One of the easiest ways to style your natural hair is to do a braid-out. Braid-outs are a simple style that enhances your curl pattern and gives a wave-like definition to your hair. You can style your braid-outs in multiple ways too like low and high puffs, buns, and half-up, half-down styles. Another benefit to braid-outs is that it’s a great way to stretch your hair without heat. For those with tighter curl textures, braid-outs can help with the manageability of your hair as it provides more stretch than a twist-out. If you happen to struggle with the look of your braid-outs, keep reading as we provide a step-by-step guide to perfecting this style.
5 Steps To Creating The Perfect Braid-Out
Step 1: Gather Your Styling Products and Tools
After you shampoo and condition, it’s time to gather your styling products and tools. For the perfect braid out, we recommend you use a detangling brush like a Denman or Felicia Leatherwood brush as well as two product combinations – a moisturizing leave-in conditioner and a curl defining cream or butter. If you have high porosity or very dry hair, add your favorite sealant – like Polished to seal in moisture and keep your curls hydrated.
Step 2: Section Your Hair
On wet hair, begin to section and detangle your hair. If you desire a tighter longer-lasting pattern, create smaller sections and for a looser pattern, create medium to larger sections. Do note that the bigger the braid, the longer it will take to dry.
Step 3: Braid and Twirl
Once your hair is sectioned, begin to apply your leave-in conditioner and follow up with your cream or butter, detangling and distributing the products to your strands thoroughly.
Now it’s time to braid! Working in sections, take an even amount of strands and braid. Be sure to start braiding close to the root so you get uniform definition from ends to roots. Twirl the ends of your braid around your fingers to establish an even pattern. If you have heat-damaged hair or if you are transitioning, you can use flexi rods or perm rods on your ends to create a curl.
Step 4: Dry and Unravel Your Braids
To avoid a frizzy braid out, make sure your hair is 100% dry before unraveling your braids. To dry your braids properly, sit under a hooded dryer for about 1 ½ to 2 hours. Once your hair is 100% dry, rub a little oil on your hands and begin to unravel starting from the ends.
Step 5: Separate, Stretch, and Fluff for Elongation
Now that your braids are unraveled, you can begin to separate for more volume and length. Separate your hair gently and fluff with an afro pick until you reach your desired look. Do you desire more length? Then, take your blow dryer and apply medium heat 2 inches away from your roots downward to the mid-shaft of your hair. This method will provide you with more length.
Don’t forget to pineapple and protect your hair at night with a bonnet!
How To Do A Braid-Out On Dry, Stretched Hair
The big downside to braid-outs is that they can often take longer to dry than other styles. One way to speed up the process is by styling on dry, stretched hair. Braid-outs can be styled on blow-dried hair or when you need to refresh an old twist-out or braid-out.
When styling on stretched hair, use mousse or a defining cream only. Avoid layering too many products as that can cause product buildup. If your hair is extremely dry or tangled, spritz a little bit of water to each section before applying your styling products to add moisture and aid in the detangling process. Proceed with styling as mentioned above.
Now you know how to achieve the perfect braid-out. What was your favorite tip? Do you prefer braid-outs or twist-outs? Share with us in the comment section below.