a French braid is a little trickier to do because you’re dealing with more hair; in the middle of a French braid, I often get confused by all the different pieces of hair, trying to keep them separated.  I’m still not a pro at the French braid, but I’m getting there.

So far I have only learned how to braid my bangs in both a basic braid (below left) and a French braid (below right):

This tutorial video was the main resource that I used, and it is a great place to start for beginner braid-ers!  The woman in the video demonstrates how to do different types of braids using only a small section of her hair whereas many of the other tutorial videos that I watched demonstrated how to braid using large sections of hair or even the whole head. When I got to braiding my bangs, I also used this video from The Small Things Blog — one of my go-to resources throughout my #LearningProject. Another resource that I have been using is a Barbie doll which I borrowed from my little cousin. I’ll admit, it makes me look a bit ridiculous, but the doll has been a great tool to help me learn how to hold the hair properly, as well as the overhand criss-cross motion.

My ultimate goal is to be able to French braid my entire head by the end of the semester. Only a week and a half left of ECMP 355.  Stay tuned!


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