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View Full Version : Oh Why, Rope Braid? Why?



MissManda
December 4th, 2009, 02:47 AM
I'm having the rope braiding blues.

I love the appearance of rope braids, but I just can't seem to get them to stay in my hair. I've found a few tutorials online and have followed their instructions, but my rope braids never want to stay! I am so frustrated because I would really like to learn this style.

I've tried both the two strand and three strand rope braids and I encountered the same problem with both of them: They want to unravel at the top of the braid near my scalp, and then go on down towards the elastic until all I have is a weird, twisted hair mess! I have also tried putting an elastic at the top of the braid. No go.

My BF says it's because I have such silky soft hair, but I totally disagree with him because I've seen lots of fine-hairs on here wearing some pretty awesome rope braid styles. I think my problem either lies in my layers, or in that I'm doing something wrong with the tops of my braids. I feel so silly and like I'm missing something.

Has anyone else had this problem? Was it this awkward when you first learned to rope braid? Can someone explain why my hair just won't stay?

Thanks!

Arctic
December 4th, 2009, 02:52 AM
I already wrote in your blog :) My first rope braids failed miserably because I was trying to rope the whole length at once. When I read a tip roping only one or two twists at the time, it started to work.

Calista
December 4th, 2009, 02:53 AM
In the first step you have to twist the strands opposite to how you twist them together. So if you twist the two strands clockwise you have to join them by wrapping them around each other counter-clockwise. It sounds like you´re getting mixed up there.

ETA: I rope the whole length at once. When I´m done twisting the first strand I stick the end in my mouth to keep it from unravelling. Then I do the second strand, then I rope them together.

MissManda
December 4th, 2009, 02:57 AM
Ah, I might try that technique. I remember all of the tutorials I saw on YouTube (not many, admittedly as I was in a hurry at the time) had the person who was demonstrating twisting the whole length at once.

I might try this by starting with a banded ponytail since my layers are still having issues with normal braids.


In the first step you have to twist the strands opposite to how you twist them together. So if you twist the two strands clockwise you have to join them by wrapping them around each other counter-clockwise. It sounds like you´re getting mixed up there.


Actually, I was following this instruction. It just wanted to unravel anyway. . . It left me sitting there and scratching my head.

rach
December 4th, 2009, 03:14 AM
In the first step you have to twist the strands opposite to how you twist them together. So if you twist the two strands clockwise you have to join them by wrapping them around each other counter-clockwise. It sounds like youre getting mixed up there.

ETA: I rope the whole length at once. When Im done twisting the first strand I stick the end in my mouth to keep it from unravelling. Then I do the second strand, then I rope them together.
What she said. i spent so long -

" twisting the two strands clockwise you have to join them by wrapping them around each other clockwise"

and it didn't work. does feel odd doing it correctly at first............ but they do look pretty :D

manderly
December 4th, 2009, 03:32 AM
Ok, you're just twisting them the wrong way. I find rope braids really hard to understand, and I always have false starts doing them.

When you start twisting your hair together, there should be a very distinct rope braid look to it. If it looks more like hair going mush, stop, unravel, then just try twisting them the opposite way and it should then look "right".

A rope braid won't unravel if you twist it right. So I would suggest you try to do one now, and twist them together the opposite way you've been doing it :)

jasper
December 4th, 2009, 04:39 AM
I learned how to do this first with yarn, and having the strands anchored at the top was key to getting going. Try it with yarn or string if you think your technique might be off. Knot 4 pieces and tape the knot down to a table and start twisting and roping to get the hang of it.

Securing the top on your head might help. I know you said you tried a hair band at the top, but what if you try anchoring that band with a hair stick as you start? Put your ponytail in the band, then put the hair stick into scalp hair, over the band and into scalp hair on the other side. I think that would prevent the rope braid from turning over and getting looser as you work your way down. When you get the rope finished, you could take the stick out.

I twist most of the length, but then as I backwards twist the two pieces to make the rope, I keep re-twisting or tightening the twists in the length as I work my way down.

Addy
December 4th, 2009, 05:57 AM
OOO! It took me awhile to get this rope braiding down. I love rope braids! I have had my best successes with them by oiling my hair with EVOO before braiding. It makes it look sleaker and holds down the fly aways IMO!

Also, I don't think rope braids and layers work that well. If they're long layers, it may but short layers... not so much because the ends would pop and make the braid look like a frayed rope getting ready to break.

Good luck! Keep practicing! :)

NurseMama
December 4th, 2009, 06:34 AM
The BEST rope braiding tutorial is by torrinpage. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ImcPuruQMAw

Watching her do it, and her explanation helped me to finally make sense of the rope braid.

SpinDance
December 4th, 2009, 09:28 AM
NurseMama, thank you for that link!

Stephichan
December 4th, 2009, 09:56 AM
I second the Torrin Paige tutorial. I have fairly short layers (longest is nearly bsl, shortest is around sl/apl), so rope braids don't look that great on me yet. I am trying to be patient as I wait for them to grow out.

