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View Full Version : Make Your Braid Appear Thicker (For us thin/medium hair folk)



yellowchariot
September 13th, 2010, 06:14 PM
I've been trying to find different methods on how to make a braid look much thicker on folks who have thin to medium textured hair, such as myself and others here. I think I have found a great solution! I was surprised by end result I got, and just how much of a difference it looks compared to a standard braid that I do. My hair looks very thick. I did a very very loose braid, using half pulled back sections, smoothing them out, and then crossing them over. I held my hands further out away from my head, as I progressed downward to my neck. This method gave me those cool wide looking sections that I have been trying to learn how to do. I braided as far down as I could and tied off. I had about 6+ inches of loose hair left. So I gradually starting loosening the braid, from the bottom, up. Then I slid the hair tie down, and kept repeating this process until I had no ends left. Here are the pics:

Here is a regular pic of a braid that I normally do:

http://i213.photobucket.com/albums/cc166/pix50/JuneFrenchBraid2010.jpg?t=1284422681

Here are the pics that I tried with a looser method to make my hair appear thicker.

http://i213.photobucket.com/albums/cc166/pix50/loosebraid2.jpg?t=1284421530

^ Those wider sections look awesome.

http://i213.photobucket.com/albums/cc166/pix50/loosebraid3.jpg?t=1284421557

^ I tend to prefer that "fuller" look from the top going down to the bottom, especially when the scalp isn't showing :cheese:

Let me know if this helps out any of you all who are seeking thicker braids/do's! Peace out!

IStand4u
September 13th, 2010, 06:21 PM
Beautiful! I prefer the look of wider sections as well, though I can only have them done in a single french braid like yours compared to the double that I have to wear for dance :P
Beautiful though!

yellowchariot
September 13th, 2010, 06:30 PM
Beautiful! I prefer the look of wider sections as well, though I can only have them done in a single french braid like yours compared to the double that I have to wear for dance :P
Beautiful though!

Thanks for the comment, IStand4U
I can only do 1 single braid as well! To much work to do 2 LOL!

Gumball
September 13th, 2010, 06:32 PM
Looks like you've got the drape braid technique going on near the end. Having the braid slightly looser does make for a thicker looking one, for sure! My braid varies depending on how cooperatively my hair feels like acting. The fluffier it wants to be, the thicker the braid, like having a bunch of polar opposite magnetic strings trying to repel one another. :lol:

Carolyn
September 13th, 2010, 06:37 PM
I do something like that too. I put the ponytail elastic on the end of the braid and then loosen up the bottom few crossovers. I think it helps make my braid look more even all the way down.

MsBubbles
September 13th, 2010, 07:35 PM
I think it'd work but I don't understand what you mean by: using half pulled back sections, smoothing them out, and then crossing them over. I held my hands further out away from my head, as I progressed downward to my neck. This method gave me those cool wide looking sections that I have been trying to learn how to do.

I'm dense when it comes to braids! Anyway, yeah it looks thicker on you for sure. I'm just not sure how my flimsy hair would stay in the braid. I think it might all slide out again if I did it loose. But I'll try anything to get my braid to look thick(er).

Roseate
September 14th, 2010, 12:39 AM
Both versions look great to me, just a different look. I'm a little jealous because my braids can never look so neat and trim as your first example. Looking good!

Phexlyn
September 14th, 2010, 01:29 AM
Yes, this method does give me thicker braids. I tend to do less and broader sections anyway since it's just faster. But, and this is a big BUT for me, the more fluffed up the braid is, the quicker it gets messy. And I mean really messy, braiding more loosely and fluffing it up kind of quadruples my flyaways. Which, in the end, means the braid looks nice only for around 30 minutes or so... :(

Gnomentum
September 14th, 2010, 01:36 AM
My hair is quite thick anyhow but I just wanted to say that looks great on you!

PrincessBob
September 14th, 2010, 01:45 AM
I cannot french and my hair is freaking thick, so, not the best help for me, but it looks pretty darned awesome to me.

Maddy25
September 14th, 2010, 12:01 PM
wow it's neat how it looks so different! I prefer the thicker looser version, it seems more relaxed :) Someday, when I can make a braid, I will test this!

