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View Full Version : Braid strands keep ending up uneven lengths. Why?



TenaciousTangle
September 25th, 2013, 12:17 PM
I keep my hair in a three strand braid most of the time and all of my hair is the same length. When I braid, by the time I reach the bottom the strands have become such different lengths that I can't braid as far as I'd like to.

It makes the bottom of my hair look really thin, too, which is a bummer. This happens with overhand and underhand braids and I'll just be braiding along when suddenly I'm all out of one strand, while another will still have some length to go and the third will still be very long. The difference will be about five inches. I think it could just be that the braiding pattern uses slightly more of one strand than another and with very long hair the pattern becomes more apparent. But! -occasionally get a braid that spontaneously doesn't have this problem. I can't figure out what is making the difference.


Does anyone else have this problem? Does anyone know why it happens?

MaRo
September 25th, 2013, 12:31 PM
the thickness of your strands is to different to each other. they are not equal - they are uneven.
but you can handle it :)
maybe this video can help you :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gJXm1K2LxJ8

Panth
September 25th, 2013, 12:34 PM
Ah, this is a very common problem (and one that I have too). I believe it is caused either by a non-straight hemline (i.e. V-shaped, U-shaped or fairytale ends), the presence of layers and/or the presence of taper - either or all of those could result in there being a different percentage of "longest" strands in each portion of the plait.

Luckily, the fix is also very easy. Basically, as soon as you feel that one section is getting thinner than the others, chose the fattest section and give a bit of the hair from it to the thinnest section (basically like you do for a fishtail plait). If the differences between sections are massive (e.g. a parting mistake at the very beginning of the plait) this will make a mess. But, if the differences between sections are subtle this can be done nearly invisibly if you wait until the thickest and thinnest strands are adjacent. If the differences are slightly bigger, it might be best to do two smaller "donations" rather than one big one, to blend in more easily.

I plait by bringing the strands forward and into the middle. I find it is neatest if you wait until the thickest section is on the left and the thinnest section is in the middle. Then, when you bring the left (thick) section forwards (over the thin (middle) section), you can drop a little bit of the thick section into the thin section. It is practically invisible. You may have to do some experimentation to see at which point in the braiding cycle the swap is most hidden. However, this method works for all types of plait (except rope plaits).

jacqueline101
September 25th, 2013, 12:56 PM
I think the strands are uneven when you braid you get crooked results.

Mainesongbird
September 25th, 2013, 03:35 PM
I think it also depends on braid placement, if you are doing a side braid then it would be perfectly normal. It happens to me sometimes too, when that happens I borrow from the other strand with the longer parts, or you could just have a longer tassel! =)

torrilin
September 25th, 2013, 05:57 PM
The more even the strands, the better... but even more important is how you part your hair to *get* those strands. If you split your hair into 3 sections any which way, the tassel will always wind up more or less uneven. If you part your hair in a T shape (ie, section off the top like you're doing a half up, then split the bottom in half vertically) the tassel will wind up pretty even even if your hair has some layering. Sometimes you'll see YouTube braid tutorials for this. I like Torrin Page's version which she calls the Faux French braid.

hypersensitive
September 25th, 2013, 10:10 PM
also, you have to be consistent with the tension as your braid!

faellen
September 26th, 2013, 08:36 AM
I often have this problem, usually due to a combination of uneven strands and a u-hemline. There is a trick though, when you are starting to run out of hair in one strand, just "steal" hair from the other strands as you're going along.

bunzfan
September 26th, 2013, 08:56 AM
I often have this problem, usually due to a combination of uneven strands and a u-hemline. There is a trick though, when you are starting to run out of hair in one strand, just "steal" hair from the other strands as you're going along.

This is what i do .

Panth
September 26th, 2013, 03:29 PM
The more even the strands, the better... but even more important is how you part your hair to *get* those strands. If you split your hair into 3 sections any which way, the tassel will always wind up more or less uneven. If you part your hair in a T shape (ie, section off the top like you're doing a half up, then split the bottom in half vertically) the tassel will wind up pretty even even if your hair has some layering. Sometimes you'll see YouTube braid tutorials for this. I like Torrin Page's version which she calls the Faux French braid.

