View Full Version : one braid sounds easy doesn't it

March 18th, 2009, 08:14 PM
Im just wondering is there a trick to doing the one braid down the back of your head? My arms get tied and I have to put my hair to the front of me and then I get a great big bulge in my plait? (why), It just isnt working for me is this a practice make perfect thing?? is it easyer when wet?? or am o doomed to be the offical hair idiot of all time?!!

March 18th, 2009, 08:23 PM
My arms are just too short - or my hair is at an odd length. I think there is some sort of twist thing you do as you pull your hair to one side to finish braiding but I can't figure it out. So if there is a single braid idgjits club - I'm in. (idgjts is southern for idiot)

March 18th, 2009, 08:30 PM
I used to not be able to do it either, but I practiced over and over and finally got good at it. I have curly hair, so it's always much easier to braid it wet. If it's dry you can put some oil in it first, then braid (makes the hair separate better, which is always the issue I have).

When I first started, I did it in front of a mirror. It makes it so much easier, at least it did for me. Then you can keep checking to make sure it is looking alright. As long as the hair is sort of wet or oiled, the parts will be smoother so your braid doesn't turn out puffy anywhere---seems to be the best trick for beginners.

It's okay, even us braid-unfriendly people can do it if we try enough. ;)

March 18th, 2009, 08:36 PM
For the hurting arms, the only thing that will help is more practice or a bit of arm exercises. :shrug: My arms stopped hurting when I joined dance classes that used arms at shoulder level movement a lot.

To braid beyond arm reach, bring the braid over your shoulder. Then turn your head away from the braid, don't look at it. Braid on. You are less likely to get a bump that way. Or you can bring the braid up and over your head and braid down that way in front of your face.

If you still have some unevenness from bring it over to the front then double check that your tension doesn't change when you bring it over.

March 18th, 2009, 09:40 PM
I do two braids, but except for having twice as much hair, the technique is similar. I do Dutch. Start like this: Put the (wlog) left hand just above the forehead, with all fingers lying down the forehead. Grab a bit of hair in each of the first three slots (the slot between ring and pinky is not needed for a three-strand braid). Transfer slot 2l to 3r, 1l to 2r, and 3l to 1r and pick up some hair in 1r. Exchange left and right and repeat until your hands reach the back of your head.

If I get tired while doing this, I hold the hair in the less tired hand and let the other flop.

March 18th, 2009, 09:45 PM
I put a ouchless booble in my hair to start like in a pony tail and as my arms start to ache, I pull the braid over my shoulder and then lower the bobble when its finished and secure!

March 18th, 2009, 11:27 PM
Your ahead of me, I cant even start a braid on the back of my head, my arms don't seem to bend that way. I have tried and tried but my arms cant get into the right position and my hands don't cooperate. I'm starting to think I have screwed up shoulders, my arms cant bend back as far as some other people.

I think I'm destined to rely on friends and family if I want a braid.

March 18th, 2009, 11:48 PM
I usually just invert that style of braid I was doing before I brought it over my shoulder. That is, I start the braid "french" style, crossing strand over strand, but when I bring the braid over my shoulder I braid "dutch," crossing strand under strand. This way, you keep braiding without getting that twist that you get if your strands get out of order. I'm sorry, I know that I'm not really explaining this very well, but I can't think of a better way to describe it. It did take a bit of practice, but I've been doing it for so long now that it's second nature to me.

I also read on here (I wish I could remember who said it...) that to make a nice smooth, even braid with no lumps, twists, or turns, you braid as normal until you can't reach anymore and then flip the braid up over your head, while bending forward a bit, and continue braiding with the hair held out in front of you that way. This works pretty well for me, too.

ETA: Well, I can't for the life of me remember who I first saw suggest the flipping the braid over your head method (Which I only just now realized was already mentioned in this thread ealier. Wow. I am unobservant tonight. Sorry. I'm going to bed now.), but here is the Dianyla method that was stuck in my head irreversibly connected with "braiding." It seems to be similar to my first method, but this one has pictures, so hopefully it will help you more than my feeble attempt at explanation.

March 19th, 2009, 12:18 AM
I practiced by making pig tail braids for months before I was able to do the behind the head braiding. Practice really does help.

March 19th, 2009, 12:18 AM
I think constant practice will make it easier. what I do now that my hair is longer is that I braid my hair down to shoulder blade and then flip it over my shoulder and continue braiding.

to keep it from getting the bump you can turn your head to the side and twist your body the other way after you flip the braid over your shoulder.

March 19th, 2009, 12:29 AM
my arms also hurt when i braid my hair, but i simply breathe, rest a moment then pull the braid over my left shoulder, and continue to braid without stopping, i do not twist the braid, just allow the braid to fall over my shoulder and continue braiding without looking at the braid. i used to get the bumps in the middle of the braid also, but with alot of practice (braid every day, unless i just washed my hair. ) like they say, practice makes perfect. don't get discouraged, just braid while combing your fingers through the hair and the bump goes away.

March 19th, 2009, 12:57 AM
When my arms start hurting, I just hold the braid parts with one hand while I shake out the other, braid a few more moves and then relax the other. I've realised that it's not my muscles hurting but more bent and raised elbows meaning the flow of blood to my hands is changed.

