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Hair Braiding Techniques

Chandramita Bora
Hair braiding from ancient Egypt and Africa has now become a trend. Find out the various braiding styles here.
Hair braiding is an ancient art, the history of which dates back to almost 3500 to 4000 BC. It is believed that this ancient hairstyle originated in Egypt and West Africa.
Today, braided hairstyles are a popular choice for both men and women, simply for their cuteness and elegance. Depending on the style chosen, braids can be simple or quite complicated, as in the case of the reverse French braid.

Hair Braiding Styles

Hair braiding styles can vary from the simple English braid to the more complicated ones, like the French braid, fishtail braid, and the trendy African braiding styles. So, depending on the type of braid you want to create, the techniques can differ considerably.
However, regardless of the design you choose, your hair has to be healthy and well-moisturized to get the desired look.
If practiced on dry and brittle hair, braiding can cause hair breakage. So, make sure that your hair is clean and well-moisturized, and remove all tangles by using a good comb.
If necessary, dampen your hair with water or products like hairsprays, gels, or conditioners, in order to make your tresses smooth and manageable.

Simple English Braid

As the name suggests, this is one of the simplest braids. To make this braid, first comb your hair properly by using a wide-toothed comb.
Remove all tangles and make your hair as smooth as possible. Then part your hair into three equal sections, i.e., a right hand section, a left hand section, and a middle section. Place the right and the left hand sections between the index finger and the thumb of each hand.
Now, start with the right hand section and cross it over the middle section, so that now it becomes the middle section. In other words, cross the middle section of hair underneath the right hand section, so that it becomes the right hand section.
Now, it is the turn of the left section to be crossed over the middle section. In this way, repeat the process until the braid achieves a desirable length. Now, tie it with a piece of rubber or a ponytail holder.

French Hair Braiding

This braid is a bit complicated, but its elegant look and the intricate design is loved and cherished by all. For creating a French braid, take a small section of hair at the top of the head. Make three equal parts and begin with the right section. Cross this section over the middle section, after which cross the left hand section in the same way.
Now, pull a small section of hair on the right side and add it to the existing right hand section. Then cross the right hand section over the middle section. In the same way, take a small section of hair on the left side, and add it to the existing left hand section, after which cross it over the middle section.
The process has to be continued. So, you have to keep adding newer and newer sections on both the sides before crossing them over the middle section.
The inverted French braid or Dutch braid is a variant of the French braid, which can be created by making a slight alteration. Here, each section of hair on either side has to be crossed underneath the middle section and not over it.

Fishtail Braid

This braid got its name due to its resemblance to the tail of a fish. For making this braid, take a small section of hair at the crown, and divide it into two equal parts. Now, cross the right hand section over the left hand section.
From this point, the procedure resembles that of the French braid. So, you have to take a small section of hair on the right side, and add it to the existing right hand section. Now, it has to be crossed over the left hand section.
Now, repeat the process for the left section by lifting a small section of hair, and adding it to the existing left hand section. Cross this left hand section over the right hand section. Repeat these steps to make a really stunning braid. If you want to make it more attractive, then adorn it with rhinestone jewelry or hairpins.

African Hair Braid

There are several different types of African hairstyles, but cornrows are quite popular.
To make cornrows, the hair has to be divided into two sections. Take a small strand of hair in one section, and divide it in three equal parts. Now, start with the left strand by crossing it underneath the middle strand. Then take the strand on the right side and cross it under the middle strand.
As you work down the braid, do not forget to keep adding new hair to the middle strand. Repeat the same procedure for each section of hair. Cornrows can create a really trendy and unique hairstyle, but it can take a lot of time.
Hair braiding has evolved through the centuries by including some very complicated and intricate designs. You can create some really stunning hairstyles by making a lot of experiments with different techniques. Braids can not only give you a tidy and elegant look, but can help manage or control your unmanageable hair as well.