Antipodienne
September 14th, 2010, 12:17 PM
I just discovered this a few days ago! The only drawback so far is that my layers tend to come loose into elf locks after only a few minutes, but it may just be my slippery hair. Otherwise it's a fantastic trick to fool people into thinking I have more hair than I really do.
Did you find that the profile of the braid was just a tad bit flatter than usual?

yellowchariot
September 14th, 2010, 01:53 PM
Looks like you've got the drape braid technique going on near the end. Having the braid slightly looser does make for a thicker looking one, for sure! My braid varies depending on how cooperatively my hair feels like acting. The fluffier it wants to be, the thicker the braid, like having a bunch of polar opposite magnetic strings trying to repel one another. :lol:

^ Yeah, Gumball. You have to slightly drape it toward the bottom, but I didn't want to make it look severely draped lol.


I do something like that too. I put the ponytail elastic on the end of the braid and then loosen up the bottom few crossovers. I think it helps make my braid look more even all the way down.

^ I agree, Carolyn. If I braid the tail too tight, I have to loosen it up, by relieving tension by sliding down the hair tie.


I think it'd work but I don't understand what you mean by: using half pulled back sections, smoothing them out, and then crossing them over. I held my hands further out away from my head, as I progressed downward to my neck. This method gave me those cool wide looking sections that I have been trying to learn how to do.

I'm dense when it comes to braids! Anyway, yeah it looks thicker on you for sure. I'm just not sure how my flimsy hair would stay in the braid. I think it might all slide out again if I did it loose. But I'll try anything to get my braid to look thick(er).

^ That's ok MsBubbles! What I meant by "half pulled back sections" was, instead of raking the section of hair, from the side, all of the way back to the middle of your head to be added with the strand that is going to be crossed over, just rake it back half of the way and then add it in.

Also to get the "wider" look, drop down about an inch and grab your new section from each side of your head, that's how I managed to achieved that "broader-semi-draped" sectioned style

You smooth out the sections by taking your fingers, and running them through your 3 strands to make sure there are no stray hairs or bumps, once you have added in your new sections of hair from the sides, as you are crossing them over.

I hope this helps!


Both versions look great to me, just a different look. I'm a little jealous because my braids can never look so neat and trim as your first example. Looking good!

Thanks Roseate, I also battle those little bulges at the top of my braids though, and they are so tedious to do!


Yes, this method does give me thicker braids. I tend to do less and broader sections anyway since it's just faster. But, and this is a big BUT for me, the more fluffed up the braid is, the quicker it gets messy. And I mean really messy, braiding more loosely and fluffing it up kind of quadruples my flyaways. Which, in the end, means the braid looks nice only for around 30 minutes or so... :(

Phexlyn, do you rake your sections all of the way back? Or have you tried only pulling them 1 quarter of the way to half of the way back to the center of your head?

I envy thick headed folks, who rake their sections all of the way back to the center of their head, it makes a standard french braid almost stand up a dutch braid, because of their thick texture! Unbelievable! Shame on them, its not fair! haha j/k


My hair is quite thick anyhow but I just wanted to say that looks great on you!

Get out Gnomentum! I've seen your THICK braids! No I'm just playing! :p

Thank you very much I appreciate the complement.

BTW how far do you pull your sections back to your head?


I cannot french and my hair is freaking thick, so, not the best help for me, but it looks pretty darned awesome to me.

Ah another thick haired folk! Shame on you! LOL j/k, PrincessBob and thank you for the kind words!


wow it's neat how it looks so different! I prefer the thicker looser version, it seems more relaxed :) Someday, when I can make a braid, I will test this!

Thanks Maddy! It was very relaxed, I actually could not tell that my hair was pulled back using this method. I did have some stray hairs towards the bottom, but nothing out of control. I did have to make sure the hair tie was super secure at the end. This style would be and excellent elegant evening style for a night out, if you were to bun it, tuck it, or left it the was it was. I'm not a woman, so I'll leave that for you ladies to decide how you wanna mod this 'do ;)


I just discovered this a few days ago! The only drawback so far is that my layers tend to come loose into elf locks after only a few minutes, but it may just be my slippery hair. Otherwise it's a fantastic trick to fool people into thinking I have more hair than I really do.
Did you find that the profile of the braid was just a tad bit flatter than usual?

