To get started learning to braid, you really just need some hair, a mirror, and dexterity in both hands. Everything else here just enhances your results!

A brush helps smooth your hair as you work. I prefer bristles made from natural materials like boar hair or wood, which help move oils from your scalp down the shaft of your hair. A comb is useful for creating clean sections by parting your hair at the scalp.

Upon completing your braided style, hair elastics and bobby pins are used to secure everything in place. I like tiny clear elastics for most braids. When shopping for bobby pins, try to find ones that match your hair color!

Occasionally it will be necessary to temporarily secure a section of hair so it doesn't get in your way. Many types of clips are good for this task! Pictured are smooth duck bill clips, which I like because they won't get caught or mess up your in-progress style.

Braided hairstyles are great for less-than-squeaky-clean hair, but to spruce up your oily roots between washes you may want to try a spray-on dry shampoo. When applied around the front and crown areas and rubbed in, it absorbs excess oil to eliminate that greasy scalp look. Dry shampoo can also add volume to your style, even if it's not dirty! You can make your own dry shampoo from cornstarch (use solo on lighter hair) and unsweetened cocoa powder (mix both for darker hair). Check out Jessy's Instructable for a complete recipe!

Lastly, depending on your hair type, you may want to use hairspray, styling paste, and/or conditioning oil to prevent and combat frizz and flyaways. I have fine, dry, wavy hair that typically requires all the anti-frizz help it can get! My haircare routine involves washing twice per week, seldom use of hot tools, and applying argan oil to the ends every day. I'm careful to avoid breakage by detangling gently. Hair is more elastic and fragile when wet!

Let's dig in to your first braid! Advance to the next lesson to get started.


Share a photo of your finished project with the class!

Nice work! You've completed the class project