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View Full Version : Natural-looking braid waves for those with straighter hair



florenonite
May 6th, 2008, 07:37 AM
I find that when I do braid waves they tend to look very artificial and contrived, rather than natural, and I don't like it. Last night I put my hair in two loose French braids, as usual, and when I took them out had the same unnatural-looking waves. I misted my hair with a mix of ACV, TTO, and water and then use a small amount of coconut oil and AVG to scrunch them. My original intention was to bring out my natural wave with the gel and scrunching, but I didn't mist thoroughly enough and ended up with this (http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/album.php?albumid=1012&pictureid=11400), which I think looks a bit more natural than the usual braid waves. I just thought I'd share this with everyone else here. It will work for 1c/2a hair, although I'm not sure about any other hair types, though you can try and see. Here's (http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/album.php?albumid=1012&pictureid=11401) another pic of it.

Magdalene
May 6th, 2008, 07:54 AM
I find to get the most natural looking waves it helps to

1. braid using uneven strands so all the waves are different sizes
2. wrap the tassel around a sponge roller or pincurl it so the ends have some wave.

angelthadiva
May 6th, 2008, 07:58 AM
I have found tight twin french braiding damp hair, and sleep over night makes beautiful natural looking waves.

Your waves don't look unnatural to me...If you hadn't said what you did, I wouldn't have guessed.

Leisha
May 6th, 2008, 08:04 AM
Very nice waves Florenonite!!

I love braid waves, but I also have the problem that they often don't look very natural on me.

I prefer Dutch braids over French, for some reason French braids give me more Z-shaped waves, Dutch are more S-shaped. Weird! I haven't tried French braids in a while though.

I've also noticed that a Dianyla-style English braid (where you start with a Y-shaped part) gives a more natural result than an English braid done in the "normal" way.

I'm gonna try Magdalene's tip of using uneven sized strands!

And yeah I have to do something with the tassel. Usually I leave it as a "loop" (when fastening the end of the braid with an elastic, I don't pull the tassel through completely).

Katze
May 6th, 2008, 08:15 AM
Wow, they look really natural! No weird tassel bump - how'd you do that? Was it the scrunching?

My hair will get like that from scrunching alone, or going to bed with it damp. Braid waves tend to look really kinked and then have that angled tassel thing going on. If I braid, my hair is basically ruined for wearing down. But your method sounds like it's worth trying!

BTW, I'm not sure what TTO is, but aloe doesn't give my hair any hold...the only kind we have here that's natural is a kind of liquid, very watery.

spidermom
May 6th, 2008, 08:15 AM
That looks beautiful!

KajiKodomo
May 6th, 2008, 08:39 AM
Katze, TTO is tea tree oil.

I braid my hair in double braids for bed and after I wash it. I prefer the waves, as does my DH. French braids sound like a good idea! For me, scrunching causes horrible tangles, I don't know why.

Another method I found that gives pretty good waves is to twist your hair as it's drying. Take your finger and twist it around vertically (kind of how you'd make a one strand of a rope braid). Keep doing that as it dries (it helps my hair dry faster too), and you get some really loose natural-looking waves. I think I learned it from What Not To Wear (except he was using gel/spray to set the curl, you can use aloe gel).

Magdalene
May 6th, 2008, 08:46 AM
I did two figure-8 buns recently and had some fantastic waves when I took it down- something else to try!

Meli
May 6th, 2008, 08:54 AM
That looks very natural to me, florenonite!

I have a similar hair texture and use french braids to get more natural-looking braidwaves. Haven't tried AVG and scrunching, though - only damp braiding. My hair holds braidwaves very well anyway. I have a trick to get the braidwaves even all the way down to the ends - I add yarn or cloth stripes as my hair tapers, to keep an even thickness during the entire length. This also allows me to braid past where my hair ends, so there is no hair at all in the tassels - thus no straight part at the ends to deal with. It's a bit messy IME though, so I do it only for special occasions. I'm not sure how this would work with less tapered hair - I have much taper, so braiding without adding yarn produces big waves at the upper part and tiny, pathetic waves at the ends.

florenonite
May 6th, 2008, 10:27 AM
I find to get the most natural looking waves it helps to

1. braid using uneven strands so all the waves are different sizes
2. wrap the tassel around a sponge roller or pincurl it so the ends have some wave.

I like the idea of braiding uneven strands, I think I'll try that next time.





And yeah I have to do something with the tassel. Usually I leave it as a "loop" (when fastening the end of the braid with an elastic, I don't pull the tassel through completely).

This is what I usually do, too.


Wow, they look really natural! No weird tassel bump - how'd you do that? Was it the scrunching?

My hair will get like that from scrunching alone, or going to bed with it damp. Braid waves tend to look really kinked and then have that angled tassel thing going on. If I braid, my hair is basically ruined for wearing down. But your method sounds like it's worth trying!


It must have been the scrunching that got rid of the bump, because I didn't bother looping the tassel through the elastic, as I usually do. My hair's usually ruined for wearing down after braiding, too, which is why I like it like this.




Another method I found that gives pretty good waves is to twist your hair as it's drying. Take your finger and twist it around vertically (kind of how you'd make a one strand of a rope braid). Keep doing that as it dries (it helps my hair dry faster too), and you get some really loose natural-looking waves. I think I learned it from What Not To Wear (except he was using gel/spray to set the curl, you can use aloe gel).

I've tried this before and didn't get anything, but I could try it with aloe and see if it's any better.


I did two figure-8 buns recently and had some fantastic waves when I took it down- something else to try!

I can just get two fake figure-8s in, so it'll be a bit of time till I can manage that, but I'll definitely do that when my hair gets longer!

Islandgrrl
May 6th, 2008, 10:31 AM
I find to get the most natural looking waves it helps to

1. braid using uneven strands so all the waves are different sizes
2. wrap the tassel around a sponge roller or pincurl it so the ends have some wave.

Oh, those are some good ideas (esp #2). I'm going to have to try this tonight.

I like braid waves much more when my hair is really long. They look more natural to me than when my hair is the length it is now (almost almost almost BSL). I much prefer bun waves in any case.

But Florenonite, your hair looks very lovely!

Anje
May 6th, 2008, 12:17 PM
Another suggestion for a different wave pattern would be to do rope braids/French ropes instead of English/Dutch/French braids. The waves have more of a spirally appearance instead of the W-form from normal braids.

Angellen
May 6th, 2008, 12:48 PM
I find the real killer for making braid waves unnatural is the tassel. If you don't braid far enough down, it ends up looking kind of spikey at the end, which ruins the effect. I don't see that with yours, though, so yay! They really don't look unnatural at all, don't worry. :)