Quite a few of you have requested information on how to braid. I know that there are some wonderfully skilled women here, but they are not available at ALL times that you need them. I thought posting a basic guide will help get you started until someone can answer your questions about perfecting your braiding technique.
It is best to start any hairstyle with clean hair. Wash and condition your hair before beginning to cornrow. Cornrows can be done or damp or . The decision is up to you. The instructions given can work on either damp or dry hair. After washing and conditioning your hair, be sure to comb through your hair with a wide-toothed comb to detangle your hair. If you have chosen to use a hair product you can now add this to your hair.
Step One: Part off a section of your hair using the rat-tailed comb. This section will become your first cornrow braid. Make the section relative to how thick you want your braid to be. The larger the section, the thicker your braid will be. Clip off the rest of your hair to make sure it does not get mixed in with the sectioned off hair.
Step Two: To ensure you have completely detangled your hair, go over once or twice as needed with the wide-toothed comb. It is always best to make sure your hair is completely detangled. Hair that is tangled only leads to more tangles that can lead to frustrations and/or hair loss.
Step Three: Now that the sectioned off hair is detangled, grab a smaller section of that hair as near to the hairline as possible. Separate the smaller section into three strands. You should have a left strand, middle strand, and right strand. Carefully hold the strands in your hands. Be sure not to hold the strands to tightly or too loosely.
Step Four: Take the strand on the left and cross it underneath the middle strand. The left strand should now be the middle strand.
Step Five: Next, take the strand on the right and cross it underneath the middle strand. The right strand should now be the middle strand.
Step Six: Continue steps four and five. As you continue to braid downward, be sure to drop the hair you started with while picking up the rest of the hair that is sectioned off.
Step Seven: Continue steps four through six until you have cornrowed all of the sectioned off hair. To keep the ends from unraveling, place a rubber band around the end. You should end up with one completed cornrowed section of hair.
Step Eight: Remove the clips from the rest of your hair. Part off a new section of hair for your next braid. Repeat steps two through seven. Once you complete braiding this section of hair. Continue these steps with the rest of your hair until you have finished your entire head of hair.
To maintain your cornrows and to keep them looking neat here are some helpful tips:
- Moisturize your scalp and hair daily. Your hair still needs moisture. Moisturizing your hair will keep your hair healthy.
- Avoid getting your hair completely wet. This can cause the braids to become loose and frizzy.
- Cover your hair at night with a satin scarf. This will help to reduce frizz and keep your braids looking fresh.
Remember patience and practice make perfect. Your first set of cornrows may not look as neat as you would like them to. If possible, practice on a mannequin or someone else for a while before starting on your own head of hair. Always remember when braiding your hair or having someone else do it, if your braids are too tight, they are not right. Tight braids can lead to damage and hairline problems. With time, your skills will mature and you can begin to experiment with different parts and cornrow styles.
Here is a video from YouTube to give you a visual. It is one of the best that I could find: