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Niwa
August 29th, 2011, 10:47 AM
I decided not to do the hairstyle in this thread (http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/showthread.php?t=77084) because my scalp hurt and stung entirely too much when I tried. :( I did really enjoy the discussion in the thread, however -- I enjoyed it so much that I refrained from posting because I didn't want to weigh the votes in either direction or give the impression that I supported some views over others (which, to be honest, I did). Thank you to everyone who voted and participated

So, back to the drawing board for me. I need to find a low maintenance style because I am entirely too busy and over my hair to keep up any involved regimen. I have decided to try a french braid. I know how to do one and have watched youtube videos of french braids being done. How does one address the tangling caused by this style though? The process causes my hair to tangle a lot by the time I am halfway down and then I have to stop, let go of the braid and start detangling again, which frustrates me. Do you all comb your hair while doing the french braid?

I blow dry my hair straight before braiding, so the problem isn't my tight curls. It is literally that the taking this strand here, dividing there, braiding down, and braiding over all creates knots. :( Any tips from the veterans? Thanks.

LornaDoone
August 29th, 2011, 10:56 AM
My hair tangles when I braid it, especially the ends where they braid themselves. I usually hold the three strands in one hand and use the other to comb out the tangles. If I do this every couple of turns, the tangles aren't bad enough to require two hands to detangle.

Niwa
August 29th, 2011, 11:08 AM
My hair tangles when I braid it, especially the ends where they braid themselves. I usually hold the three strands in one hand and use the other to comb out the tangles. If I do this every couple of turns, the tangles aren't bad enough to require two hands to detangle.The bolded line is exactly what happens to me. I have been so confused about what I might be doing wrong because others such as Torrin Paige, whose hair is much longer than mine seem, to have little trouble with french braids. Do you think this kind of tangling is just how it is for some people, or do we have the wrong technique?

How long do your french braids usually last?

LornaDoone
August 29th, 2011, 11:23 AM
The bolded line is exactly what happens to me. I have been so confused about what I might be doing wrong because others such as Torrin Paige, whose hair is much longer than mine seem, to have little trouble with french braids. Do you think this kind of tangling is just how it is for some people, or do we have the wrong technique?

How long do your french braids usually last?

If you watch closely, you will see that when Torrin adds hair to her braid, she will hold the added part with the hand holding the braid and use the other hand to continue separating the hair all the way down the length before continuing with the braid. When I do this is helps a lot to minimize the tangles.

This happens to almost everyone, but once you get in the habit of detangling as you go, it becomes second nature and you don't notice it as much.

How long my braids last depends on how I do them. If I do one really quick, it will last for that day only. If I take my time and do it more snugly, it will last two. If I do two french braids, they will last longer, but will start to look pretty fuzzy by the third day.

bna_rapunzel
August 29th, 2011, 11:40 AM
I can only dutch braid on myself, not french, and I can only french braid on other people, not dutch. But despite what braid I'm doing, the ends of the hair always braid themselves and become tangled, and that's when I always let go, but hold onto the braid with one hand and brush/detangle with the other. Once you practice braiding for a while, you come to know quick detangling methods that are not inconvenient to your braiding. Like torrin paige, she's learned to use her hand as the detangling tool and it doesn't slow her down at all. When my hair begins to tangle quickly at the ends, it lets me know I'm nearing microtrim time!

You asked how long braids usually last... I work minimum ten hours a day when I wear my braids. They last all day plus some. But my length gets all kinds of crazy hairs poking out by the end of the day so then I just twist all of my length into a bun and pin it up with hairsticks. :)

I hope this helped at least a little!

Madora
August 29th, 2011, 11:56 AM
You might try dampening your hair with water before you begin to braid (be sure it is completely detangled first!).

With French braiding (English or Dutch techniques) it is best to detangle every time you do an add in. If you don't, the ends have a nasty habit of braiding themselves together, which isn't fun at all.

To undo those blended ends, hold the braid in one hand, with fingers between the strands to "mark" your place, and use the other hand to untangle the ends. Then you can return to braiding.

