Guest post with Sunny from Hey Sunny Jess
I remember the moment I discovered the magical art of the braid, proven time and time again to be the most universal hairstyle. Braids can be simple or creatively elaborate, work well with any type of hair, and are perfect for any occasion from casual to professional to formal. When I first started doing braids they were pretty standard and usually only used when my hair was exceptionally dirty or I was going swimming, and then I discovered instagram. Several years ago when I first started using instagram, I came across a photo of the most beautiful, elaborate braid I’d seen and I thought to myself… WHY haven’t I been doing my braids like this?? It took some practice, trial and error, and creativity, but over the last several years I have experimented a lot with braids and have mastered some basic techniques that will turn your braid from blah to masterpiece.
DON’T START WITHOUT TEXTURE SPRAY
This is especially true if you have thin or fine hair. Texture spray helps give your braid volume and helps hold your hair in position which improves the longevity through the day. I prefer to use a little bit of dry shampoo, but also really love dry texture sprays and sea salt based products.
MESSY > PERFECTION. ALWAYS.
I’ve never, ever gotten a compliment on a braid that was perfectly coifed with every strand in place. On the contrary, I get a LOT of comments when I go for a messy, unkempt look. I feel like it gives your braid more personality, and it definitely helps make your braid appear more voluminous and thick. You can choose your level of messy from slightly ruffled to practically falling out, but an imperfect braid is always a bigger statement maker than perfection.
WRAP HAIR AROUND YOUR ELASTIC
This is a super simple technique that gives your braid a polished, salon-quality appearance. I just use a strand of hair to wrap around and hide the elastic and then I’ll use a bobby-pin to loop the strand back into the braid or a clear elastic to hold it in place.
TRY SOMETHING NEW
Three strand braids are classically beautiful, but there is a whole wide world of braids to be explored! Branch out from the standard braid and explore other braiding techniques to give your braid a unique, one-of-a-kind look.
Remember what I said about messy braids being the best? Here’s the thing, you can’t start by trying to create a messy braid. Start with something more tight and structured, then tousle and mess it afterward. This is absolutely essential to help your style hold its position all day and for the best, most photo-worthy braided styles.
Hair extensions are for more than just length, they are incredible for adding volume. Good clip in extensions are a great tool for taking your braid to an over-the-top style because they add so much dimension and thickness, turning your braid into a true statement maker. I always recommend the Barefoot Blonde Hair clip-in extensions because they are excellent quality, they have shorter fill-ins if you just want volume and not length, and they are easy to use.
ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS DUTCH
Dutch braids are different from normal braids in the way that you cross UNDER instead of over, which makes the braid sit on top of your head. While standard French braids have a time and place for their use, dutch braids are much more bold and when you want to get that gram-worthy braid, the dutch factor is going to set you apart.
ADD AN EXTA BRAID
A great style is in the little details. When I want to just do a simple, quick braid I’ll throw in an extra little braid that goes into the bigger one, or sometimes I’ll do two braids side by side and band them together. It’s an easy way to change the visual aesthetic from a simple braid to a stunning simple braid.
USE YOUR BRAID AS AN EXCUSE TO BE ‘EXTRA’
In other words… accessorize! You can change the entire look of a braid by accessorizing it, taking it to a whole different level. Some suggestions include adding a scarf or scrunchy, using decorated pins and clips, adding flowers or ribbons, or wrapping your braids in wire.
PULL APART THE BRAID
This is absolutely my number 1 tip I tell everyone that wants to create beautiful braids. Pull. Them. Apart. When you create your braid, go back through and pull sections of hair to make it wider. You can make it loose and messy, or you can keep it fairly tight depending on the look you are going for. Just don’t miss this step. Even with tiny, tight braids I take the time to do this just a little bit because it gives the braid the appearance of thickness, which is a game-changer.
Thank you so much to beautiful Abbie for letting me guest post on her blog, make sure to come visit me for more posts like this on my blog, Hey Sunny Jess. What are your favourite tricks to use when you braid your hair? Let me know in the comments, I’d love to give some of them a try!