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View Full Version : any tips for doing a french braid on yourself?



darkrose
July 1st, 2011, 10:52 AM
i have never been able to do them because my hair was too short, but now its long enough. i tryed to do a french braid, but it was sooooooo hard!:( all the different strands kept getting in the way, and by the time i had finished my hair was a complete frizzy mess.:confused: but they are so pretty i will try and try again it get it right. can anyone help me out?
thanks.:))))

MandyBeth
July 1st, 2011, 10:55 AM
For me, I can't make a nice French braid on my head for ANYTHING. However, Dutch braids, when you cross UNDER instead of over, manage to look nice and pretty.

Anje
July 1st, 2011, 11:12 AM
It's all about how you hold the strands in a single hand. I learned from the Karen Ribble book "Hair: a book of braiding and styles," and their hand instructions work pretty well. Actually, I learned to Dutch braid first (that book terms it an "inside-out french braid"), and found the hand positions to be easier still.

This site gives instructions on how to french braid one's own hair. (http://www.dreamweaverbraiding.com/braids/self_french.htm) The method of holding the hair is a bit different from the method I learned, but whatever works for you, works.

Oh, and don't be afraid to put all the hair in one hand, then shake out your free arm. It can be tiring at first.

Zesty
July 1st, 2011, 11:20 AM
I couldn't get a French braid to work on myself until really recently -- I had the same problem with the tangled mess thing. My number one suggestion would be to go SLOWLY. When you're adding a new strand, carefully arrange everything so you can hold it with one hand, and then separate any tangles that may have formed. Detangling very, very thoroughly beforehand and doing a light oiling also helps. And watch YouTube videos, that's the only way I can learn new hairstyles since I'm so visual. Good luck! :D

khan
July 1st, 2011, 11:31 AM
I conquered the french braid last year! Yipeee. Once I learned that it seemed others (rope, dutch) came more easily. I found that my hair was easier to handle a couple days after washing. Take the time to enjoy the process. If you don't quite get it today, tomorrow may be the Day you do :cheese:. I've had 'oops, not what I was going for but it looks pretty good' styles happen too. :}

vanity_acefake
July 1st, 2011, 11:47 AM
You know I can French braid and have just done one to work out how I do it but it is impossible to put into words that would make any sense! Sorry.
My mum taught me many many many moons ago.
YouTube might help you or google French braid instructions and see how you go on from there.
Look up torrinpaige's YouTube videos. She is fantastic at giving you both visual and verbal instructions.

vanity_acefake
July 1st, 2011, 11:50 AM
TorrinPaige's French braid video.

http://m.youtube.com/index?client=mv-google&desktop_uri=%2F&gl=GB&rdm=4n18m1e62#/watch?v=YC_unKDz_JA

MissAlida
July 1st, 2011, 12:06 PM
I learned french braiding this year and everytime I do it it gets better and better. I like to sleep with a french braid sometimes and all the nighttime braiding is good exercise. You could look up a video on youtube to learn the basics. Once you start and try, you will find that certain , how should I say it, "finger order" will develop and it will make braiding alot easier. I advise you to take it slowly, perhaps try at night or sometimes you don't want to go out in public. I also find it easier if I don't look in the mirror. It just confuses me. Other than that...rest your arms if you fell like you are tired. Good luck, it takes a lot of patience, but it is worth it:D.

Cowgirl16
July 1st, 2011, 12:10 PM
I learned to french braid when my hair was about APL. I needed a style to wear under my bicycle helmet. My early braids were awful, I didn't care because they were hidden under my helmet, but I started getting better as time went on.
Practice, practice, practice....the more you braid the better you get. :)

Nastasia
July 1st, 2011, 12:10 PM
I recommend looking up youtube videos. Torrin Paige has a good one, but there are others. Watching several different people's versions really helped me figure it out.

BrightEyes7
July 1st, 2011, 12:19 PM
Make sure you have a lot of time. Rushing and getting frustrated really don't help, so practice while your home at night before bed.

