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The choices in styles are endless when it comes to braiding hair, many techniques can be applied including micro braids, freestyle braids, box braids, and crochet braids just to name a few. While the choices and styles seem endless the various techniques requires skill and just the right hair to accomplish the desired style. Here are a four steps for braiding with human hair extensions
Step 1: Ensure that you purchase the correct type of hair for the braided hair style that you are trying to achieve. Stylists are very informative on the best hair for the styles you choose so do not hesitate to ask for suggestions if you are getting your hair professionally done. Many stylists will even provide the hair for you which can help eliminate the fuss of buying the extensions if you are not familiar with it. If you are braiding your hair yourself you can still call a professional for the best hair for your style. One key tip is to ensure that the hair purchased has enough grip on it for you to accomplish the braided style. The coarser or curlier the hair the better it will be to grip when performing your technique.
Step 2: Prepare your own hair and the hair extensions for braiding–When doing any extended style you want to start out on freshly washed, deep conditioned hair so that your hair is strong and clean before adding additional hair to it. A protein treatment is often beneficial because it strengthens the hair and with any added tension applied to your natural hair, it will need all the strength and moisture it can get.
For the hair extensions- human hair extensions should be washed prior to application. Ensure that they are completely dry and organized in a manner that will help with easy application. The packages often have instructions on the shampooing and conditioning the hair, follow the directions on the package to help with the cleaning process.
Some ladies purchase bulk hair for their braids but if you want a particular texture that can only be purchased in wefts, you can simply cut the wefts off to use the weave as bulk hair!
Step 3: Section the hair for ease of application. Traditionally you could create four large sections by parting the hair from the ear to ear and from forehead to nape. However you can create as many sections you will need to help you through the braiding process. Ensure to clip each section that is not being braided out of the way while adding the braiding hair. It is also easier to start braiding from the nape of the head so that tangling is reduced. Divide each section into even smaller sections about ¼ inches to an inch thick to create a braid. The smaller the section the more ‘micro’ the braid will appear.
Step 4: Attaching the hair extension for the braid ‘the basics’ – pinch off enough hair from you extension to match your natural hair but at the same time adding the desired bulk to your look. If you use too little hair the braid will appear limp and skimpy.
Separate the extension and place it over your natural hair creating three sections of hair, extensions on the outer left and right and your hair in the middle. Bring you natural hair to the left and one section of the extension piece to the middle. Ensure to hold the hair taut but not too tight to where you are in pain. Repeat this movement by crisscrossing each piece until your natural hair is interwoven in-between the human hair extensions. Continue criss-crossing until your hair is secure and nothing is slipping.
Some techniques may even require the use of a slipknot to secure the braid and let the ends fall loosely. This is common with tree braids. Continue braiding or you may opt to twist the hair until the end once you are sure your natural hair and extension hair is secure.
What are your favorite braided styles?