Ahh! This is where I'm going wrong...

woodswanderer
September 26th, 2013, 03:39 PM
I always have this, but I have a just slightly U shaped hemline and I do a side braid. I just make the tassel longer, and I much prefer the look of a longer tassel. To me, it is more elegant.:lala:

spidermom
September 26th, 2013, 04:54 PM
If I run into this problem, I just borrow hair from fatter strands. I like my braid to go all the way to the end and have virtually no tassle. I hate how the braid waves look if there was a tassle.

torrilin
September 26th, 2013, 08:46 PM
Ahh! This is where I'm going wrong...

Yeah, the first time I tried it it was life changing. It took me forever to learn to braid my own hair as a kid. I didn't get the hang of even a simple braid until I was in high school... and I'd had long hair since I was about 9. I could braid other stuff from about the time I was 4 or 5, but my own hair defeated me for an incredibly long time.

The concept also makes it a lot easier for me to do the sectioning for a lace, French or Dutch braid. I'd sort of taught myself to French braid in my 20s, but it was hard and that meant I didn't do it much.

And to think I thought YouTube was a stupid idea originally... *shakes head*

Panth
September 27th, 2013, 02:02 AM
Yeah, the first time I tried it it was life changing. It took me forever to learn to braid my own hair as a kid. I didn't get the hang of even a simple braid until I was in high school... and I'd had long hair since I was about 9. I could braid other stuff from about the time I was 4 or 5, but my own hair defeated me for an incredibly long time.

The concept also makes it a lot easier for me to do the sectioning for a lace, French or Dutch braid. I'd sort of taught myself to French braid in my 20s, but it was hard and that meant I didn't do it much.

And to think I thought YouTube was a stupid idea originally... *shakes head*

*grin*

You sound exactly like me! I too have had long hair my entire life, but never learnt to do anything with it. I guess my mum must have liked styling it in the mornings, as I couldn't even do a ponytail myself until I went away on a week-long school trip aged 11 and was forced to learn. I still can't do French plaits on myself (without far too much time, effort and annoyance - and a lackluster result) and can't do Dutch or lace ones either.

Do you have any good videos?

(sorry for the thread-hijack...)

wandlimb
September 27th, 2013, 04:15 AM
The more even the strands, the better... but even more important is how you part your hair to *get* those strands. If you split your hair into 3 sections any which way, the tassel will always wind up more or less uneven. If you part your hair in a T shape (ie, section off the top like you're doing a half up, then split the bottom in half vertically) the tassel will wind up pretty even even if your hair has some layering. Sometimes you'll see YouTube braid tutorials for this. I like Torrin Page's version which she calls the Faux French braid.

Ahh! I must remember that! My braids are uneven too.

torrilin
September 27th, 2013, 04:35 PM
The 3 I like best are Torrin Paige (she's here on LHC somewhere, 2a or 2b, iii thickness, very sweet and encouraging), Hypnotica (also a member here, 4ypn0tica on YouTube, 1b/f/ii), and LaDollyVita33 (who I don't think posts here, but is in the APL to BSL range and has lots of fab ideas that are doable on short and pretty thick hair).

Torrin does a really good job of covering the basics of braiding. She's got a long long long series of videos covering braids from a simple 3 strand all the way to the ridiculous complexity of a lace crown braid. I haven't advanced much past adding Dutch and lace variants, and getting a lot more solid on French, but I'm perfectly happy with that. She does a good job of showing that lace braids are actually very simple, and really well suited to quite short hair.

Hypnotica's videos are just her doing her hair silently to music. If you're frustrated by slippery straight hair, they're deeply reassuring. They go through the various lengths in roughly chronological order, so if you're looking for a style that works at say BSL, you want the older vids.

LaDollyVita33 does a lot of vintage and media inspired styles. Want Game of Thrones hair? She's probably got a video for it. Want some style ideas for a sock hop theme party? She's got several videos for you. Want 30s movie star hair? There's a vid for you. Because vintage styles tend to be meant for BSL or shorter hair, a lot of her stuff works for LHC style "short" hair. And her hair is quite thick, so she's good if you've got thick hair and want pretty updos. But everything I've tried works well on my 1c/f/ii hair too, and a number of 3s seem to like her stuff as well. Very versatile.

That's by no means everyone I like or have learned from... but they handle an awful lot of new longhair and style impaired woes. The only thing I don't really think is covered well in that set is styles that work on type 4 hair. Since my hair is ridiculously straight by comparison, a lot of stuff that type 4s do routinely in styling, I can't do at all, and a lot of the stuff I'd do is stupidly damaging if you're a 4.

chen bao jun
September 27th, 2013, 08:25 PM
Yes,braids just do that. I always automatically do this 'donation' thing described below to compensate for it. I don't think its anything to do with your hair, I think it happens to everyone and every hair type.

