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View Full Version : Braid Trouble-shooting: Slippery hair and layers



archionblu
September 14th, 2010, 12:49 PM
Hey guys, I need some help.

I'm a bit braid stupid, and can only really manage to do an English braid (for now--I'm working on it!). I love braiding other people's hair...but I hate braiding my own hair. Not because I look bad in braids, or because I can't make it lie neatly...it's because it won't stay!
My hair is still fairly short, only about APL, and I have layers so it's actually anywhere between shoulder and APL, and I think that's one of the biggest culprits.
However, I had troubles with braids even when I was younger and had waist-length hair, because my hair is fine and slippery, it would slip right out/loosen something awful.

Anyone have suggestions for tackling these two problems?

rags
September 14th, 2010, 01:14 PM
No, but I'm going to watch this thread! I have extremely slippery, baby fine hair, and no matter how well or tightly I braid, all of mine loosen and slip out unless my hair is oiled or extremely dirty. And I don't have layers - my hair's just that slippery. I can NOT keep a braid in clean hair. Watching for any advice :drama:

Antipodienne
September 14th, 2010, 01:27 PM
I'm slippery, too!
I once had my mom and my best friend (who is a hairstylist) worked on ONE French braid for over an hour. They finally got it to stay, and walking down the hallway to the bathroom to look in the mirror it casually slipped out and fell apart. They were totally disgusted... :)
The best way I've found is to 'dirty' it up a little. I like to use gobs of aloe vera gel, and if you need more traction you can throw in a little oat flower (a very little) or any scented bath powder to give it some grit. Make sure to only use a minimal amount and only on the areas that will be in the braid, because if you put it anywhere else, it will reduce the shine and look sorta kooky.
I recommend experimenting with this before going live, but done right, it's almost magic. :cheese:

tanya222
September 14th, 2010, 02:29 PM
How about using a dab of wax or pomade on the very tips, where the elastic will be?

kittensoupnrice
September 14th, 2010, 02:50 PM
I save my "gosh, I totally need to wash my hair" days for braids.
If I try braiding on squeaky clean hair, it slips five ways to Sunday. If I braid on needs-to-be-washed hair, it stays much better. If you're impatient and can't wait for two or three days, try using a bit of coconut oil on your hair.

Also, concentrate more, when braiding, on making the overlaps close together, instead of trying to braid "tightly" Generally I find a well-constructed "compact" braid stays together better than one where I'm pulling too tightly.

aenflex
September 14th, 2010, 02:56 PM
Ah, wish wish wish my hair was slippery enough to not stay braided. Most times I don't even need to fasten it at the tail, it will stay braided....the positive (or negative) aspects of having relatively course hair :(

motormuffin
September 14th, 2010, 03:12 PM
If I get my hands wet and run it through my hair a couple times and then braid it then it's not so bad. I have some elastics that don't have metal but have some rubberized parts that kind of help them stay on.

Intransigentia
September 14th, 2010, 03:25 PM
Wow, you've totally got my hair!

Right now I'm finding that I can make a couple inches of nice, fat, sturdy braid, and if I tie it off there, before the layers start, it'll stay put. But with like a 6" tassel. More tassel than braid. I don't think that's likely to change until the layers catch up.

The one thing I'm finding helps is making more/skinnier braids*. One braid down the back lasts until lunchtime and then ends start popping out everywhere, but I can sleep with two braids and look nearly presentable in the morning. I'm pretty sure there's a physics/math/topology reason this is the case, but dammit Jim I'm a psych major not a mathematician.

*I'm finding this is also the case with buns. If I try to make a regular cinnabun by taking a ponytail and twisting it, I have ends popping out everywhere by the time I'm halfway around. If I split the ponytail in two and twist/wrap each part individually, it looks pretty reasonable. And stays.

misstwist
September 14th, 2010, 04:03 PM
Do try damp braiding. You can spray your hair with water, maybe with some aloe gel or some conventional gel in it. You could also wet down a comb or brush and use that to dampen your hair.

Shea butter is great for adding stickiness to hair, as is a little bit of castor oil.

To align the hair better you can use a fine-tooth comb before and during the braiding.

Do go slowly and braid close as well as snugging up after each turn.

It gets better with practice. Sometimes in-braiding is what works best for layered hair. If you can in-braid down the back of your head, then braid out as long as you want or can stand with the layers, then tie it off, your braid will look longer and balance a longer tail.

Good luck!

MissManda
September 14th, 2010, 04:21 PM
My hair is also slippery, so I understand where you are coming from! I'm also growing out layers and bangs and I cannot wear certain kinds of braids or the layers will free themselves and cause trouble.