And like Anje said, give your arms a rest!

firefly42
July 1st, 2011, 12:26 PM
don't try to french braid while looking in a mirror. even now that confuses me and i've been french braiding my hair for years...

turtlelover
July 1st, 2011, 12:39 PM
The more you practice on other people (or dolls!) the more "finger memory" you seem to get for doing things on yourself. Don't give up -- it'll get better!

darkrose
July 1st, 2011, 02:12 PM
I did it!!! an actual french braid!!!*dies of shock* XD my arms hurt like hell, but thank you so much for the tips and tricks:)

MoonLover
July 12th, 2011, 08:38 AM
don't try to french braid while looking in a mirror. even now that confuses me and i've been french braiding my hair for years...

OMGosh I finally did it because I didn't look in the mirror. So so many failed frustrating attempts. Thank you firefly!

LunaMoon
July 12th, 2011, 09:23 AM
I couldn't get a French braid to work on myself until really recently -- I had the same problem with the tangled mess thing. My number one suggestion would be to go SLOWLY. When you're adding a new strand, carefully arrange everything so you can hold it with one hand, and then separate any tangles that may have formed. Detangling very, very thoroughly beforehand and doing a light oiling also helps. And watch YouTube videos, that's the only way I can learn new hairstyles since I'm so visual. Good luck! :D
THIS
I agree with Zesty: go slowly, watch youtube videos, detangling well as you go...
I had to spend hours and hours of practise to get it and It is not perfect still, but it is Ok.

Madora
July 12th, 2011, 09:33 AM
@Darkrose...Congrats!

Some tips for French braiding:

1) Always, always, always, keep all the strands separate ALL THE WAY DOWN THE BRAID! If your hair isn't detangled all the time, you will become frustrated as hell!

2) Moistening your hair with water will make it easier to braid

3) An EVOO treatment the day before is a braider's godsend!
EVOOing gives your hair incredible slip..fantastic for braiding!

4) Practice braiding on dolls..or get some thick cord, cut 3 pieces and tie them together in a knot at the top. Put the knot in a drawer, close the drawer so it holds the knot snugly, then start practicing braiding -- both ways -- English and Dutch - overhand and underhand. Practice and practice and practice.

4) With time, your fingers will memorize the braiding motions.

5) Sometimes it helps to say the braiding motions aloud as you braid "Left over middle and hold. Right over middle and hold". Whatever works for you!

It took me a month to learn how to lace French Dutch (and English) braid. Because of of a lack of dexterity in my shoulders, I French Dutch braid in the bent at the waist position, with all my hair in front of me.

6) Karen Ribble's Braiding Your Hair Yourself DVD is great!!! So are her instruction books!

elbow chic
July 12th, 2011, 10:27 AM
I started by doing french braids to go to bed at night. It didn't matter if they looked like crap since I was just going to sleep.

Do that for awhile and one night you'll astonish yourself by making a nice one. :p

layla<33
July 12th, 2011, 10:50 AM
this is funny because last night was my first time trying to french braid and i only had myself to practice on and it came out nearly perfect :) my tip: make sure to keep your hair taunt or you may finish with a nice looking braid but a loose poofy top. especially if you have rather short bangs. hope that wasnt too confusing :)

turquoisebud
July 12th, 2011, 11:01 AM
Practice practice practice! :) You'll get better! I have been French braiding on myself for so many years it's just second nature now, but it was hard at first. Actually I am better at French braiding my own hair than trying to French braid someone else's. I was trying to French braid my Mom's hair the other day, and it was like, "this is so weird, I'm not reaching up and I can actually see what I'm doing without looking in the mirror," :p Anyway, keep it up, you will be a pro in no time!

racrane
July 12th, 2011, 11:09 AM
I'm right there with you, I'm learning to french braid as well. It does get easier as time goes by. Good luck :D

Anje
July 12th, 2011, 11:10 AM
I guess I'm weird... I like doing it in front of a mirror to see that my sections are even and I don't have any sticky-uppy parts.

