View Full Version : Tangled Ends on French Braids

June 26th, 2009, 04:49 AM
I've been trying to expand my horizons and do styles other than braids and infinity buns, so I set out to learn how to French braid my hair.

The braiding part isn't the problem-- I can do it no sweat. But every time I gather new hair and cross the strands my ends tangle so badly that I have to go down and unknot them between each cross. I get distracted and lose track of where I am in the pattern, and I have to use my free hand to go all the way down the length of my hair and pull the sections apart. I've tried it wet and dry, and with products ranging from pure aloe to Michael Frieda cone-fests, and I've had no luck. Anyone have some advice for me?

June 26th, 2009, 08:05 AM
I have the same problem, but probably not quite to the extent you do (I think it gets worse with length!)
What sometimes seems to make it better is to run my hand down the length of the section I'm separating out, before I've gone to cross it over into the braid. It might kind of throw off your pattern at first, but if you get in the habit of doing it that way, you'll establish a new rhythm, and hopefully less tangles. Hope that helps/makes sense.

June 26th, 2009, 08:11 AM
I too have the tangles problem when Im french braiding. I sympatise, but, alas have no advice.

I'l be reading this thread too, in hope.

June 26th, 2009, 11:03 AM
What sometimes seems to make it better is to run my hand down the length of the section I'm separating out, before I've gone to cross it over into the braid.

Yep, try this. Otherwise I give up after the first couple. Separating (ie, make sure the section isn't trying to take along any other hair with it) before moving anything/actually adding the new hair in anywhere else helps. And separate the very fist section from the rest, too, as long as each section within that. Separate everything. The more separating I do the better.

That said: Still have to go down and unbraid the ends periodically (but that's just going to happen, I think, regardless), but there's generally a lot less actual knots knots.

This might be easier on wet/very damp hair--or, well, on my hair I think it's quite a bit easier. It's one of the times my hair is slickest, I think. For one mine is just slicker when wet I think, but possibly partially also due to that I put a bit of conditioner then a few drops of oil on when my hair is wet (just the 'ends'/length) just every day (and so it'd be there when I braid, which is usually wet or damp); so that could be something to try if you've not tried that.

Trying to think...oh, and if you've not tried a Frenched Dutch braid (sometimes called an inside out French braid I think) might want to alternate tries with that if the regular French isn't cooperating and you want something else to try that's similar (the side sections just go under the middle strand instead of over). It might be easier than a regular French braid, and it might be harder--that kinda varies from person to person I think.

June 26th, 2009, 12:26 PM
I have the exact same problem, and I don't have much slip at all in my hair... I gave up on french braids a long time ago because of it.

June 26th, 2009, 12:34 PM
I have the same problem, and have the best luck when my hair is freshly conditioned and still pretty damp after a shower. I use coconut oil on the length for extra slip, and fully separate each piece as I move it (as explained above).

I'm still not great at it, but it's one of those things that takes lots of practice. :)

Good luck! :flowers:

June 26th, 2009, 01:53 PM
I see what everyone means about seperating after each strand, and that's what I do, but my hair tangles as I go down the length to seperate it, so by the time I've reached the end I've got a little knot that I have to untagle... every time I make a new strand. :steam

June 26th, 2009, 01:55 PM
I also have the same problem with my hair tangling when braiding it. I wonder if it is the texture of the hair that causes it to happen. I have real fine -dry - thin - hair - can be kind of frizzy if I don't put oil on it.
When my daughter was young, I would French braid her hair for school & I didn't have any problem with her hair tangling. Her hair was entirely different than mine. She had very thick, straight med. texture, she also had never colored it. I think that is one reason why my hair is so dry is because of the coloring that is left on about half of my hair. When that all gets cut off, I hope that it won't be so dry & will be easier to manage.

June 26th, 2009, 07:45 PM
I used to have that problem too, when I first learned to French braid, about 14 years ago when I was in school and last time I was able to sit on my hair. I finally got enough practice at it that I could hold all three strands in one hand, separated, while I ran my other hand all the way down my length when I was separating out a strand to weave into the braid. If you haven't tried oiling the ends yet (like, maybe the last foot or so), maybe that would help them separate more easily? Otherwise, I'm afraid it all just comes down to practice and juggling, lol.

ETA: I should also add that the dirtier my hair, the better the braid and easier it is to . It tends to stick together like crazy when it's freshly washed, and up to two days afterward.

June 26th, 2009, 07:53 PM
This very problem is why I failed at french braiding for so long. Now I run my fingers down the strand each time I separate it out, which helps but doesn't entirely get rid of all snarls. Sometimes I stop and comb a section. The best thing is to get DH to stand guard, gently sorting out tangles as they occur. :)

June 27th, 2009, 07:16 AM
Might not be feasible with longer hair, but I tend to toss the hair as I braid it (so instead of just crossing the strands, I basically throw them to the other side of the braid). It sounds rather violent(!), but it isn't really, and doesn't cause tangles in my hair.

June 27th, 2009, 08:53 PM
I have that problem too, and tangles = Breakage :(

Would t help if we brushed through the hair after every iny little move?

June 27th, 2009, 09:04 PM
I braid Dutch, not French (though I speak French, not Dutch). I third running the hand down the strand each time you separate it. I find tangles too sometimes when braiding, but nowhere near every time (the months and months of S&Ding have paid off:)). This is hard to handle, as I have to hold all three strands in one hand while splitting a tangle with the other, and if I have to snip it I have to hold the scissors with the third hand:rolleyes:.

June 27th, 2009, 10:47 PM
The biggest problem with french or dutch or any other type of woven-against-the-head braid for me is the length back-braiding itself. My arms aren't long enough (or strong enough)to separate each piece all the way or even partially with each crossover, which for you at 52" is getting close to becoming an issue..

What I do isn't the best, nor the "sanest" way of managing the backbraiding, but at least I don't lose my place while doing the weaving on my scalp, which aggrivates me more than the backbraiding. I thoroughly detangle prior to braiding, sometimes putting a drop or two of jojoba in my length, braiding my scalp area, and by the time I'm done, the backbraided part manages to make doing the end braid all but impossible. So, what I do is keep the three sections separate in one hand with my fingers, then wrap length around my hand until I can reach my ends, and then start detangling from ends on up. This always takes LONGER than the actual braiding, and I end up getting massively frustrated, but the eventual end result is worth the frustration.