If the French braiding is too much of a hassle, then perhaps you might want to try lace braiding which is easier (hair is only added to one side).

Good luck.

archel
August 29th, 2011, 08:55 PM
I had this problem until I started detangling with my other hand while holding the 3 strands with the right hand (or dominant hand I guess) by using my first three fingers as "claws" to hold each of the strands. Every now and then I'll use a wide toothed comb on the unbraided length.

The other thing that *really* helps with the velcro tangling is to oil the hair first before braiding. It helps a ton! When I do a heavy oiling before bed on wash nights, it's SUPER easy to braid (but also super greasy, LOL).

Dorothy
August 29th, 2011, 09:52 PM
I'd like to emphasize practice... When you're reading an LHC thread about braiding, practice....

I'm terrible with braiding but it's better already with casual practice.

prettykitty
August 29th, 2011, 10:19 PM
I'm still deep in the practising stage of french braiding (and the arm-muscle building stage) but can vouch for all the methods above! When I was a child my mum would try over and over again to master the french braid, and never got there, so I want to dazzle her with my mad skills.
I practise on dirty-ish hair, and spritz it first with some Kimberlily's defrizz spray. I've finally managed, after several months of sporadic practising, to do one good braid. Unfortunately I slept in it and ended up with a fuzz halo afterwards :P
The problem I have is getting confused with the steps, I stop braiding to add a piece and then have to have a good long think about which piece to cross over next, but I'm sure with more practise I'll become proficient in time.

archel
August 29th, 2011, 10:27 PM
I find it helps to talk to myself while I'm doing it. For a French braid I say, "left over, right over, left over, right over..." For a Dutch braid I say, "left under, right under, left under, right under." I still sometimes screw up and go over with a Dutch braid because I do them very seldom, but I do a French braid each night before bed (which is GREAT practice).

emelnd
August 29th, 2011, 10:28 PM
I never had this problem and I am confused about it. Why do the ends braid themselves? Are the tangly ends from the hair already in the braid or the ones you haven't worked in yet? If it's the ones you haven't worked in, maybe clipping them before you start and unclipping as you go along would help?

I don't know. I never had any problem french braiding before, except for getting it slanted or something on myself.

swetiepeti
August 29th, 2011, 10:49 PM
I keep a detangling comb nearby if needed (one hand holds place, dominant hand combs), if hair is slightly oily it's less tangle prone, I detangle as I go by adding hair then running hand down to end of hair each add (avoids counter braiding of the ends). I rarely have to resort to using my detangling comb if I work on slightly oily hair and use my hand to run down all the way down my hair. I wll say that if you want it to stay for more than a day or so, then less oily hair stays better.
I know it works on black hair as the girl who taught me years ago had long, but natural hair that was at least half way down her back. It was not chemically straightend but she did oil it. We were "bunk buddies" in basic training in the army and I was almost in tears trying to keep my tail bone length hair contained. She could not make a bed tight enough to bounce a quarter to save her life. We helped each other. She braided my hair every morning, I did it every evening for practice. I made her bed for her every morning. To this day I've never met anyone who could French braid my hair faster and better than she did.

Helix
August 29th, 2011, 11:37 PM
My hairs like to grab on to each other as well - even when straight. So what I do is make sure my hair is detangled really well then pre-section the hairs I'm going to place in the french-braid. That way I can braid without hitting any snags since the hairs I'm supposed to grab are already sectioned.

This tutorial helped me get the jist of it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=32vYs9wKXE8

AnqeIicDemise
August 30th, 2011, 02:42 AM
I detangle as I go. I noticed that helps.

For example, I cross over a section, add the hair and then gently glide my fingertips through the remaining length to get rid of the braiding at the bottom (Try braiding a long piece of rope or yarn, you'll notice that whatever you do at the top is done at the bottom).

So it goes something like:

1. Gather section of hair, divide in three.
2. Cross over left into middle.
3. Cross over right into middle.
4. Cross over left into middle. Gather hair and add to section.
5. Glide fingers along the length and gently undo the braided section at the bottom.

