Expert Hair Braiding Tips for the Best Look

“Braid hair when it’s wet or damp, so you can catch all the loose ends inside the braid and form a really clean, sleek style. Also, rubbing a lightweight texturizing wax or cream [editor’s note: We love Redken Braid Aid 03 Defining Lotion] on each section before braiding helps holds little layers in place.” –Patrick Melville, founder of Patrick Melville Salon


2. “I love two-to-three-strand halo braids, which are braids that wrap around the head. They’re great for long-lasting styles. Wear the braid for two to three days, then drop the hair down on your final day for mermaid waves.” -Donna Tripodi, hairstylist at Eva Scrivo Salon

3. “If you sleep on your braids, use a silk pillowcase to keep the braid from frizzing or falling out.” -Olivia Halpin, freelance hairstylist

4. “It’s easier to braid layered hair when it hasn’t been washed for a day. It becomes more malleable and easier to work with. I like to start by spraying the hair with Black 15 In 1 Hair Treatment, [editor’s note: Tripodi was a brand embassador for Black 15 in 1] which helps calm the frizz for a smoother braid, until the hair slightly damp, and then I begin to braid.” –Tripodi


5. “Mist your hair with a light hairspray, like Oribe Superfine Hair Spray, before braiding, to help prevent any layered pieces from falling out as you braid.” –Halpin

6. “The tighter the braid, the longer it will hold, so use a braiding technique like the fishtail or halo braid, to keep slipper hair from falling out.”-Tripodi

7. “Watch online tutorials to learn new braids! If you’re a beginner, try doing simple braids that are off to the side, such as a side fishtail braid, which is easier than doing a braid straight down your back.” –Halpin


8. “If you’re trying to keep a braid intact for more than a day, don’t use products on your hair for the first day of the braid, then on the second day, can play around and make it a more disheveled, broken up braid [editor’s note: Mist the braid with Living Proof Full Dry Volume Blast to give it a piece-y, boho feel].” –Melville


7. “Practice and be patient when trying new braids. It takes time to get your fingers moving correctly, especially if you don’t have the best dexterity. Sitting down in front of a mirror is also helpful, as you become more relaxed. Initially, choose simple, three-strand braids. Once you begin feeling more confident, you can try adding new hair to each strand to create a type of French braid. Remember that if you get lost in a technique, you can always resume with a simple three-strand braid.” -Tripodi