Antipodienne, my layers are practically gone. I have a few stray hairs at the bottom, but that's about it. All one length hair, would most likely be the best way to go for this method. However, I'm sure you could work it with pins and other stuff. Though pulling out layers at the top and doing face framing would look amazing with this style!
Yes, I've noticed that generally the looser the braid, the flatter it lays on your head. When the braid is tighter, you can feel the locks/sections clinging to your scalp. I actually prefer the latter, I like the feel of a secure 'do especially when I'm outdoors.

tinti
September 14th, 2010, 03:38 PM
That's beautiful! I might try that when I can french braid again. Thanks for sharing!
ETA: Just thought about how the braid would come out on people with thick hair ... probably a monster braid :lol:

yellowchariot
September 14th, 2010, 03:45 PM
That's beautiful! I might try that when I can french braid again. Thanks for sharing!
ETA: Just thought about how the braid would come out on people with thick hair ... probably a monster braid :lol:

Now that is something to ponder, tinti! :hmm:

I nominate someone with really thick hair to try this, so we unfortunate thinny's can only hope for :p lol

CourtneyBee
September 14th, 2010, 03:46 PM
Im so jealous of men with prettier hair than me:o

This thicker braid looks great on you man! I need to talk DBF into trying it!

windinherhair
September 15th, 2010, 08:17 AM
I've braided my hair in loose braids, and I do think it can make the hair appear thicker. I prefer not too tight or loose though. A braid too tight can give me a headache, and a braid too loose will not last the whole day.

triumphator!
September 15th, 2010, 06:42 PM
I vote cheese. :cheese:

yellowchariot
September 15th, 2010, 08:57 PM
I vote cheese. :cheese:


^ There is no CHEESE option!!! :hmm: Are you a "Thicky"?! :suspect:

Phexlyn
September 16th, 2010, 07:20 AM
Phexlyn, do you rake your sections all of the way back? Or have you tried only pulling them 1 quarter of the way to half of the way back to the center of your head?

I envy thick headed folks, who rake their sections all of the way back to the center of their head, it makes a standard french braid almost stand up a dutch braid, because of their thick texture! Unbelievable! Shame on them, its not fair! haha j/k

I'm not quite sure what you mean by raking the sections all the way back :confused: I do section off from the hairline all the way to the back of my head, yes, but I don't always pull them back straight but sort of join the section with the braid strand and let the hair fall naturally, if that makes sense. I sometimes even get a bit of sagging at the sides, where the new sections join the braid.
My braid is more influenced by how broad the sections are and how snug everything is. Smaller sections I can braid more snugly than broader ones, and snug also means that hair is pulled to the back much straighter than for looser braids.

Hope that makes sense, or else I'll have to try and get pictures up...

lapushka
September 16th, 2010, 07:42 AM
It's a good method to get looser waves, so it's especially great for night braids. I use it all the time.

rags
September 16th, 2010, 10:39 AM
I've tried this, and a braid as loose as your last one won't stay in my slippery fine hair for longer than about 30 minutes. It would seriously just slither right out and look awful. It looks gorgeous when you first do it though!

I have to do mine small sectioned and fairly tight if I want them to last all day. Even at that, by the end of the day it will be very messy. (if the elastic doesn't just slide right off the end! :( )

Lady Jo
September 16th, 2010, 10:44 AM
I have thin to medium and this really helps!

yellowchariot
September 20th, 2010, 09:21 PM
I've tried this, and a braid as loose as your last one won't stay in my slippery fine hair for longer than about 30 minutes. It would seriously just slither right out and look awful. It looks gorgeous when you first do it though!

I have to do mine small sectioned and fairly tight if I want them to last all day. Even at that, by the end of the day it will be very messy. (if the elastic doesn't just slide right off the end! :( )

rags, I did wear this style all day, I will have to make one, and see how long it holds and monitor it. I only kept it in for about an hour. However, it stayed in very well to my surprise.


