Introduction: Dutch Braiding Your Own Hair
Brush hair before beginning to braid to ensure there are no tangles.
Tips for curly hair: curly hair is easiest to braid when hair is slightly damp. If desired, a detangling product may be added to hair. If hair is dry, do not brush with a regular brush as that will make it frizzy. Running fingers through hair or combing with a wide tooth comb can help get out tangles to make braiding process easier. While adding sections of hair to the braid, do not worry about separating curls or adding even chunks of hair.
Learning to braid your own hair is easier without looking in a mirror. As you practice, your hands will get a feel of where they need to be and what they need to do.
Step 1: Separate First Portion of Hair
Section of a portion of hair near the forehead or at the point where you want your braid to start.
Step 2: Divide Into Three Parts
Step 3: Starting the Braid - First Cross Under
While holding the strands tensely, take the strand from the right side and cross it under and in the middle of the other two strands, grabbing with the left hand. Maintain the two strands now in left hand separate from each other.
Step 4: Next Cross Under
Take the strand from the left side and cross that under and into the middle of the other two strands.
Step 5: Grabbing Hair to Add to Strand
Before crossing the right strand again to pass under and into the middle, scoop some hair from the side of the head to grab along with the strand, smoothing it out.
Step 6: Crossing Under With More Hair
Cross that now bigger strand of hair to cross under the middle of the other two and grab with other hand, gripping strands tightly and tugging if any sections of hair feel loose to maintain hair close to head.
Step 7: Repeat on Opposite Side
Repeat on the left side, scooping some hair from the side of the head, smoothing it out, and then crossing it under and into the middle of the other two strands.
Step 8: Continue to Add Hair for Whole Braid
Continue steps 5 – 7, scooping hair from each side of head before braiding a piece of hair into the middle of the other two, alternating sides. To have a tight braid, tension must be maintained during the whole process.
Step 9: Regular Braid Once No More Hair Can Be Added
Once no more hair can be scooped from side of head to include in braid, continue braid in traditional fashion, alternating sides to place in middle of other two strands.
Step 10: Tie It Off
Place a hairband in the hair once the braid is complete. This is usually about two to four inches before the tip of the hair, or at a point where the hair starts to fray and separate because of layers.
Step 11: Optional Pancakes!
I call this step pancaking. If desired, you can pull at the sides of parts of the braid to create a fuller, wider looking braid.
And remember - practice makes perfect! The more you braid your own hair, the better you will get at making a more defined and neat braid.