I agree that damp braiding and AVG are very useful, as is braiding snugly rather than tightly. I don't think anyone has suggested trying a different braiding technique, however. I personally find that a Dianyla English Braid (http://archive.longhaircommunity.com/showthread.php?t=23652) has wonderful staying power because of the way you make the three sections. It also doesn't "sag" during the day and for bedtime I make one high on my head and I will not have a tangled mess when I wake up.

Hope that helps! :flower:

ETA: For those who do not like un-parted hair when they braid, I also recommend the Faux French Braid (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2kOyGD_KOoA). It is similar to a Dianyla braid, but it's better for people who feel uncomfortable with having their hair pulled back (hope that makes sense).

pepperminttea
September 14th, 2010, 04:28 PM
Damp or oiled braiding is definitely that bit easier. Also, I find a gentle twist on each strand gives it a little more traction.

bumblebums
September 14th, 2010, 04:59 PM
I used to have really slippery hair when I was a kid. My mother would braid a ribbon into the braid, and it helped it stay, if only for half a day.

Nobody has mentioned cornstarch. I tried it as a dry shampoo (on hair that needed a wash, needless to say), and I think I didn't brush it out as well as I should have... anyway, it wasn't visible, but the hair got so grabby that it would even stay in a bun by itself, and braiding was also really easy. Maybe it will work for you, too.

archionblu
September 14th, 2010, 05:31 PM
My hair is also slippery, so I understand where you are coming from! I'm also growing out layers and bangs and I cannot wear certain kinds of braids or the layers will free themselves and cause trouble.

I agree that damp braiding and AVG are very useful, as is braiding snugly rather than tightly. I don't think anyone has suggested trying a different braiding technique, however. I personally find that a Dianyla English Braid (http://archive.longhaircommunity.com/showthread.php?t=23652) has wonderful staying power because of the way you make the three sections. It also doesn't "sag" during the day and for bedtime I make one high on my head and I will not have a tangled mess when I wake up.

Hope that helps! :flower:

ETA: For those who do not like un-parted hair when they braid, I also recommend the Faux French Braid (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2kOyGD_KOoA). It is similar to a Dianyla braid, but it's better for people who feel uncomfortable with having their hair pulled back (hope that makes sense).
Thanks for the suggestion, I learned the faux french braid from one of torrin paige's video tutorials, and it does help some, but since the shortest part of my hair (due to the layers) is in the front, they're particularly good at slipping out ><;;

Also thank you to the rest of you for all your good suggestions. I'll try damp braiding or adding a little coconut oil and see if it helps :)

archionblu
September 14th, 2010, 05:34 PM
I used to have really slippery hair when I was a kid. My mother would braid a ribbon into the braid, and it helped it stay, if only for half a day.

Nobody has mentioned cornstarch. I tried it as a dry shampoo (on hair that needed a wash, needless to say), and I think I didn't brush it out as well as I should have... anyway, it wasn't visible, but the hair got so grabby that it would even stay in a bun by itself, and braiding was also really easy. Maybe it will work for you, too.
This is an interesting idea, I definitely might try it, but maybe after my dorm (Just started my first year of college) gets more used to me putting bizzare things in my hair...don't want to scare them off! xD

PrincessBob
September 14th, 2010, 06:40 PM
Everyone is saying my advice, let it get dirty and use braids on those days. Also, my sisster has the same hair, she uses pomade to get it to tick together so she can braid it, but that requires a lot of rinsing afterward.

archionblu
September 14th, 2010, 06:55 PM
Everyone is saying my advice, let it get dirty and use braids on those days. Also, my sisster has the same hair, she uses pomade to get it to tick together so she can braid it, but that requires a lot of rinsing afterward.
Yeah, I'm currently washing it every day...I know a lot of folks here say that's a no-no. I actually was washing it anywhere from every day to only twice a week during the summer, but now that I've started my freshman year at college, I found that washing my hair really helped in keeping my stress levels down. I can't tell if my hair is unhappy because of my being stressed out, because I changed the wash style (WC to CWC), because of the change in wash schedule, because of change in diet...ARGH, there are too many variables!

misstwist
September 14th, 2010, 08:33 PM
I found that washing my hair really helped in keeping my stress levels down.

You can wet your hair down everyday and give yourself a scalp massage without actually washing it.

If you have tangling after the shower you could add avg or a little oil.

Cinnamoon
September 15th, 2010, 09:27 PM
I have thick, thick, hair, and I can barely get a braid to stay either.