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View Full Version : How to braid behind my head/bring it over my shoulder to finish?



Larki
July 16th, 2014, 12:01 AM
I've never been able to get this right, and as a result, if I do normal English or French braids (straight down the back - not side braids or pigtails), they're either for sleep or to put up in a bun; they're not presentable, they look like a hot mess. Once I hit the nape of my neck, I find it impossible to continue braiding without bringing the braid over my shoulder to braid it, and 99% of the time when I bring it over my shoulder, I get mixed up and can't continue the braid from where I left off, even if I number the strands mentally to keep track of them. I end up with results like this:

http://i61.tinypic.com/zikkl2.jpg

Please help! Does anyone have any tips or tricks they use to deal with this?

Becs
July 16th, 2014, 12:10 AM
It looks to me like when you bring it over your shoulder, you continue to braid the same way you started it behind your head, resulting in a braid that is english at the top and dutch at the bottom. What I mean is that you start behind your head bringing the outside pieces over the middle like for a normal english braid, but when you bring it around your shoulder you continue bringing the outside pieces over the middle. Perhaps I am wrong about how you are going about attempting it, but that is just what it looks like you may be doing in my opinion. If that is what you are doing, the problem is that when you bring it over your shoulder the braid is flipped, so to maintain the look of a normal english braid in the back, you need to dutch braid it when it is in front of you, bringing the pieces under the middle instead of over.

gus
July 16th, 2014, 01:25 AM
The side braid is a really popular, fashionable look - why not go with your strengths, and just braid English braids starting over your shoulder rather than behind? That way you'll have a nice braid over one shoulder and people will think you're a trend-setter!

sourgrl
July 16th, 2014, 08:05 AM
Practice, practice, practice. I've been inspired by the paranda/parandi thread to make my own paranda but first I need to master braiding behind my head. So I practice when ever I can. I'm almost confident enough in my skill to make my first paranda. Woohoo!

spidermom
July 16th, 2014, 08:16 AM
That doesn't look too bad, actually.

dellad
July 16th, 2014, 08:52 AM
That doesn't look too bad, actually.

Agreed. I actually like this part English part Dutch braid with the crisscross in the middle.

PerkyCurlz
July 16th, 2014, 09:12 AM
Practice, practice, practice.
I practiced changing from braiding behind my head to braiding over my shoulder in front of a mirror more times than I can count until I got my braid to look like I wanted.

Also, I think it helps that I have this weird "spacial ability" to visualize how something looks just by feeling it.

Madora
July 16th, 2014, 09:39 AM
As sourgrl said, practice, practice, practice.

You might want to try braiding down as far as you can, then holding the braid, bend over, bring the braid over your head to the front, and then continue braiding as usual.

Don't give up! It just takes time. Practicing the braiding at bedtime is a good idea...you're not as dead focused to make it picture perfect as you would be if you were going to wear it to work, etc. Less frustration because it will only be a "bed" braid...and in time you'll get the hang of it! Good luck!

Anje
July 16th, 2014, 10:15 AM
If you keep working on it, you'll eventually work out how to keep track of which side got crossed over last, which is a big help.

Another rather brilliant idea that's been floating around here (that made me say, "why didn't I think of that?!") is to lean forward and put your braid on the back of your head, braiding toward your face, instead of pulling it over your shoulder. You still have to keep track of what goes where through the transition, but it helps to minimize the twisting that happens to so many of us when we switch to over-the-shoulder.

ExpectoPatronum
July 16th, 2014, 11:07 AM
When you pull it over your shoulder, do the strands the opposite way you were doing them behind your head. So, for english. You go over the middle strand. When you pull it over the shoulder, go under the middle strand. Because you shift the braid when pulling it over your shoulder, you have to shift the way you braid it too. It's important to not twist the braid when switching.

I don't know if I explained it correctly, but that's what I do and I don't get that criss cross thing.