It saves me the headache of stopping halfway through the braid to untangle the braided mess at the bottom.

ETA: sometimes I gather hair first and then cross over. That helps sometimes as to avoid little lumps, but it really depends on my hair is behaving that day.

ETA2: if you watch the video closely, you will see how at :34-:38 she's gathered the section into her left hand and is running her right hand along the length untangling the woven bottom.

emelnd
August 30th, 2011, 12:08 PM
Oh, I think I understand what's going on. I make sure the hair sections already in the braid are separated every time I do something. If they aren't, I glide my fingers all the way to the ends. I just do this without thinking, I do this with normal braids too.

EDIT: I just braided to make sure. In fact, I glide my hands down every time. I think this must be how my mom did it, I must have just assumed this is the way to braid.

Niwa
August 31st, 2011, 08:20 PM
Update: I am sitting here with my hair in a perfectly done french braid! Thank you, everyone.

:cheese: :cheese::cheese:

First, I watched a few videos on the technique to make sure I understood it 100%. Second, based on posts I read on this site, I oiled my hair with coconut oil and made sure I detangled very, very well before beginning to braid. Third, I made sure to smooth every time I added pieces of hair to each side. Just like that, I had a perfectly done french braid! I did not need to comb while braiding and I am guessing this is because the oil made my hair slippery enough not to catch on itself as long as I smoothed as I went along.

I am so happy because this style looks so professional and "contained" (to use a word that came up a lot in my other thread). Plus, it is not tight and does not hurt my scalp at all and is a great protective style. Because of my texture, this will probably stay in as long as I want it to, which means it can be my go-to style. I see a lot of wash, french braid, wash, french braid in my future. :laugh: I tucked the end of the braid under the braid.

On a different note, when I was done detangling very thoroughly and let my hair hang down right before braiding, I realized that my hair is now waist length. Whee!

Pics to come!

Eirelin
August 31st, 2011, 11:01 PM
Oh, I think I understand what's going on. I make sure the hair sections already in the braid are separated every time I do something. If they aren't, I glide my fingers all the way to the ends. I just do this without thinking, I do this with normal braids too.

EDIT: I just braided to make sure. In fact, I glide my hands down every time. I think this must be how my mom did it, I must have just assumed this is the way to braid.

This is exactly what I do! I have watched some of those really fast braiders whose fingers just fly down the braid and wished I could do that, but after watching them for a few minutes, I begin to realize they are not really any faster than I am because they have to keep stopping to detangle.

Instead, every time I pick up a strand to add and then again every time one side (for French; the middle for Dutch) goes over another strand, my hand just automatically goes down the length of it, without even thinking about it. If you do this, you never have to stop to detangle. When I play with my roommate's hair (he even lets me do the silliest, girliest styles on him for practice, just because he loves the way it feels), it is not quite as automatic, just because his is curlier than mine.

AnqeIicDemise
September 1st, 2011, 01:33 AM
Update: I am sitting here with my hair in a perfectly done french braid! Thank you, everyone.

:cheese: :cheese::cheese:

First, I watched a few videos on the technique to make sure I understood it 100%. Second, based on posts I read on this site, I oiled my hair with coconut oil and made sure I detangled very, very well before beginning to braid. Third, I made sure to smooth every time I added pieces of hair to each side. Just like that, I had a perfectly done french braid! I did not need to comb while braiding and I am guessing this is because the oil made my hair slippery enough not to catch on itself as long as I smoothed as I went along.

I am so happy because this style looks so professional and "contained" (to use a word that came up a lot in my other thread). Plus, it is not tight and does not hurt my scalp at all and is a great protective style. Because of my texture, this will probably stay in as long as I want it to, which means it can be my go-to style. I see a lot of wash, french braid, wash, french braid in my future. :laugh: I tucked the end of the braid under the braid.

On a different note, when I was done detangling very thoroughly and let my hair hang down right before braiding, I realized that my hair is now waist length. Whee!

Pics to come!


I like to bun my end or pin it on top of itself too.. Just another few variations for you to think about. :D