SC
July 12th, 2011, 11:36 AM
I can't do french braid with a mirror so I can't really help with that :s. I just start from other side and then stop it on back of my head, pin it, do one for other side and make a ponytail. I think that having a mirror when doing it is distracting, of course I fix it with mirror, but I rather first do it without so I can make it quickly.

wvgemini
July 12th, 2011, 11:57 AM
I self taught several years ago looking for a style that would work in uniform (before I learned of the wonderful sock bun, lol). It's still my go-to style. The tips here are great, and I'll just add to practice, practice, practice! I find it much easier to braid when damp with a bit of leave-in conditioner for slip.

I'm another who can't do my braid in front of a mirror. I don't know what it is! I think I try to hard to see what I'm doing on the back of my head and it goes all wonky. I also can't french braid anyone else's hair to save my life, lol.

Bianca
July 12th, 2011, 01:01 PM
I learned from this video. Hope no one else posted the same, have not looked through all the comments :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q6M7WzzYPWI

Mrspuddinhead
July 12th, 2011, 02:24 PM
French braids have done me in so alas I have no advice for you!! I have mastered the Dutch braid yet the French basically the same technique, I cannot master. I shall keep trying. I'm German and very hard headed and do not like to give up easily. So best of luck to you.

lapispimpernel
July 12th, 2011, 03:23 PM
Someone on here mentioned that they think of landmarks to keep their sections even- ends of eyebrows, temples, front of ear, back of ear. I thought that was great, and it would have been a big help to me when I was learning.

There's a variation I do sometimes, working from my nape up my head (start out sitting, hair flipped forward). It looks like the picture, though she's topped hers with a bun. I tuck the rest of the braid down into the pocket. Much less tiring on your arms than a regular one. Anyway, the movements are the same, so you might as well learn the easy one first, unless you're trying to tone up. :)
http://www.network54.com/Realm/taygeta/frenchbraidbun1.jpg

RitaCeleste
July 12th, 2011, 03:36 PM
Well, I tried and failed. Other people have managed to braid it before with the help of brushes and gunk. When I see my own hair texture on a model, I might be inspired to try something again. I haven't seen all the tutorials in this thread so I'm gonna go back and look. If I see nice straight hair that doesn't tangle massively bad during the process, I'm gonna assume it isn't gonna help me much. So far its tangled, nothing looks smooth, I can't figure out how to hold it and brush each section smooth and make the hairs blend together. By the time I get to my ears, I've got a tangled mess. I can do a simple bun with it, but braids are looking awful, even plain ones.

archel
July 12th, 2011, 04:33 PM
I found doing it on damp hair much easier! Also, detangle every strand as you go especially if it is sticking to the rest of your hair.

Mrspuddinhead
July 12th, 2011, 04:36 PM
I guess I'm weird... I like doing it in front of a mirror to see that my sections are even and I don't have any sticky-uppy parts.


Then you have more talent then I dear Anje. I cannot look in a mirror and braid for it confuses me and my braids come out all well.... funky.

ladyships
July 13th, 2011, 10:14 AM
I found doing it on damp hair much easier! Also, detangle every strand as you go especially if it is sticking to the rest of your hair.

how do you detangle each strand as you’re going while still keeping the other strands completely separate? is there some trick to the way you’re supposed to be holding the strands between yr fingers when you’re holding them all in one hand?

also, i’m a massage therapist so i can’t have any sort of length to my nails [else i’d scratch up my clients]—this becomes massively inconvenient when it comes to separating out each new section as i’m french braiding, since i can’t use my nails to part my hair & fingertips aren’t precise enough. i end up using a rat-tail comb to do the sections, but my it’s a pain in the ass considering my hair reaches to my tailbone & it’s too long to run a comb through to the end with just one hand…so when i’m usually brushing out my hair, it requires two hands, but when i’m french braiding, the other hand is occupied with holding the braid while i part the next section to incorporate.

also, since it’s relevant…any tips on tucking the braided ends into the pocket underneath a completed french braid? mine usually ends up pulling on one or two strands of hair incorporated into the french braid unevenly—ow—&or a “hole” forms between sections of the french braid & the end-braid tries to escape via that means of egress…which sort of defeats the point of bothering to tuck it into the pocket. any tips on the insertion into the pocket, or how i should be rolling up my braid before tucking it under, or where in particular i should be pinning it into the pocket so that it remains secure?