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How to Tree Braid

Tulika Nair
There are many different braiding styles that you can choose from and hair extensions are pretty common place now, but do you know that it is possible to use a braiding style to attach hair extensions. Learn how this is done by learning how to tree braid.
No glue, no chemicals, and definitely no needles! Did you ever think it would be possible to attach hair extensions without using even one of these methods? Well, it is possible. All you need to do is learn how to tree braid your hair.
What is tree braiding, you ask? Also known as invisible braiding, it is simply a technique that is used to fix hair extensions by using hair that is left loose or by using pinch braids. Most stylists who use tree braids often, maintain that using a tree braid weave in your hair can ensure you of a versatile look that is also easy to take care of.
It is in recent years that this hair braiding trend has become very popular.
The name of this hairstyle is so because of the similarity that the end of the braid and the extension together bear to a tree trunk. While easy to maintain, tree braids are complicated and therefore, best done by professionals. Even if you do not go to a stylist, it may be necessary to have a friend help you out with the styling process. This is also quite a time taking technique and may require you to spend as long as three to four hours on the braiding.

Tree Braiding: The Technique

Why is tree braiding as popular as it is? Well, other than the usual suspects of not having to undergo the pain that comes with most other hair weaving techniques, there is the fact that tree braids protect one's hair from the harmful effects of chemicals. The basic method of this form of braiding involves attaching hair extensions to one's hair by using a basic cornrow. Optimally, the length of your hair should be at least 24 inches.
Before attempting a tree braid, it may be a good idea to train yourself in the three strand technique of hair braiding, as it will make your job much easier. It also may be a good idea to always try the technique on either a hair mannequin or a friend before doing it for yourself. Always wash your hair before you start braiding it as any oil or grease will only make the process more difficult.
Follow the simple steps given below to learn the process of making tree braids and attaching your extensions.
  • Before you start the process of hair braiding, remember to always have everything that you need at hand. Get your extensions ready, keep a comb close by, and also have an adequate supply of hair clips and rubber bands.
  • The first thing that you need to do is to divide the extensions into strands of ¼ inch thickness. You should be able to create almost ten or fifteen sections.
  • Next, you will need to part the mannequin's hair in the center. In order to keep the two sections of hair from getting tangled, tie a pony out of the section of the hair you are not working with. Ensure that the center parting extends all the way to the nape.
  • Now, start the process of braiding. It is important that you start braiding the mannequin's hair from the section that is closest to the ear. Take a small section of hair which should be about one inch in width. Use clips to ensure that the rest of the hair does not interfere with the braiding.
Next, you can start making cornrows in your hair. While making cornrows start attaching the hair extensions. Use the three strand technique of braiding to braid the hair. The right strand is added counter clockwise under the center strand and the left strand clockwise under the center strand again.
  • When you do this the second time, pull the extension out from under the hair strand, but do not include it while braiding the hair. Just repeat the braiding pattern and keep pulling out the extension from under the center section, till the extension is over. 
You can then add a second extension till you reach the end of your natural hair. At this point, you can secure the braid with a rubber band.Continue this process with the rest of the hair on the mannequin, till you manage to tree braid it completely.
If your hair is very curly, then it may be easier to make tree braids when the hair is slightly wet as it will be more manageable then. While learning how to tree braid hair can be a task that requires patience and perseverance, it is as time-consuming to remove the extensions. While removing the hair extensions from the tree braid, first try and loosen the same by running your fingers through your hair.
Next, use special conditioner for untangling your hair and allow it to rest. After ten minutes, spray your hair with water and rinse your hair completely. You may need to cut out the extensions, but be careful to not cut your natural hair. With a tree braid your natural hair and the hair extensions may get tangled, so you may need to use either oil or a untangling solution to remove any knots. Once you are sure that the extensions are out, wash your hair well and dry it completely.
Tree braiding may seem difficult to learn and it may require you to be very patient, but it is a look that is definitely worth the effort and it allows you to sport long hair without having to undergo the pain of attaching extensions with the help of glue or other chemicals.