Ah, this is a very common problem (and one that I have too). I believe it is caused either by a non-straight hemline (i.e. V-shaped, U-shaped or fairytale ends), the presence of layers and/or the presence of taper - either or all of those could result in there being a different percentage of "longest" strands in each portion of the plait.

Luckily, the fix is also very easy. Basically, as soon as you feel that one section is getting thinner than the others, chose the fattest section and give a bit of the hair from it to the thinnest section (basically like you do for a fishtail plait). If the differences between sections are massive (e.g. a parting mistake at the very beginning of the plait) this will make a mess. But, if the differences between sections are subtle this can be done nearly invisibly if you wait until the thickest and thinnest strands are adjacent. If the differences are slightly bigger, it might be best to do two smaller "donations" rather than one big one, to blend in more easily.

I plait by bringing the strands forward and into the middle. I find it is neatest if you wait until the thickest section is on the left and the thinnest section is in the middle. Then, when you bring the left (thick) section forwards (over the thin (middle) section), you can drop a little bit of the thick section into the thin section. It is practically invisible. You may have to do some experimentation to see at which point in the braiding cycle the swap is most hidden. However, this method works for all types of plait (except rope plaits).

Panth
September 29th, 2013, 12:22 PM
The 3 I like best are Torrin Paige (she's here on LHC somewhere, 2a or 2b, iii thickness, very sweet and encouraging), Hypnotica (also a member here, 4ypn0tica on YouTube, 1b/f/ii), and LaDollyVita33 (who I don't think posts here, but is in the APL to BSL range and has lots of fab ideas that are doable on short and pretty thick hair).

Torrin does a really good job of covering the basics of braiding. She's got a long long long series of videos covering braids from a simple 3 strand all the way to the ridiculous complexity of a lace crown braid. I haven't advanced much past adding Dutch and lace variants, and getting a lot more solid on French, but I'm perfectly happy with that. She does a good job of showing that lace braids are actually very simple, and really well suited to quite short hair.

Hypnotica's videos are just her doing her hair silently to music. If you're frustrated by slippery straight hair, they're deeply reassuring. They go through the various lengths in roughly chronological order, so if you're looking for a style that works at say BSL, you want the older vids.

LaDollyVita33 does a lot of vintage and media inspired styles. Want Game of Thrones hair? She's probably got a video for it. Want some style ideas for a sock hop theme party? She's got several videos for you. Want 30s movie star hair? There's a vid for you. Because vintage styles tend to be meant for BSL or shorter hair, a lot of her stuff works for LHC style "short" hair. And her hair is quite thick, so she's good if you've got thick hair and want pretty updos. But everything I've tried works well on my 1c/f/ii hair too, and a number of 3s seem to like her stuff as well. Very versatile.

That's by no means everyone I like or have learned from... but they handle an awful lot of new longhair and style impaired woes. The only thing I don't really think is covered well in that set is styles that work on type 4 hair. Since my hair is ridiculously straight by comparison, a lot of stuff that type 4s do routinely in styling, I can't do at all, and a lot of the stuff I'd do is stupidly damaging if you're a 4.

Thank you!

Savvyhorsez
September 29th, 2013, 01:26 PM
My solution to that is to take a bit of hair from the thicker strand and blend it in, works great, and you can't even tell you did that sometimes!

Sharysa
September 29th, 2013, 05:24 PM
The more even the strands, the better... but even more important is how you part your hair to *get* those strands. If you split your hair into 3 sections any which way, the tassel will always wind up more or less uneven. If you part your hair in a T shape (ie, section off the top like you're doing a half up, then split the bottom in half vertically) the tassel will wind up pretty even even if your hair has some layering. Sometimes you'll see YouTube braid tutorials for this. I like Torrin Page's version which she calls the Faux French braid.

...Oh my god, that makes so much sense. I tried this method for my pigtails right now and it's SO MUCH BETTER than doing a normal "start at the nape" braid. My braids are both lying better against my head than they used to, and it shaved about an inch off my tassel!

However, I think at least part of the thread's topic is inevitable because people with thick or coarse hair will never be able to completely get rid of their tassel.