Whether it's your kids first day of school or you have an important interview, sometimes French braids are just the ticket. But, with our curly locks, the simple style can be more of a feat than a time-saver. Well, feel defeated no more! We'll take you through the necessary steps to get perfect curly hair French braids, every time!
Preparation is key for any kind of braid and it begins with some TLC. The more curl you have in your hair, the more moisture it needs. In the case of Type 3 to 4 hair, and those who have Type 2 with dry hair, try a hydrating shampoo and a really good conditioner for better manageability. A French braid will last longer and look better with hydrated strands.
Achieving Perfect French Braids for Curly Hair
- Using a fine tooth comb, detangle your hair to get rid of any knots or bumps. Otherwise, French braids can look lopsided or messy. Use a leave-in conditioner or detangler, working it from the tips to the root of your hair. Apply an anti-frizz serum, if necessary, and comb thoroughly. If your hair is extra frizzy, try adding some gel to it before beginning to braid. That way, even if you sleep on it, it's less likely to come undone, and you're less likely to have frizzies pop out of a perfect braid.
- Part your hair. If you are doing two braids, part the hair evenly. Usually, people part down the middle for French braids, but it depends on the desired look. Side parts work well also. Once it's parted, it's important to keep the unbraided side of your hair moist and untangled. Try wrapping it into a bun or adding a bit more leave in conditioner. If you are only doing one braid, skip to Step 3.
- Portion three small chunks of hair at the top of the scalp. Begin alternating the hair as if you were doing an English braid (left chunk overlapping the middle chunk, followed by the right chunk of hair in the middle, repeat). Braid tightly to avoid bumps and snags in the French braids.
- Pull in other chunks of hair from near the new braid on either side and slowly begin adding them to the three original chunks. Work your way down the scalp by alternating the three small chunks of hair and continuing to add hair.
- Complete the braid with rubber bands, ponytail holders, or ties to keep the braid in place at the bottom of the braid.
- If you are doing two braids, repeat steps 1-5 on the other half of your head.
Keep in mind that is you feel as though your hair is drying before completing your French braids, especially if you're on the second braid, don't hesitate to spray it with some water, detangler and leave-in conditioner on the unbraided portion of the hair. That way, the additional hair won't get frizzy or tangled as you're working the braid down to the base of your head.
Check out hundreds of photos of French braid curly hairstyles from people just like you!
French braids are a wonderful choice, whether it's for sleeping in overnight or a formal date in the evening. However, there are a few things you should keep in mind about French braiding and braids in general. For the curly-haired girls out there, this style is something you can sleep on, do the day of and still look professionally perfect. However, remember that hair, especially curly hair, is fragile. French braids, other braids, and using rubber bands can all cause hair breakage. So, it's important to let your hair breathe every so often without styling it.
Also, the longer the hair, the more tangled it can get. When braiding, remember to add more moisture and continue to comb your unbraided hair.
And last but not least, a lot of professionals use the back of a fine-toothed comb to help separate sections easily. However, do what feels easiest for you, and remember to have fun.