I have thin to medium and this really helps!

I'm glad I could help out, Lady Jo!


It's a good method to get looser waves, so it's especially great for night braids. I use it all the time.

lapushka, how long have you been using this method,
Just curious?

lapushka
September 21st, 2010, 08:56 AM
lapushka, how long have you been using this method,
Just curious?

Well, you can see the result in my sig (two loose nightbraids - I start them behind my ears.) I've been doing this, this time around, on and off since my hair got between APL & BSL. I don't night braid all the time. When I was a child and grew out to classic length my mom used to do this for me. :)

restourceful
September 21st, 2010, 09:21 AM
YC, leave it to you to find a way to make a braid look thicker! It looks great, BTW. :agree:


The only drawback so far is that my layers tend to come loose into elf locks after only a few minutes, but it may just be my slippery hair.


I've tried this, and a braid as loose as your last one won't stay in my slippery fine hair for longer than about 30 minutes. It would seriously just slither right out and look awful. It looks gorgeous when you first do it though!

Antipodienne and rags, I'm a layered slippery haired braider too and my solution is to braid damp, or even soaking wet. Somehow it just keeps everything all together very nicely and makes for great waves once it's dry too! Perhaps adding just a tad of AVG would help too, if you have shorter hair, but I've been able to do this since APL with no problem, as long as it's damp.

YC, sorry for the slight hijack there. Not trying to steal your thunder or anything. ;)

yellowchariot
September 27th, 2010, 01:21 PM
Well, you can see the result in my sig (two loose nightbraids - I start them behind my ears.) I've been doing this, this time around, on and off since my hair got between APL & BSL. I don't night braid all the time. When I was a child and grew out to classic length my mom used to do this for me. :)

The results look great, lapushka! Thanks for the input. I tend to night braid every night! I can't stand my hair getting in my face, wrapped around my eyeballs, and around my teeth LOL. :D


YC, leave it to you to find a way to make a braid look thicker! It looks great, BTW. :agree:





Antipodienne and rags, I'm a layered slippery haired braider too and my solution is to braid damp, or even soaking wet. Somehow it just keeps everything all together very nicely and makes for great waves once it's dry too! Perhaps adding just a tad of AVG would help too, if you have shorter hair, but I've been able to do this since APL with no problem, as long as it's damp.

YC, sorry for the slight hijack there. Not trying to steal your thunder or anything. ;)

restourceful, thanks for your kind words and input! No your not stealing my thunder :p. All of this info helps! I noticed that once my layers grew out, I was able to successfully braid loosely. Before, I had to braid my scalp in as well hehe. :D

Shellby
September 28th, 2010, 03:42 PM
It looks lovely! I do something similar. I french braid my hair stopping before I normally would. Put my scrunchie on a little lower and then I take the end of my rat tail comb and gently pull down the first braid on the top of my head. (Hard to explain.) It loosens it just enough for the fuller look but still keeps it tight enough to hold all day. It is amazing how much thicker this makes my fine hair. Your hair looks quite thick in this picture.

tinker bug
September 28th, 2010, 03:50 PM
looks good!! When I braid my hair damp/wet it always looks thicker :hmm:

yellowchariot
September 28th, 2010, 07:12 PM
It looks lovely! I do something similar. I french braid my hair stopping before I normally would. Put my scrunchie on a little lower and then I take the end of my rat tail comb and gently pull down the first braid on the top of my head. (Hard to explain.) It loosens it just enough for the fuller look but still keeps it tight enough to hold all day. It is amazing how much thicker this makes my fine hair. Your hair looks quite thick in this picture.

^ Shellby, I get what you are saying. Thanks for sharing the method. I'll also try that, next time, I do this style.


looks good!! When I braid my hair damp/wet it always looks thicker :hmm:

Thanks for the complement, tinker bug! I can't braid when my hair is wet, it is much to long for that now! I have to wait for it to be almost dry. The best time for me to work with it is about a day without washing, when its "greasy". That's when it tends to be much easier to work with :p