It's Braid Week here at Byrdie HQ, and for a full five days we've got braids on the brain. Whether you’re looking for new festival hair trends, wedding-look inspo, or just jonesing to scroll through something pretty, you’ll get your braid-centric fix in this column. Hope you like!
Whether you braid, twist, and weave with the swiftness of Superwoman, or haven’t attempted anything beyond a basic braid since a failed attempt on your childhood Barbie, there are certain tricks that can take anyone’s braid (yes, even a simple three-strand one) to the next level. From fattening to texturizing to a genius trick that secures your braid without a hair elastic, keep scrolling for five braid hacks every woman should have under her belt!
We like our braids the way we like our lashes—as lush and thick as possible. So how do you turn your measly little braid to thick, fattened perfection? Two words: volume powder. Just sprinkle a bit of volumizing powder, like Redken Power Grip 03 Mattifying Hair Powder ($17) (it’s one of our favorites), on your braid, then use your fingers to gently rub it in. Then, just pull out your braid until desired thickness is reached.
Another trick to fatten up your braid? Just grab your trusty bottle of dry shampoo and a toothbrush (we recommend not using the one you brush your teeth with). Spray the dry shampoo, like Amika Perk Up Dry Shampoo ($22), all throughout your hair from roots to ends; this will add texture and thickness to your hair. Braid with a light hand, being careful not to flatten or crush your strands as your weave. To finish, use the toothbrush to loosen up even more sections of your braid for a full finish.
For a cool, uneven effect, hold two sections of a finished three-strand braid in your hand, then slide up the remaining section. Slide back down, tie the braid, then brush upward with a flat bristle brush. Click here for the full tutorial!
If your hair is super layered, you’ve probably experienced this annoying situation: You attempt a milkmaid braid (or any braid, for that matter), only to be left with little sections of hair that stick out through its length. Luckily, there’s an easy solution—just curl your strands in the same direction before braiding. Curling will prevent any stray ends from sticking out as you braid. Simple!
Ready for a crazy trick? You can officially bid your hair tie adieu after you’ve mastered this hack—for real. This works best on those with longer strands. Divide your hair into three strands, and braid as you would normally—except, instead of separating the ends, allow them to knot up and tangle. You’ll end up with a messy reverse type of braid at the ends of your hair. Once you’ve reached this knotty section, simple flip the end of your braid up and pull it through one of the holes in your braid.
After you’ve pulled the ends through, just give a spritz of hairspray to hold it in place. If you find that your ends have trouble knotting as you braid, you can also spray the ends before you start braiding.
Have you tried any of these braid hacks? Tell us below!
This story was originally published on November 18, 2014.