Keildra
December 4th, 2009, 10:02 AM
The BEST rope braiding tutorial is by torrinpage. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ImcPuruQMAw

Watching her do it, and her explanation helped me to finally make sense of the rope braid.
I second or third that she's my hero

Masara
December 4th, 2009, 10:34 AM
I couldn't manage rope braids until I realised that I didn't need to twist both bits of hair all the way down and then cross them. Now I twist just one piece enough to cross, cross both of them and then start twisting the second. It sounds long like that but once I got the mouvement sorted out I could do them very fast

SpinDance
December 4th, 2009, 10:35 AM
I can make rope like this, but somehow haven't mastered making it in my hair!

verene
December 4th, 2009, 11:08 AM
I am still struggling with rope braids. Like you my rope unravels enough to loose the pretty look of the rope braid. It is still a rope braid just a very loose one. I've followed the tutorials online and know to twist one way, then rope the other, and to re-twist as I rope to keep the tension tight, but they still don't stay how I want them to.

I've had a bit more luck with a french rope (see torrinpage's video on youtube). The french part up top manages to stay tight, albeit a little wobbly and off center because I'm still learning. I have the same trouble with the end of my braid loosening though. I'm really hoping it's just a practice issue and with more time it will start to work.

I don't have any advice for you, but you're not alone in your struggles. Hopefully I'll be able to glean some tips form responses to this thread as well.

bigmama8
December 4th, 2009, 11:13 AM
I've been trying to figure out how to do the rope braid also, but without any luck. My hair comes undone all the way down too. I'm a lefty and thought that might be the problem because I use the opposite hand to do each step. It's more than likely that I'm not skilled at doing hairdo's though. I plan to keep practicing.

katha
December 4th, 2009, 11:20 AM
I didn't understand rope braiding first either. I found it very difficult to coordinate my hands to twist in the same direction. The left always twisted counterclockwise while the right was doing clockwise - and that doesn't work at all. I was a bit surprised when I did it without being in front of a mirror. Just concentrate really hard, twist in one direction and make sure your doing both strands that way.
I put my hair in a ponytail, divide in 2 strands (can't manage more, yet). I start with the right one, put it between my thumb and my index finger and twist it clockwise, a few times, not the whole thing. I hold that strand with my right hand, and start twisting the left one in the same direction - that's the tricky part. I can do it at the same time now, but when I started I did one after the other. When both strands are twisted, put the right one OVER the left one, then twist some more, same way as before, and put the now right one, before left one, over the now left one, before right one. Continue that way until you can't go further and tie.
If you need to take your hair over your shoulder to go as far as you can, your brain needs to change direction - twist your hair counterclockwise then. It's not in your back anymore, that's why. You're not actually changing direction, you're just fooling your brain. :D
Hope that helps.. :)

//edit
bigmama, and everyone, i'm also a lefty, above works fine for me.

little_acorn
December 4th, 2009, 01:09 PM
The BEST rope braiding tutorial is by torrinpage. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ImcPuruQMAw

Watching her do it, and her explanation helped me to finally make sense of the rope braid.

Yep thats the only way I learned too was by watching Torins vid :D I kept doing the twisting the wrong way too until I worked it out from Torrins tutorial!

MissManda
December 4th, 2009, 02:05 PM
The BEST rope braiding tutorial is by torrinpage. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ImcPuruQMAw

Watching her do it, and her explanation helped me to finally make sense of the rope braid.

That was very enlightening. :) I also want to try that but she demonstrated, but I'll have to wait until after Christmas to do that since I don't own any hiarsticks or barrettes (lost them when I moved out of my grandparents' house).

Thanks for the advice, everyone!

. . . And after some modification, I FINALLY got it! Yay!

I learned that my hair just won't stay if I twist all or most of the strands at once, even if I twist and braid correctly. I think it's a layers thing. . .

So I twisted a little at a time and wrapped the strands around each other as I went. Now I am wearing my rope braid and it hasn't loosened at all since I put it in other than my shortest layers escaping from the top (I had the same layer issues with this with normal braids for a while, so I'll just have to wait for them to grow out even more).

I'll keep practicing, though (because my first real rope braid is far from perfect), and I am very excited about trying the French rope next. :D

Now I am waiting for hairtoys from Santa (AKA: the people I told that I wanted some hairtoys, ha ha.)

I am also glad I am not the only person who is having issues with rope braids and that others are finding this thread useful as well.

EDIT: I totally love Torrin's hair tutorial videos! They are so wonderful!
I also love her hair! So beautiful!
Does anyone know what her hair type is?

bigmama8
December 6th, 2009, 06:24 AM
I didn't understand rope braiding first either. I found it very difficult to coordinate my hands to twist in the same direction. The left always twisted counterclockwise while the right was doing clockwise - and that doesn't work at all. I was a bit surprised when I did it without being in front of a mirror. Just concentrate really hard, twist in one direction and make sure your doing both strands that way.
I put my hair in a ponytail, divide in 2 strands (can't manage more, yet). I start with the right one, put it between my thumb and my index finger and twist it clockwise, a few times, not the whole thing. I hold that strand with my right hand, and start twisting the left one in the same direction - that's the tricky part. I can do it at the same time now, but when I started I did one after the other. When both strands are twisted, put the right one OVER the left one, then twist some more, same way as before, and put the now right one, before left one, over the now left one, before right one. Continue that way until you can't go further and tie.
If you need to take your hair over your shoulder to go as far as you can, your brain needs to change direction - twist your hair counterclockwise then. It's not in your back anymore, that's why. You're not actually changing direction, you're just fooling your brain. :D
Hope that helps.. :)

//edit
bigmama, and everyone, i'm also a lefty, above works fine for me.

Thank you so much for your directions on how to do the rope braid! I actually got one done using your directions and it stayed for several hours. Thanks!! :cheese:

katha
December 6th, 2009, 08:17 AM
Happy to help! :)