I used to bring my braid over my shoulder and then turn my head, but I could still see at which point on the braid I had changed. Then, recently, someone mentioned bringing the braid over the shoulder and braiding in the other direction by bringing your hands to the other side of the braid. That has really worked for me.

March 19th, 2009, 04:27 AM
When my hair was classic, Zoe use to plait it for me. We would take steps away from each other as we got down the lenght. Was funny :)

March 19th, 2009, 07:58 AM
I just start and do about 3 bumps then bend over and keep plaiting to the end.

March 19th, 2009, 10:17 AM
Braiding is the one thing I struggled with. I still can't really figure out French braids, where bit of hair are added to each side. I see how it is supposed to work, but doing it is another things.

What might help for a beginner is starting with your hair secured in a ponytail. This way you don't worry about having the hair tight back while figuring out how to braid.

Also the idea of switching the braiding technique as you bring the elongating braid over a shoulder or over your head works to get rid of that bump or twist. You want to just keep the same pattern in the braid even though you have changed your own orientation. A mirror can help just to be sure you get it right, but otherwise trying to braid in the mirror screws with my brain.

If your shoulders are bad- mine I don't think are, so hard to help-

Ack, why you I have to post a certain amount before I get to look at all the cool stuff?? I'm a quiet person, I don't want to have to be chiming in to say the exact same things as someone else did.
maybe braid sideways, or two braids on the side?

March 19th, 2009, 11:20 AM
Braiding practice is great for building arm strength and finger flexibility! That said - some days I can't accomplish a decent braid no matter what. Other days I whip it in without even thinking about it, and it turns out fine.

March 19th, 2009, 02:05 PM
I've been braiding my own hair for so long that I guess I'm so used to it and my arms don't get tired anymore. That, and it takes me about 3 minutes to do a French braid from scalp to hemline. And it still looks good at the end! :)

But when it gets to the point (about shoulder-blade in the back) that I have to pull it around to the front to finish it off, I have to be standing in front of a mirror, or I'll lose track of which strand crosses over next. :p

March 19th, 2009, 02:12 PM
I braid with my hands behind my head until I can't reach comfortably anymore and then I pull the braid to the front, over one shoulder.

The key for me in not having the braid twist is to switch sides/ shoulders that I have the braid on as I am braiding. So, say I pull it over my right shoulder and braid twice; then bring the braid around behind my head and then over my left shoulder and braid it there twice; then switch to the right side again, and so on until fully braided.

It's a bit difficult at first but after practicing a bit, I don't even need a mirror.

March 19th, 2009, 02:16 PM
Practise is the secret :D!
It took me ages to be able to do it nicely!

March 19th, 2009, 02:22 PM
My hair isn't even that long and my braid looks weird. I can do two braids fine though

March 19th, 2009, 02:42 PM
My arms get tired too. I'll have to try Juanita's method of bending over.

(And why can't I figure out how to do Dianyla's braid? :justy:)

March 20th, 2009, 12:39 PM
It is a practice makes perfect thing. I've been doing it for 30 years now so I don't even think about it. Uncommon Tart said it well in an earlier response and she cited Dianyla's braiding instructions which are great.

I start at the base of the neck, braiding overhand. Then when it reaches to the point where it isn't comfortable to continue, usually about 5 or six "overs", I turn my head to the right slightly and pull the braid to the left, remembering to give the braid a half turn so that what was the underside of the braid is no on top, on my shoulder. Then continue braiding underhand. The important thing is to keep an even tension on it as you switch.

I also find that it doesn't help to look in a mirror. That just confuses things. Trust your hands to do the right thing.


March 20th, 2009, 12:42 PM
the only way i can do a single braid and have it come out half decent is to hold my head upside down. it ends up being pretty high up on my head though... my hair really isn't long enough yet (almost APL) to make a long enough braid - but when my sister does it she will french braid it so the hair comes into the braid from the sides and then goes down and it looks wonderful... i can't see myself EVER being able to do that though.... ;)

March 21st, 2009, 04:58 AM
Hmmm, I never really have much of a problem with this. I start out braiding with my arms above my head, and then after a few secure sections to make sure my braid is going to be relatively straight, I'll pull it over my shoulder, tilt my head, and continue braiding from there. Works like charm!

March 22nd, 2009, 12:27 PM
I was about 12 years old when I first managed to make a french braid on myself, and I was so proud! It took a long time to make it look good, though.

March 23rd, 2009, 08:38 PM
Im just wondering is there a trick to doing the one braid down the back of your head? My arms get tied and I have to put my hair to the front of me and then I get a great big bulge in my plait? (why), It just isnt working for me is this a practice make perfect thing?? is it easyer when wet?? or am o doomed to be the offical hair idiot of all time?!!

You can't be the official hair idiot of all time- that's me! :D
(Still working on pigtails....)

Cinnamon Hair
March 23rd, 2009, 09:30 PM
I feel your pain :) Braids are hard for me too, even just a 3 strand. Detangling and separating the sections is my biggest problem. I can do a braid, but it's a lot more effort (and time) than a twisted updo like a cinnamon bun.