Larki
July 16th, 2014, 11:20 AM
It looks to me like when you bring it over your shoulder, you continue to braid the same way you started it behind your head, resulting in a braid that is english at the top and dutch at the bottom. What I mean is that you start behind your head bringing the outside pieces over the middle like for a normal english braid, but when you bring it around your shoulder you continue bringing the outside pieces over the middle. Perhaps I am wrong about how you are going about attempting it, but that is just what it looks like you may be doing in my opinion. If that is what you are doing, the problem is that when you bring it over your shoulder the braid is flipped, so to maintain the look of a normal english braid in the back, you need to dutch braid it when it is in front of you, bringing the pieces under the middle instead of over.
Oh my gosh, you're right! It didn't occur to me that I would have to change how I braided when I switched from behind my head to over the shoulder.


The side braid is a really popular, fashionable look - why not go with your strengths, and just braid English braids starting over your shoulder rather than behind? That way you'll have a nice braid over one shoulder and people will think you're a trend-setter!
I only ever do side braids, since they're the only ones I can make look good. :p I was just getting a little frustrated with not being able to do a normal braid.


As sourgrl said, practice, practice, practice.

You might want to try braiding down as far as you can, then holding the braid, bend over, bring the braid over your head to the front, and then continue braiding as usual.

Don't give up! It just takes time. Practicing the braiding at bedtime is a good idea...you're not as dead focused to make it picture perfect as you would be if you were going to wear it to work, etc. Less frustration because it will only be a "bed" braid...and in time you'll get the hang of it! Good luck!
Other than the bending over, that's what I've been trying to do. And yes, this was my sleep braid last night! :)


If you keep working on it, you'll eventually work out how to keep track of which side got crossed over last, which is a big help.

Another rather brilliant idea that's been floating around here (that made me say, "why didn't I think of that?!") is to lean forward and put your braid on the back of your head, braiding toward your face, instead of pulling it over your shoulder. You still have to keep track of what goes where through the transition, but it helps to minimize the twisting that happens to so many of us when we switch to over-the-shoulder.
That is genius! I'll have to try that.


When you pull it over your shoulder, do the strands the opposite way you were doing them behind your head. So, for english. You go over the middle strand. When you pull it over the shoulder, go under the middle strand. Because you shift the braid when pulling it over your shoulder, you have to shift the way you braid it too. It's important to not twist the braid when switching.

I don't know if I explained it correctly, but that's what I do and I don't get that criss cross thing.
You explained it perfectly, thank you!

kitana97
July 16th, 2014, 01:19 PM
I usually braid up. After I reach the point where I can't reach braiding straight down I pull the braid upwards and braid towards the ceiling but in the same direction. Kind of hard to explain :P

Nadine <3
July 16th, 2014, 01:45 PM
I've always just brought it over my shoulder and then looked at it in the mirror. You can see what needs to be done next...I just look at it, sort or the strands, and continue braiding.

katieing
July 16th, 2014, 01:58 PM
I've had trouble with this too - either I have a weird section of my braid, or it twists and becomes uneven. Like others before me, I've started to pull the braid up towards the ceiling and over my head when it becomes too long to keep braiding from the back.

restless
July 17th, 2014, 12:06 AM
I've always just brought it over my shoulder and then looked at it in the mirror. You can see what needs to be done next...I just look at it, sort or the strands, and continue braiding.

This goes for me as well.

OP When you look at it youŽll see that two of the strands will already form a cross, so its the third odd one that is next to make a move. If you go the wrong way youŽll notice as the braid ends up looking funny. When/ if that happens, go the opposite direction with the third strand (= cross it over rather than under, or the other way around depending on the braid).

Sharysa
July 17th, 2014, 12:47 PM
Yep, everyone's covered the problem. It took me a few weeks to get the hang of making a proper braid down the back as well, but a large part of that was because I kept doing it with a mirror and it confused me. :)

If you do better by feel, then here's what works for me:
-Turn your hands around before you bring it over your shoulder.
-Check which strands are the two crossing ones--you can grab a hold of them, and the last strand will be held in place.
-Braid in reverse of your original direction, as others mentioned.

Larki
July 19th, 2014, 10:49 PM
Thank you, everyone! :D :D I've spent the last couple of nights practicing, and I've got it!

http://i61.tinypic.com/2vj3cea.jpg

restless
July 20th, 2014, 01:50 AM
Thank you, everyone! :D :D I've spent the last couple of nights practicing, and I've got it!

Looking good! Well done :D :applause